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Thursday, April 20, 2014

I awoke on Thursday, April 10, 2014 to a new post on one of my favorite blogs (Dancing with the Elephant by Dr. Willa Stillwater) entitled “Can a Mirror Reveal the Truth” which discusses (albeit in much more scientific terms) a point I wrote about back in September, 2010, when With a Child’s Heart was in its infancy and had not yet learned to walk, entitled Scared of the Moon. Reading Willa’s and Joie’s discussion of the predominant public perception of Michael Jackson and its causes brought my much earlier post to mind forcefully and later Conversations pertaining to concepts such as cultural subjective blindness (Installments #80 – September 22 through September 29, 2013 and #84 – January 31, 2014) and the human need to label and categorize its perceptions and experiences (Installment #51 – January 15 through January 22, 2012), reinforce and underpin the discussion I read this morning. In it the two hemispheres of the brain and their functions are introduced and explained. The right brain is intuitive, creative and the left brain analytical and judgmental.

In Installment #51, Michael says:

Does the naming of it make it more or less real? Or is the naming of it really just an excuse to judge yourself as more or less crazy … more or less in or out of touch with ‘reality?’ And, if so, define reality. What you are seeking is a way of judging what is a valid experience and what is an invalid experience. But isn’t any experience … no matter how far-farfetched, whimsical or incredible … a valid experience to the person experiencing it?

And

Your soul knows truth; it recognizes that it belongs in truth. It is comfortable there. It doesn’t question or label. It experiences.

…The mind needs to label these things … the spirit needs only to experience them. It’s only after the experience that the mind comes into play.

So, in the discussion I read this morning, I compare the soul to the right hemisphere of the brain (not in terms of location but rather in terms of function) and the mind to the left (with the same caveat.) The two hemispheres were designed to work in tandem, each contributing to the overall welfare and mental, spiritual and physical health of the human organism … in balance and working as one unit. However, that balance has become unbalanced, with the left brain subjugating the right in our culture on a worldwide basis so that the right brain activities of intuition, imagination and artistic expression are looked down upon in our prevailing worldview.

As a result, the right brain activities of imagination have, to the left-brain, analytically-oriented, patriarchal, yet predominant narrative, been marginalized and judged unworthy, childish, unproven and, therefore, less important. Intuition is considered inferior because there is no way to verify its existence within the accepted scientific method; yet, the human organism feels its effects very strongly … and discounts them and ignores them, in the main, to its own detriment.

Michael Jackson, like all artists, navigated within the field of right brain orientation. He was intuitive, imaginative, artistic, empathic to an extent seldom seen and rarely, if ever, experienced in our left brain dominant culture. Howard Bloom describes one of his first meetings with Michael:

As he took in the artwork, his knees began to buckle, his elbows bent, and all he could say was “ooohhh.” A soft orgasmic “ooohhh.” In that one syllable and in his body language, you could feel what he was seeing.

Do you know the poem by William Blake?

To see a world in a grain of sand

And a heaven in a wild flower

Hold infinity in the palm of your hand

And eternity in an hour

The intense ambition of that poem, the intense desire for wonder, was alive in Michael – more alive than anything of the sort I’d ever seen. Michael saw the infinite in an inch. As Michael opened the page further, inch by inch, his knees and his elbows bent even more and his “ooohhhs” his sounds of aesthetic orgasm, grew even more intense. Standing elbow to elbow and shoulder to shoulder with him, you could feel him discovering things in the brush and ink strokes that even the artist never saw. By the time he’d opened the full page, his body and voice expressed an ecstasy – an aesthetic epiphany. I’d never encountered anything like it. Michael felt the beauty of the page with every cell of his being.

…not one of them had the quality of wonder that came alive in Michael. He saw the wonder in everything. His quality of wonder was beyond anything most of us humans can conceive.

No, that quality of wonder cannot be qualified, quantified, weighed, measured … or even defined. It does not lend itself well to scientific method … or peer-reviewed journalistic stature … or easy categorization. It can only be felt … experienced … and, in this case, witnessed by one well-versed in such disciplines. And, yet, it is the penultimate description of the very embodiment of the right brain dominant , artistic and intuitive nature.  Mr. Bloom continues:

Look, above all things I’m a scientist. Science is my religion. It’s been my religion since I was ten years old. The first two rules of science are: 1) the truth at any price, including the price of your life; and 2) look at the things right under your nose as if you’ve never seen them before and then proceed from there. And that’s not just a rule of science. It’s a rule of art. And it’s a rule of life. Very few people know it. Even fewer people live it. But Michael was it, he incarnated it in every follicle of his being. (Emphasis added.)

…He believed he was given talents and wonders and astonishments seldom granted to us very fragile human beings. Because God had given him this enormous gift, he felt he owed the experience of wonder, astonishment, awe and Blake’s infinity to his fellow human beings … The need to give to others was alive in every breath he took every single day. Michael Jackson’s entire life was receiving and giving and the whole purpose of receiving was so he could give. He worked with every cell in his body to give the gift of that amazement, that astonishment to his fellow human beings.

In a perfect world, which our world is anything but, the ideal human being’s left brain analyzing and defining capacity would be augmented and informed by his right brain intuitive, imaginative and creative leaps of awe, wonder and faith – each developed and utilized to the same extent (sound like anyone we know?) However, instead of that perfect world, we live in one in which the left brain has exerted dominance over the right … and it stands to reason, any dominant force must fear that over which it exerts dominance in order for that dominance to be sustained. Is it too far-fetched to find layers of social commentary in Michael Jackson’s art? You decide.

Scared of the Moon (reprise originally posted September, 2010)

Alone she lays waiting
Surrounded by gloom
Invaded by shadows
Painting the room
The light from the window
Cuts through the air
And pins the child lying there
Scared of the moon

She pulls up the covers
And shivers in fright
She hides from the color
That rides on the night
The light through the window
That lights up the sky
And causes her mournful cry
Scared of the moon

There’s nothing wrong
Don’t be bothered they said
It’s just childish fantasies turning your head
No need to worry
It’s really too soon
But there she lies shivering
Scared of the moon

Scared of the moon
Scared of the moon
Scared of the moon
Scared of the moon

The years go by swiftly
And soon childhood ends
But life is still fearful
When evening descends
The fear of the child
Still intrudes the night
Returning on beams of light
Scared of the moon

The feeling of terror
She felt as a youth
Has turned from a fantasy
Into a truth
The moon is the enemy
Twisting her soul
And taking its fearful toll
Scared of the moon

But now there are others who sit in their room
And wait for the sunlight to brighten their gloom
Together they gather
Their lunacy shared
Not knowing just why they’re scared
Scared of the moon

Scared of the moon
Scared of the moon
Scared of the moon
Scared of the moon

 moonangel1

Michael Jackson sang this song during the Thriller era (1984) and it was released on The Ultimate Collection where it was listed as an unreleased demo. The liner notes refer to a book by the same title, but I haven’t been able to find that. For those Michael Jackson fans who have not treated themselves to The Ultimate Collection, may I recommend that you do so? It is a treasure trove of beautiful songs, including many of Michael Jackson’s biggest hits spanning his entire career as well as about ten songs that are shown as demos, which in this humble fan’s opinion are just as good as anything he ever released. Scared of the Moon is one of them.

Michael sings this song with deep emotion (one can hear the tears in his voice and in his nasal passages as he sings the fourth verse). After hearing it for the first time I wondered if it referred to something in his own life or in one of his family member’s lives about which he felt very strongly.

Today, as I was driving home from work, I listened to it again. I have an MP3 player upon which I have placed two hundred and forty-five songs ranging from Michael’s first hits as an effervescent, joyous member of the Jackson 5 through his last releases as a solo artist. Most of the time I have the MP3 player set to random play unless I have a particular need to hear a song because of events of the day or my heart just needs to hear a certain song. Most of the time random play serves them up in an order that suits me just fine, much of the time throwing in the song that I really needed during my half hour drive to or from work as a surprise, a gift from his heart to mine.

Tonight, Scared of the Moon was on the agenda. While the song was playing, I had an interesting insight. The moon has traditionally been a symbol for the female, intuitive, right-brained side of life. Intuition, artistic creativity, poesy, the divine feminine, empathic or psychic powers all fall under the aegis or authority of the moon, or right brain, in the symbolic sense. This is the yang in oriental philosophy.

Conversely, the material, logical, analytical side of the brain is considered the left brain. It is responsible for scientific inquiry, logical thinking, analytical thought, male dominance, patriarchal, I’ll-believe-it-when-I-see-it kind of thought. This is the yin in oriental philosophy.

Ideally, both hemispheres of the brain work in tandem to help us to navigate our lives. When one is damaged, the other takes over its duties because the two hemispheres have a channel of communication that flows between them. One of the theories used to explain epilepsy is that the channel of communication between the two hemispheres of the brain becomes disrupted, causing seizures. Most of us have a dominant hemisphere – one that we feel at home with more than the other. In some situations, damage or trauma can cause one hemisphere to become inactive or unable to function which causes brain pathology of various kinds.

Well, I suppose I won’t get too many disagreements if I state that Michael Jackson was very right-brain oriented or right-brain dominant. He was very artistic in many fields, empathic to the suffering of others, sensitive and extremely spiritually oriented. There is a theory being circulated since his demise that he experienced trauma as a youth (perhaps, as a result of one of the ‘spankings’ he received from his father) which made the left side of his brain inactive or unable to function, arresting his development at the eight or nine-year-old level and creating an actual physical handicap to his normal functioning in the adult world.

While I do not support this theory wholeheartedly, I do believe that Michael was right brain oriented to the exclusion of the left-brain functions that control many of life’s little challenges and, I believe, he was  comfortable in that sphere. But I also believe that he was a fully-functioning adult who preferred to see the world through the innocent eyes of a child because the sight was too painful to him any other way.

Now, it has been my experience that left-brain dominant people have a dislike bordering on horror of predominantly right-brain thinkers. They abhor illogical, feeling-based, empathic thought. They belittle their neighbors of the right-brain persuasion as idealists, wearing rose-colored glasses, unable to deal with the world of reality. It’s their way or the highway! We all know people like this. I’m married to one of them who is very religion-oriented and tells me frequently that I don’t see the world as it is (to which I usually reply, ‘Look at the world. Would you want to see it as it is?’) I, on the other hand, am a predominantly right-brain thinker. Although not artistic, I am sympathetic to suffering almost to the empathic level, sensitive to any kind of emotional disturbance, heart-centered and very spiritually  (as opposed to religious) oriented.

Here is an example of the differences between us. My husband’s favorite choice in movie viewing is war films and action films and horror films. After spending 59 days in Viet Nam, I would think he would have seen enough of war, but, apparently not. He has seen Tora, Tora, Tora every single time they have shown it on the History Channel, loves The Omen, The Predator, and Saving Private Ryan. I won’t watch such things because I believe that what we place and focus our attention on becomes our reality. There are two underlying thoughts which control our universe: Love and Fear. I will not pay good money to go into a darkened theater and immerse myself in fear (representing war, action, and horror movies) for two hours. My movie viewing includes Walt Disney (fortunately I am raising my eight-year-old granddaughter who also loves Walt Disney), love stories, and Michael Jackson. Needless to say, we don’t go to a lot of movies together.

Okay, so we’ve got two hemispheres of the brain, right and left, one of which views the other with horror and disdain often to the point of ridicule. Michael is right-brain dominant which is represented by the moon, the intuitive, the empathic, the psychic. Left-brain dominance is represented symbolically by the sun, the logical, the realistic, the analytical, scientific method.

The insight I had on my drive home in the car this evening (remember – that’s how this whole thing started) was Michael Jackson, a young man at the time the above song was recorded, was very intuitive. I would venture to say he was prescient. Although the scorn and ridicule of him hadn’t started in full earnest at the time the song was recorded – at least, not to the level it eventually became – he was drawing attention to the fear and abhorrence he would later suffer from the world he inhabited. The sun (left-brain dominant) in the song is scared of the moon and fear causes humans to be somewhat unthinking, unreasonable and downright cruel to the moon (right-brain dominant).

This would not be the only example of Michael Jackson’s prescience. I believe the timing of the release of the Dangerous album and, specifically, the song Will You Be There (with its emotional rap at the end) was another example of his premonition of what would eventually happen to him. Remember, the Dangerous album was released in 1991 but it was recorded between 1989 and 1990. The schedule for release of songs is usually set long before the album is released. The official release of the song Will You Be There and the movie Free Willy containing the song coincided very closely with the news of the first set of allegations against Michael in 1993. While the medialoid was tripping over its own feet in its attempts to beat their competitors to the most salacious headlines, Michael’s song was being played in movie theaters across this country along with the tearful rap at the end of it … “In our darkest hour, in my deepest despair, will you still care, will you be there? In my trials and my tribulations, through our doubts and frustrations, in my violence, in my turbulence, through my fears and my confessions, in my anguish and my pain, through my joy and my sorrow, in the promise of another tomorrow, I’ll never let you part. For you’re always … in my heart.” 

I believe in my heart that Michael had premonitions and placed the evidence of his foreknowledge in his art for all of us to interpret at our leisure after he was gone. Scared of the Moon is an early example of this prescience. He was explaining to us what was going to happen. He was answering his own … and our … question, “Why?”

 

 

 

 

Installment #85

March 12 through 26, 2014

 

Um … can we talk a little more about this?

 

Slowly, I open my eyes to the beautiful view that surrounds me as we lie on the bank of the lake near a series of waterfalls, the melody of trickling water and birdsong a gentle refrain. “Of course, Michael, we can talk about anything you want to discuss,” I reply.

[By way of explanation, I have recently acquired a set of ten CDs of nature sounds, one of which I find so relaxing and conducive to a nearly meditative state of mind that I have become addicted to spending an hour in the early afternoon most days totally immersed in it. The CD is entitled “Morning in the Mountains.” It is the sound of a murmuring brook or mountain stream flowing downhill over rocks and boulders accented by the song of various species of birds. The interesting thing about this CD is that, although entitled “Morning in the Mountains,” it could just as easily be called “Afternoon by the Lake” or “Evening Walk in the Gardens.”

So, I’m sure it will come as no real shock to my regular readers to discover that, with the help of these lovely sounds, I have been spending what some might call an inordinate amount of time lately in what Thomas Moore called “regular excursions into enchantment” in his book The Re-Enchantment of Every Day Life – at Neverland (when I’m not thoroughly absorbed in proofreading Conversations – Volume 2 for errors in preparation for sending it to the publishers, that is.)

I am sure, too, that it will come as no great surprise that Neverland Valley Ranch was, is and will always be my idea of heaven on earth. Its beauty draws me like few other places on this planet. Sitting on the retaining wall outside the gate or wandering it freely in my imagination, it is the home of my heart. Its tranquility, natural beauty and love-laden aura provide a magnetic pull similar to that of the North Pole on the compass needle of my soul.

The CD I mentioned takes me there with very little effort on my part. Just plug the CD into the player, snap on the headphones, turn the volume to 6 or 7 and I’m there – no seat belt, flight attendant or heavy baggage to maneuver.

Since getting this CD, I have spent many pleasant hours on the terrace outside the French doors of The Library, sitting on a deck chair with Michael as he reads an ever-present book … chasing each other around the fountains as carefree children … walking through the gardens hand-in-hand, sitting by the side of the lake, walking over the beautiful stone bridge … or just relaxing beneath one of the many trees. As a matter of fact, the producers of this CD should probably be charged with contributing to the delinquency of this major.

In one of my most recent visits, I saw again the scene I had tried to paint of Michael sitting beneath a giant tree with his mismatched ankles crossed, reading Conversations – Volume 1 with my little dog by his side (as described in Installment 55.) This time, he did not have Sir Impalot with him and I was carrying Conversations – Volume 2. I handed the book to him … directly into his living hands … and my heart was so full of emotion that I promptly fell asleep (which is not an uncommon occurrence with this CD – the sounds invoke such a deep state of relaxation and serenity it’s hard not to fall asleep.) I call these afternoon excursions “power naps” and I find them extremely refreshing and restorative.

In my mind, I equate them with the morning meditation sessions with which I have failed so miserably at keeping up except at a much more reasonable time of day. They have become my substitute; I am really NOT a morning person (except, apparently, when I am on Pilgrimage to Michaeland.)

On this occasion, we are sitting on a blanket on the grassy verge beside the lake. I am leaning against a tree and Michael is lying on his stomach, reading Volume 2 with his torso supported on his forearms. He turns to me and hands me the book and I quickly turn the pages to find the installment number to which he is referring (Installment 71) before I fall asleep to the gentle strains of flowing water and birdsong.]

Which part did you want to talk more about?

 Well, in this conversation, we were discussing the difference between the reactions of an adult to emotions like joy and a child’s reaction to the same emotion. Right?

Yes, I remember. Let me go and get it. I have the book right here, my dear. You said:

If a child is moved by the ‘spirit’ of joy or laughter, he surrenders himself to the moment and experiences it fully and completely. If an adult is moved by the ‘spirit’ of joy or laughter, he looks around to see if anyone is watching, tells himself that it’s silly to feel so elated, “don’t be an idiot,” he says to himself, “don’t make a fool of yourself.” So, who is egocentric?

 

Yes, that’s the part I’m referring to. By the time the adult is done checking to make sure he doesn’t make a fool of himself, the emotion has passed and the ‘spirit’ that wanted to move him to express it is gone. He has missed an opportunity to be joyful.

The thing is this same man often wonders why he is never joyful, happy or filled with that sense of wonder. He asks himself, “Why is my life such a constant struggle when everyone else seems to be laughing and having a good time?” He sees his friends laughing and judges them (in his own mind) as displaying unacceptable behavior because they ‘are making fools of themselves’ and, therefore, he is conflicted – wanting to feel joy but shutting it down every time it approaches within five hundred feet of him. “Proper men don’t behave like that,” he thinks.

Now, would you mind putting the next paragraph here?

 

Of course, Beloved.

The difference is that the adult has learned to be self-conscious – or aware of himself from the ego’s perspective at all times … even when he (or she – ahem) is totally alone and knows that there is no one around to witness his display of joyous communion ‘in spirit.’ He channels all his emotions through the filters of that ‘self-consciousness’ to arrive at ‘unacceptable’ emotion (an emotion which does not fit into that false self-image he has created and which he has learned from a society that adheres to principals of conformity) … or acceptable (an emotion that does fit his false self-image.) Acceptable and unacceptable are judgments like right and wrong or worthy and unworthy (which we’ve discussed before.)

There you go, Baby.

Thank you. I wanted to discuss this whole concept of self-conscious … as opposed to SELF-conscious … in more depth because I didn’t want you or your readers to be conflicted about it.

We’ve talked about all of us being on a journey in these Conversations. I’ve referred to it as a “massive move toward consciousness.” By that, I mean becoming aware of who we really are as opposed to who we have convinced ourselves to be aided by parental edicts, abetted by religious injunctions and supported by societal pressures. In other words, it’s the difference between self-consciousness (false) … and SELF-consciousness (truth).

All of us are much more than the labels and roles we have accepted or the definitions we have agreed to, as we’ve been saying all along. As children, most of us are supremely self-confident, sure of our place in the cosmos and free of limiting self talk. We play with our imaginary playmates, have tea parties with our dolls or teddy bears, talk to our trucks and tractors and are blissfully unaware that we are making fools of ourselves. We don’t care! We are having fun … until some adult or older sibling comes along and laughs at us or tells us to “stop being silly … act your age.”

At that point, we begin to notice that our parents, teachers and society have certain standards of behavior to which we are expected to conform. We begin to stifle our imagination to win approval from our authority figures and we form a new self-image which is not who we really are at all. This false image becomes our ego; it begins to take over our lives, hiding our real selves behind layers of false judgments, labels and definitions that accrue over time

It reminds me of the Native American story about the little boy who goes to his grandfather and his grandfather tells him about the battle that goes on inside us all.

“My son,” he says, “the battle is between two wolves for dominance over our thoughts and actions. One is evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego.

“The other is good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.”

The wide-eyed boy asks, “Which one wins, grandfather?”

The wise old man replies simply, “The one you feed.”

We are feeding the wrong wolf by giving it all of our attention. We have given it dominance over us, allowed it to tell us who we are and what we can accomplish by feeding it with our focus.

So, if we use the case of your life as an example, we end up with an entirely false idea of who you are. Breaking free of that false idea of yourself becomes difficult because you have believed that lie for so long. In addition, that lie has been supported by many of the events and behaviors of others in your life. You mentioned in one of our earliest conversations that you were told you were ugly as a child; so was I. You are not ugly and neither was I, but we both believed that lie for years and that belief shaped how we viewed ourselves, affecting us long after the people who had uttered that falsehood passed out of our lives and coloring our actions, limiting the things we gave ourselves permission to attempt and holding us back from achieving our dreams.

It is this false self that keeps us shackled. Only the true SELF frees us from those false judgments and definitions; only in getting to know and experience who we really are do we become who we were intended to be – a spark from the Divine Flame of endless creativity, limitless abundance and the perfect peace of ONENESS.

I know better now because I see things much more clearly in the reflections each of you hold in your hearts, but it was a concept that required healing when I arrived at the eternal side of my life. We are still working on getting you to see yourself more clearly, but have no fear; we will get there (either before or after you get here) because TRUTH runs marathons. We are in this for the long haul.

This applies to all those lies you were told and believed for most of your life – like you are fat, untalented, can’t draw, don’t dream, are not spiritual enough to meditate, are not smart, are inferior, are not worthy … and on … and on … and on. All of these lies are buried deep in the soil of your childhood.

I tell you what … you have read parts of a book that really touched me when I read it … so much so that I wanted to make a film about it because the author’s story so illustrates the principals we are discussing.

Do you mean They Caged the Animals at Night by Jennings Michael Burch?

Yes, that’s the one. Can we talk a little bit about this book?

Of course, we can talk about it, mon ange.

Are you sure it won’t make you too uncomfortable?

No, but if I have you here with me … I’m sure I can handle it.

God bless you for your faith in me. Can you tell me why you were so afraid of this book?

Well, I had seen parts of an interview you conducted with the author and filmed at Neverland. From what I could gather from your interview … and your empathy for Mr. Burch … I surmised that his book would not be a comfortable read for me because my own childhood shared many of the same kinds of trauma that Mr. Burch describes in his book. Therefore, I was reluctant to open that can of worms.

In one of our earlier dialogs, you described an event in your childhood that we discussed in relation to your inability to dream. Would it make you uncomfortable to repeat that part of our earlier talk here?

No, Michael, I think I can do that if you think it’s important. From Installment 21 (March 23, 2011 through April 2, 2011):

Okay, well, very few of my readers already know this, but my biological father was an abusive, alcoholic veteran of World War II. My mother tried to control his drinking, but often it devolved into abuse. One day, tired of putting up with the arguments, he decided to end them. He hung himself in the basement of our little home (which closely resembled 2300 Jackson Street, a little four room house.) My mother, brother and I had gone to the store and came back and the dog was barking. We kept our dog in the basement when we weren’t home. She was a boxer named “Star-Linda” because she had a big white star-shaped marking on her face. My mother asked my brother and I to go and get Star to quiet her down. My brother and I found my father hanging from the basement I-beam. I was five; my brother was nearing seven-years-old.

I don’t remember these things … I have no mental pictures to accompany what I was told much later when I was sixteen … I completely blocked them out. My mother told me that my brother and I received counseling, but I don’t remember that either.

Thank you. We discussed this occurrence during our conversation about why you couldn’t visualize clearly – or dream – and we began to practice regular visualizations to heal your perceived inability, but also to positively affect the outcome of Conrad Murray’s trial and replace your negative inner emotional climate with more positive intention. And the results of those visualizations were spectacular; I think you would have to agree.

Absolutely, I agree.

Will you trust me again?

Michael, you are my soul. How could I not trust you?

I love you more. You have to know that.

The incident we’ve just discussed was not the end of the story of your childhood, was it?

No, my dear one, not by a long chalk.

Do you feel comfortable enough to talk about the rest of the story? [Michael’s voice deepens in an impression of Paul Harvey.]

Sweet King

Sweet King

If you feel it is important … and relevant to our topic, Beloved … I trust you implicitly.

Okay … um … as a result of my biological father’s suicide, my brother and I were placed in the same kind of institution that Mr. Burch describes in his book. In our case, our family referred to it as a ‘boarding school,’ but it was an orphanage run by nuns, just as Mr. Burch describes. The St. Vincent Sarah Fisher Home for Children was located in a suburb of Detroit instead of New York. I found out a few years ago that my mother asked my grandmother and grandfather to help her take care of us while she figured out what kind of job she could get (she, like many women at that time,  had never worked outside the home before) … and they refused. So, my mother placed us in this institution and we lived there for three years (very much the same amount of time Mr. Burch wrote about in his book.)

Let me repeat my earlier statement. I do not remember any of this. I only have a few brief flashes of memory from this time of my life. One memory I do have is of me being very ill with rheumatic fever (I found out later) during which my life was feared for … and awaking or regaining consciousness to see a Sister of Charity standing by my cot, with her starched white wings (picture the Flying Nun) glowing against the high ceiling of the dormitory or infirmary or whatever.

Thank you. I want you to know … I am so hugging you right now.

So now that you’ve read a little bit of Jennings’ book, can you tell me your impressions?

Yes, definitely, Michael. My first impression is that I was right. This book is not a comfortable read for me. There are too many similarities between his story and mine. These are memories that I really do not want to disturb by reading his very vivid recollections of his childhood.

My second impression is a profound sense of gratitude.

Gratitude? I don’t understand.

I know, Michael; it seems like a strange impression, even to me. Let me see if I can explain. Ever since I can remember, I’ve felt a sense of being inferior to the rest of the world which has carried through all of my adult years because of this lack of memory. I would hear friends say things like, “I remember playing on the living room floor with my dad,” and I would smile on the outside … but inside I was crying with envy because I didn’t have such memories … or a dad I could respect (fear is another matter, entirely) and play with. When my mother remarried and my brother and I returned to what most of the world would consider a “normal” family environment, it was anything but normal. My stepfather was abusive … physically towards my brother … sexually towards me … and left us in no doubt, whatsoever, that we were ‘less than’ the two children he had with my mother. So, there was never that family bond; that had been seriously broken by three years in a “boarding school” and an abusive stepfather whom I certainly never played with on the floor.

So, I kinda went through the majority of my life with this “poor, poor, pitiful me” attitude, feeling inferior to all my superior acquaintances who had wonderful memories of family play and togetherness.  Nor did I ever have a father-figure that I could look up to … and learn from … and love … until I met YOU.

Reading Mr. Burch’s extremely and powerfully emotional recollections of being dropped off and just left at an orphanage by a mother who didn’t explain to him what was happening and the cruelty he endured at the hands of the nuns entrusted with his care … the cold, impersonal way his fear, uncertainty, feeling of abandonment and guilt because he didn’t know what he had done wrong and homesickness were viewed by those women and the way he was expected to “toe-the-line” and “follow the rules,” many of which he didn’t even know, made me realize how truly blessed I am and how merciful God is. While I haven’t returned to the book to discover the rest of Mr. Burch’s story (mostly because I don’t think I’ve fully processed the parts I have read, yet), I have come away with a profound sense of gratitude to a merciful and loving God for blessing me by erasing my memories of what must have been an extremely trying and traumatic experience for a five-year-old child.

That’s okay! Take your time; there is no rush. We are in this for the long haul.

So, a curse became a blessing when viewed from a slightly different perspective, right?

Exactly, my heart … exactly!

Have you seen my childhood?
I’m searching for the world that I come from‘Cause I’ve been looking around in the lost and found
of my heart
No one understands me
They view it as such strange eccentricities
‘Cause I keep kidding around
Like a child
But pardon me

Do you see how similar your childhood was to mine? We were both abused; we both felt abandoned and rejected; we both turned that abandonment and rejection against ourselves … felt we have done something wrong … that it was our fault. Do you understand how your fears of rejection … of being unloved … are rooted deep in the soil of the experiences you had as a child?

And I want you to notice something else for me. What kind of childhood did you guarantee for your own children? Did you repeat the mistakes of the past … or did you redeem them? Did you reject your own granddaughter when you were faced with a similar choice to the one your grandmother made … or did you erase that choice by accepting that beautiful child into your life and your heart? We’ll talk more about these points in a minute.

This is not the way childhood is meant to be experienced. We’ve become so separated from our humanity … so wrapped up in judgment and busyness and responsibility … that we’ve forgotten to nurture our children and give them the tools they will need to heal our mistakes.

Your lifelong struggles with feelings of inferiority … your fears of being rejected and abandoned have a very firm basis in being rejected and abandoned as a child … whether you remember it or not … and those experiences have shaped your false image of yourself as unlovable, unworthy, incapable of achievement, inferior, unattractive, etc. … until very recently, that is. This false self image took you over completely and the more you fed it with your attention, the firmer its grip became. The firmer its grip, the more your reality conformed to the expectations your false image allowed you to believe. And …

I know, Beloved Angel … I know!

WHAT YOU BELIEVE, YOU BECOME!!

Exactly! You became all those things your false idea told you were true; or, at least, you thought you did.  You are not the scary stories you’ve believed for so long … none of you are! You are not the experiences of your childhood and you can break free of all those nightmares just by becoming aware of who and what you really are … by becoming SELF-conscious.

In truth, the world wants you to believe that you come from the fertilization process of an egg and a sperm … just a random collection of biological material. There is nothing random about it. Your body may be a collection of biological material, but YOU belong to eternity; you are an expression of divinity which has chosen to experience itself in temporarily material form for the sole purpose of remembering your divinity … in other words, of becoming SELF-conscious.

Now, to return to the points I made earlier about your own actions and choices when faced with similar challenges, we’ve talked in great detail about the Symphony in the Key of Love in our earlier dialogs … and you’ve recently read about “soul groups” and “soul families.”

Yes, James Van Praagh’s Growing Up in Heaven mentions soul groups and families.

Our Symphony in the Key of Love is just another, more poetic, perhaps, illustration of a “soul group.” And it should come as no great shock to you to contemplate the possibility that your family relationships … parents, siblings, grandparents … are all part of your “soul family.” The actions and choices of each member of the family affect the family as a collective … either advancing the family in the evolutionary process … or impeding that advancement.

Our family’s opportunities for choice in particular aspects of life (such as responsibility) are repeated until the individual accepts responsibility for his/her actions, forgives past errors and moves forward in full knowledge and experience of his or her true nature. In this process, the “soul family,” too, gains the experience and advances in its evolutionary goal. So, too, does the “soul group” because we are all ONE in this Symphony in the Key of Love.

So, your grandparent’s choices have been repeated in your life and your choices in response to similar situations have produced different outcomes than theirs. The errors of the past have been redeemed in the present. Now, you have to work on forgiving the cultural and individual influences that produced the earlier outcomes. And that’s what we’ll be working on next.

In ancient cultures, like the Native American culture we mentioned earlier, all the generations of a family remained in close contact. While the father provided food and the mother cured the skins and wove the cloth for clothing, the children ran free under the watchful eyes of the older generation, who told them stories of their youth and taught them the lessons they had gained from their experience. In our culture, we are divided into “nuclear” and “extended families … us and them … and often isolated from each other by distance.

Native American grandparents would have been insulted to have had your mother’s question posed to them; in their cultural heritage, their participation in their grandchildren’s education and nurturance provided their sole purpose for existing. It was understood that they would be there and help care for them. It was one of the societal agreements by which they governed their lives.

As humanity has gained in technological advances, it has lost the technology of its humanity and its measures of “quality of life” have shifted to “economics of life.”

In an earlier discussion, we talked about healing the child within and a suggested visualization was proposed.

Yes, Michael, I remember. It was Installment #69 (January 1 through January 11, 2013) when we talked about dedicating the year as “The Year of the Child.”

Right. Did you find these visualizations easy?

Uh … no … I didn’t.

Can you tell me why you found them difficult?

Well, I think because I have no memory of this “child within,” I couldn’t find anyone I had to forgive.

[Michael laughs.] You’re kidding, right?

I’m sorry I shouldn’t have laughed at that. It was insensitive, but are you serious?

Yes, Baby, I am dead serious. How can I forgive what I don’t remember? I didn’t think I had anyone to forgive.

God bless you!

[Jan gets a visual of Michael turning towards her by the side of the waterfall. He sits up and crosses his legs, placing his hands in “Namaste” and bows slightly forward from the waist.] Your innocence is so beautiful.

Do you trust me?

Of course, I trust you, my Sweet King. We would not have gotten this far in this conversation if I didn’t.

Okay, would it be okay with you if we work on this together? Because I think Jennings’ book has made you realize something, hasn’t it?

Oh, indeed, it has, Beloved. It appears I have a whole world full of people to forgive. As a matter of fact, just about everyone who knew me as a child!

Yes, and as each of them is forgiven and the burden of pain and rejection and guilt is released, you will realize that all of it contributed to the beautiful soul you really are … and become more SELF-conscious.

We can do this here, by the lake and waterfall while you take your “power naps” in the afternoon. Is it a deal?

Oh, my love, you do, indeed, drive a hard bargain. [Jan laughs.]

 

 

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Conversations - Volume 2

Conversations – Volume 2

 

 

With the recent influx of new blogs in the blogosphere … and my total preoccupation with preparing Conversations – Volume 2 for publication in the past several weeks … I have decided to search the vault for one of my earliest blog entries on With a Child’s Heart, dust it off and re-post it because   it still has so much meaning for me, personally. I hope that my readers agree. So, without further ado, may I present Our Love’s An Ocean from September 1, 2010 (insert drum roll please)?

There is a global phenomenon occurring that I think is worthy of attention. I have been perplexed by this phenomenon several times in the past few months and each time it happens, I have to pause and muse. I admit to being somewhat baffled by it; at the same time, I also admit to being soothed, warmed by a peculiar glow when my attention is drawn to it. I have to roll my eyes and chuckle because I know that Michael Jackson is giggling where he is; he’s messing with us and totally enjoying our puzzlement!

I know what is happening. Many of us who are receptive to the vibe are being inspired in the same ways at the same time even though separated by distance. I have evidence of the phenomenon when I open my computer and log on to my favorite sites. I don’t question the phenomenon, itself. How could I when it has touched me so often and with such regularity?

What I am trying to do is reconcile what logic would call ‘coincidences’ that continue to pile up like newspapers on the front porch of vacationing neighbors who have overstayed their scheduled absence. I don’t believe in ‘coincidences’ – to me, a coincidence is God or spirit trying to get my attention, as I’ve stated in previous postings. Instead of doubting the phenomenon or trying to discount it as a random occurrence with no meaning or purpose, I am trying to figure out how this phenomenon is occurring – the mechanics of the thing. Because to say that it is a game of chance – a Russian roulette – just doesn’t make any sense and denies the intention producing the phenomenon. That the deliberate intention exists, I have no doubt. The frequency – and intensity – and regularity of the occurrences preclude such a nonsensical answer. Others in my circle of internet companions are experiencing the same kinds of occurrences. It’s not just me.

There is a shift occurring – and the shift that is occurring is happening to a lot of us on this planet at the same time – sometimes in the same words – and many of us are reacting to it in the same manner. Now, that was as clear as mud, wasn’t it? Let me explain.

I recently talked with an internet colleague on the phone. We were discussing the ideas we had been having – and choosing to bring into reality with our words — about Michael Jackson (my favorite topic, of course.) Both of us are writers and the pieces we had been writing (mine a fictional story, hers a play) expressed many of the same thoughts, the same concepts – although our approaches were somewhat different. We live in separate states, have never met face-to-face and do not converse on the phone frequently. We do, however, visit each other’s websites with a fair amount of regularity (which one would describe, I suppose, as a distant and impersonal relationship.) It was uncanny to realize during our conversation that she had been receiving much the same inspiration as I had been – and at approximately the same time. My fictional story and her play dealt with very similar concepts – and they were concepts that would be described by most casual observers as uncommon at the very least – odd, eccentric, downright lunatic or spooky at the very most.

On another occasion, I wrote an entry and posted it on my little website and another cyber-friend wrote me that she had been strongly drawn by one of the same quotes that had gotten my attention (and upon which I had partially based my entry) and had planned to write a posting on her blog using the same concept, but she had not gotten around to writing her article due to her busy schedule. She envisioned hers going in a slightly different direction. To me, that just makes sense because we all sift information and ideas and inspirations through our individual filtering apparatus formed by our life experiences and belief systems. So, although we both may have had the same concept poke us in the heart – and continue poking us until we sit down and do something about it (Michael is nothing if not persistent) – write it – our articles would not be identical but would share the concept.

On yet another occasion, I had had a few words running through my head like a 747 circling O’Hare Airport in heavy fog and had wanted to try my hand at writing poetry using those words, but I hadn’t been able to get my efforts to express what I wanted them to say. After several attempts to bend the words to my will, I shrugged, threw my poor attempts in the trash and moved on. Several days after I gave up on my concept (or to be more accurate, decided to come back to it later), I visited a friend’s website only to find that she had written a poem using the same words that had been in a holding pattern over my head for weeks. She had gotten those words to dance for her. The astonishing thing is that her poem expressed exactly what I had wanted to say with them! Not roughly– not approximately – exactly! The tone, the emotion, the pain, the pathos, the inquiry, the pleading, the concept were all there.

A feeling akin to a low voltage electrical shock went up and down my spine when I read her poem. It was so what I had wanted to be able to express! Even the photograph used to accompany the poem was perfect!

This phenomenon has been occurring with such attention-riveting regularity since June 25, 2009 – and is escalating as time progresses — that I can only surmise that we are all catching a vibration that is being transmitted without radio waves or satellites, transmitters or receivers. We are all “drinking the same Kool-Aid” as one of my friends would say. I can only assume that these inspirations are coming from the same place that Michael Jackson claimed his came from – heaven or on high or the cosmos – or from Michael Jackson, which is the same thing, now, in my opinion.

The feeling reminds me very much of the state of mind I inhabited in the 1990’s, when I first became attracted to Michael’s music and began to discover the human being – the heart and the soul – behind it. At the time, I devoured everything I could find that he had been involved with in any way, collected music and performances, read every book that mentioned him, even in passing, and immersed myself in Michael to the exclusion of all other interests, pastimes or hobbies. Then, the allegations! My first reaction when I heard the news was, “Oh, my God – this is going to kill him!” And I knew in my heart that I had to DO something! Those who have read Collector of Souls on this website know that I did, indeed, end up doing something. I’ve talked about the events that occurred before.

What I’d like to express, if possible, in this article is the emotion I was experiencing at the time. It was overwhelming! It was totally illogical and made absolutely no sense at all. Nonetheless, I felt like he needed me! I hear my readers thinking. “Yeah, right! Michael Jackson needed you!” I know, as illogical – even delusional as that sentence may sound, it was the strongest feeling I had ever had. I felt that in some strange fashion, he and I were sharing some kind of deeply spiritual connection – an awareness, for lack of a better word – one that couldn’t be explained, perhaps – but a connection that I couldn’t deny. He may not have been aware of that connection, but I was! Perhaps, someone else could have talked, argued or cajoled herself out of the feeling, but I couldn’t. I could only act on that connection, which I did.

Through the ensuing decade that strong feeling of connection – of union at a deep and unseen level – only increased in intensity. I wrote stories in which I placed love in Michael’s life as he toured the world with his HIStory Tour in the guise of a little, green-eyed angel by the name of Angelique. The odd thing was that I actually fervently believed that I could reach out through her to comfort his aloneness and isolation, to tickle his playfulness, to bring him peace, to support his mission – using that awareness connection as a channel, a tunnel through which my love could heal him.

The feeling never went away until I, myself, denied that such a thing was possible and stopped believing in it. Of course, I was helped in this denial by circumstances in my real life (as opposed to my secret life as a Michael Jackson wannabe groupie) that went a little crazier than normal. I denied the connection because I allowed doubt to enter, because I listened to those around me who told me that “such things are just not possible” – that it was all in my “imagination” – that I had manufactured that sense of awareness out of a “hormonal or chemical imbalance.” I sabotaged the connection in my ignorance of the mechanics at work.

I talked myself out of the most rewarding and spiritually fulfilling interlude I had ever experienced. And I so missed that connection when it was gone! I prayed so earnestly for its return. I tried to force it into submission, but failed miserably in the attempt. My words were gone. My heart that had filled those words with so much empathy and love and spiritual sustenance was gone. My soul seemed to have taken a leave of absence during which he needed me again – desperately – and I wasn’t paying attention enough to support him with my prayers for his safety and well-being in the stories and articles I was no longer writing.

Then, June 25, 2009! Can you imagine my guilt, my desperation, my longing for a do-over? At first, I couldn’t believe it. It couldn’t be true! But it was and I was abject in my misery while still trying to perform the duties my life circumstances had handed me with as much efficiency as possible.

Well, that feeling has returned – the one that I didn’t think I would ever feel again – that connection or awareness or spiritual union – or whatever one could label it has visited me once again. Perhaps, the urgency is a little less intense, but it’s the same feeling. And I am so grateful to be given “just one more chance.” Please, God, I won’t blow it so spectacularly a second time.

Perhaps, a more apt analogy than that of sucking a vibration out of the ether without benefit of hardware or software designed for the task of downloading those vibrations would be that we are all islands in an ocean of L.O.V.E. Separated by geographical location or generation or life circumstances, we are acquainted through the information super-highway. We’ve never met and have seldom spoken on the telephone, but we know each other at a deep level because we share a sensitivity to these ideas bombarding our shorelines. There’s been no back story, no personal history, no prior spiritual relationship between us. The tide of inspiration that washes each of our shores has the same source – the ocean of L.O.V.E. that isolates but, at the same time, unites us, touching each one of us. If we are open to the compulsion, we are bathed in that tidal wave of inspiration as it washes ashore on our sandy beaches and then ebbs back into the ocean only to return with stronger force to permeate the sandy beach of our souls again. We drink from it thirstily, allowing those revelations to have their way with us, simmering and hibernating until they are cast forth in articles or poems or fictional stories or case studies or music or paintings or whatever form our particular talent, life experiences, belief systems, passions call into existence. “And the whole world abounds in magic!”

The same ocean touches the shoreline in Oregon and San Diego as the one that washes the beach in Hawaii and Japan and Australia and Mexico. Each takes nourishment from it and redistributes its wealth to fill its own individual needs, filtering its richness as it washes the sands clean. Although we are islands – separate – we are joined in that ocean of L.O.V.E. – and we are moved in various ways to express that communion within our lives, to acknowledge it, to recognize it for the blessing it is, to be grateful for it!

It is common knowledge that when Michael Jackson was preparing to produce a new album, he wrote far more songs than he could ever use and would choose from among the best of them for inclusion on the disc, leaving many unreleased. One of the songs rejected for the BAD album (1987) was a lovely, ballad called Fly Away. Later, he gave the song to his oldest sister, Reebie (Maureen), for her to sing on her album, Faithfully Yours (1993?), with his voice singing background vocals. Later still, the song was released with Michael’s voice singing both background and lead vocals, as it was originally intended, on the Special Limited Edition of BAD. I often wondered what the verses meant. The lyrics read:

Our love’s an ocean
Give me a notion cuz
You know I’ll never part
I love too hard
Our love’s a season
Give me a reason cuz
You know I’ll never part
Our love goodbye
And together we’ll fly
I’ll give you my heart
No place too far for us
We don’t need it
Baby don’t make me
Baby don’t make me
Baby don’t make me
Fly away
Gonna stay
Love today
Baby don’t make me
Baby don’t make me
Baby don’t make me
Fly way
Gonna stay
Love is here to stay.

Now, so many years later, a light dawns and I begin to see a more in-depth meaning to the lyrics. I’ve always loved the song, itself. The melody is lovely. Michael’s voice as he sings the first verse at half tempo without accompaniment of any kind is heartbreakingly, stunningly beautiful and his backing vocals are a song by themselves, as is true of so many of his backgrounds, the harmonies rising and falling in time with the melody.

“Our love’s an ocean” indeed! We are all drops within the ocean; we are all islands washed by that same ocean. In so many of his songs, I see deeper meaning now that he has embarked on his next assignment for the One who placed the seas in their chasms and the firmaments in their domes. Many of his songs speak directly to us, his fans, to his relationship with us and to our confusion or dismay at his absence. We were the major love of Michael Jackson’s life for his entire journey on this planet, as he told us many, many times.

What other musical artist sends pillows and blankets sailing out of hotel windows (after signing them, of course) because his fans camped outside might be cold and uncomfortable? Who else has pizzas and hamburgers delivered to the crowds below his balconies because we might be hungry in our long vigils? I guess it makes sense that he would leave us little hidden messages that, coincidentally, answer some of our questions in his music and lyrics – messages that we would, perhaps, not pick up on until now when our hearts and souls require his healing so very much. “Our love’s an ocean” and he still speaks to us as the waves ebb and flow over the beaches on the atolls of our hearts and souls.

The communication is subtle, but very real. And, Dear One, we are so grateful for your continued presence among us and your music in the battering of the surf against the cliffs of our doubts.

Jan

Installment #84

January 31 through February 5, 2014

Beloved,

Our recent readings in The Library have taken us on some very interesting journeys. We began this chapter in our relationship by reading Peter Pan aloud. Since then, we’ve gone through The Reluctant Dragon and The Little Prince. Then, we began to hunt for books with a bit more depth and we graduated to Wishes Fulfilled by Wayne W. Dyer and The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer

[Michael laughs out loud.]

(No … seriously … that is the author’s name … no kidding. Just the author’s name alone screamed at me from the cover.)

Finally, we arrived at The Way of the Wizard: Twenty Spiritual Lessons for Creating the Life You Want by Dr. Deepak Chopra. I hadn’t read anything by Dr. Chopra in a while due to some comments he made in an interview shortly after the day the earth stood still so I was pleasantly surprised by The Way of the Wizard.

I found it fascinating to realize that Dr. Chopra published The Way of the Wizard in 1995 and your beautiful book of poems and essays, Dancing the Dream was released in July, 1992.

Why? What’s so interesting about that?

Well, I see Dr. Chopra’s impact upon you throughout Dancing the Dream. Your essays and poems reflect Dr. Chopra’s East Indian background with a modern sensibility that goes a long way to making it palatable to the Western, 21st Century mind. Of particular correspondence are The Fish That Was Thirsty, Enough for Today and The Boy and the Pillow.

However, in reading The Way of the Wizard … and to a lesser extent The Return of Merlin … I think I came to a fuller comprehension of your relationship with your friend.

The Way of the Wizard mirrors you on every page. It is written from the viewpoint of Merlin teaching the young boy, Arthur, and to me, at least, represents a rather large departure from Dr. Chopra’s previous publications, which mostly centered on the physical body (see titles like Ageless Body, Timeless Mind) and how it is affected by mental, emotional and spiritual processes. Suddenly, in 1995, Dr. Chopra releases The Way of the Wizard and Return of Merlin, both of which take a more mystical, whimsical approach and I can’t help but see a correlation between this departure from his previous subject matter and your friendship with Dr. Chopra.

The wizard is beyond opposites of light and dark, good and evil, pleasure and pain.

The return of the magical can only happen with the return of innocence.

The essence of the wizard is transformation.

I realized in reading that, yes, indeed, Dr. Chopra had a profound influence on you, inspiring you and encouraging you in the production of Dancing the Dream … but also that you had influenced him and inspired him as well during this period.

Yes, sometimes you meet people who are meant to help you grow spiritually and your soul and this other soul form a partnership based on mutual development and spiritual growth. In such relationships, each contributes something to the other’s understanding that can only be contributed by that person.

Your soul brings you experiences, people, situations or circumstances that move you along the path of evolution. When the student is ready, the teacher appears.

You may feel a physical attraction, or an unquenchable curiosity, or a fascination with watching someone or listening to his or her voice.

Or an obsession?

Great Soul 16 x 20 oils on canvas

Great Soul
16 x 20 oils on canvas

[Michael laughs.] Absolutely, an obsession! And by following it, you enter into whole new realms of thought or being, reaching out new tentacles into unforeseen expressions of who you are.

By focusing the most powerful tool of creation – your attention – you create yourself anew in each moment. Most of the world does this unconsciously and is unaware that its choices are creating its reality. The universe responds by presenting you with new experiences and opportunities to confirm your choice. 

When you become aware that this is happening, you can use caution in placing your attention and focusing only on those feelings and thoughts that are healing and productive for yourself and for your world.

As I’ve said before, it is a never-ending, massive move toward consciousness.

Well, this influence you had on Dr. Chopra presented me with quite a revelation. Until reading The Way of the Wizard (or re-reading it, as the case may be,) I had seen his inspiration in your writings, but had never noticed your influence on his.

The field of awareness organizes itself around our intentions.

The goals of the quest – heroism, hope, grace and love – are the inheritance of the timeless.

In the rubble of devastation and disaster are buried hidden treasures.

When you search through the ashes, search well.

To the extent you know love, you become love.

Meeting and forming a close personal friendship with Michael Jackson, a completely unique and massively, multi-talented human being who so embodied so many of his deeply-held philosophies, must have been a pivotal moment in Dr. Chopra’s writing career … and life … which surfaced in two books (in 1995) based on Merlin, a wizard. Now, a wizard, historically, is one who is intimately familiar with MAGIC … and, to me, MAGIC is a far cry from the physically-based subject matter of his previous books. In retrospect, your influence on him is obvious, my MAGIC MAN.

Cherish every wish in your heart, however trivial it may seem. One day these trivial wishes will lead you to God.

I’m so glad we read this book together, Michael.

When we had finished The Way of the Wizard, we hunted my bookshelves for another book to read and happened upon The Seat of the Soul by Gary Zukav. In it, Mr. Zukav states that mankind is on the cusp of an evolutionary leap from the “five-sensory” human to the “multisensory” human. His description of the “multisensory” human is so you, Beloved. You are its ‘poster child’ – the precursor of the advent of this evolutionary leap.

Of course, I realize that I see you in everything, but, seriously, I didn’t expect to find you playing hide and seek between the words of an author whose previous works in ‘demystifying scientific abstractions and the new physics’ gave little lip service to the place of the soul in the larger scheme of things.

You see my point? Where you focus your attention brings you experiences and thoughts and opportunities to strengthen and reinforce your choices in lots of ways that may seem like chance or random occurrences.

You said, “I happened upon …” when, in reality, your focus drew the book to you … and you to it. There is no randomness involved. When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.

Well, be that as it may, Mr. Zukav’s description of the “five-sensory” model will be easily recognized by anyone who has spent five minutes in this world. Its characteristics include a belief that reality consists of the physical world that can be seen, heard, tasted, touched and smelled; survival of the fittest; the accumulation of external power through domination, war, exploitation and greed. It’s a perfect description of the world we see when we look around us.

In the five-sensory model, physical evolution is the only evolution that matters because physical reality is all there is. Non-physical reality does not exist. Therefore, it is incomprehensible to the five-sensory human personality. He is subjectively blind to any other view. The only legitimate motivation behind any action is the acquisition of external power such as money, control over another, acquisition of another’s property or sexual favors. In other words, survival of the fittest … grab it now before someone else does … the winner takes all … dog-eat-dog world we see everywhere we turn

The “multisensory” human acknowledges the existence of non-physical reality. His five senses are augmented by his intuition and he is aware of authentic power.

Our deeper understanding leads us to another kind of power, a power that loves life in every form that it appears, a form that does not judge what it encounters, a power that perceives meaning and purpose in the smallest details upon the Earth. This is authentic power. When we align our thoughts, emotions and actions with the highest part of ourselves, we are filled with enthusiasm, purpose and meaning. Life is rich and full. We have no thoughts of bitterness. We have no memory of fear. We are joyously and intimately engaged with our world. This is the experience of authentic power.

Authentic power has its roots in the deepest source of our being … cannot be bought, sold or hoarded … is incapable of making anyone or anything a victim … is so strong, so empowered, that the idea of using force against another is not a part of his consciousness.

To me, this description of the authentically empowered, multisensory human being just screams of you, Michael. Unfortunately, to the five-sensory physical world model of evolution in which we have evolved until now, such a leap is incomprehensible, unrecognizable, anathema.

Yes, that’s why I told you at the very beginning of these conversations, “You are not crazy or crazed or hallucinating; you are evolving. It is not wishful thinking or dreaming outside the box; you are the forerunners of a new human …” [Reference Conversation – Installment #1 – November 8 through 13, 2010.]

This awareness of … and relationship with … non-physical reality is the next step in human evolution and as much as the five-sensory model resists, it must eventually take that leap. This is why I keep reassuring you, “lies run sprints, truth runs marathons.”

Evolution is assured.

So, while it may appear that the lies keep surfacing, it’s only the old model asserting its resistance to the new one that must win out in the long run. Don’t let it distract you from what you know … as five-sensory humans who are in the process of leaping into the multisensory model … to be true.

Humanity (as a whole) will make that leap – sooner or later – it will join us in the truth. There is no other way for it to go. Resistance is futile.

One of the things that so impressed me about Mr. Zukav’s book is the important role he assigns to … and his description of – the concept of reverence. It’s importance in Mr. Zukav’s philosophy is indicated by the fact that he devotes an entire chapter to it and that chapter is Chapter 3 – immediately following the chapter on Karma (which I totally do not understand) and immediately preceding the chapter on Intuition (which I do.)

Reverence, according to Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, is defined as: 1. Honor or respect; 2. The state of being revered; 3. A gesture of respect (a bow); 4. One held in reverence; 5. The emotion inspired by what arouses one’s deep respect or veneration. To revere is to show devoted honor to … or to honor and admire profoundly and respectfully.

However, Mr. Zukav makes it a major factor in the evolution from the five to the multisensory human being. It is the multisensory being’s reverence that separates him from his five-sensory world. To Mr. Zukav, reverence is much more than an emotion; it is an attitude of honoring life – an attitude of viewing all life as sacred – an attitude of seeing life as holy.

Our behavior and values are so much shaped by perceptions that lack reverence that we do not know what it is like to be reverent. When we curse a competitor or strive to disempower another, we absent ourselves from reverence. When we work to take instead of to give, we labor without reverence. When we strive for safety at another’s expense … when we judge one person as superior and another as inferior … when we judge ourselves … we depart from reverence.

Business, politics, sex, raising families and personal interactions without reverence all produce the same results: human beings using other human beings.

This definition of reverence is the very essence of Michael Jackson in my opinion. Your reverence for all life … for your music … for your performance … for the dance … is one of the major factors that comprise your personality … and one of the major factors that separates you from the five-sensory world into which you were born. Your reverence showed in your extravagant courtesy to everyone you came into contact with, all you worked with and in your humility. It showed in your dedication to 99.9% perfect execution and your painstaking attention to every minute detail in the recording studio and on the stage. It shows still in your interactions with all of us who are aware of your continued presence in our lives. In many ways, it is who you are.

Aww! God bless you! I love you MORE, you know!

It is this world’s lack of reverence that led to all your trials and sufferings. It is the five-sensory value system which allowed all the lies and salacious gossip to hold sway. It is the model of external power being the only empowerment recognized by the society in which you lived that produced false accusations and allowed them to contribute to ending your physical life among us, my dear.

A reverent society would not tolerate an irreplaceable life being used and thrown away so cavalierly.

Don’t agonize over what was; look forward to what will be … with your help and awareness … a new view. It is coming; it is here … in you! So, don’t be discouraged.

Things’ll get better

if you just

Hold my hand.

 

If you don’t mind, Beloved, I’m going to close this Installment with one more quote from Seat of the Soul that will bring this Installment to a fitting finish … and this volume of Conversations to a wonderful circular end, bringing us back full circle from where it began – with the concept of the Great Soul.

As a soul chooses the lesson of responsibility, it will find itself incarnating into an atmosphere of more potential impact upon the species. The personality must also come to agree with what the soul has chosen … A soul needs to be more advanced to handle the possibilities that come from the expansion of its karmic energy field.

Think of your consciousness in terms of physical light. The extent to which your light shines is the width and depth and breadth of your karmic influence. If you are a major light, you shine upon the entire globe. A soul that agrees to incarnate into a lifetime in which it has significant potential to affect the lives of many is a Great Soul. The quality of power of such a soul is great. It is global. It’s capacity to touch the lives of millions, and indeed, billions of human beings is very real.

The great soul is the person who has taken on the task of change. If he is able to transcend fear, to act out of courage, the whole of his group (species) will benefit, and each one, in his own life, will suddenly be more courageous, though he may not see how or why.

Every soul that agrees consciously to bring to human interaction the love and compassion and wisdom that it has acquired is trying through his or her own energy to challenge the fear patterns of that collective.

Coming soon to a bookshelf near you!! Watch this space!

Coming soon to a bookshelf near you!! Watch this space!

 

Januaey 17, 2014

Wrapped securely in your love, I explore the final frontier. Inner space stretches out before me, but like a bashful child, I don’t wander far from your embrace. In you I find myself and my explorations always return me to the starting point.

I chart a course through an infinitude of options, but wherever I go I find you there, beckoning me further … enticing, cajoling, encouraging, inspiring … pushing me beyond limits that have no further relevance.

You dance before me, blazing a trail for me to follow, always just a step ahead. Your laughter teases, dares, incites, ignites. Like the needle of a compass is drawn to the North Pole, my focus is drawn to you, my Aurora Borealis. Your colors illuminate the corners of myself, eroding my resistance, my disbelief, my unworthiness.

In my heart, I hear a song, “I am yours and you are mine,” but who sings? In my soul, a refrain repeats, “I am the blesser, the blessing, the blessed.” Is it you … or is it me? You laugh and spin around, arms outstretched while your words ease my questioning. “Does it matter? We are ONE!”

When I questioned this love, a loving Creator placed you in the beam of my searchlight and commanded, “Look! Here it is! This is it!” … as if I could do anything else, for beauty like yours can be worshipped and adored … or vilified and denied … but it cannot be ignored.

Again,  she said, “Listen!” … as if I could not hear your sweet voice over the noise of the world and my own scattered thoughts. Your whispers shook my world.

And, once again, he said, “Feel!” … and the doors of my heart were blasted off their hinges by the sheer,  magnificent power of the love you held, gave and flung to the four corners of the world.

I only know for certain that I would be lost if you hadn’t found me and every day when I close my eyes to shut out the world, I sing my gratitude and pray for you to inhabit my dreams, leading me on further great adventures, the giver, the giving, the gift.

image

Jan – January 17, 2014

 

January 2, 2014

Happy New Year, Beloved,

It’s a New Year and rather than ending 2013 … and beginning 2014 … in celebrating in the typical interpretation of the word, I decided this year to end the old and begin the new in meditation and prayer.

Well, that’s a novel idea! Most people go out and party until they drop. What made you think of that?

Well, to be totally honest, it’s not really a party without you, my heart. In addition, my husband and I have never been ones to drive around on New Year’s Eve or go to parties held by friends. We figure every nutcase with a driver’s license (some of them obtained out of a Cracker Jack box) is out there on the road, most of them under the influence of mind-altering substances, and we are just better off in our own little house. Of course, living on the dark side of the moon for the past 35 years has seriously curtailed our “party animal instincts,” if we ever had any, that is … which I doubt.

Our celebrations of the New Year are usually a bit quieter and more subdued. Our typical New Year’s Eve celebrations consist of eating finger foods such as cheese and crackers, shrimp or seafood, nachos and some Asti to wash it all down. We, generally, watch something like Lord Peter Wimsey or Sherlock Holmes or Inspector Morse (my husband does love his British mysteries) for a couple of hours after which I retreat up to my room to watch what I enjoy which is … well … basically … YOU!!

I’ve always loved entertainment shows like Ed Sullivan or Sonny and Cher or Bob Hope specials – shows where people dance and sing their popular current hits. Of course, there are no shows like that anymore. Current television fare is a sad reflection of our societal culture and its fascination with a ‘reality show format’ which doesn’t in any way mirror most people’s reality at all.

Even a close friend in New York commented on New Year’s Eve that there was absolutely nothing entertaining to watch on television that night in the entertainment capital of the world, which I think is a fairly depressing comment. Just a couple of ‘talking heads’ on every single channel! Even MTV (Music Television} and VH1 offered no programming with inspiring or entertaining content. So, unless I decide to pop in a DVD, my television remains off and silent. I could care less about a ball dropping on the east coast of the United States!

When I came upstairs on New Year’s Eve at about 10:00 PM, I thought about pulling out a DVD or videotape and watching you in any of the many incarnations I have in my rather extensive library of DVDs (from your first performance on The Ed Sullivan Show to your last during the This Is It rehearsals,) but, instead, I decided to visit you in The Library. (The library is bolded and capitalized to distinguish it from any other library … like the one at the north end of the second story of my house which is a warren of my husband’s and I am strictly banned from entering or cleaning on pain of execution by firing squad!)

THE LIBRARY.jpg

For my readers who have followed my most recent entries at With a Child’s Heart, the term requires little explanation. For newer readers, The Library is my “place without no name,” my little virtual reality in which I interact with you … or meditate … or pray … or whatever name applies in each reader’s belief system. It is a quiet, serene, tranquil haven which looks exactly like the library at Neverland Valley Ranch in which we can discuss any manner of topic with little interruption or qualm. Often, I record our interactions in The Library and ponder over any revelations or discuss books or read aloud from books I find fascinating or whatever thoughts or ideas come up in my journal.

Yes, I do so love to be read to … it is a calming oasis for me. I can close my eyes and all of the characters and situations play out in my mind, creating scene after scene in vivid detail. I experience all of the emotions and build all of the drama and pathos in Technicolor and Dolby Surround Sound while the calm voice describes each in loving, soothing tones. Because when you read aloud, your voice changes from your every day voice to a gentler, softer, more introspective, more melodious, more musical resonance. It becomes a song, a melody, with peaks and valleys.

Our inaugural visits began when you read Peter Pan to me. It’s amazing how a book can open up a whole new world of imagination … how you can discover a whole new set of sensations within the pages of a book.

Yes. It was a bit disheartening for me when I realized that I could not ever remember actually reading that book. I kind of absorbed the story by osmosis and viewing countless movies on the subject, but reading the book was an entirely different experience and one which I value. In addition, reading it aloud helped me absorb and retain the story and revealed to me … or emphasized …  parts of the story that were overlooked in the movies … like Tinkerbell’s jealousy of Wendy on a day when I was battling a mild form of that exact emotion in my own life. I do so love how that happens; the timing and synchronicity of it was impeccable.

We rob our children of that experience in today’s modern world. Television has replaced the song of a loving parent reading to his or her child. It has also served to atrophy our children’s imaginations. They no longer have to imagine themselves in the story. It’s all done for them and the stories they get from television are not geared toward educating them anymore. They are filled with sexual innuendo or violence and aimed at the children’s monetary value in the marketplace … at exploiting their desires for the toys they see advertised and the influence they hold over their parent’s wallets.

I missed being read to. One of my earliest recollections is my mother rocking me on her knees and singing songs to me. She had a lovely, soothing voice that could make anyone feel that everything was okay. But as soon as I began singing with my brothers at five years old, all that changed. I was too busy … and often too far away … for those comforting moments on my mother’s knee that reinforced my belief in the beauty of the world … its safety and security. I was thrust into an entirely different world which was anything but safe, secure or stable … and I wasn’t prepared for that monumental shift.

We would do well as a society to pay more attention to our children … to giving them the tools they will need to heal our planet and bring about much needed changes … to giving them the confidence they require to try out the new and unexpected and explore the gifts they have been given.

It’s such a simple thing to do. Our children don’t really want our money … they want to be noticed. They don’t want or need the latest in videogame technology … they want us to help them build their own imagination technology. For the former becomes obsolete within two years; obsolescence is built into it … but the latter will last a lifetime, support every dream they have and contribute to a new world.

Ah, my beautiful one, I do so love these conversations.

[Michael laughs.] Me, too.

Anyway, on New Year’s Eve, I decided to visit you in The Library and I recorded our visit in my journal. What follows is my journal entry:

The Library is lit by the warm glow of the fire, the miniature lights wound through the boughs of the wreath hanging over the mantel and throughout the branches of the tree on the raised platform near the French doors that lead to the gardens. Your reading lamp beside your chair casts a circle of light on the book you hold in your hand. It appears to be about 8 inches by 11 inches in size and you turn its pages slowly, carefully … lingering over each page.

You look up as I enter the room and remove my shoes (for this is hallowed ground), your enthusiasm lighting your eyes. “Have you seen this?” you ask.

Moving quickly to stand behind your chair above your right shoulder, I place my hand on it and glance at the book while your left hand touches mine and you squeeze my fingers briefly. The book is Maker of Dreams: Creating Michael Jackson’s Neverland Valley Park by Rob Swinson. You turn your head to look over your shoulder at me, your eyes sparkling with the joy of discovery.

“Yes, my beautiful one, I have. Did you record the construction of the park on video, Michael? I can’t imagine such an important event escaped your videographer’s attention.”

You reply, “Of course.”

I chuckle a bit. “Where are all those videotapes?”

“In some warehouse somewhere, I think. I hardly know. But they will be discovered someday, I have no doubt.”

Your turn back to the beautiful pictures of the park’s construction, turning the pages slowly to examine each photograph in minute detail and with meticulous care. My hand resting lightly on your shoulder registers your every breath and sigh as you absorb the photographs. I get the impression that you are reliving those moments when you were so excited and bursting with joy to have finally begun your life’s work of healing the children. As your dream unfolds before your eyes, your sighs become more melancholy.

“I would have done it, you know,” you finally state. “I would have built the medical facility and shown the world a better way to heal them all with hope and faith and love.”

“I know you would, my angel, and you still will,” I reply unequivocally. “We are well on the way. And we will continue to make your dreams come true in any way we can.”

You reach up and pat my hand. Turning your eyes to me, you smile. “I love you MORE.” [End of excerpt from Journal dated January 1, 2014.]

It was a brief encounter but one that I felt strongly was full of import. I sensed that I needed to relay the incident to your friend, Mr. Swinson … to let him know that you are aware of his beautiful testament to you and that you appreciate his effort. So, on New Year’s Day, I emailed him and gave him your message of thanks. In my email, I requested his permission to write about his book and publish a photograph of it on With a Child’s Heart, which he graciously granted.

Neverland_Frt_Cover_Final_11-18-2013

Thank you! I do appreciate that.

It is so important to nurture a child’s imagination, but it is particularly important for a sick child … a child whose body has betrayed him and only in his imagination can he be free to be who he was intended to be.

The way current medical practice treats sick children is a crying shame. We’ve talked about this before in these conversations. [Reference Conversations – Installment #70 January 25 – February 1, 2013] and you heard me refer to it in the recorded conversation which was placed in evidence in the trial of Conrad Murray.

My babies are depressed. There is nothing to engage their minds or their imaginations. They are trussed up in beds, attached to monitors and tubing, not allowed to move around as they are able. Their symptoms are treated, their bodies are poked and prodded and made ill in the hopes that the treatment will alleviate their suffering, but it only increases their suffering. They are helpless to effect any change being totally under the doctor’s and their parent’s control. No wonder they’re depressed. Wouldn’t you be depressed?

There are no facilities for the children to take their minds off their illnesses – no arcades or tutors to engage their minds in more productive pursuits. They are forced to lay there in their fear and helplessness.

Even a volunteer coming in once or twice a week to read them a story would help – anything to take their minds off their illness for a few minutes would be a major improvement.

I’ve seen it happen so many times. Take a child out of that ‘sick’ environment … let him experience the joy of petting an exotic animal or watching it eat a watermelon whole … let him ride a train around a beautiful place or a carousel, even if you have to carry him to the carriage and place him on the seat of the chariot … encourage him to use his imagination to ‘eat up’ the cells that are making him sick … show him that he is important to you … pay him just the smallest amount of care and attention … and miracles happen.

This is the key to healing the sick children.

It was the whole purpose of Neverland Valley Ranch. And … it worked! Many, many times it worked … not as often as I would have wished, perhaps … I would have wanted them all healed … but occasionally, it worked!

Look at the example of Patch Adams who found that playing the clown and making the children laugh often improved their physical condition. Modern medical science has gone back to the stereotypical model of health care that existed before Patch Adams showed a better way. Just pump them full of drugs … some of which are poisonous and toxic to their bodies … but they ignore the most potent drug in the world … LAUGHTER!

Laughter … joy … engaging the imagination … that is the key to creating better health in our young people … or in any people … and, by extension, in our world … but that’s another conversation.

They need to begin to build medical facilities with joy and happiness instead of this depressing model they’ve used for the past couple of centuries. No, it’s not practical; joy and happiness seldom are but it is supremely effective and nurturing to the soul. We aren’t just numbers and nametags; we are human beings … or, more precisely, spiritual beings having a human experience … and some care needs to be paid that we don’t kill the spirit in all our attempts to cure the body.

It was my dream at Neverland Valley to show them this model, prove its effectiveness in healing. Shoot! If nothing else, even if the treatments didn’t heal the body entirely at least the children would be happier and more content until their bodies gave out.

It’s so simple and obvious to me. I see it so very clearly.

Yes, my love, it is to me, too. And we will keep belaboring the point until the world starts to pay attention … you and I … and those you have chosen (possibly without them being aware of it) like Mr. Swinson, who paints a very revealing portrait of Michael Jackson during the very height of his fame and fortune building a park to which he planned to invite all the children … whether their maladies were emotional, spiritual or physical … to heal for a few stolen moments their souls.

God bless you!

Jan – January 2, 2014

 

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