As a person who’s agreed to go through Ascension publicly, I sense that it’s time for me to report in on where I’m at, what’s happened to me in terms of what Matthew Ward would call my “evolvement,” etc.
I write this because others are involved in their process and it may help to hear what another’s markers and milestones are and have been. Oh heck, more than that. You’ve told me in dozens of letters and now in person on more occasions than I can shake a stick at that these reports are useful to you. I hear the Arcturians saying: Drop false modesty. OK, OK, alright already.
When Kathleen and I left Lake Tahoe and stopped for our first night in Grass Valley, CA, in the middle of the night, I awoke staring at the one thing I know that is guaranteed to horrify and paralyze me.
It was the picture of my mother contained in a 1968 autopsy report, which I’d rather not describe to you. I’m familiar with the phenomenon of secondary traumatization from my years listening to refugees’ stories and I don’t want to invite that in you.
Let me just say that the picture was taken after a housefire. No one should ever have to see such a picture.
Certain events transpired at the Lake Tahoe gathering that set me up for passing through the core issue that arose that night in Grass Valley and I’ve gone over those events already. Suffice it to say that I closed off my heart after seeing that photograph and if anyone tried to get in I would get angry.
Had you asked me why I was so angry, I couldn’t tell you. Had you asked me why I would get angry at my former wife within a half hour of our making love, I couldn’t tell you.
Now I see I did the latter because, having opened my heart, I wanted to close it off again. I didn’t want to let anyone into my heart ever again, after seeing what happened to my mother and to me for letting her into my heart. Everything was perfectly clear looking backward but absolutely unfathomable looking forward.
Seeing that photograph was one milestone on the road to my becoming an angry man. With Kathleen’s help, I re-experienced the emotions I wouldn’t let myself feel many years ago when that incident happened.
She allowed me to complete the vasana (archaic reaction pattern) that lay at the heart of that core issue. She didn’t say, “There. There. It’s all right” or “What’re you bawling about? That happened forty years ago.”
She allowed me to take the time I needed to really get in touch with those feelings and allow them to work their way through my system. Once I had completely re-experienced what had been held back all these years, the vasana lifted and the core issue fell away.
That much you already know about.
But the vasana lifting and the core issue falling away is itself evidence of the unusual nature of these times. Ten years ago I’d have had to re-experience that episode several times before the vasana would begin to loosen its grip. The core issue wouldn’t have disappeared right away either. They both do now, but not back then.
I had already done many years of work on my anger so I’m not saying that this one piece of work was what had everything lift. But it was the finishing piece.
For the next three weeks that Kathleen and I spent cooped up in a small car, we didn’t have a single fight. OK, I freaked the night in Seattle that Karen informed me that we’d reached only half our target for donations. I had to face possibly shutting down the blog. I was a basket case. Kathleen had to get me to use Perro to communicate, I was such a mess.
But even then, there was no turning on one another, no venting or jumping up and down. We got through it with no major upset and no residue and that for me is really, really different.
In the whole of the trip up and down the width of America, we had an unqualifiably wonderful time and I didn’t feel anger once. I’m not trying to leave the impression that that’s due to only me. All you folks who met Kathleen know what an adept she is. Living joy. I am a lucky man.
That doesn’t mean I’m through all my vasanas. Twice I felt a touch of arrogance when meet-up situations didn’t go the way I wanted. I chafed and squirmed. My sense of entitlement arose and none of it escaped Kathleen’s eagle eye. She poked me a lot in jest. So I’m not walking on water yet.
Let me run an inch of water in the tub and see if that’s changed in the last twenty-four hours.
However here’s what I’ve noticed. I don’t blame others as much as I used to. To be sure, I still have wicked thoughts about people, but they arise and pass away with great speed. I don’t feel a need to act on them. There’s no way I can stop the thoughts but they no longer impel me to action.
Strange things happen and I know they signal something having occurred. I had a medical appointment with my doctor today and we went back and forth, agreeing and disagreeing about some tests she wanted me to take.
She wanted to shove a poker up my … well, you know what. I said no. She said yes. I said no. She said yes. I finally said yes. And at the end of the appointment, though we’d disagreed, she kissed me on the cheek. My doctor? Kissed me on the cheek? Say what?
I ended a Skype call this evening with the other person blowing kisses at me. Am I dreaming? Is this really happening to me?
Equally amazing were the reactions I got today from others I didn’t know. Where in the past they would have looked sour, almost uniformly they looked really happy. And there was no explanation in the events themselves for why. (Of course it could’ve had nothing to do with me.) (1)
But something seems to have changed in me and I can’t put my finger on what it is. And I get the best measure of it by seeing other people’s reaction to me.
I frankly feel the same, but people are responding differently.
I used to be a person who’d get easily frustrated with people and, if I felt justified, would vent and then ask the other person: well, what did you expect? (Just ask the team.) Real, garden-variety self-righteous stuff.
I’m not saying I have as much patience or savvy as some people I admire (OK, Graham Dewyea for instance) but I have a heck of a lot more than I’ve ever had in the past.
Here’s another thing. I’ve come to value things on the peaceful side of life – getting along, agreeing with others, not making remarks which showed I was incomplete, not making irreverent jokes that had a bite to them, etc.
Where went the fellow whom my brother Paul once lampooned by buying me a T-shirt which read “Grumpy Old Fart”?
There’s been a wholesale change in me, I’d say. I hardly recognize myself these days. Not like I miss the old me. But the new me is too new to say I know him.
If you asked a caterpillar how he was going to become a butterfly, he’d stare at you uncomprehendingly. If he knew that he’d have to wrap himself in mummy cloth and dissolve his own body before reconstituting it in a shape that retained nothing of the old features, he’d probably run the other way as fast as his little legs would carry him.
But if you ask the butterfly how he transformed himself, he’d probably tell you quite easily. I see how I arrived here, but I’d never have known how that would be, say, five years ago.
Emotionally, inwardly, spiritually, I have grown. I have emerged. I’m not a finished product and probably never will be, but I see definite progress and am more encouraged than I’ve ever been.
(1) By the self-serving bias, we attribute all successes, wins, and victories to ourselves and all failures, losses and defeats to another or an outside agency. Maybe I’m doing that here.