Tag Archives: after-death communication

Beethoven, Guest Blogger

My main reason for beginning this blog was to try to start conversations between people who are having experiences with the nonphysical world, to help them feel that they have permission to share this aspect of their lives. It’s been a great gift to receive communications from people around the world who have been willing to do that. I’m hoping and expecting that today’s presentation is going to resonate with a lot of readers and that they will share their insights.

It amazes me to realize that not only do the “dead” have to get messages through our thick skulls* and our thicker layers of preconceived notions, but in order for the living to communicate at great distances about all that, we rely on little marks that seem to magically appear on screens in front of our eyes, which depend on electrons finding their way through wires and photons streaming through thousands of miles of fiber optic cable that has improbably been strung across entire ocean floors. It’s that part that seems far more incredible to me!

In previous posts, I’ve mentioned some contacts with “Lou” van Beethoven, both my own and those of others. He seems to be in touch with people and events on the Earth plane quite a lot. Recently I’ve had the good fortune to correspond with someone who has described a connection with Beethoven that has a great deal in common with my connection with Chopin. (It turned out that there were aspects we had in common that neither of us had disclosed publicly before.) I had never before met someone who was in so much the same situation as I, and it has been fascinating to compare notes.

Some issues came up in this correspondence that I found a bit confusing, and I hoped to get Fryderyk’s take on them, since he does the same sorts of things and also, as far as I know, is familiar with Beethoven as he is now. On 7/7/15, I was able to have a good conversation with him about his view of Beethoven and his current activities on the Earth plane.

I sent my summary of that conversation to Beethoven’s friend, who has asked to remain as anonymous as possible. We exchanged a number of messages, which I have condensed into a single document here.  She reported that she had received input from Beethoven, and I am extremely pleased to present his comments. You will find those in bold and italics, while what his friend wrote is in regular bold. My original description of the visit I had with Fryderyk is in regular type, and I have added asides in brackets. I hope the formatting will help you to navigate through this three-way/two-world communication, which I have been given permission to share.

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There was a sense of Beethoven being an extremely large entity, not a “mere” human being anymore.

To this, he told me that he is still human, still LvB. He has not morphed into anything else. [I hadn’t meant that he was no longer human, but that he was manifesting more as his expanded, unlimited self.]

As far as I experience him, Ludwig has “form”— still a very human one and with the clothing styles of his era! I don’t believe in the new agey idea that on entering the spirit realms people become diaphanous like white masses of light that float about. They have form, just on a different vibration/frequency to us on earth. They are still human. (It is as far as I can see, different for different life forms like elementals). They do however move differently, their form is looser, they can present themselves at different “ages.” Sometimes I see him as he was in his 40s, and other times as he was in around 1803 (the Hornemann portrait). He once made me laugh by showing himself with his 1803 haircut and in a 1940s style suit; it was brown with a waistcoat and he asked me if it suited him. I told him he looked very handsome, but I did prefer his early 1800s clothes if he wanted an honest opinion. I think they suit him more. He is also amused by the new agey views of afterlife people being white floating masses or all white and wearing white robes! That is so not what he is. He is still the same LvB, just in another dimension, but without the problems he had when here on earth.

It may surprise you to know that he still likes food and coffee; he experiences them through me at times. He likes the rain, baths, showers and the woods. He lives life fully. He also has a home— yes, a home! He showed me his house. It is in the woods.

He showed me a sort of expanse of Beethoven-substance extending in all directions over a vast landscape and penetrating into its various corners. I could see [his friend] enfolded in this field. I asked how this was like or different from relating to an individual person as such. That didn’t receive a clear reply.

At this he gave me a German word right into my head, and I got a faint image of energy flowing. [Searching in an online dictionary for a word with that sound, she discovered that it meant “projection.”] He was quite excited when I was looking the words up and even more so when I saw what vorsprung means— it is in the context of something projecting like a rock, and he gave me this word to show the literal movement of what he is doing. I really love it when he does this; he gives me German words, so that I can get a literal meaning that my own mind can’t make up. I’m getting an image of him in his coat and old hat throwing sparks into the sky and laughing to himself.

I have many times seen human beings as much more expansive than they seem to be while living in bodies, and I think of that larger self as the fundamental reality of what a person is, living or dead. So I said, “But isn’t that the same as what you are, or what anybody is?”

He’s showing me that energy fields can vary in size, according to purposes, states of mind, aims, health, etc.

I am sort of understanding this a little. Not long after he started visiting me I was walking in town and I had this real feeling of expansion and I could feel him like in the sky/air. It’s very hard to explain. I see it as his way of reaching through to me, expanding his aura. Other times it is of a more intimate nature, that his aura/being is right inside me, flowing into me, and it feels so good and pure.

I think that this is Ludwig’s ability to extend himself— he can be in more than one place at once. I didn’t quite understand how he can do it, but it has something to do with people in the afterlife existing outside of time and the physical body. When one thinks about it, if we can travel in OBEs and shamans can go further than this, why wouldn’t afterlife people have superior abilities that go even further?

Fryderyk replied that he was not like this image of Beethoven, that he was much smaller and more focused, and wrapping close around me, he gave me an impression of having tightly delineated boundaries that were not much bigger than the physical volume of a human being like myself.

*He’s saying something about penetrating barriers, and layers, and that it is not always easy, “even for me.” He’s showing an image of himself knocking on my head and me not hearing him, or “not listening.” Also about believing one can do it[If I had a dollar for every time Fryderyk has said, “You are not listening!”]

Strong emotion washed through me as he conveyed a great longing and aspiration to be something more, to be able to do more good and reach more of the world, as he perceives that Beethoven can do. I told him what he might well have told me, that we all have our place in the scheme of things. I said that it seemed to me that his special ability is to bring our attention to details and to intimate, personal experience and to connect that to the universal, rather than to express the gigantic and universal directly in the way that Beethoven has done. I certainly don’t see his own “superpower” being any less. Fryderyk has always been conspicuously modest. He also seems to be relatively young, perhaps not yet as far along in development as some; perhaps Ludwig has access to more of All That Is than he does?

I got an image of Ludwig standing there, saying no, not development, but role.

Perhaps Fryderyk is equating Ludwig’s “abilities” with his music— like the Ninth of which the theme is universal brotherhood/humanhood, the heroic “Eroica,” the triumphant feelings and determinations to succeed against the odds, etc. It’s true that Ludwig was concerned with these themes/this work, but he also went to the opposite with the internal, spiritual experiences in his late piano sonatas and quartets. It is all important.

I was waiting for his response to how Fryderyk feels. He certainly doesn’t see Fryderyk as any less than himself. Ludwig knows how people view him, past and present, how people are (and were) often in awe of him (I had a problem with this when he first started visiting me), but that could/can be isolating for him. He said he has always been a force of nature, that when Goethe said that he was an “untamed personality” he was correct. He didn’t know how to “fit in”— he could only be himself, even if it caused problems for himself or the people around him. He says he was, and is, kind of wild and he can’t help it! But he accepts who he is. He said that Fryderyk has a very different personality and energy force which he admires. Very focused! Good at concentrating.

He connects with the raw energy of nature, like the wind. He said why do you think I spent so much time walking outside in the woods? (True, he even went on walks in cold weather).

He shows me that we all have access to allthatis (however you view it or experience it) and we all will connect with it differently, he doesn’t see it as more or less.

I must say, Beethoven has always seemed exceedingly large and powerful to me, too. I remember writing that I perceived him as being “like a huge bear hug that could wrap the whole world,” or something like that. And Fryderyk does seem to be built on a much smaller scale, but that is not to say that he is weak or ineffectual.

No, not smaller, he is saying. Different. Like breeze and wind, you see? Both the same source, but different. Is breeze less than the wind?

[Regarding Beethoven’s giving the impression of being so large despite a height of only about 5’4”:] It is his personality, his life force I think. And yet, his letters show his vulnerabilities and his emotions; he had both. People said he could be almost childlike, a kind of innocence about him; he was and is authentic. And he is incredibly gentle with it. All this mix makes him so compelling and extraordinary. It can be heard in his music.

Mary Montano wrote about something like this field of Beethoven-ness in Loving Mozart, if I remember correctly. She said that all the devoted players and listeners form a kind of symbiotic group organism with a composer, contributing back into the work the composer creates. (The Wolf Gang? The Fryc Field? The Beethovensbundler?) I like that theory very, very much and hope it is true. It’s how the situation does feel to me.

I got like goes with like. He’s also given me something that makes me feel warm inside as well as kind of honored and humbled— never underestimate how important you are to us. He knows I just sit here thinking what do I do? boring courses, shopping, cleaning, sometimes writing (never enough time for that it seems), but that the connection we have with the composers means a lot to them, the energy we share with them they can channel into their work, use to inspire them. We help their work in ways we cannot quite know.

So yes, I see it as we can be their muses, and them ours, like a flowing of ideas, sharing.

I had mentioned to [his friend] that I’ve never heard Fryderyk say anything in Polish, despite begging him to do so. She asked why that is; she does sometimes hear Ludwig speak in German, a language she doesn’t know herself, and has been able to write down some of the words so that she could look them up. On this same night I bugged Fryderyk about it yet again, and at last got some clarification. It was obvious once I saw it. He gave me images of the mechanics of our communication, the way we were doing it right then, so that I saw how I was going about taking in raw ideas and fishing for words to express them. I remember Mendy Lou saying years ago that he communicates psychically rather than verbally, which didn’t entirely make sense to me at the time.

I read this to Ludwig and he thinks it is a good idea to tell you how he gives me the German words. Maybe you and Fryderyk can try it. I usually lie down, or at least sit comfortably; he usually lets me know he wants to give me German words. I get a feeling or I start to hear him faintly. Then I just lie still, not thinking any thoughts of my own, not having any ideas. If he is going to answer a question I gave him, I just listen and wait till he gives me the word(s) and then write it down and look in the online dictionary. I can always feel his energy flowing into me when he does it. It takes a quiet mind and concentration. So we don’t manage big whole sentences! But it is great for clarification.

To be sure, on occasion I do get crystal-clear, pre-formed words from him, but those times are the exception. Generally I am performing the “translation” into speech and so the message ends up in my own language, with my very limited vocabulary in Polish not really adequate for this process. I still hope that we may come up with a more robust line of communication that will facilitate more precise verbal messages, but this may not ever be the way our particular minds work together, and if so, that’s all right, I suppose. The imagery and emotional tones he gives me often convey far more information than words could.

I asked again, also, about why he couldn’t or didn’t transmit any Polish phrases through Leslie Flint (since others did transmit messages in languages not known to the medium) except for one episode when Flint woke in the middle of the night hearing a foreign language. He began to show me something about working through the medium’s nervous system, brainstem maybe, and vocal anatomy, even though the sound was not coming through the medium’s vocal cords. I never found out much about that because at that point I drifted off to sleep.

He is showing that mind to mind is much easier for them— faster too! The biggest barrier seems to be us, busy minds, and doubting that we are indeed communicating with them.

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I’ve had a day of feeling extremely inadequate, and here I am writing about Chopin feeling inadequate and being reminded of my previous post about Beethoven feeling inadequate during his life too. Point taken.

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Filed under channeling, music, spirit communication

A Day at the Office, and the Day of the Dead

11/8/14

My workday started yesterday with a lady who is nearing the end of her life. She has a good deal of dementia, and although she is still recognizable as the person I’ve been treating for years, she is not quite that person anymore, literally a shadow of her former self. Who is she now? This lady’s daughter gave the opinion that when her father died, her mother died as well. Where did she go?

The day ended with my empathically witnessing the very troubled birth of a child whose mother was the person actually lying on my table. The child has been having terrible nightmares and visions. Our working theory was that these distressing images relate to a disaster that occurred two generations back, before the birth of the child’s grandmother, because they seem to depict such similar images. Is this trauma still stuck in the psyche of the family group? Is the little girl a version of someone who was physically present at the event? Why is this child the one carrying the trauma?

All that plus an extra measure of fatigue and stress to scrape away my outer layers made me especially conscious of the continuity and connectedness of human life. It’s a few days past Día de los Muertos, and this year I have felt the thinness of the veils as never before. (As I wrote that, I felt a touch from Fryderyk at my right side.) Most years I hadn’t noticed anything special at that time, though I appreciated it and cherished it as my favorite holiday.

But most years I didn’t know so many on the other side personally. Within the past year one of our cats passed, then the patient and friend that I’ve mentioned, then two of my husband’s relatives, then my cousin. Very recently there were two I only knew vaguely but my husband knew better, someone prominent in the music community and an artist who lived down the street from us. A week ago I made an ofrenda in the dining room, with silk flowers and an Archangel Michael votive from my patient’s house, and put up pictures of those I could.

Late that night I suddenly felt strongly drawn into that room. I paid attention and pulled up a chair next to the ofrenda. There was an incredible sense of peace, and as I gazed at the photos in turn, I felt the presence of each of the deceased, especially my patient, and very much including the cat. As you know, for me to reach out to the dead is nothing new, but they had never reached toward me in this way before. It was a wonderful benediction and blessing. I didn’t want it to end.

altar 2014

The theme of this year’s Marigold Parade, the Día de los Muertos observance in Albuquerque’s South Valley, was water (“No Se Vende, Se Defiende!”). Nature went along by dumping rain on us, the only rainy, chilly day in a period of gorgeous fall weather. The energy was a bit lower than usual, but my enthusiasm for the holiday was way up.  Here’s my attitude:

From a calendar owned by my patient, artist unknown

From a calendar inherited from my patient, artist unknown

I’ve encountered a reaction of “ewwww” from some folks who aren’t in tune with this celebration of the dead. I don’t understand why. The dead are no more or less than the same people we loved when they were alive, and our relation to them doesn’t change in any fundamental way. Our ancestors may be gone from this plane, but their lives inform and nourish ours at every moment. There is nothing foreign or frightening about them.

The depictions of the dead dressing up in their party clothes, playing music, eating, drinking and dancing charm me. Why not have fun, free from one’s earthly cares? Because I know that there is infinite potential to keep learning, developing, loving, and appreciating, and I want others to know it too, I like this kind of reminder. The images of the skull and the skeleton also remind us that under the skin we are all the same, and that all of us are equal in facing death, no matter what our station in life.

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Filed under history, spirit communication, spirituality

An Invisible Patient

I thought I’d be writing Part II of my last health-care post at this point, but meanwhile something fascinating came up that I’d like to share with you.

More and more, I’m being called upon to do psychic work with my patients, although I never advertise or warrant that I can do that. They assume I can do it and trust me to come up with something useful, even when I don’t trust myself. Two weeks ago, on September 3, a patient asked me to help with something that seemed a bit outside my abilities. She, and the other person involved, have authorized me to tell about our experience.

The other person involved was my patient’s dear friend and business partner, who killed himself a couple of months ago after grappling with intractable mental and physical health problems and other frustrations. I’m going to call him G for Ghost, and his friend simply P for my Patient, even though in this case the patient was actually the ghost himself.

G has been in persistent contact with P since his death. Not in a frightening way, not any kind of possession, no attempt to control P, but he’s just always around. He’s talked with her often, with perfect clarity. He’s even commented on conversations she’s had with other people, which were not intended to include him, leaving her a bit peeved. When P asked if she could bring G to my office so that he and I could communicate, I didn’t understand what she wanted. Since she could hear him so well, and I likely couldn’t, why would it help for me to try to converse with him?

“He needs to talk with someone who isn’t me,” she told me firmly. The truth of this became obvious later when we had our meeting.

I’d already met G, briefly, at P’s last appointment. It’s not particularly unusual for spirit entities of various flavors to come in with patients, but finding myself nose to nose with a recently dead human being was still a little startling when it happened. I asked G if he had anything to tell us, and he hung his head and repeated, “Sorry sorry sorry sorry….” Poor guy, I thought. I tried to tell him that nobody was judging him and everything was OK now.

Later, P told me that G had been feeling terrible, both before and after his passing, about how much he had needed her to do for him, how much of her energy and resources he’d taken, and how he had hurt her by committing suicide. She said that the “sorry” message was very real and I had heard correctly.

It seems that G has been making every attempt to be helpful since, but his helpfulness may not be any more balanced or healthy than his guilt and shame. I wasn’t sure what to make of the message P relayed next, that G wanted to help me with my “balance of giving and receiving” because he felt that my patients were draining me. OK, I can somewhat see where he’d be getting that, but overall it’s not the issue he thought it was, and at any rate it wasn’t happening at the treatment he’d observed me giving to P.

I set up an appointment with P, and tried to prepare every way I could during the time leading up to it. I sent out repeated calls to Fryderyk, requesting his presence at the event; I had the feeling that things would be difficult, and I was hoping for backup. I got very little response.

P and I agreed that if nothing happened, we would just accept that and not worry about it. I set our chairs on either side of the treatment table, as if we were about to work on a physical patient who was lying there. On the table was the MacBook on which I’m writing now, with GarageBand open to record the session. We needn’t have worried that nothing would happen– as usual, G was right to hand.

G immediately reiterated his desire to be of assistance to me, and a moment later he was inside my body, trying to move my hands and look out through my eyes. This would have totally creeped me out if I hadn’t had such experiences with Fryderyk before; as it was, I stayed utterly calm. I didn’t think that G was any threat to me or that he had any ill intent, but still, this was exceedingly inappropriate. I told him in no uncertain terms that he was not allowed to use my body in this way.  It was useful that he made the attempt, though, because that showed me where he was coming from and what he was trying to do.

I told P what was going on, and added a bit about why I thought G was incorrect in thinking that he needed to save me from being drained by my patients.* P marveled that even after death, we can still project our own issues onto others. Well, as we discussed, we’re still ourselves when we die, and we don’t immediately become hugely enlightened, though I hope we can get a bit broader of a perspective even early on. G, it seems, had major issues with being able to ask for help and to feel OK about needing it. I can understand that, and it’s not foreign to me by any means, but as I told him, I get a great deal of help from both Earth-based people and the spirit world, and I’m very aware that I couldn’t manage without it.  Anyway, I thanked him for his offer, but made it clear that we would not be working together in that way, period.

It was becoming apparent to me that G believed he needed to work through a physical body, even though he had given up his own. I tried to convince him that he was far less limited in his present form, and could do whatever he might want or need to accomplish perfectly well. “I don’t even work in my own body half the time!” I exclaimed. But G looked to me (through my mind’s eye, not as a vision in the room) like a small, contracted, grey figure, not a powerfully glowing ball of energy, which is how I see a person in a healthy state. He didn’t look like he could accomplish much of anything, he was so closed up and shut down.

“Isn’t there anyone helping him?” I asked P. Normally, we all have our connections to current family, ancestors, guides and so forth, and we’re always told that when we die someone comes to take care of us and show us the ropes. I could not detect anyone or anything around G, and P couldn’t either. This seemed unimaginable, but my own vision, the messages P received, and her subjective experiences all said that G was completely alone except for his connection to his one friend. When I asked G about this directly, I heard the only verbal message I got from him that day, which was an impassioned, “I LOVE [P]!!!!”

Feeling perplexed, I set about trying to help G open up to the universe beyond the small area in which he’d confined himself. Right away, I sensed extreme resistance to this. Looking further, I discovered that G believed that if anyone out there saw him, any higher beings, they would immediately judge and reject him. I did my best to convince him that this was not the case at all, but he wouldn’t take that in. I talked about other messages I’d channeled and been told about, in which I’d heard how valuable and beautiful and precious an individual human personality is, and how loved we all are, as well as how much fun he could have in his new expanded state of being and how much good he could do. P and I kept up this encouraging conversation for a good while. At the same time, I kept doing energy work, as I would with a physical patient. I brought a column of illumination down into him (best I can describe that), and G began to expand and light up a bit. He still seemed extremely skeptical about what we were telling him, though.

At this point, I felt like I really needed some outside support. Unable to find anyone naturally connected with G, I sent out a plea toward Fryderyk, who I knew had done this sort of work before. I felt only a vague tendril of contact; it appeared to me that he and G reached their hands toward each other, but the connection felt tenuous, and I wasn’t sure anything was really happening.

Over an hour had gone by, and we were all beginning to feel that we’d said everything that could be said in that session. I knew that G still wasn’t the least bit ready to Go Toward the Light, but I had no more incentives to offer him. P reported that G was telling her, “She needs to go and have lunch.” I was feeling that way too. It was a day of 7 patients in a row with this in the middle, and I definitely needed a break.

When I checked my laptop, there was a message on the screen saying that GarageBand had crashed because there was too much data coming in too fast for it to handle. A simple recording of one track of ambient voices, with a lot of spaces between sentences– how could that be too much or too fast?

G left the room, and there was no question in my mind that he was gone. I didn’t feel that there was any residue left in my body or in the space. P felt him go, as well– giving her a little break! And the moment he was gone, Fryderyk was all over me, embracing me warmly, almost overwhelmingly. No words, but a feeling of “Good job! I knew you could do it!” He must have been observing the entire time. And really, I could do it. P and I were both completely capable of handling this sticky situation, and we both felt fine afterward.

But we didn’t succeed in helping G on to the next phase of his existence. When I saw P a week later, she reported that he was still around. All. The. Time. Her strategy at that point was to sit in her yard and meditate, expanding her own energy outward, trying to model this behavior and encourage G to do it along with her. It sounds like a reasonable response to the situation. This is all I know so far about the results of our session.

 

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As you know if you’ve been reading my posts for a while, I am all too familiar with the feeling of a malign entity invading one’s system. (See “A Case of Possession.”) G isn’t like that, and I don’t mean to lay any blame on him, at least not much– he’s doing more than enough of that himself, after all. He’s just confused, as far as I can tell. When my other patient died at her own hand last year, she had become much clearer and in a way well by the time she passed over**, but G died in a state of great distress, as far as I know, and didn’t have a chance to resolve anything. I don’t know how typical this is of suicides, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it happens a great deal.

I am also familiar with the feeling of having an invisible friend hanging around for days on end. Now that I don’t get a lot of concentrated time with Fryderyk, I’m nostalgic about it, but early in our relationship there was occasionally almost too much togetherness. Sometimes, after it went on for a while, I would begin to wish for time to myself, like can’t I even go to the bathroom on my own for gosh sakes? It was not unpleasant in any way to have him around, and I didn’t experience any interference with my daily activities, but I would just start to feel like I needed a little more room to breathe. I can certainly empathize with P’s desire to have her own space again.

There is another close parallel with my experiences with Fryderyk: the form that my interaction with P and G took was exactly like the “afternoon teas” Mendy Lou and I used to have with him. In both cases, the other embodied person in the room was getting verbal messages and for the most part I was not, but I was clearly picking up emotional and energetic impressions. Combining our two streams of communication, we were able to put together vivid and complete pictures of what was going on. The similarity says to me that the type of communication I received from Fryderyk when we were with Mendy Lou was more related to my personal mix of abilities than to his specific way of interacting with us. I’m still much more an empath than a telepath, and still a pretty small medium, I’m afraid.

As I worked on this today, I couldn’t help but radiate wishes to spend some quality time with my dear departed, and apparently those got through to him. When I settled down to rest for a while, my wish was granted. I’d been hoping to ask him about a subject that had come up in the past couple of days, the types of keyboard temperament (tuning) in use in his time. I wondered what sort of tuning he had preferred. It was a fairly technical question and I didn’t know if a reasonable answer was possible, but I asked anyway. The first answer was that if an instrument could be competently and completely tuned in some temperament, any temperament, and stay that way for a while, that would be great! Yes, for sure…. So then I asked him, “If you had an ideal instrument and an ideal tuner, what would you ideally prefer?”

As so often has happened, he gave me a reply that came in from a totally unexpected angle. Showing more than telling, he conveyed this to me: If he could have had anything he wanted in terms of tuning, what he would have wanted was to sing, to be able to shape the intonation and tone quality of each and every note without limitation. I felt a huge rush of air and sound through my body, vibrating everywhere, tremendous power and freedom. It was exhilarating, and it was something I want as well and have experienced all too rarely.

It was something his small, struggling body could never have done, but somehow he deeply understands what it can feel like. Perhaps I should see if he and I can try it together.

 
*This strikes me as amusing in light of what my former friend and colleague, whose patients I inherited, said about me– that because of the “evil spirit” Fryderyk hanging around me, I was draining the energy of my patients and everyone near me. Here another “evil spirit” was seeing things exactly the other way around.

**I had been pleasantly surprised, when I encountered her after her death, to find that she seemed peaceful, not stuck or confused. https://elenedom.wordpress.com/2014/01/07/get-right-while-you-can/

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Dead Doesn’t Have to Mean Serious

Death is profound, but being dead doesn’t have to be serious.  As a devoted follower of Swami Beyondananda and the fortunate friend of that famed comic actor Chopin, I am pleased to pass on this story of humor and lightheartedness from the beyond.

A teenage boy who I’ll call N was killed in a car accident late in 2012.  His family was devastated.  There is nothing funny about any of that, but his mother and his aunt have been telling me about the amazing and amusing lengths to which N has gone in trying to communicate with those he left behind.

N was in JROTC in high school, and had always been interested in shooting.  After his death, yellow BBs started showing up around his family’s environment.  It would be easy to say that there must have been some he had dropped or left lying around the house during his life, and they just happened to turn up over time.  However, they were placed much too creatively and implausibly for that to be the case, and in places where N could not ever have been.  Why BBs?  Well, it seems that N’s stepfather was always giving him a hard time for leaving them underfoot!

N’s mom went on a cruise and found a BB in her stateroom.  His aunt found one in her car.

On N’s 16th birthday, the family gathered at their old house, which had been completely cleaned out and gotten ready for sale.  They held his party outside, but the went into the house for a little while to blow up some balloons.  They checked the floor carefully, because they had a baby with them, and they didn’t want to leave anything lying around that he could put in his mouth.  N’s aunt reported: “Then, my mom and younger sister went back into the rooms they had just checked and little BBs started appearing: 8 total. They stated they just started showing up, N was there at that moment putting them everywhere they looked.  It was trippy and funny at the same time.  My husband found the 9th one in the bed of his truck.  He happened to be in the bed looking for a jack.  He had been in that bed many, many times before and POOF there was a yellow BB.  So, my mom and younger sister gave each of us a BB because there were 9 total, one for each of us.”

You might still be thinking, “Well, those BBs probably just didn’t get vacuumed up when the house was cleaned, and they didn’t check as carefully as they thought.  The one in the truck bed had been there all along.  And the one in the stateroom had been stuck somewhere in the mother’s luggage.”  But how about this:  On another trip, N’s mom brought a bottle of medication straight from the pharmacy.  It had not even been removed from the bag, which was still stapled closed.  Yup, you got it– when she opened the bottle, she found a yellow BB inside among the pills.

This seems like incredible virtuosity to me, especially for someone who was very young and hadn’t been gone from this life all that long.  I’m wondering if N’s little cousin, B, who says that she sees him on a regular basis, might be helping to provide an opening for him to get through.

On the Valentine’s Day after N died, the little girl, now age 3, received one of those mylar balloons filled with helium.  Her mom, N’s aunt, told me that the balloon stayed aloft for months.  Every time it started to sink to the floor, it would magically reinflate and head for the ceiling again.  It would also follow B’s mom around the room, so that she laughed and told N that she knew he was there.  One night it somehow passed through three closed doors to show up in her closet, floating as usual.

Recently B was playing a board game with her family.  The game included cards with printed questions, and B appeared to be reading the cards.  Now, she’s a smart girl, but she’s still only 3, and she’s definitely not reading yet.  “Is N telling you what’s on those cards?” her mother asked.  B admitted that he was, and as she’s done many times, said he was right there.  I wonder if she’s mystified that other people don’t see him the way she does.  Her mom does her best to be open to seeing, but so far it hasn’t been possible.  At least no one laughs at the child or tells her that she’s making it all up.

In the midst of all this, N’s mother and grandmother went to consult with a medium.  They were still mired in grief, and we know that making contact with the deceased can help tremendously with the pain that loved ones feel after a death.  They received quite a few meaningful messages, and indeed this has helped them to feel better, although things are still very difficult.

One day N’s mother got a text message that simply said “Hi” and appeared to come from her son.  He had known another boy with the same name, so she asked if the message was coming from his friend.  The reply was just her son’s name again.  She didn’t know what to make of it.   At the next session, the medium reported that N was asking, “Did you get my text?”  I guess for a teenager, there could be no more natural way to communicate than to send a text.  (Could Fryderyk figure out how to do that?)  And it seems that N’s mom had received some other anomalous texts before that, starting about 9 months after the accident, which contained the letters of N’s name but didn’t make any sense.  Unsuccessful attempts, apparently.

[Ironically, as I write this, the sound system here at Annapurna is playing “Up above my head/There’s music in the air/And I really do believe/There’s a heaven somewhere.”  N’s aunt wrote, “I hear the songs we put on his memorial slide show for the funeral all the time!  I will be in yoga listening to their nature music and all of a sudden a song will play.”  I have often heard of songs showing up anomalously as apparent messages from the beyond.]

N’s aunt continued:  “My stepdad spends a lot of time at N’s and his spot (my parents’ land).  He has said that he will go up there and clean the land up from weeds, move rocks etc.  Every time he goes up there, all the things he has done with the rocks are back to where they were.  You see N used to make “ramps” out on the land to jump his bike and/or motorcycle.  During a time when his mom and my mom talked to the medium, N asked if Papa got his signs.  Also, a hatchet that N lost of my stepdad’s at the land miraculously showed up too.  Just sitting by the garage on the land as if it had been there the whole time, nice and clean too!

“N is aware that my dad is rebuilding his race car.  It was always N’s car.  They wanted to make it street legal so N could drive it when he turned of age.  My dad has been hard at work rebuilding it.  N knows about it and states that he sits there with my dad when he is working on it and can give details about it.”

N’s maternal great-grandfather has also gotten in on the act.  His daughter, N’s grandmother, had a terrible time dealing with his death a few years ago.  He has told her, through the medium, that he’s tried very hard to get through to her but that she hasn’t been open to his messages, including the pennies he’s put in front of her.  From what I’ve read and been told, spirits often express such frustrations.  It’s sad to think of that, but at the same time I’m giggling at the idea of N and his great-grandpa having so much fun thinking of new tricks to play on the family.  I wonder what they’ll come up with next.

Update, 6/3/14: 

Well, here’s what they came up with next.  Recently N’s great-grandmother died.  At the cemetery, when the mausoleum was opened to inter her body, dozens of yellow BBs came rolling out.  The family didn’t count them, but there seemed to be about enough to give one to each person who was present.  Of course it had been many years since this mausoleum had been opened.

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Get Right While You Can

On the night of November 5, way back last year, Fryderyk came to visit, and we had an intense encounter.  There have been very few times that he has been so nearly materialized, so focused in this plane.  It was so powerful, nearly blowing all my circuits, and I wondered if he could be experiencing something similar.  “What are you feeling?” I asked, during a brief moment when I could manage an organized thought.

The answer was not remotely what I might have expected.  He showed me the pain, regret, and frustration of “our” life in the 19th century, how he and Delfina had never gotten their relationship into balance and never finished what they needed to do or be with each other.  Why is he telling me this now? I thought.  In the midst of so much love and pleasure, why would he even be thinking of this?  We had been over it all so many times during my present life, worked out everything that needed to be worked out, it seemed to me.

The message seemed to be, “Get right with people while you can.”  I took it to heart, and in the next few days I took steps to do just that.  There was one person in particular with whom I had been avoiding some much-needed communication, and I thought that Fryc might have been trying to give me a push to deal with that.  Otherwise, I felt that I was OK with most people and they were OK with me; the very few with whom that was not true had resisted all my attempts to get back in touch with them, and there was nothing more I could do about it.  I told Bob about Fryderyk’s message, and said that even if he or I were to die in the next five minutes, there would be nothing that needed to be fixed between us.  He agreed.

Then, on November 8, my colleague Michael Spottiswoode died suddenly of an aneurysm.  When I found out, I had the sense that Fryderyk, unstuck from linear time as he is, was trying to tell me something about this future event as well.

None of us DOMs knew about Michael till two days later, the day on which he was supposed to teach a class on his life’s work, a unique way of combining acupuncture and osteopathy.  Just a few days earlier he had posted on Facebook about how excited he was about the class, saying that he felt it was finally time to bring this work to the world.  He had put off teaching it before, as far as I know.  Why it all came to be the way it was, why he had to die no more than 48 hours before the class, is a great mystery to me.  It seems so massively unfair.  Why could he not have lived a mere 10 days longer and gotten through both sessions of the class?  Perhaps it made unconscious sense from his inner point of view, or from someone’s.

There was something I’d been meaning to tell Michael for a long time, and I had intended to say it on the day of the class.  It wasn’t anything of earthshaking importance, but I’d put it off and then I never did get to say it.  Michael, wherever you are, I really appreciate all that work you did on the NMSAAM website, and I wish I had made that clearer to you when I had the chance.

Our DOM community was in shock, but there was a blessing inside this terrible event.  As funerals tend to do, Michael’s memorial brought a large group of us together and generated a lot of positive, loving energy.

On November 22, our 12-year-old cat, Angel, reached the end stage of her kidney disease.  After a week in which she seemed to have much more energy and was more active and playful than usual, she abruptly became unable to use her back legs.  She got a bit better for a while, able to walk a little, then deteriorated again.  We couldn’t get hold of her vet, who works alone, without office staff.  Eventually he left a message saying that it sounded like “decompensated renal failure.”  Pretty much what I was thinking.

During the evening, I did energy work for her, and she stayed next to me, propping herself up against the back of the sofa, because her poor legs wouldn’t even hold her for sitting.  She seemed calm, interested in everything and not in any pain.  Strangely enough, she ate normally.

I had some hope that Angel would die peacefully during the night.  That was the night that we had the severe cold and snow with 50 mph winds, and I didn’t think it would be helpful to stress her by taking her out to the emergency vet hospital.  I didn’t want to take her to be put to sleep without my mother going along, either, because Angel was very much her cat, and I didn’t want to put my mother through a trip like that.  So I just waited till the morning.  I told my mother, “If we take her to the vet, she probably isn’t coming home.”

Angel was still with us in the morning, and I found that Petsmart’s clinic had an opening for her.  Bob and my mother and I bundled her into her carrier right away and got her there.  The very kind vet said, “I think we need to have the end-of-life conversation.”   “We had it last night,” I told her.

It was my mother’s 89th birthday, and she spent most of it in tears.

When we had to face this with Rico, our cat who had cancer, some years ago, it was a terrible day.  We’d waited as long as we felt like we could, until we thought it would be cruel to let him go on, but he still didn’t seem ready, and he fought the sedative with everything he had.  I never really got over it– I hope he did.  So I tried to give Angel a choice, or at least get a sense of what she would want.  I’d never had a great connection with this cat, but I tried to make contact as best I could.  I visualized needles and tubes and trying to keep her alive for a few more days.  That didn’t feel good at all, very agitated and uncomfortable.  I visualized, as best I could, causing her to die right away.  She relaxed under my hands; my mother said it looked like she was going to sleep.  “Let’s do it,” I said.  To Angel, I said, “I won’t leave you.  I’ll stay with you as long as you need me.  Hang on to me if you want to.”  I didn’t know whether I was getting through to her in any way.

When Rico died, I felt nothing, saw nothing, even though I was holding him and I paid attention.  This time, as the drug took effect, I felt something rush toward me.  Afterward I could still feel her if I tried to find her.  Over the next couple of days, whenever I looked for her, this small, warm presence was still nearby.  At some moment, I had a brief vision of her.  She was moving quickly and her coat was silky and smooth and healthy-looking as I had never seen it in life.  Since then, nothing.  And that’s OK.

Angel’s death was hard on my mother, but the suddenness of it was a relief for us, and our quality of life went up immediately.  It bothers me a little that I was so glad to be rid of the litter tracked everywhere and the gobs of fur all around and her astonishingly loud screechy voice.  Not to mention the smell from her inappropriate use of the carpeting.  She was an inconvenient cat, frankly, and she didn’t give a lot back, in part because her illness left her little energy for fun.  When we were deciding what to do at the end, I did my best to get clear about what she needed as opposed to what was easiest for me.  I hope we got that right.  I think we did.  She had an excellent quality of life during the three years she was with us, and other than the days when she was obviously ill, I think she must have been content.

And I think this preparation was important for me in dealing with what was soon to come.

The week before Christmas, the life of one of my patients reached a somewhat similar denouement.  One door after another closed for her, and she concluded that it was time for the end.  As she had often said, we would never allow a dog to go on in the painful and hopeless condition she was in.  She should have had the option of the kind of quick and painless solution Angel was given.  Unfortunately, we don’t live in a state that allows assisted suicide, and she had to make her own plan.

No one close to her argued with her decision; we all knew it would be for the best.  Once she did decide, in a way, she became well.  She was still in tremendous pain, but somehow she didn’t seem to be suffering in the same way.  She became calm and completely lucid, and the brain damage from her illness seemed to recede.

I had the opportunity to spend a few more hours with her during the last week of her life.  The whole atmosphere of her house had changed to a new peacefulness.  “Is there anything I need to do to make amends with you?” she asked.  I thought and felt around, and replied truthfully that we were fine with each other as far as I knew.  I hope I didn’t miss anything that I myself needed to make amends for.

Before I left, my patient asked me to scan her and see if I found anything energetically amiss that needed to be cleared.  My own emotions were getting in the way, but I did my best.  There didn’t seem to be anything to worry about.  What I did find was an entity hovering around her left shoulder.  I couldn’t tell what it was, but it felt like someone helpful.  This was reassuring to both of us, and I said “Thank you” to the being.  It was odd to simply go out the door that evening, not to stay as long as possible, but she was getting so tired, and I would have done harm by staying longer.

During the next few days, I was on strange pins and needles, not sure what would happen or when.  I wrote the following:

Glad that most of my body works most of the time.  I am annoyed at the instability in my leg that keeps letting bone hit nerve and cause damage over and over and over, but the muscles are strong and the leg carries me.  Right now I seem to be getting a cold.  Viruses have come to live and grow in the mucosa of my nasopharynx, and they are doing their little virus things, while my own cells are doing their best to give them the boot.

Life is bursting all over, even now in the darkest days.  It’s like what Jesus said in one of the apocryphal gospels:  “Hallelujah, I eat.  Hallelujah, I am eaten.”  Hello, viruses.  Please move on now.

This lady died very early on December 23.  About that time I felt a wave of extreme distress and anxiety, then total calm.  I figured it must have happened, but of course I couldn’t be sure.  The next day I found myself kneading cookie dough with one hand while holding the phone with the other, talking with a deputy from the sheriff’s department.  The authorities handled everything with great kindness and with excellent efficiency too.  The job of informing her family fell to me.  I’d never had to do that before, even though it is a basic part of the work of doctors.  It was all stressful and painful and terrifying and a great gift and privilege and blessing.

I have many jobs left to perform for this patient, because her family is far away.  There is so much to do with her home and her property.  There again, it’s a lot of stress, but I’m receiving a great deal too, spiritually as well as materially.  I have been feeling a circle of loving support around me, my friends and family and hers, and I need to remember that I can rely on it.  2014 will be the year of learning to delegate, I think.

A few days after my patient passed, I went to visit with Mendy Lou.  Immediately I could feel Fryderyk at my right side, but something seemed different and I couldn’t put my finger on what.  “Who’s here?” I asked Mendy.  She was confused by the mixed signal for a moment, too.  We soon realized that someone else was there, behind Fryderyk.  “It’s small.  It’s a human person,” I said, meaning that it wasn’t an angel or deity or other type of wondrous being that is likely to show up at Mendy’s office.

“Wait a minute, who did you say just passed away?” Mendy asked.  Yup, it was my patient.  At first it felt like she was scared and apprehensive, but that was because she was afraid I’d be mad at her for “leaving such a mess” to be taken care of.  I assured her that she’d done a great job of organizing everything and made it much easier for those of us who are still here.  As far as Mendy and I could tell, she was as well as anyone could be under the circumstances.  She said that she was getting clearer all the time and getting out from under the confusion and negativity her illness had caused.  I could feel that this was true; there wasn’t any sense of disturbance or suffering about her.

It surprised me that she had come along with Fryderyk, because I didn’t think of him as having any connection with her.  But of course he did– he couldn’t have missed the many times I had asked for help when I was treating her, or the angst I had gone through over and over when there was nothing I could do to make anything better for her, or the exhaustion I had felt because her situation was so draining for me.  Of course he would try to assist us both, just as he always has.  We are in good hands.

In some ways it is much easier now to grieve and to deal with even overwhelming practical matters than it was to try to help keep my patient going against impossible odds.  And I notice that the “inconvenient” aspects of her life, as with Angel, seem completely irrelevant now.  They are transcended, wiped away by a kind of transforming grace.

Thank you.

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When Is an Entity Not an Entity, and Does It Really Matter?

2012 Marigold Parade, Albuquerque

2012 Marigold Parade, Albuquerque

Día de los Muertos and my dear departed is nowhere to be found.  I am dispirited.  Dispossessed.  Ghostbusted.  Sigh.  But he’ll be back.  He always comes back– so far.

I’ve written a lot about the tremendous, invaluable help Fryderyk has given to me over the years.  My point in this post is going to be that no matter what They “really” are, the positive effects of spirit entities can be huge.

The most obvious and well-studied help comes to those who are bereaved.  I’ve been reminded of this lately by two of my patients.  One has been reeling from the death of a young family member for almost a year, and is still deeply enmeshed in the grieving process.  Other family members have started working with a medium in the recent past, and they’ve received clear and evidential communications that certainly appear to be coming from the deceased.  While this has not wiped out their grief, it has caused a definite shift toward healing.  My patient has not yet had this direct experience herself, but hearing about it has comforted her substantially.  I’ve read about this kind of thing many times, especially in connection with Induced After-Death Communication*, but this is the first that I’ve seen it in action.

Another patient, an 85-year-old lady, was musing about her deceased husband during her last appointment.  She is doing poorly lately in some ways, and she’s been thinking a lot about the fact that she “knows more people in the next world than in this one,” as she puts it, and what it may be like when she moves on.  She had a number of vivid sightings of her husband after his death, which she authorized me to share with you.  He had suffered severely from diabetes and all the worst it can do to a human body, including having his legs amputated.  She particularly appreciated seeing him in one piece in her visions, with both his legs intact, looking happy and healthy.  That was what she emphasized to me when I saw her last, that it meant so much to her to know that he was no longer suffering.

Here are a few of the notes that she jotted down for me about her experiences over the years:

“1998  No. 3… Walking towards me on Stillwell, I had Skipper [dog] walking to him… he had both legs, and he looked good.”

“No. 12, July 1999– Saw him, he was waiting for me with his arms open to me– made me very sad.”

“No. 14, Nov. 1st, 2000 (11 am)   I did not see him but I felt him there at 8711, I was by [daughter’s] bedroom and there was a distinct loud thump in the closet by his gun room– I opened the the door and found [other daughter’s] duvet comforter that we had been searching for.  I know he was there, I could feel him close to me.  His love reached out to me.”

“No. 15, Oct. 10th, 2004   I saw him just for a few minutes, he was very agitated and did not speak to me– it was the day [cousin] had a heart attack– he was running back and forth– I had not actually seen him in four years.”

Communication with the “dead” is so common that it barely makes a blip on my radar anymore, and it is relatively easy to understand– a dead person is fundamentally not so different from a live one.  But so many times Something or Someone is there and the situation is not nearly so clear.  There has been a spate of patients bringing in entities of one sort or another in the past couple of months.  I don’t mean that I was perceiving something around them on my own to begin with, but that they told me about it themselves and asked me to help them with it– fully expecting that I could.  If you’ve been with me for a while, you know that I’ve had terrifying experiences with a demonic entity and that I had no success whatsoever in dealing with it.  (See my post “A Case of Possession.”)  I haven’t tried to work with anything like that since, and I’ve pretty much assumed that I couldn’t.  However, apparently the universe has decided that it’s time I learned and that I have to get some practice.

A gentleman about my age complained of feeling attacked by other people’s negative thoughts being aimed at him, envy and resentment and similar discordant stuff.  He has a strong background in healing and spirituality himself, and is psychologically strong and capable of dealing with difficult people, but he couldn’t shake the feeling of being battered by these unpleasant intentions.  I took a look around him and saw a clear image of an arrow, like one might see on a sign, pointing downward toward his head.  It had definite edges and was almost palpable, appearing to be about a foot and a half long and a few inches wide, in a solid dark blue for whatever that’s worth.  I would interpret it as a thought form, but whether it had been created by the patient or by those who were causing problems for him, I can’t say for sure.  Perhaps I was seeing his perception of what was going on, or perhaps the image was formed by my own brain’s attempt to make sense of the situation.  At any rate, this was not a being with its own agenda so much as an energetic sculpture of sorts, and it was a relatively easy thing to clear.  The next week this patient reported that the feeling of oppression and negativity was mostly gone.

It was more difficult with another patient, a lady who has some particularly draining family issues to contend with, and who is very aware of her own usual spirit companions.  Fighting tears and looking absolutely exhausted, she told me that for quite a while she had been feeling like something was obstructing everything she tried to do, hanging around her and keeping her from moving forward in any way.  She had had no luck trying to get rid of it or learn anything about it.  While she was on the table, I looked and found something that gave me a genuine scare.  There was a mass of energy hovering over her chest, creating a heavy pressure.  It wasn’t directly touching her, but that was only because she was constantly pushing it away with all her might.  I joined in and tried to dislodge it, but it was a serious challenge.  It seemed really determined to get at her, and it pushed back with considerable force.  In this case, the thing seemed truly to be an entity separate from the patient, not simply a creation of her own.  But why would it be trying to harm her, and what could we do about it?  I used every strategy I could think of, asking what it was, what it wanted, whether it represented someone close to her, and so on, but I couldn’t find out anything about it and couldn’t get it to move.  Did it represent the difficult family member?  That didn’t seem to be the answer.  Had it simply hooked on to the patient because she was in a weakened and vulnerable state?  I never did get any clarity about what was going on.  Between the two of us we did manage to clear it away, though, I think through sheer brute force– not the way I would prefer to work.  It took everything both of us had to do it, but she did feel much freer afterward.   At her next appointment she told me that she still had the feeling that it was waiting around nearby to get at her again but that she’d been able to keep it at bay.  I am cautiously optimistic but more than a little unnerved about this experience, and will continue to monitor the situation.

++I broke off writing this to zip over to an Albuquerque Baroque Players concert, where Fryderyk made a liar of me by showing up during a set of Handel arias and sticking around for a good while, keeping me warm and contented.  Or perhaps I should turn that around and say that he confirmed that I was telling the truth when I said he always comes back.   I’ll never stay away long either, Fryc, I promise.++

The most colorful of the recent entity experiences came about during a difficult session with a very traumatized mid-school-age boy who has been through a life-threatening illness, someone with a huge imagination, a taste for and wide knowledge of mythology, and a family background that includes some shamans.  He and I were trying to find a way to work with his intense fears about any medical treatment, including the acupuncture he used to accept so easily.  As we talked, he suddenly exclaimed, “I see a demon in that corner!  There are glowing red eyes!”

Oh, crap, I thought, because when it comes to anything that might be a demon, I’m pretty traumatized myself.  The kid had already detected the dragon that sometimes people perceive around me, and I had other reasons to believe that his intuitions were right on track.  So I took him very seriously, and gazed at the area he was pointing toward.  Yikes, I was seeing the eyes too (in my own mind’s eye, that is).  Something was there.  Interestingly, he was pointing directly at my defunct clock, which is covered in a painting of a dragon with red eyes that stared straight at us, but the clock was hidden behind a little tapestry, being used to prop it upright.  The patient couldn’t have physically seen the dragon, but it may have contributed to the imagery that came up.

The glowing red eyes seemed independent of the dragon picture, though.  I tried telling the entity that it needed to leave, and it quite obligingly started walking away.  It looked to me like a flat black silhouette, with a round head with a serrated margin as if it had cartoon fur, and skinny stick-like limbs.  There was no detail other than the eyes.  The thing didn’t seem very scary, I was relieved to see.  On the other hand, as we continued to talk about what we were seeing and what the boy was feeling, and I worked at clearing whatever I could, it was still there, still appearing to be walking away but not actually getting any further from us.  There seemed to be no more progress.

It was as if we were having a shared dream and moving through it together.  Much like what happens when I do “normal” psychic work with patients, but not quite the same.  At length, the creature turned and came back toward us, setting itself directly in front of the boy.  I was alarmed, but then it turned so that it was facing away from him, its hands raised with claws at the ready.  It was trying to protect him!  We had tamed this beast and brought it into service for him, it seemed.  By that time it appeared positively cute and winsome to me, not threatening in the least.

My take on this was that the creature provided a way for this patient to crystallize his feelings into a form he could deal with, in a visual language he understood.  I’d like to say that there was a dramatic transformation in his PTSD, as I hoped at the time, but it turned out to be only one step in the process; he’s still very fearful.  I will be fascinated to see what develops the next time I see him.

Sometimes I’m the patient myself, and invisible beings come to treat me.  Usually it’s been my familiar musical being, or another entity who has been formally introduced to me in some way.  I’ve complained of not always knowing how to tell who is who.  I mentioned this to Christine the other day (see my post “Here Be Dragons”), saying that she is better at recognizing and distinguishing them than I am.  She laughed and said, “I think I just don’t care as much”– that is, it doesn’t matter to her which one is who.  Touché.  Perhaps I am too concerned with understanding intellectually.  But inquiring minds want to know!

In the past few months I have struggled with some new physical discomforts and difficulties that have slowed me down considerably at times, but I have also had a new source of assistance available.  I’m not sure exactly when it was that I started to be aware that there was an unfamiliar entity trying to make contact with me.  She– I had a sense of femininity for reasons I can’t describe– felt distinctly different from Fryderyk, who can come in with a good deal of force.  There was a feathery softness in her touch that wasn’t quite like anything I’d experienced before, surrounding me in the gentlest imaginable way.  I wondered if she might be defined as an angel.

One night in August, not long after my mother had been hospitalized and I’d been ill enough myself to make a trip to the emergency room**, I came home from an unusually long day of seeing patients in the western part of the state with my personal fuel gauge on E.  I’d been OK most of the day, but at that point I realized I had really done myself in and was in a state that was starting to get me a little worried.  It was hard to breathe and my chest hurt.  The angel or whatever she was made herself apparent and went to work on me right away.  Almost instantly I was out of the scary state and becoming much more comfortable, starting to feel normal again.  After a little while Fryderyk came in as well, and I was interested to see how distinct they were from each other.  Whatever they did, it put me completely to rights, and I was deeply grateful, especially since I was scheduled to go out to see my most fragile and difficult patient, an hour away out west again, the next morning.  I feel certain that I could not have managed that without their help.

I can hardly describe how momentous this was, despite my years of experience with Them.  What did I do to deserve this near-miracle?  How did I attract this wondrous being?  I have no idea.  I can only say that there is a kind of healing circle or chain in which someone supplies me with energy and I pass it on to patients and they pass it on to the people in their lives who are in need, and it goes on and on.

The next time I encountered this being, I tried my best to get a look at her and to ask who she was, but I got no insight whatsoever.  Within another week or so, I again had an energetic crash, not as bad this time, with the chest discomfort very prominent.  She touched a spot there  and the discomfort vanished instantly (and then was completely gone for weeks).  It didn’t even feel like she had done anything in particular.  Pretty slick!  By this time I was extremely curious, and I asked again who she was, dropping into a channeling state as best I could.

“I am she who is the embodiment of wisdom,” I heard.  Oh!  I thought.  Sophia!  I already knew someone who channels the goddess of wisdom.

OoooKkkk… here we are again with the same problem I had over contacting Kuan Yin.  A goddess.  Uh huh.  Right.  I don’t really know what to do with that concept.  Maybe something Mendy Lou told me when I described this experience will help, though.  She wrote, “But as for Wisdom, I think that it is not something that we can possess, but rather a thing which we allow to enter into us or perhaps come upon us….”  Maybe personifying Wisdom is not so strange.  But Sophia, as I am choosing to call her, seems very much a person in her own right rather than a personification.  I await further enlightenment on this matter– still, having made little or no progress with understanding it since I wrote about Kuan Yin and the beginning channeling class a couple of years ago.  I try not to worry about it too much.  I have Friends in High Places, and that’s worth a lot whether I understand it or not.

Wisdom and discernment are always needed and in all too short supply, but I think I can benefit from an infusion of wisdom even more than usual right now.  One thing I know is that I can’t run my batteries down to nothing all the time and expect someone to swoop in from the heavens and save me.  I still have to show some sense.  I am infinitely glad to know that They are watching out for me, though, and helping me to watch out for others.

Thank you.  Thank you.

*Information on Induced After-Death Communication can be found at the site of the originator, Al Botkin, http://www.induced-adc.com/ 

You may also want to look at my posts on IADC from March 2010.

**Nothing serious was found and they were able to reassure me a lot; my symptoms have been inconvenient and uncomfortable but there is no major threat to my health.

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Filed under channeling, health and healing, spirit communication, spirituality

“When you play it you are touching my soul”

For some background and a summary of my concerns and conclusions about the Chopin Voice in the Leslie Flint material, you can have a look here: https://elenedom.wordpress.com/2010/03/17/hearing-voices-part-iii%E2%80%93-chopin/

The opening measures of Op. 10 No. 3, manuscript

The opening measures of Op. 10 No. 3, manuscript

I’ve been trying to organize my collection of musical insights gained over the years from communications with Fryderyk Chopin.  In the process, I came across a presentation given by the Chopin Voice to Leslie Flint’s sitters on February 25, 1955.  It contains some comments that so many of us who play Chopin’s works would find greatly comforting, especially those whose physical ability often lags behind their understanding of the music and the depth of their connection to it.  Some of you may feel that this is all too sweet, too good to be true, or too religious-sounding for your taste.  I understand, but it’s worth putting in front of you nonetheless, and what the Voice says does fit my experience of him.

Today is a good day for me to hear this message again.  I’ve been exploring the emotional landscape of Chopin’s E major étude, Op. 10 No. 3, which he composed at the age of 22, too inexperienced to fully understand what he himself was writing, one might think.  It’s one of those pieces that seems like the angels of music must have been whispering in his ear with special clarity.  I’m at a point where I have a solid understanding and deep feeling of the meaning of the piece and the story it tells– or at least, one possible story– but I am not yet quite where I can stay immersed in the emotional and psychological experience and bring all that to the listener because I just don’t have complete physical control of the entire piece.  I will soon.  Really!  It’s exciting to be so close to something so wondrous, but of course you know how frustrating it can be too.

Rose Creet, you may remember, was a great fan of Chopin and a dear friend to this version of him.  At one point in another year, the Voice half-joked to her that sometimes he listened to her playing and said to himself, “Hmm.  She is get a little better.”  I can only hope that at times he says that about me!  I do think that he is often quite aware of what I am doing technically, what the actual sound is, and how close I am getting to a clear physical expression of the music.  But it makes perfect sense that it would be easier for him to perceive a player’s emotional state and thought patterns than to hear the molecular vibrations of the Earth-plane air.

I transcribed this session from an online recording at http://www.leslieflint.com.  Between the Voice’s rather bumpy English and my inability to hear clearly at many moments, there are likely a fair number of errors.  I’ve added question marks in instances when I just couldn’t be sure.  I’ve also bolded passages that I think are of particular interest to players.  Here goes:

Sitters: Rose Creet, Leslie Mannington[?]

Voice:  Hello.

Rose:  Hello?

Voice:  Madame et monsieur, good evening.

Rose and others:  Good evening.

Voice:  Well, you have not said it, but it is me all right.

Rose:  Yes, I know.  Frederic.

Voice:  It is.

Rose:  Yes, Frederic.  And we’re so happy you have come to us again.

Voice:  I was trying to think what I should speak to you about this evening, and I thought the most appropriate thing would be what is common to our hearts, music.

Rose:  Yes, please.

Voice:  I have tried very much to find a way of expressing certain things to you regarding music in the spheres of love, but I don’t know how I am going to find the words which can possibly give you the right understanding.  I think the best comparison, the best way to do it, is to tell you that that which is music to you on Earth, beautiful though it is, important though it is, and essential as it is to those who feel and know and understand these things, yet in comparison to the things of spirit, where music is supreme, it is infinitesimal.  When I think of the compositions, the music that I have written in my Earth life, although I am in a sense pleased with it, I realize it is so small in comparison to that which I have been able to do here.  Here there are no limitations.  On Earth, I used to struggle… ah! the limitations seemed many.  Things that I had in my heart, in my brain, things that were running through me— I just found that sometimes the compass of the instrument was insufficient.  There were notes that in my heart I had felt so strongly, that could not be expressed, for the instrument was insufficient.

Here, there is such a wide range.  You see, here we are not limited as you are.  You can only hear to a certain pitch, or to a certain point.  Beyond that your ears do not hear.  With us it is different.  There is a much greater range of which we can hear.  And in consequence the instruments which we have are composed or [?] made in a much larger scale.  Therefore, we can strike notes and chords and create harmonies which are beyond your imagination.  Take something which you think today on Earth is a grand study, or something that is a great flowing piece of work, with great harmonies, great though it is, it is so small in comparison.  As the spirit is larger in its experience and in its wisdom and in its knowledge and in its expression when it is freed from the physical body and the earthly condition, so is music also.  It is only the limitation of the Earth that limit the human heart, that limit the human ability to create.     

Any artist who is an artist, whether it is in music or in any other field of activity, as you know, often will express the same thing.  He will say, “Ah!  I just cannot get it.  I do not feel, and it just will not come.”  He has the moment of mood, when he knows that he can do a work, and he will go at it day and night until it is accomplished, and then no doubt he will sit back and think, “Well, it is finished, but it is not as I would quite have liked.”  In other words, his materials limit him, and yet what he has created is accepted by the world as a great work, which it is, within the limitations of the Earth.  But here, where there are no limitations, where the power of the spirit is such that a man can become as great as he desires in a spiritual sense, and his work can become also as great, there are no limitations to those who strive, to those who seek, to those who try to express that part of God which is in themselves.  For in music is God, as indeed are in all things that are good.  There is the prize[?] and the heart and the emotion of the Most High.  For we see with the eyes that are not of the Earth, and we hear with the ears that are not of the Earth, and we express in volume and intensity, with things which cannot be confined as you understand it in a material sense.  All the limitations of the artist are broken over here, and he or she can accomplish great things.  And all those things are an expression not only of man himself, but of God working through man.  For God is perfection, and all we who are artists are striving for perfection in our art.  In other words, we are all becoming more like God, part of God, and in consequence our work and art grows also.

And therefore, in the different spheres you find that as those who have gone through one sphere to the other of progress, they leave behind in their particular sphere (the same as when a person leave your world to come to this), they leave behind some expression of God, some expression of the emotion of the spirit and the beauty of the spirit in all its purity and grace.  In my life, I try to leave behind some expression of God in my work, and the artists and the poets, and all those who strive to express themselves, the soul, which is a part of God, have left behind a heritage for those who follow after.  And so in the spheres as we progress from one to the other, as we learn and assimilate and utilize all the opportunities in each particular individual sphere in which we live, we create and leave behind for those who come from your world into that particular sphere some of ourselves, to leave behind in love to help those who follow after, the same as those musicians in your world today take the works of the great masters and find in them great beauty and reverence and harmony and sound of… great, joyous music.  They feel and know there is some part of God in the soul of a musician who has made progress beyond material things.

So it is that we all help each other.  We are all brothers and sisters.  You were surprised, long time ago, when I first come to you.  For a long time you could not really believe it.  You thought, “Ah, it is not possible.  Why should he come to me?” because you are humble in spirit, because you realize the greatness in music, you realize the greatness in art, and you realize too that there was some part of the soul, and you felt perhaps you could not touch it.  But my child, that is exactly what we are striving to do, to touch you, that you might in some measure link with us in harmony of the spheres.  It is our gift to humanity to help those who follow after, that they might be inspired also to express and to give to the world in the darkness in which it finds itself the harmony and the love of the spheres which is expressed in the music that we have been able to give through our sojourn on Earth.  We are all tied together in bond of love and affection.

Music is the harmony of love which flows through all human beings and links us together.  In my music when you play it you are touching my soul, and I am conscious of it.  When you love it and when you try to express it with all that you have to give to it, I am conscious of it, and when I find there is such love, then I am drawn.  And how often we have striven from this side, to make links with people on Earth, who do not understand.  There are here and there a few artists, a few people in music who, though they do not know the meaning of what you call spiritualism, yet in their deeper selves there is a consciousness of being attached through the music with the soul who created it, and they try to express it.  And if they are good artists, if they are talented, if they have a natural ability, then we can use them, as we often do, trying to help those that are struggling in your world as we would have liked to have been helped, and often were, when on Earth.  So we strive to help them.  There are some in your world who I often help, some that you know.  And so, because we love with all the fullness that love means, we do not necessarily only go to those who can become accomplished musicians in the Earth life, but to those who feel so intensely, which sometimes, in fact, I would go so far as to say is even more important than the execution of the music, for where there is an intensity of love, or a great understanding within the heart, to express, in my case, my music, then I am one with that person, and if I can help them, and help their trembling fingers over the keys, that is my joy and privilege, for I come in love to serve.  For my music is to serve humanity, to help them rise above mundane things, into the harmonies of the spirit which I now enjoy.

And so it is that music links us together, much more perhaps than any other form of art, but it is in music that we find such a peace, and it is in music which we find solace in our soul who are in trouble, as I know I did so often in Earth life.  For I have many times gone to the piano with a heart that was broken, and yet found peace and great harmony and great solace in it.  And some of my greatest composition was done in my most terrible hour, for it is always when God calls strongest to the heart that out of it falls the harmony of the spirit, which nothing can take away from the world.  For it is left behind, as indeed it is for service.  For even in death, as you call it, we serve still in various ways.  I am not dead; I am more alive than ever I was when on Earth, more conscious, more able to serve and to help, and greater harmonies I can now create than ever I was able to do in the confines of the material earthly body, which was always a sorrow to me, and ofttimes a nuisance.  But this I know, that your love, your desire for expression of that within you, makes possible that link I have with you, and if you do not execute my work as you know you would like to do it, it is the heart within you that makes possible that link between us, the desire.  It is always the desire, the sincere desire in the heart and the soul that calls to us, more than even the other things which often people around and about you admire most.  I know that there is disappointment and disillusion to the artist, to the soul who strives and feels so intensely and yet whose physical… physical body has not the power to do what the heart tells them.  But nevertheless, you are creating, in some sense, a great harmony, because you feel.  How often do we know of people who execute technically brilliantly the work of a great composer, but there is something lacking which makes it dull and uninteresting, because it is without feeling, it is without soul.  They have not touched the soul of the composer.  And unless the soul of the composer is put into the technique, if it is not behind that which is being done, there is in spite of its brilliance of execution, nothing but deadness, and there is nothing but disappointment.  But those who feel so intensely, those who appreciate music, and yet cannot play it, are the greater musicians, for they have something which the man with all the technique in the world has not got.  He has not got God in his heart.  He has not touched the heart of a musician.  He has not felt that wonderful union that comes between those who so love that which is and which has been created in love.  For in love do we who create music serve humanity.

Every great work of note in your world has been created, through the instrumentality of the musician, in some way, by the hand of God, for it is the hand of God that helps all those who strive to send into the Earth beauty and glorious harmony.  It is the fingers of God that move behind the fingers, often the stumbling fingers, of the humble musician.  For God is knowing all things, and God is expressing himself in all ways, through the artist who paints, through the musician who creates and plays, through the singer who sings the harmonies that others have composed, and all the beauties of the Earth.  Always you find God, and behind the musician, God is.  And when those who feel God in music, though their fingers cannot play the notes, there is a musician, there is harmony.  There is glorious music, for it is music of the soul that swells out and in the spheres is heard, and we are conscious of it, and we are drawn to those who, though they want to do so much, can do so little because of the limitations of their earthly life.  But their hearts are full of love, and their hearts are conscious of all the harmonies of the spheres, and their thoughts are with the great musicians and the great composers who have gone before but who have left a heritage for the children of Earth to follow.  I know how you feel, and because I know how you feel, it is a joy for me to come, and to serve and to help and to bless.  I do not ever feel that I am giving a second away if it is spent with those who love as you do the music that is God’s.  I must go, but do not feel sad, and feel joyous, for there is great beauty in all of us.  For we are all God, in harmony with each other.

Rose (in a reverent tone):  Thank you, Frederic.

Male voice:  Thank you, Monsieur Chopin.

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“All Manifestations of the Source of All Things”

The superior spirits “have a language always worthy, noble, elevated, with not the least tincture of triviality.  They say everything with simplicity and modesty, never boast, never make a parade of their knowledge or their position among others.  That of the inferior or ordinary spirit has always some reflex human passion; every expression that savors of vulgarity, self-sufficiency, arrogance, boasting, acrimony, is a characteristic indication of inferiority, or of treachery if the spirit presents himself under a respected and venerated name.”    –Allan Kardec

“Just because someone’s dead, that doesn’t mean they’re nice.”    –Diane Polasky, DOM


 

 

I’d like to make a request of you:  Before you start in reading below, please check out this post from November 2011 on Michael Tymn’s blog:   http://whitecrowbooks.com/michaeltymn/month/2011/11/   Scroll down to find ‘Do Famous “Dead” People Communicate?,’ posted on November 14.  If you’re interested in spirit communication at all, you’ll find it very well worth your time.

Mike began:  “I believe in spirits and spirit communication through mediums.  What I struggle with, however, is communication purportedly coming from famous people or more current celebrities of one kind or another.  I am highly skeptical when the spirit communicator claims to be Jesus, St. Michael, Socrates, Plato, St. Augustine, or some other historical figure held in high regard by many.

Then again, I wonder if I am being too hasty in dismissing such communicators.”

As you know, I am well acquainted with a Famous “Dead” Person, and so for me this question  is of crucial interest.  My very first post on this blog, “Developing Discernment,” had to do with a friend who stopped speaking with me because she believed I was involved with an evil spirit.  She believed this because– get this– a healer she knew, someone who had never met me or my deceased friend, and knew absolutely nothing about my work or his, told her so.  She said that Fryderyk was sucking energy from me and that this was making me sick and causing me to make my patients sick as well.  I feel sick right now while writing this; it was a terrible attack, and it did me a great deal of harm.  My ex-friend was very ill herself with a disorder that affected her cognitively, and everyone around me said, “It’s got to be her illness.”  I was repeatedly assured, by people who were in a position to know, that there was no way any of it could be true.  Nevertheless, for many months I couldn’t shake off the awful creepiness of having someone believe such things about me.  That in itself, that intention to undermine and harm someone “for their own good,” might be termed an evil entity, I’d say.

So let’s say I’m a little sensitive about this issue.

In another post I described the horrifying episode in which I encountered an apparent demonic entity that had wrecked the life and health of one of my patients and seemed determined to keep the harm going with everyone it could reach.  (See “A Case of Possession.”   https://elenedom.wordpress.com/2010/03/17/39/ )  I think I could see something like that coming, these days, though I can’t be certain.  I have definitely had some other encounters in which I felt that an entity was better left alone and not listened to.  I can only hope to be able to stay out of trouble.

But then there have been encounters that seemed almost too good to be true.  An example, which occurred a few months ago:

As I’ve mentioned before, I have been much taken with the teachings of an entity who presents himself as St. Stephen the Martyr, as published by Michael Cocks, who was involved with a group that communicated with that entity in the 1970s.  I had shared some parts of that work with Mendy Lou Blackburn, who was equally enthusiastic.  When I visited her late last December, we talked about one of St. Stephen’s messages, not trying to evoke his presence in any way.  Suddenly, there he was– or there was someone who wanted us to believe that.

The being that told Mendy Lou he was St. Stephen was very palpably standing a few feet in front of me.  I wanted to be able to recognize him in the future, so I concentrated on him, trying to catch the “flavor” of his presence.  I saw/felt a hand reach toward me; I reached out my left hand and he took it in his.  This was very clear to me, though of course I didn’t see it with my physical eyes.  Both Mendy and I felt like we were meeting some major rock star or something.  I told Stephen that I would like to follow him (meaning that I would like to be able to learn more from him).  He told me that he didn’t want me to follow him, but that I could walk with him if I liked.  He then sort of took me on a little virtual walk; that is, I had a sense of forward movement at his side.  I listened as hard as I could and words started to come out of my mouth, but I was so excited about the whole thing that I couldn’t keep the channeling going.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!  I haven’t had any more contact with this entity since, much as I would like that.  At least he passed the test of being unassuming and non-egotistical.

Mendy, as much as I, found this almost too good to be true and a bit hard to believe, even though all sorts of wonderful beings show up in her office all the time.  As she said later, though, she has a great deal of experience with this stuff and she feels confident of being able to sniff out a fraud.  Stephen did not appear to be a fraud, not to either of us.  I had a feeling of the sublime, no sense of anything that might raise an alarm.

So many times I have wondered what might become of me if I were to find out that my very own Famous “Dead” Person was actually an impostor (or that I had been misunderstanding everything), as my ex-friend insisted.  It seems especially unlikely in this case, since I became interested in Chopin after having my first anomalous experience involving him in my teens, rather than starting out as a fan and then concocting some sort of connection with him.  I have tried to think about this as unemotionally as possible.  It would be one of the worst things I could imagine, but then, it wouldn’t really change the history of our relationship over the years.  The fascinating ideas he’s transmitted, the emotional and physical healings for myself and others, and the sense of deep love and support would be the same.  And one way or the other, I’ve gotten some great piano lessons.

Fryderyk has, at times, definitely exhibited “some reflex human passion,” although he has been as modest and non-egotistical as Chopin was in life.  He’s a human being, no more or less than the rest of us.  It would be as inappropriate to expect deceased human beings to act like angels at all times as it would be to expect the same of those in the flesh.

(In a previous post, I wrote this about him: “I have many reasons to believe that the person who visits me is the current version of the one who lived on Earth from 1810 to 1849 and wrote all that superb music, but I understand that it is never going to be possible to prove this beyond a shadow of a doubt.  That small shadow can sometimes seem bigger than the light it obscures, I’m afraid.”  https://elenedom.wordpress.com/2010/03/17/hearing-voices-part-iii%E2%80%93-chopin/ )

As I’ve mentioned before (see “An Appointment with Jesus,”  https://elenedom.wordpress.com/2010/04/05/an-appointment-with-jesus/ ), the most confusing and problematic encounters I’ve experienced have been with an entity who purports to be Jesus.  It seems disrespectful to describe him that way, but I have exactly that “highly skeptical” feeling that Mike Tymn was talking about.  I’ve never gotten used to the idea of talking directly with Jesus, especially given my severe allergy to organized religion, and I still feel embarrassed and uncomfortable bringing it up here.  Yet, I must say that these contacts have been absolutely wonderful, and in the midst of them, I felt completely willing to throw myself into the experience.  I can’t say precisely that I was willing to believe, but I was willing to be open and to listen and learn.

The last time I met with Hania Stromberg at my office, this august entity visited with us.  Yes, that’s what I’m saying– Jesus, in my office, speaking quite casually with us, as if it were the most ordinary occurrence.  I knew that he had come in, but I didn’t recognize him.  From my point of view, there was a distinctly male being sitting at my right elbow, but he seemed like a typical human person, not particularly “large” or powerful.  A kind and loving presence, but small in scale, similar to any of us.  Hania had some questions for this man, and he and I chatted comfortably as I tried to bring in the answers.  I found myself adding my own two cents, explaining what I was hearing and perhaps strengthening it a little, because I felt that the ideas were helpful.  Had I realized who he was (or purported to be), I would very possibly have clammed up and found it impossible to have this easy communication, let alone to dare to add any thoughts of my own.

Hania kept asking me whether I had figured out the being’s identity.  No, I hadn’t.  She seemed highly amused by my cluelessness.  Finally, unable to contain herself any longer, she told me who he was.  I was completely surprised, despite knowing all about her channeling relationship.  I had been confused by his ordinariness, I explained, having previously encountered him as a much more impressive presence.  She said that he sometimes appears in this very human guise, and other times shows his larger self.  Well, that’s true of those of us who are embodied, too, and so it seems quite plausible to me.  Here are her words:  “Jesus Christ, out of His love for me, makes Himself as large or small as is needed to allow me to be with Him best at the time.  Our relationship has an aspect of being friends, and He will make Himself to whatever scale is most reassuring for me at the time, so I can maintain this feeling, so as not to intimidate me and throw me off ’the friends’ track.’  Sometimes He is immeasurable, other times as you experienced Him then.”

Hania also told me that the message given in this conversation was one he had communicated to her a number of times, and that I was conveying exactly what she’d heard before, but had been unwilling to take in.  Perhaps Jesus felt that if he also spoke through another person, reinforcing the message, he would get these ideas through to her more effectively.  And that did seem to be the case.  The message was inspiring, soothing, and empowering, and it had a positive effect on both Hania and me.

You may remember that Betsy Morgan Coffman, in one of her classes, mentioned that often people get uncomfortable when someone appears to receive a message from a source they think is too big or important, particularly when the source is Jesus.  Then, more than ever, we think we must be making it up.  Surely Jesus isn’t speaking to us— he must be awfully busy, after all, and we are so insignificant.  “But think about it,” said Betsy, who operates from a non-dogmatic but decidedly Christian frame of reference.  “Shouldn’t Jesus be our best friend?  Of course he loves us and wants to talk to us!”

It’s definitely easier for me to think of Jesus as simply a human person who lived a long time ago.

On the matter of appearing in different “sizes” at different times, Michael Cocks added this intriguing comment in his blog post of 4/5/12:  “Stephen said that sometimes he feels that he has exploded into the universe, and that is his field of consciousness; other times he feels that he has imploded into being Stephen so that he can talk with us.”  This fits with some of the points made by Chopin and others in the Leslie Flint opus.

On another day, an unfamiliar personage came along with Hania.  She asked me if I could tell who was standing at the foot of the table.  I was about to reply that I almost never pick up names, but then, while staring at what appeared to be a vaguely human shape approaching seven feet in height, I realized that I was in fact getting one.  I took the leap and said, “He says he’s Saint Francis.”  (I didn’t know which St. Francis.)  Hania told me that he’d appeared to her many times.  OK.  I try not to be surprised anymore.  “He’s very tall,” I added.  “Yes, he’s a big man,” she agreed.

Was St. Francis nearly seven feet tall?  Probably not.  Why did this version of him appear that way?  I have absolutely no idea.  But I’m always heartened when more than one person sees the same thing.

One might imagine that a person would derive a considerable ego boost from claiming to channel these high-level beings, but then, some people want very much to keep their connection with the Famous “Dead” on the down low.  I described such a person in my post “A Reluctant Channeler”:

“I think it’s important to point out that Helen wasn’t doing this for any kind of self-aggrandizement.  Far from trying to exploit her relationship with a famous person from the past, to sell books or whatever, she kept the experiences under wraps.  I don’t know if she ever mentioned them to anyone besides her husband and me, and she told me precious little.  That is, she had no motivation to fake this, at least not in terms of public attention or potential wealth.  A pseudoskeptic might insist that she got an internal boost to her self-esteem simply by fantasizing a connection with someone significant, but I think that in that case she would have talked a great deal about it and made sure everyone was aware of her new importance.”
https://elenedom.wordpress.com/2010/05/01/a-reluctant-channeler/

Recently another friend took Betsy’s introductory channeling class, and immediately found herself doing automatic writing at her computer, with another famous historical figure, one she had studied for many years, claiming to be the source.  This went on for just a few weeks or so, at which point the entity told her that he was finished saying what he had come to say and would not be visiting her anymore.  If my friend had been intent upon making a big deal of herself, or if the communicator had been one of those who like to get attention by masquerading as a big-name personage, I doubt that the interaction would have ended so soon or with so little drama.  One or both of them would have wanted to keep it going for as long as possible.

Not only do people hear from the Famous “Dead,” sometimes they get communications from the Famous Fictional, which opens another large can of worms and has made me a bit nervous when I’ve observed it happening to people I knew.  I have at least three theories to explain this odd occurrence.  One is what the materialists might say, though a bit augmented– that the fictional personage is simply a projection of the mind of a person who felt particularly engaged or affected by that character.  Two, that a legitimate, helpful spirit being decided to show up in the guise of the beloved character, in order to more easily and effectively communicate with the person.  And three, that certain fictional characters (Sherlock Holmes and Spock come to mind) have such wide appeal, and have had so much human energy invested in them, that they have developed a kind of reality of their own.

I suspect that both the first and second of these scenarios happen quite often, not only in the case of fiction-based communicators, but in many cases of the Famous “Dead” and of angels and deities.  The third I don’t necessarily believe in, but I wouldn’t be too surprised if it turned out to be true.  As I think I’ve told you before, I’m open to the idea that contacts with divine beings of all sorts, such as mine with Kuan Yin, may reflect that sort of human-generated reality.

Some years ago, when Mendy Lou looked into the Michael material, the Messages from Michael stuff, I mean, not anything to do with the archangel, her feeling was that Michael was this sort of entity.  Not that he was unreal, but that he was a kind of secondary creation, not an original creation of God or nature.  That the collective human mind caused him to exist and to speak to us.  I find much of the Michael teachings to be bizarre and at odds with what nearly every other source has to say, so I prefer to think that he is not a true authority and is somehow a lower degree of “real.”  But what do I know.  He does have a lot of followers, and many aspects of his messages seem useful and practical.

(If you’re about to argue that we humans generate all of our reality ourselves, please hang on to that thought for another time, because it’s s little off to the side of what I’m talking about here.)

If the entity in question is “simply” a projection or reflection of the channeler’s own mind, that is not necessarily a bad thing at all, though I think it would be far preferable for the person to realize what is going on and not to become too dependent on what appears to be a separate mentality.  Receiving wisdom from our own higher or greater selves is perfectly valid, and indeed that must be what happens when great art is created and when great scientific or other discoveries make themselves known.

Michael Cocks added this comment to Mike Tymn’s post:  “Our personal experiences do lead us to try and describe reality in differing ways. On the one hand, there is strong evidence that our individual consciences and points of view survive death of the body.  On the other hand, there is strong evidence that we are all connected to each other in the network of the whole in an infinity of ways….  And that makes a slippery place when trying to define things.  There is always “on the one hand.. and then the other.”  On the one hand, from a mass of interlocking linguistic, historical, and personal evidence, the people talking to Stephen the Martyr were sure we were talking to this “Famous ‘Dead’ Person.”  We were impressed with his humility, wisdom… and love.  But on the other hand Stephen was insisting that he and we are all each other, and all others, all manifestations of the Source of all things, that he was reminding us of the knowledge we had before we entered our present incarnations.  More narrowly though, he said he was talking with us as fellow members of a like minded spiritual group.  And yes, on the one hand individual spirits are at all stages of development, and there are destructive spirits; yet on the other hand developed and undeveloped are together in a synchronistic whole.”

I have many times heard mystics and channelers say simply that “Spirit” told them thus and such; they don’t necessarily know what the specific source was, but they know it felt right and that they got a worthwhile message.  This “Spirit” could easily include their own higher self or some other aspect of them, as well as the collective mind of humanity.  Like “all manifestations of the Source of all things.”  It must also be remembered that at any given time, a group or team of discarnate entities may be involved with the communication, further confusing the issue of identity.  I wouldn’t be surprised if this has been true more often than not in mediumistic work, especially in the case of physical manifestations like direct voice, which seem to require a great deal more energy than purely mental transmissions.

Yet, sometimes there is overwhelmingly strong evidence that the spirit communicator is exactly who he or she claims to be, even in the Famous “Dead” cases.  While in the midst of working on this post, I encountered an article by Michael Cocks in the Journal of the Academy of Spirituality and Paranormal Studies, in which he explained the reasons he is convinced by St. Stephen’s use of 2000-year-old Macedonian Greek, which identified the speaker’s time, place, ethnic group, and connection with the Essenes.  And lo and behold, just as I was sitting down to write today, I found that a shorter form of the article had been posted in Rev. Cocks’ blog, ready to transmit to you.  Is this a great universe, or what?
http://whitecrowbooks.com/michaelcocks/entry/stephen_the_martyr_spoke_to_us_in_his_native_greek

In the end, it’s the quality of the message that counts.  I find myself perennially returning to the hoary old principle “by their fruits ye shall know them.”  You and I both know that a lot of channeled material is pretentious gobbledegook.  We’ve also seen brilliantly shining examples of wisdom that are unassailably excellent no matter what the source (St. Stephen’s teachings being among these).  But I would venture to say that a majority of messages are somewhere in between.  That’s where it gets more difficult.  A carefully-calibrated crap detector is a great asset.  But there’s no sense being so skeptical that we miss inspiration and enlightenment when it does its best to speak to us.

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Filed under channeling, spirit communication, spirituality

My Second Channeling Class

I thought I’d already posted what I’d written about the second channeling class I took from Betsy-Morgan Coffman, but no, I’d let it slip by.  Sorry.  Here it is, just as I wrote it soon after the class in 2007.  Among other things, this account contains a great example of a spirit contact that seemed questionable and better not to continue.  For context, see my post “A Beginning Channeling Class.”  https://elenedom.wordpress.com/2010/09/26/a-beginning-channeling-class/

On September 29, 2007, I jumped back into the fray and took Betsy Coffman’s second channeling class, now affectionately referred to as “C2.”  For the most part, I still wasn’t really channeling when I worked on my own, and I didn’t feel very ready to go on to the C2 class.  I decided to try it and go with whatever happened.

We began by telling what we had gotten out of the first class and what we hoped to obtain from this one.  While some of the students were going like gangbusters and even doing formal readings for people, others expressed misgivings similar to mine.  They said that they still couldn’t clearly see or hear anything, and that while they were very much aware of entities being in contact with them, they often couldn’t be sure who those beings were.  I heard these things before it was my turn to speak, and so I already felt better by the time I was asked to describe my own situation.

I told the group that after the C1 class I had essentially gotten more of what I already had, especially increased empathic ability.  I said that had found myself working more as a psychic and medical intuitive than a channeler, meaning that I was receiving useful information and relaying it to patients, but I wasn’t getting that information from entities other than myself.  I had been in touch with various beings, but I generally couldn’t get verbal messages, and I often couldn’t tell one being from another.  I was hoping to develop more as a medium, I said, with clearer and more definite communication.

“I think you’ll be getting that, and a lot more,” Betsy replied.  She looked at me and announced that there was someone trying to contact me right then.  He was a doctor, she said, then added that he was in fact a surgeon.  I had just started feeling something going on at the back of my neck, a little toward the right, with a sense of a small area of a golden tan color, and I told Betsy that I was indeed aware of someone being there.

Betsy called upon her guide Orion, Jesus Christ, and Archangel Michael, as she always does.  The energy in the room got thicker, and I felt activity around my head, as at the first class.  The first exercise we did was also similar to what happened in the CI class: we were supposed to ask for three guides to show themselves to us and give us their names and a message.

I had just expressed a desire for more better mediumship with more verbal communication, but my experience of this exercise could hardly have been more opposite to my request.  The guides which revealed themselves weren’t even persons in any sense.  The first impression I received was of an evergreen tree, not a realistic image but more like a green paper cutout.  There was a deep green all over my inner field of vision.  I asked for a message, and it seemed to be, “Keep growing.”

Next, I saw an image of a stairwell on the outside of a stone building.  My view zoomed in on the stone, and I felt surrounded by a sandstone-like color and texture.  The stone seemed to permeate my body, and I felt strengthened.  “Solidity,” I thought.

I was expecting water to show up next, but instead I vaguely saw a yellow light, and thought it was the sun.  Rather than more light, I was surrounded by warmth, with no strong visual images.  The principle expressing itself seemed to be heat, not light.  I was perfectly happy with that, because I had been freezing the whole time in Betsy’s living room despite being wrapped in one of the blankets she had thoughtfully provided.  I stayed warmer for an hour or so after that.

Again, as at the C1 class, I felt awfully rushed during this exercise.  I was just barely bringing things into focus with each entity when Betsy moved on to the next, and when she had us finish up, I was still trying to figure out what was going on with the Heat being.  Yet, when we went around the circle and described our experiences, it turned out that some other students had received massive quantities of material in that short time.  I was the only one who complained of feeling rushed.

I couldn’t begin to understand why I might be hearing from elements of nature.  They didn’t seem to be nature spirits like, for example, the personified spirits of plants that appear in Carlos Castaneda’s work.  The only purpose I could imagine was that they were intended to shore up my physical structure.  If there was any purpose at all.  Did Orion send them to me?  Did I bring them in on my own?

We had another go-round before lunch, in which we were supposed to ask for our “highest, best, and easiest advanced channeling guide” and give a message.  As the other students did their work, I found myself a bit overwhelmed, receiving four different “stations.”  One was Orion, who I perceive as mostly white light with hints of iridescent, coruscating colors.  This was coming in near the top of my head, toward the front, and from the direction of the chair Betsy was sitting in.  Slightly lower and to the right, another energy was streaming into my head.  I thought this one was Michael, not because he was telling me so, but because the tone felt like what I had perceived earlier when Betsy called Michael to be with us.  A little lower on the side of my head was something that I was pretty sure was Fryderyk.  And still at the back of my neck was that patch of tan-colored light that I thought must be the doctor that Betsy had mentioned.

The tan color deepened to brown and spread around me.  To my astonishment, the area of color developed, like a photo, into a vision of a man with chocolate-brown skin.  He superimposed himself over the left side of my face and upper chest and my left arm, and I perceived him as if from the inside and the outside at the same time.  I could actually see him, with technicolor clarity, something that had never, ever happened to me before.  He looked to be in his mid-thirties, with very round cheeks and prominent eyes, a little like Louis Armstrong.  I heard the name “Bertram.”

Bertram, or whoever he was, was doing his darndest to get through to me.  He was practically jumping up and down and shouting, and he was putting a great deal of pressure on me.  I didn’t like it one bit, and I held on to Orion for dear life, asking over and over, “Is this OK?  Is this going to be a problem?  Should I be working with this guy?”  I couldn’t get a clear answer.  I didn’t have the sense that Bertram was evil or malicious, but he was coming on awfully strong, and considering my previous negative experiences, I wanted to be cautious.  I didn’t want to overreact or freak out, though, and I held a center of calm as best I could.

In the background I could hear Bertram telling me that he had not been able to complete his work on Earth and that he wanted so much to come out into the world and do more.  That probably wasn’t the best thing to say to me; it only increased my resistance and caused me to react like, “Not on my time, buddy!”  He seemed sincere and enthusiastic, though, and I wondered if my misgivings might be unfair to him.  He was positively bursting with a desire to speak.  I still kept my hold on Orion and on myself, refusing to let Bertram get the better of me, feeling like I was holding down the lid on a box of squirming animals that were all trying to escape.  I had to wait for my turn to channel before I could let anyone speak anyway.

I was curious to see what Betsy and Orion would have to say about the party going on around me, whether they would notice the multiple entities.  When my turn came, Betsy gazed at me and said, “There are three cords of light coming into you.”  That was true, assuming that Orion didn’t count himself.  I introduced the three other entities as apparently-Michael, a deceased friend of mine, and the doctor Betsy had seen earlier.  I described Bertram’s appearance and manner and gave his name, but said that although he wanted to speak directly, I was not going to let him do it, because I did not feel entirely comfortable with him.  I told Betsy that I was asking Orion for support.  I gave Bertram’s message about not being finished with his work and hoping to do more, but in my own words and without leaving my own persona.

I wasn’t really given any specific personal guidance about dealing with this, and neither Betsy nor Orion expressed an opinion about whether Bertram was on the up-and-up.  There was a discussion, though, about how it often happens that whole crowds of entities surround the channel, all clamoring to speak at once.  The advice was to ask Orion or another guide to act as a gatekeeper and let only one in at a time.

(This reminded me of something that Rosemary Brown had described in one of her books.  She mentioned that both Liszt and Chopin seemed to perform this gatekeeping function for her, organizing the work of the other composers so that she wouldn’t be overwhelmed.  At one point, she heard Chopin snap at someone in Polish, and she wrote down what she heard phonetically so she could ask someone what it meant.  It turned out to be, “You go away!”  I wonder who the intruder was.  Mrs. Brown also noted other instances in which Chopin acted protectively toward her, and this doesn’t surprise me in the least.)

So I was given exactly what I asked for, clear verbal and visual communication and a definite experience of mediumship, and I rejected it.  Figures.  But I felt that I was doing what I needed to do to keep myself safe.

Fryderyk either declined to push himself through all the noise, or he was overwhelmed by the other voices; at any rate, he faded out.  I did feel connected to him to some degree for most of the day, though.

At long last, much later than planned, we had lunch, which seemed to go awfully fast, since we all had plenty to talk about.  After lunch, there was one more exercise, for which two hours were allotted.  This, too, was just like the format of the first class; we were to ask each other questions and produce channeled answers.  I wasn’t worried about this part, because I knew that I was likely to come up with some sort of useful and interesting answers whether they were channeled or not.

While the other students were doing their stuff, I tuned into, or was made to tune into, the entity that appeared to be Michael, and I received clear words, so when I had the chance I wanted to tell everyone what he had said.  “I had Michael on the line a minute ago,” I announced.  “This is what he said: ‘Your questions are so small.  Enlarge yourselves!  Remember what you truly are!  You are not small creatures who live in buildings and worry about money.’”  I thought Michael’s comments were a little unfair, especially since after all we were only asking the questions for practice purposes, and I said so.  (One of the students had asked a question about a business she was planning and had received information about the building she would be using and the income her business would generate.)  “He sounds kind of combative today,” I added.  It occurs to me that whenever I have been able to bring through any clear voices, they have sounded forceful, maybe annoyed, maybe almost belligerent.  I expect that this says more about me than about them.  Michael’s pronouncements were not so different from those of Marie in the C1 class, although the “feel” of the two entities was totally different and one could not be confused with the other.

But then I had to be on the spot.  I did the dropping-into-the-heart thing and asked Michael to be present for us.  I could feel him strongly.  “We’re ready,” I said.

The first question came from a woman who was the head of a business.  She had an unusual appearance, which she had alluded to by saying that she looked and felt like a “hybrid” and didn’t fit in with her family, and I had been trying to figure out her exact ethnic background.  She said that she had been told she was to do something important in her home country, and she wondered whether she would be going there to live, staying in the US, or going back and forth.  She thought that perhaps she was meant to go into politics.  This brought forth a cornucopia of images, which, again, I felt like I was getting on my own, not being shown by any entity but her.  It looked like she was going to be a bridge between the two countries in some way.  I wasn’t sure exactly what sort of work she was going to do, but I felt that she was a kind of cultural ambassador or head of a social organization rather than a politician.  I could see her surrounded by crowds of people, who were delighted that she was there.  The people were holding banners with writing on them, which I couldn’t read, not because of a language problem but because the picture was too vague.  There were flowers all around, as if the event was some kind of celebration.  I also could feel distinctly that in this vision, her family was overjoyed to see her.  As things were in our mundane present, they missed her terribly; I felt this as a cord pulling on her, which she was resisting.  By my standards, this was a spectacular amount of vivid material.  I was pretty clear about it all, but I expressed myself diffidently and as if everything was a question, like, “Um, it’s in Asia?”

According to her feedback, I did pretty well.  She was from the Philippines, and hadn’t been there in 20 years.  She said that her family was always begging her to come and visit, but that she hadn’t wanted to do it.  It was a big family and she didn’t know a lot of the members.

The next questioner was a woman in her twenties who was wondering about her health.  She had recently developed a chronic fatigue type of situation, and wanted to know whether it was only because of the energetic changes related to channeling work and psychic development, or whether something was physically wrong.  This ought to have been right up my alley, but I didn’t get all that much information.  I did think that there was something physical going on that should be checked out, but I didn’t think it was serious.  I could see her reproductive system glowing with light, bringing itself to my attention, so I concentrated on that.  It occurred to me to ask, “Have you been pregnant?”  She hadn’t.  “Do you want to be pregnant?”  Heavens, no!  I kept scanning and found an energetic hole in her middle, around the solar plexus, so I asked about digestion and assimilation.  Other people jumped in with comments, and we all seemed to be seeing something similar.  Michael wasn’t telling me anything helpful about the problem, but he was pouring a great deal of energy into that deficient area.  I could see and feel it swooping across the room toward the young woman, and it looked like the hole was filling in and she was being strengthened considerably.  I wasn’t putting forth any effort myself.  I just described what I saw.

I was less impressed with myself after this second reading, but there was still some positive feedback.  The young woman had been having considerable difficulties with hormonal issues, and so far no form of medicine had helped.  And while she wasn’t thinking of getting pregnant anytime soon, Betsy had already seen a baby in her future.

I don’t want you to think I was intentionally shutting off impressions from Michael or anyone else and trying to go it alone.  I was staying open, or at least I thought I was.  Every time I made a statement, I checked with my “uplink” for clarification.  It’s very possible that I was receiving more input than I realized.

Betsy asked if Michael had a message for me.  “She worries too much,” I heard myself say, in an offhand, curt tone.  “Relax.  I’ll take care of it.”

I hate to ask personal questions in this kind of context.  I suppose I feel that I should be going after the answers myself.  But since I had to ask something when it was time, I came up with a health question.  (I’ve always got those.)  I said that although I had been getting stronger and stronger with the energetic inputs I’d been getting from Michael and other sources, in the past few weeks I had been sick a lot and still didn’t feel like I was quite right.  I asked whether I might have picked up something from a patient or been energetically damaged somehow in the course of my work.  The person doing the reading had trouble getting anything, and other people tried to help.  Everyone, including a Reconnective Healing practitioner who was in the class, felt that something was actually wrong, but nobody could put their finger on it.  Betsy told me that I could ask again later, but I was feeling so completely filled with good Qi by the entities around me that it didn’t seem like an urgent question anymore.

I needed two questions, and I had another that was bothering me a bit.  I told the channeler of the moment that there was someone who had been a close friend of mine, that we had become estranged, and that I was thinking of contacting her.  I wanted to know whether that would be a good thing or whether it would only cause my friend unnecessary pain and distress.  I was told that making contact would be fine and that “love would blossom” between us again.  I guess if I try it we’ll see.

The woman who did this reading for me hadn’t formally practiced her channeling skills for a year, but she described being in daily contact with a number of angels and saints, Michael in particular.  She had a particular difficulty, more than most of us, with having to sort through myriad entities and pull in a clear “radio station.”  She worked very slowly, taking an agonizingly long time to listen before making any statement.  I wasn’t really bothered by the wait, especially since I felt that I needed a lot of time for this work myself, but Betsy tried to find ways to help her be more efficient.  She reminded us that we are “on a three-way phone call,” and that we can request that the person ask the question some other way, find a clearer question, or add details, in addition to checking back with the guide spirit.  Restating the questions differently seemed to help some in this case, but this student never did get much of a flow going.  She felt frustrated, but she was undaunted, and she resolved to practice more.

Another student got stuck in visions of beautiful colors, which seemed significant but never yielded any answers.  Betsy stepped in and helped her get out of the psychedelic loop and move forward, and then she was able to come up with relevant and helpful impressions.

We put a lot of time and attention into this exercise, and every student’s session was interesting and enlightening.  Every one was unique, too.  A number of us were (apparently) dealing with the same entities, with Michael being popular as usual.  I noticed that the tone of “my” Michael was different from the Michael brought through by other people, and that their versions were different from each other.  I wonder, of course, whether we are all really in contact with the same entity, and whether we are accurately hearing from whoever that may be.  Perhaps it’s not strange at all that our own personalities color the interactions and the messages.  I do know that when I’ve spoken with other fans of Michael, they have described someone very much like the being I perceive.

There is always, always the question of whether we are getting anything real and true when we look for information this way.  Betsy made a comment that I took to  heart: “When it’s fear-based, it’s you.”  This must be meaningful in the context of the confused interactions I’ve sometimes had with Fryderyk, when I’ve thought I’ve heard something negative from him at the same time as I was feeling love and warmth.

I had been worried about falling asleep during the class, as I had during the second day of C1.  I’d gotten up extra early to attend the beginning of our Oriental Medicine Association annual meeting, then rushed over to Betsy’s, and I’m usually wiped on Saturdays anyway.  I got through the day just fine, though, and in fact I felt more and more energized as the class went on.  Queen Marie never showed up, but I saw myself in my queen-archetype guise, not as a beginning student, but as royalty from another country, as a master in my own right.  This has happened before, and I don’t understand it yet, but I like it.  I confess that, despite my fairly low level of skill, I am beginning to see myself as a power, an entity much like Michael and the other angels, saints, and avatars.  Maybe that’s just hubris, or maybe that’s the whole point.  That’s exactly what we are.

During the C1 class and in the days soon after, most of the entities I contacted insisted that I didn’t need them and that they wouldn’t be speaking through me on other occasions.  I remember being especially disappointed at hearing that from Kuan Yin, and sincerely protesting that I did too need her, unable to understand why I was being abandoned.  I think I understand now.  Channeling is not my primary function, and is not going to be.  I can receive information on my own more easily than I can through another being.  That doesn’t mean I can’t have friends in high places, though, and I still intend to pursue better communication with them.

Betsy mentioned that the rose I had brought her at the C1 class stayed in bloom and fresh for two weeks.

I slept through a lot of Saturday evening, after the class, and I’ve needed more sleep than usual since.  Nothing too strange about that.  I wanted to be alone on Sunday and kept away from any disembodied guests.

At one point I dreamed that I was taking a piano lesson with a new teacher that I was apprehensive about, and I concluded that he was OK and I should go ahead and work with him.  The teacher was a white guy with light brown hair (who does that sound like?), but I took the dream as being about Bertram.  I decided to give him a chance.  I called up Orion and asked him to put us in touch.  I did get a contact with the new guy, and I very frankly described my attitude about associating with him.  I told him that I had some seriously difficult patients who were not making good progress in their healing, and that I could certainly use his help, but that I needed to stay in charge of my body and I didn’t want to be pushed around.

My first opportunity to let Bertram get in touch with a patient was on 10/1/07.  I had no idea how to go about this, or what he might have in mind, even though I had done a good deal of healing work in the past with Fryderyk and other invisible helpers.  I held my hands over the patients’ bodies and told him he could come through and do whatever he thought best.  He was definitely there, but the contact was much fainter than at the class, and not a lot seemed to happen.  Maybe it was a decent first try.  If it’s true that he is a surgeon, I may not be at all the right partner for him.  As usual, I await further developments.

Not long after that, I concluded that I should not try to work with Bertram, although he didn’t do anything noticeably inappropriate.  I still didn’t feel comfortable, and it did not seem like a fruitful avenue to pursue.  I simply told him good-bye, and that was the end of that.


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Filed under channeling, health and healing, spirit communication

Wait, Show Up, Enjoy

This post will continue the discussion of how to know whether the source you are communicating with is a reliable one.  In this case, I was given a concept that has proven to be so useful that I want to throw it in now and give you a chance to play with it, rather than waiting to include it in a longer chapter.

I’ve been practicing the slow movement of Chopin’s third sonata.  I don’t sound like this* yet:  http://www.box.com/s/e6ijt05ecfpzb1do9e3s 

As is so typical with Chopin, this piece contains much more than meets the eye or ear at first.  It had seemed fairly transparent to me in the past, but I’ve come to realize how little I really understand about it.  At a recent lesson, on 2/7, my teacher brought up a question about the phrasing of the middle section, which is not at all regular or predictable.  While looking at the piece that evening, thinking about this question, I felt that the cosmic WiFi was on, and I decided to ask the composer how he would like us to handle it.

As I may have said before, I am relieved, even while being confused, when I get a message that doesn’t make sense to me.  That means it’s unlikely that I’ve thought it up on my own– one check mark in the “probably genuine” column.  This was one of those times.  I heard something like, “Wait for the sound to occur, and then experience it as a complete entity.”  To which I replied, “Huh?”  I was sure I must have heard wrong.  This answer didn’t seem to have anything to do with the question about phrasing, and besides, how could I wait for the sound to occur, since I had to produce it myself?  I tried to clear the inside of my head, and carefully asked again, only to be given the same concept with slightly different wording.

I still wasn’t seeing the connection, but soon there was more.  I was told that I shouldn’t ask about the phrasing in linear terms because the music was three-dimensional, something that turned out to be true in more and subtler ways than I might have thought.  (Four-dimensional, really, but that’s a more modern concept.)

Then I found myself inside a sort of bubble or egg, pink-melon colored for some reason, that represented the sound.  I was inhabiting this warm, pleasant bubble of sound, and it moved with me throughout the piece, which was a kind of landscape or environment in which I could travel in any direction I wished.  The vision and its kinesthetic components were unusually robust, and felt almost like a physical substance surrounding me, even when I opened my eyes to try out playing sections of the piece.  The idea was that the piece was “already there” for me to experience– I didn’t have to actually play the notes in order for them to exist.

I never received any specific, prosaic direction about the phrasing, nothing like “this phrase ends here,” but I had plenty to chew on.  The next evening, when I played the same piece, things fell into place in a new way.  I realized that all I had to do was show up when it was time for the notes to happen.  I just had to have my hand over the keys at that time, and the notes would “play themselves.”  Next I tried the Fantaisie-Impromptu, where I’d been stuck at a speed plateau, and found myself going at nearly the required bat-out-of-hell tempo– for a while, anyway– without any effort.  One more reason to think the advice was genuine– it actually worked.  I hadn’t realized the degree to which I had been fighting each moment of my life as it arrived, existing in a state of tense and even painful anticipation, even though I thought I knew how to Be Here Now.  I don’t know how that habit got started.

You will not be too surprised to hear that I haven’t been able to stay in that new state of mind for very long.  However, when I’ve managed it, I’ve found that just about everything is easier.  I’ve tried thinking this way while driving and while dancing, for example.  When dancing is challenging and I feel I can’t keep going, I try to visualize the space my body needs to fill with each new move, and then to simply be there in the space.  I’m not wasting so much energy straining to get there.  I’m still experimenting, and probably will be for some time to come.

My daughter asked, intelligently as usual, “How does this relate to improvisation?”  Meaning that the notes are not “already there” in the same way that they are with an already-composed piece.  I’m not sure, and haven’t had a chance to ask, but I suppose it’s like my experience with dance.  Trust that the notes will be there when you need them, then show up to meet them, without struggling.

I’m interested to know if any of you have had this kind of experience.  When I mentioned it to a couple of my dance and movement teachers, they gave a decidedly “duh” response, because it was already obvious to them.  Maybe I’ve just been a little slow.

*I hope Yundi Li and Deutsche Grammophon will forgive me for posting this, since I am enthusiastically promoting them by doing so.

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