I briefly mentioned in my intro that I’ve at least dabbled with self-hypnosis, meditation, neuro-feedback and other modalities of healing involving the subconscious mind. I say dabble, because I don’t feel like I’ve devoted enough time and effort to any of these things to consider myself very experienced.
My conscious mind is usually so hyper-active that I struggle to sit still for any length of time to meditate. I have referred to acupuncture as “enforced meditation”, because having a couple dozen needles inserted into various body parts has been effective at slowing me down enough to go within.
Learning how to self-hypnotize has given me a tool that has allowed me to deal with anxiety attacks that used to require medication with benzodiazepines. My favorite Native American shamanic hypnotherapist, Red Crow, taught me a very simple mantra to help me get past some of the conscious blocks I had to remove in order to reach my own subconscious. It has proven effective for me in dealing not only with anxiety and panic attacks, but also for achieving a calm enough state to listen to my own body and to effect some other minor, but measurable changes, like lowering my blood pressure, for example.
During my recovery from the shakes that resulted from my last Cathcart-style IVC that I related in Part 1, I had what I can only call a revelation from my own subconscious. Not that what was revealed to me was all that new, and it may not even seem important to some readers, but it was something I needed to be reminded of at this point in my life.
This was only one of a handful of paranormal, or ‘outside-the-body’ experiences I’ve had during my life. Two others also stand out. One was a workshop on finding my Spirit Guide, at a radical faerie gathering. The other was a “guided imagery” exercise held during a training session for AIDS support volunteers in which we were actually led though the experience of dying. The former was adventurous and liberating; the latter, while also liberating in some respects, was a much darker experience. It did teach me that there is an experience beyond death, and it is not a pit of fire. It helped me set aside the irrational fear of death that I had previously held.
These encounters with “the other side”—that part of us that exists beyond our usual day-to-day consciousness—are not common or frequent for me. I don’t like to publicize them because the rational and logical Jonathan in me fears being taunted or dismissed as somehow mentally off the rail. I’ve seen how others who explore and experience the alternative realities that surround us are have had those experiences used to attack their credibility.I guess this is just one more closet I feel I need to come out of. My world and my life are not always based on logic and rationality. I am aware of other aspects of my being and my nature: spiritual and metaphysical ones.
A… A… A…, B… B… B…, C… C… C…,
As I chanted that simple mantra under the heated blankets in my bed last week, shaking and trembling, I felt myself go within. I soon found myself in a cushioned bubble that protected me from the wracking shakes I had been experiencing. I knew from past experiences that I was in the presence of my inner self, my subconscious.
“Thank you!” I expressed my gratitude for the comforting bubble, but I also had questions, and I wanted to see what my inner self saw. “Thank you, but can you provide a window so I can see what you see,” I asked.
My mind’s eye was filled with an image of ancient wooden ships on a tumultuous sea. The storm was lashing at these ships with waves that battered them as I had been battered with tremors and shakes. I knew I was one of those ships.
“You are not the only ship in this storm, Jonathan,” I heard. “There are many other ships here; some have been here since they were built, but most were caught in the storm as they were passing on to other channels… calmer waters.
“This riotous sea is the environment that your body is in,” my inner self explained. Of course, I thought… it’s the terrain. “Some ships will survive this storm, others will not”.
A question crossed my mind: How can I calm this sea? How can I change a threatening environment?
“You cannot always change the environment you are in by yourself,” came the answer, “but that does not mean you cannot affect, even in some small way, this storm. Ask your friends and the world to join together to affect the changes that need to be made to create a calm environment for all.”
As I watched a ship being overwhelmed by waves, the messages continued. “Understand that some of these ships will survive and some will fail. There are many reasons some ships will not survive. Some are old. Others have been poorly maintained. Some were not built well to begin with, and some have suffered damaged from other causes.
“Some may even slip below the surface, but by some miracle be made to float again, though it is unlikely they will ever again be as stout as they once were.
“These boats you see have only their ability to float in water in common. The weak are far more likely to sink that those that are strong.
“There are many factors that can weaken a boat. Old boats are more vulnerable, obviously. Those boats with scheduled maintenance and repairs can expect to remain seaworthy much longer than those that lack such care. Inattention by a boat’s owner to obvious signs of weakness, such as rot or other damage can be disastrous. Some owners who get preoccupied with matters of decadence, selfishness and greed may not even seen the evidence of decay that is in front of them.”
As I mentioned before, none of this was really new information to me, but I had managed to forget, or overlook it because I’ve been preoccupied with living day-to-day. It’s not easy to admit that I am guilty of seeking to satisfy my own carnal and material yearnings, while neglecting my spirit, and my corporeal needs.
What can I learn from all of this, I asked myself. Why am I receiving this message when I am experimenting with healing? The inner voice was not finished.
“The methods for repairing and strengthening boats are not mysterious. They are well-known and involve many crafts, depending on the problem at hand. Seek others with sturdy, healthy and yes, happy boats to surround yourself with, and never forget to share what you have learned. For you are one of those ships that was at great risk of capsizing just a short time ago. You have done much to repair, rebuild and strengthen this ship.”
I’ve had time to consider what all my own body and my inner being were trying to share with me that day. I have recalled—again—what my health was like just a few years ago, before I quit the massive poisoning of my body with pharmaceutical drugs. I’ve tried so many different healing modalities, yet today I do only a few of them. I’m not a raw vegan fanatic, but I do eat mostly meals I prepare myself, from whole foods. I’ve stopped taking fistfuls of nutritional supplements and herbs, though I am attentive to little signals that suggest I am deficient in something. I think I live a nearly normal life, but it is so very different than the life I lived a decade ago, and three decades ago.
Do I think I am healed and healthy? For the most part, yes, I feel that I have made great improvements in my health. Still, I don’t know what the future holds for me. I don’t dare neglect those things I’ve learned about, such as: eating a balanced, whole food diet, restoring my gut health and reducing stress in my life, but I realize now that I needed a reminder.