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Lived by You

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Dear One,

Come into me
Live through me
Join our two worlds ever more seamlessly
Our two minds ever more wondrously
Our two hearts ever more lovingly
Our two souls ever more prayerfully

Let my thoughts reflect your resolve
My actions, your purpose
My words, your devotion

In stillness, let me hear your irrepressible humor
In activity, let me give more than my poor ability,
Express your unflagging faith in the magic of each moment
And reside fully in that magic in gratitude

Let your melody be heard in my words of praise
Your gentle rhythm felt in each beat of a heart that pulses in time with your song.
Accompany me in every step I take
Every choice I make

Let your face be indelibly etched on the lens of my love
Its beauty branded deeply into every fiber of my being
Searing away any small part that imperfectly reflects your radiance
Or blemishes your divine, perfect symmetry

Let your eyes bore through my fears
My faults
My excuses
With laser precision
Excising my unworthiness with compassionate care
Teasing me to greater strength
Encouraging me to reach for more
Changing me with loving intent

Let the echo of your energetic signature
Claim me
Possess me
Overcome me
Devour me
Reshape me
Absorb me
Mold me
To hold you more.

Break and rebreak my heart
Let me fall again and again into you
For you are my salvation
To you I cling in times of uncertainty
Sure, at last, of my place in this placeless void
You, alone, are my hope
In a hopeless sequence of happenings

Moment to moment, you are the only meaning
In this seemingly endless series of meaningless eons
In your vulnerability, I see indomitable will
In your solutide, ineffable union with all that exists.

Let my senses be bathed in you
My eyes a mirror for your beauty
My ears a channel for your message
My lips a gentle kiss to heal your hurts
My hands hold your heart in a worshipful embrace
My tongue taste your sweetness and lick the salt of your tears

Live forever, my love
In me
And let me be lived by you.

Jan – July 18, 2014

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This photo was taken of Conversations Volume 2 and 6 stargazer lilies and 6 white roses being taken in to rest beside Michael in the Ascension Sanctuary at Forest Lawn Glendale’s Holly Terrace entry. It was the completion and fulfillment of my dream. Thanks to the staff at Forest Lawn for their kindness in being so accommodating and for the photograph!

Since I won’t have time to post a conversation before I leave for Las Veas and Los Angeles, I am going to repost the cover of Conversations Volume 2. It is available at

http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/withachildsheart

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Conversations - Volume 2

May 28 through May 30, 2014

 

Illusion

Did my heart skip a beat?
My breath catch in my throat?
My hands rise to a gaping mouth in prayerful pose
To cover my whispered,
“My God!”

Yes,
For the space of a heartbeat
You were there

Once again,
You prowled the stage in catlike grace

Yes,
once again,
Your voice rose to blanket the audience
In awareness
That all of life is just a stage
All of us merely players
In an illusion

Once again,
The Man of Magic
Manipulated cutting edge technology
To re-invent
Re-create
Re-inspire
A moment of awe-filled wonder

Before my mind kicked in to discredit
Before analysis turned hope to ashes,
Eagerness to believe to anger,
And disappointment in what is
Ruled again my tearful heart,
Vanquishing what could be
With harsh reality

Before I noticed that the lips were out of syn
With the song,
The steps on automatic speed dial,
The movements stilted,
The poses practiced,
Lacking that familiar fire,
The glide too studied,
broken

Before my heart came crashing back
To a reality
I never chose
Your presence within me whispered,
“Choose again!”

Yes,
For one glorious
Heart-stoppingly familiar moment
You were there
Offering a different view
Teasing from me a moment of awe
Of wonder

For my heart did skip that beat
Lost and never to be found
Or missed

My breath did catch in my throat
To be released
Only in a long, lingering sigh

My hands did rise in prayerful pose
My mouth did whisper
“My God”
In awe-filled tone

Which is the illusion?

Discussion will arise
Debates ensue
But that moment of awe
Remains
Untouched
Unmolested by acrimony
Sacred

For that moment
I am grateful!

“You and I were never separate
It’s just an illusion
Wrought by the magical lens
Of perception”

Hologram

Beloved, the Billboard Music Awards broadcast on Sunday, May 18, 2014 featured a Michael Jackson Experience that was billed as being “Michael Jackson as you never thought you would see him again.” Of course, I tuned in and sat waiting with bated breath through performance after performance by young people of whom I had never heard until very nearly exactly the half-way point through the three-hour telecast (one of the very rare occasions when I actually turn on my television set to watch something on one of the channels my inadequate satellite cable service provides on the dark side of the moon.)

And how was it?

Well, it wasn’t you.

Of course, it wasn’t me! How could it have been me? Modern technology can perform miracles, but it hasn’t achieved the level of raising the dead, yet! Did it remind you of me?

For a couple of heartbeats, yes … it reminded me of you. For a few moments before my mind kicked in with all the reasons why it was imperfect, it rekindled the excitement that I experienced over and over again in the early days of our somewhat unusual spiritual courtship when I would sit in front of my television set, Video Recorder on standby and remote control in hand to catch every smile and tiny facial tick. I wrote the poem above on the day after the broadcast while trying to come to terms with the disappointing crash I experienced upon realizing that it wasn’t you.

For a few days after hearing about the upcoming broadcast, I had allowed myself to believe that this Experience would be what the advertising claimed it would be, namely Michael Jackson as you never thought you would see him again.” My disappointment seemed to stem from the fact that it wasn’t you. It was a computer generated image of you, singing and dancing to Slave to the Rhythm. The CGI technology displayed an image that resembled you a little which sang and danced across the stage with live and other CGI dancers. Of course, its resemblance to you was superficial; it’s performance lacked the fire and passion of your performances because no one can duplicate the energy you emitted during one of your stellar performances. I guess I should have expected that.

In retrospect, it was a visual and auditory masterpiece of art. As a matter of fact, when I stop to think about it, the technology used was incredible. I keep hearing your voice saying, “You ain’t seen nothing, yet,” from the 2000 World Music Awards appearance. And in the case of this Experience, that is true. They created what appeared to be a three dimensional image which sang and moved among live and computer generated dancers in a very integrated and seamless way. For those of us who have followed your meteor as it blazed across the cosmic galaxies of our hearts, entrapping us in the gravitational pull of its tail, it could serve only as a reminder of your dominance on the world stage; in this it was exemplary. For those who are unfamiliar with your high energy, over-the-top, “are you nuts?” approach to live performance, it could serve as an introduction … a catalyst to investigate further.

Good! Watch the ripples. Look always for those ripples!

The crash you experienced upon further thought is a perfect example of one of those choice points we’ve talked about before so many times. At first, you experienced an emotion that was reminiscent of the wonder and awe one of my performances evoked in you … but, then, your mind kicked in and gave you all the logical, sane reasons why it was imperfect … why it couldn’t be me. It was an illusion … and an imperfect one at that.

The trick is to stay in the awe and wonder … in the bliss … of that reminder instead of in the disappointment closer analysis brings. The experience of that momentary emotion of bliss is all that matters. The rest is just detail, as I tried so often to show you during the physical side of my life. Why do you think I gave you so many ‘making of’ films?

It’s like the lean in Smooth Criminal. Your logical, sane mind informs you that it has to be a trick, that there is some kind of illusion going on and it goes into ‘overdrive’ to uncover the secret wires or the hooks that rise out of the stage floor into which my shoes … with their ankle and calf supports … were embedded … or whatever mechanical thing makes it possible. Those are the details … and your logical, sane mind is all about details.

Your emotions, however, are all about MAGIC! And for those few seconds in which you observe the illusion, the MAGIC takes precedence and evokes an emotion of joy … or wonder … or ‘how the heck did that happen?’ … or ‘did I just see what I thought I saw?’

It’s also like your afternoon visits to Neverland. Of course, you are aware that you are sitting in your room with your headphones on, listening to the water and bird ‘symphony’ of your Neverland CD, but in your mind you are wandering among the flower beds, lakes and meadows of Neverland Valley Ranch, swinging on rope swings and splashing in the water and playing with me.

For that hour in the afternoon, your emotions of joy and bliss take precedence. Your body doesn’t care that it is an illusion. The healing chemicals that accompany joy and fun and play and love that are released into your bio-chemical systems don’t differentiate between ‘reality’ and ‘unreality’ … and here’s the thing … neither does the field of all possibilities where the reality you are living is created. The emotions elicited by your ‘presence’ in an illusion are the same as if they were experienced in conjunction with what you label ‘real’ events … and they have the same effect on your body and your mind as well as on that field where reality is born. That’s why our visualizations for the trial of Conrad Murray … removing the negative atmosphere in the courthouse and replacing it with an atmosphere in which Truth and Love could thrive … worked so well. It’s why prayer works. For those few moments with me, your emotions are communicating with the field and you are consciously creating the reality in which you want to participate (as opposed to creating it unconsciously by default.) One hour of conscious creation trumps twenty-four hours of default reaction any day.

You can change the world
(I can’t do it by myself)
You can touch the sky
(Gonna take somebody’s help)
You’re the chosen one
(I’m gonna need some kind of sign)
If we all cry at the same time tonight

Well, after the broadcast, I was strongly moved to re-read one of my favorite books by Gregg Braden, The Divine Matrix: Bridging Time, Space, Miracles and Belief, in which he describes all of life as a “holographic universe.” Only, this time, I decided to read it aloud to you.  

Hee … hee … hee! I love it when a plan comes together!

While I had read this book before, it was during one of my trips to and from Los Angeles when I was often distracted by having to board or exit a train or airplane, so I think my absorption of the theories proposed in the book were superceded by the noise and anxiety of eleven or twelve hours of traveling (not the most conducive conditions for comprehension.)

Upon picking it up again after the broadcast, I am completely and utterly dumbfounded at how Mr. Braden describes recent scientific discoveries in quantum physics and his descriptions of the ‘holographic universe’ and its properties. For example, most of us think of a hologram as a photograph with 3D effects produced by some magic photographic process (which we don’t have to understand to observe and marvel at its effects); but it is much, much more than that.

If you were to ask scientists to explain a hologram, they would probably begin by describing it as a special kind of photograph where the image on the surface suddenly appears to be three-dimensional when exposed to direct light. The process of producing these images involves using a laser light to distribute the picture over the entire surface of the film. It’s this property of ‘distributedness’ that makes the holographic film so unique.

In this way, every part of the surface contains the entire image as it was originally seen, only on a smaller scale. In other words, each fragment is a hologram. If the original picture were divided into any number of pieces, each one — no matter how small — would still show a full view of the entire original image.

Mr. Braden posits, then, that we are all holographic images in a holographic universe which is an illusion, just as our ancient scriptures all claim. We see ourselves as separate from each other and the world in which we live and the universe in which our planet orbits its sun, but even this is an illusion. He compares his hypothesis (for which he has a lot of scientific basis from recent discoveries in quantum physics and which it would take pages and pages to describe in detail; instead, let me recommend Mr. Braden’s book to my readers) to human DNA, which can be separated from its host but still contain all of the complete … and individually unique … identifiers of the host regardless of its source (as is referenced daily in ‘crime scene’ television dramas.)

In addition to containing complete and individually unique identifiers, Mr. Braden describes experiments conducted by the United States military establishment which prove that a single cell of DNA separated from its host by hundreds of miles still acts as if it were not separated from its host … as if it were still a part of its host. He describes experiments in which when the host experiences an emotion, the single cell of DNA separated by 350 miles from its host also registers an electrical charge … at the same moment … in considerable detail!

When the donor experienced emotional “peaks” and “dips,” his cells and DNA showed a powerful electrical response at the same instant in time.

Mr. Braden attributes this mind-boggling result to the theory that once linked we are always connected, whether it is a cell of DNA and its donor or two atoms that were separated from each other at the time of the ‘big bang.’ And since we are all products of the ‘big bang,’ we are all connected to each other and to the planet and universe in which we all live out our physical lives. So, where we have all thought that we had to ‘send’ healing thoughts or prayers to our loves ones from whom we see ourselves as separated by distance or time, in truth our thoughts and prayers don’t have to go anywhere because they are already there!

However, rather than just being holographic images in a holographic universe, we are participatory holographic images in a participatory holographic universe. In other words, we participate in creating the reality in which we live by observing it from within it.

Right! That’s what I’ve been saying all along! Haven’t you been listening? [Michael chuckles.]

Of course, I’ve been listening, Michael … but I do so love it when I am reading a book from a completely different field of study which mirrors your words to me so unerringly. It sends little, tiny shivers running up and down my spine and makes the little hairs on my arms stand up at attention.

This is our relationship to The Divine Matrix. We’re given the power to imagine, dream and feel life’s possibilities from within the Matrix itself so that it can reflect back to us what we’ve created. Both ancient traditions and modern science have described how this cosmic mirror works …

The language of consciousness appears to be the universal experience of emotion. We already know how to love, hate, fear and forgive. Recognizing that these feelings are actually the instructions that program The Divine Matrix, we can hone our skills to better understand how to bring joy,healing and peace to our lives.

… The key to experiencing ourselves in this way is to create those experiences intentionally — to have our transcendent insights when we want to have them rather than just when they seem to happen.

Right! And that’s what we’re doing in our afternoon Neverland sessions. We are ‘honing our skills to better understand how to bring joy, healing and peace to our lives’ and learning how ‘to have our transcendent insights when we want to have them rather than just when they seem to happen’ by random chance (which doesn’t exist, but that’s another conversation.)

… Every second, we choose to nourish ourselves in a way that supports or depletes our lives, to breathe deep and life-affirming breaths or shallow life-denying ones and to think and speak about other people in a manner that is honoring or dis-honoring.

Would you mind repeating that last quote?

Which one? This one?

… Every second, we choose to nourish ourselves in a way that supports or depletes our lives, to breathe deep and life-affirming breaths or shallow life-denying ones and to think and speak about other people in a manner that is honoring or dis-honoring.

Right! And that’s what we’ve been practicing in Neverland every afternoon … with our as you call them ‘therapy’ sessions … as well as when we just play around and hang out.

You have a tendency to feel guilty on those occasions when we swing on rope swings or ride the train around the property … or chase each other around the flower beds as reawakened children … because you feel that we are ‘wasting’ time. [Michael laughs.] You will feel guilty at the very least provocation, won’t you?

I can’t help it, Michael; it’s the way I was raised to think. It’s like ‘playing around’ and ‘goofing off.’ It’s that Puritan work ethic rearing it’s ugly head.

I know … I was raised the same way. But it’s time to rethink our Western ideas of productivity. In our cultural narrative, we need to be engaged in what the world considers ‘constructive’ activity at all times. This is born out by many of our old adages: idle hands are the devil’s workshop, for one example. In Eastern cultures, men (and even women) would raise their families and, then, as they neared the end of the lives, they would retreat from the world to re-acquaint themselves with their spiritual natures in seclusion and relieved of the obligations of making a living or caring for children, etc. The contradiction has its basis in the definition of the words ‘productivity’ and ‘constructive.’ In the Western world, both of those words are based in economics; if it doesn’t make money it isn’t ‘productive’ or ‘constructive.’ But in oriental philosophies, it is the height of human productivity to be a fully aware and conscious human being.

First of all, since we are all connected, there is no time or space in what Mr. Braden calls The Divine Matrix. Here is already there and then is already now. Second of all, we can’t waste what doesn’t exist. Third of all, no time spent in dreaming in ‘bliss’ can by any stretch of the imagination be called wasted for in those ‘blissful’ moments we are communicating with The Divine Matrix … and re-imagining our world as the haven of peace and joy and health and abundance we want to inhabit.

Or, sometimes, you tell yourself that this ‘bliss-filled’ hour is JUST in your imagination … that it is an illusion and that, as such, you are indulging in ‘flights of fantasy,’ which your world has told you is ‘suspect’ at best … or ‘delusional’ at worst … or a total ‘waste of time.’ But all of life … the entire universe … is an illusion … a hologram, as Mr. Braden states in his powerfully insightful book.

All of our ancient traditions have told us the same thing, but, until now, our ancient traditions and scientific discoveries were in conflict. Our science has supported the assumption that we are here and all the rest of the universe is ‘out there’ because our technology lacked the sensitivity to confirm the ONENESS that is a true reflection of the universe.

But I don’t feel that way — those problems aren’t “out there,” not really. I feel them inside me. A child crying in Ethiopia, a sea gull struggling pathetically in an oil spill, a mountain gorilla being mercilessly hunted, a teenage soldier trembling with terror when he hears the planes fly over: Aren’t these happening in me when I see and hear about them?

Dancing the Dream, 1991 – Michael Jackson

These new discoveries are paving the way to a time when viewing the world we live in from the perspective of spirituality and from the perspective of scientific inquiry will no longer create that dissonance because there really is … and never has been … a conflict between them. What has existed is a lack of understanding due to standards of measurement that lack the sensitivity required to explain the apparent anamolies. That lack is being rectified in experiments as we speak. All roads lead to heaven because there is nowhere else to go! It’s an exciting time to be alive.

We’ve discussed often before how every great idea in art … or topography … or performance … began with someone imaginging it. This is how Neverland Valley Ranch was born. It’s how all of my music and performances were created. It’s how the Pieta and David were created, the artist already SAW them in the stone before it ever left the quarry. It’s how the new world was discovered. It’s how electricity was discovered and harnessed. It’s how Jesus healed the sick and brought the dead back to life … by seeing those he healed and raised AS ALREADY HEALED AND RAISED and experiencing the joy … and awe … and wonder … and gratitude … the emotion of that reality. Every great step forward taken by mankind has been first created in the realm of imagination and brought from that field into the field of what we call ‘reality’ … what we recognize as physical reality.

The barriers between ‘reality’ and ‘unreality’ … or between manifest and unmanifest are thinning and we are all a part of that process.

Or, as Mr. Braden states:

Through the power of consciously focusing on the things that we create in our imagination, we give them the “nudge” that brings them through the barrier from the unreal to the real.

… Manifestation begins with the willingness to make room in our beliefs for something that supposedly doesn’t exist. We create that something with the force of our consciousness and awareness.

Exactly!

Well, re-reading this book on the heels of watching the holographic performance on the Billboard Music Awards has, so far, been a very eye-opening experience. I’m beginning to see it more as a ‘teaching opportunity.’ All I can do is recommend the book highly to all my readers.

[Michael whistles innocently.] When the pupil is ready, the teacher will appear.

Now, my Dear One, do you mind if we switch gears a little?

No, I don’t mind at all. Whatchu got? [Michael does a playful impression of Gary Coleman.]

Well, by the grace of God, I’m coming back to Los Angeles for Michael Week in June. This is going to be the grandmother of all trips, but, hopefully, it will also be a lot easier on me than earlier pilgrimages have been because I’m flying directly to and from Las Vegas, which is a four-hour direct flight from a city near the dark side of the moon. That means no four-hour train trip, limousine to the airport in Chicago and additional four-hour flight to Los Angeles. Instead of eleven or twelve hours of travel, I will have four at both the beginning and end of my pilgrimage, which I believe will make the trip much easier on me.

While in Las Vegas, I plan to see Cirque du Soleil’s Michael Jackson ONE show at the Mandalay Bay Hotel both at the beginning and end of my pilgrimage. I am really looking forward to that! In addition, I will be visiting Neverland Valley Ranch and Forest Lawn, attending The Homecoming, a series of seminars by Brad Sundberg at Westlake Studios which promises to be an all-day affair, and joining and meeting many of your children at a special sunrise meditation on the morning of June 25. I am so looking forward to meeting my friends whom I have met on previous trips … and those whom I haven’t yet met … in Michaeland! I can’t wait! The One Rose for Michael group is planning an awesome floral display at the Holly Terrace entrance to the Grand Mausoleum and there will be a Lanterns of Love gathering in Santa Monica.

Woohoo! House guests! I look forward to welcoming you all.

I’m not going to ask you if you plan on participating in the events and activities.

Good! Because you already know the answer to that question. So, be alert. You never know when I will sneak up behind you and say, “Boo!” I just love the reactions I get in these situations … always have … always will! Don’t forget to fly MJAir. Four hours in the air can still be a bit anxiety-causing, but I will be right there to hold your hand should you need me … because I love you more.

 

*Author’s Note: All indented but not italicized sections in this Installment are direct quotes from The Divine Matrix: Bridging Time, Space, Miracles and Belief by Gregg Braden.

 

 

 

 

April 26 through May 4, 2014

Oh … SHAZBAT, Beloved!

Shazbat?!? [Michael laughs.] What is that?

Oops, sorry, Michael! I didn’t realize you were listening in! It’s an exclamation … kinda like DAYUM or SHAMONE … to express joyful surprise. I got it from an old television show called Mork and Mindy back in the 1970s (I think).

I just saw a photograph of you from the Vanity Fair photo session that I so want to draw … or better yet, paint! Oh my gosh … if I could get those flesh tones right. The beauty of this photograph just took by breath away and left me gasping! I don’t think I have ever seen this one before (which is another whole conversation … where are these things coming from?) I mean it’s not like I haven’t been paying attendion for the last twenty plus years!

The photograph is a profile in which you are partially turned toward the left of the frame. Your white silk shirt is billowing in the breeze from the fan and your t-shirt is casually ripped almost to the waistband of your black jeans. Your hands are folded right inside left and tucked beneath your chin and the expression on your face is thoughtful and relaxed. The thing is that in this particular photograph, you have a little, tiny tummy instead of the usual flat washboard … just the hint of a little belly! It’s so cute! I wanna tickle it. This is the most tactile photograph. It’s kinda like a baby’s tummy that you want to blow raspberries on.

[Michael giggles.] You are so funny! Should I consider myself tickled?

Oh, definitely, Baby! But … uh … wait a minute! Is it disrespectful … uh … inappropriate … sacrilegious … to want to tickle an angel? Somehow, the Puritan in me is aghast at the very suggestion.

I thought you locked that Puritan ethic in the same deep, dark dungeon that you keep the voices that say, ‘I can’t’ … or ‘you should’ … or ‘that’s impossible.’ If you haven’t, yet, may I highly recommend doing so right now?

Isn’t that what we’re doing here … taking the separatist perspective out of spirituality and helping you to see that there really is no separation between you and your neighbor, your world or your spiritual nature? We are committed to a new kind of spirituality … one that is intimately involved in your day-to-day life, aren’t we? In the new view, the “hands off” … “don’t get too familiar” … “kneel when you approach me” … attitude of the past is over-ridden. It’s not conquered, exactly … more like invalidated. We just don’t need it anymore. So, virtual tickling is definitely an option in our new paradigm.

Oh, goodie! Then, yes, definitely … consider yourself tickled … and be careful I don’t blow those raspberries on that cute, little tummy!

However, it seems that no matter how often I lock those voices in that deep, dark dungeon, they always manage to pick the lock and escape and wreak havoc. I imagine the same will be true with the Puritan ethic.

Yes, that’s true, but don’t give up. Keep locking it up! Eventually, it will take the hint and be just like the lie that is repeated until everyone believes it. If it works for lies … it works for truth!

The world keeps changing
Rearranging minds
And thoughts
Predictions fly of doom
The baby boom
Has come of age
We’ll work it out
I told my brother
Don’t you ask me
For no favors
I’m conditioned by the system
Don’t you preach to me
Don’t scream and shout 

She pray to God, to Buddha
Then she sings the Talmud song
Confusions contradict the SELF
Do we know right from wrong?
I just want you to recognize me
In the temple
You can’t hurt me
I found peace within myself

Go with it
Go with it
JAM¯

Speaking of lies, my heart, the Wade Robson thing is about to rear its ugly head. I believe, if I remember correctly, a judge is supposed to rule on the question of whether or not he has a legitimate claim against your estate in his pursuit of his civil case sometime in June. I would think the fact that his claims occurred well after the deadline imposed by the court for creditor’s claims should preclude any further pursuit of his wild allegations. In addition, his previous statements made under oath in a court of law in 2005 … statements in which he adamantly denied any sexual behavior or connotation in your friendship … should also cast serious doubt on his motivations. He was 22-years-old at the time of his sworn testimony during your trial. Yet, he claims now that it wasn’t a case of lack of recall, but that he didn’t understand what he was allegedly experiencing! That is just plain preposterous … ludicrous … and totally impossible in this day and age when children in 5th and 6th grades are experimenting with sexual behaviors!

This thing just has absolutely no merit, whatsoever, but no doubt the Dimonds and Graces of this world are going to jump into it with both feet. It just makes me sick!

So, have you continued to focus your energy on returning Wade to the LOVE DIMENSION?

No, Michael, I’m afraid that after the AEG Trial ended, I’ve been rather rudderless in my visualizations concerning such matters. Once the furor died down, my visualizations have been more centered internally, but I think it’s time to shake the moth ball smell out of my visualization practice and focus on bombarding Mr. Robson with white feathers again!

Good! By focusing your energy on how all his claims are making you sick and anxious, you only reinforce your anxiety and illness. Refocusing on returning him to the energy of truth and love will ease your discomfort and, hopefully, engulf him, once more, in the wave of love you unleash. We got this!

We do, indeed, Beloved!

Oh … and … uh … I don’t want you beating yourself up for letting it slide for a couple of months because that internal work is also important. As we’ve said many times before … a healed you equals a healed world.

If you wanna make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself and make a change ¯

You know me too well, Michael!

Have you been enjoying your afternoon visits to the ranch?

Oh, my angel … yes! I so look forward to that hour every afternoon. When my life gets in the way and I am unable to keep our rendezvous, I so miss it! And I so love your … uh … participatory therapeutic style … would that be the way to describe it?

That’s okay … I’m always here waiting for you and I understand when your other obligations interfere with our virtual reality breaks. That’s the beauty of imagination; it’s ready when you are … where you are … always … and so am I. What do you mean by ‘my participatory therapeutic style?’

Well, it seems like our ‘therapy sessions’ are following a pattern. It goes something like this. We introduce a person from my childhood and during the introductory session, I usually receive some kind of insight about the person introduced. For example, with my father, his military service in the navy during World War II with possible resultant post traumatic stress contributing to his later actions (a syndrome which was not recognized in the early 1950s and only gained credibility after the Viet Nam conflict) brought to the surface things which I had never considered.

These little insights that surface provide me with a foundation from which to view the events from a more dispassionate, objective, less personal viewpoint. After the insight pops into my head, I usually fall asleep, but when I awaken, I continue to think about them by journaling and mulling them over in light of the historical and cultural influences, contexts and pressures prevalent at the time of these events (because it was a vastly different world back then.)

The next few days or weeks, my afternoon visits are usually spent just relaxing and resting and recharging in your beautiful Garden of Eden … just letting my mind drift where it will after anchoring it in the pure, infinite love you embedded into every square centimeter of the grounds. We play like children (and sometimes I even envision us as children around the age of 8 or 9 years old) … or skip stones … or wade and splash in the lake … or sit beneath the trees … or walk in the afternoon sunlight with my visualization helped by what I’m beginning to call my Neverland CD. I usually end up feeling buoyant and extremely refreshed, even when I don’t actually fall asleep.

However, during this period I am mulling over the original insight I received during that first introductory session. Of course, I do realize that these insights can only be surmises on my part because all of these people are dead, but I don’t think the point of the exercise is to arrive at hard and fast facts concerning what caused the actions that impacted my life … but, rather, to help me view the person more from the perspective of compassion for the circumstances and pressures which he or she may have faced instead of from the perspective of the pain their decisions caused the little girl I was at the time. It helps to take the ‘personal’ out of these events and helps me see them more clearly in a different contextual field.

Yes, we’re taking the forest away so that you can see the tree. The forest represented by your pain presents an almost impenetrable barrier to compassion. It’s deep and it’s dark … and miles across so you can’t go around it.

Too high to get over
Too low to get under
You’re stuck in the middle
And the pain is thunder

Once that forest is removed, it becomes much easier to view the events that caused you so much distress … and colored your view of the world and yourself … like the colored lens of a high-priced camera, affecting all of your relationships. You’ve buried all of these events under defensive barriers for years. When the underlying causes of those ways of thinking of your world … and yourself … are revealed, it becomes much easier to see that they just plain no longer apply. They’re obsolete – like a pair of old, tattered shoes with holes in the soles. It becomes safe to discard them for shiny new ones.

After a week or so, during our afternoon visit, you ask if I’m ready to release the individual we have been working with in a true spirit of forgiveness and together we release him or her with the words, “Go with God.”

You don’t preach; there’s no pressure … you allow me the time to examine the insights at my own pace and to look at all the historical, societal and cultural influences of the times in which these decisions were made. In addition, You provide a reality in which I know I am safe and protected and supported in love.

It’s absolutely masterful! I am awed and humbled at your infinite patience with me … and the revelations of these insights are making our Neverland Therapy sessions the most relaxing and restorative part of my day. I thought this was going to be hard … and painful … but quite the contrary. It’s beautiful … and restful … and there is absolutely no anxiety involved at all. I can’t thank you enough. We’ve gone through and released both my father and my mother and processing them both has been fairly easy and painless. We are currently working on my grandmother and even she is not proving to be difficult at all, so far.

You are welcome, but it’s not me doing this; it’s you! Once again, you’re giving me more credit than I deserve. You do that a lot. God bless you for your faith in me.

We’ve always heard that we need to forgive the errors of our pasts. So, we sit down and pray and say, “I forgive you” to those who had hurt us in our hearts, but two weeks later when we think of that person again, we think of them in the same derogatory terms we did before we forgave them because we’ve never really taken the time to try to comprehend them or their actions or decisions from their point of view. We fall right back into the negative thoughts patterns we had of them before out of habit. It’s easy to say, “I forgive you,” but if you haven’t at least tried to experience the event from the other’s side of the fence, there’s no real understanding, is there?

It’s important to try to see these things from both sides, which is not possible if viewing them only from the point of view of your pain and how these decisions ruined your life. You need to walk a mile in the other person’s shoes … try to put yourself in their place and see how you might have reacted under the same conditions … with the same cultural influences and experiences … to see them with compassion for the stresses and pressures they were under at the time. And it’s only with compassion that true forgiveness is possible. That takes time and a willingness to be open to seeing another’s viewpoint.

Do you remember when we discussed all of you being my love songs and I told you I would bring as much patience … as well as knowledge, skill and talent … to your development as I did in birthing my music?

Yes, Michael, I remember. In Installment 37 (July 30 – August 6, 2011), we were discussing your meticulous attention to every detail and your adamant refusal to be rushed, your infinite patience and total devotion to the ideal of perfection you achieved over and over again in the recording studio, as portrayed by Joe Vogel’s Earth Song: Inside Michael Jackson’s Magnum Opus. You said:

I knew what I wanted it to sound like and I wouldn’t give up until the song that I heard in the recording studio sounded like the song I was hearing in my head and in my heart. It was the same thing when I was working on the short films for Ghosts or Thriller or BAD. And that hasn’t changed. I’m still me. It’s the same thing we’re doing now … all of you and I … the same dedication and devotion to extending the limits of a ‘pop’ song.

You are all my songs … every last one of you is a melody that I hear in my head … and in my heart … and in my soul. As you hear me singing in your head … I hear your melody in mine. As I am the soundtrack of your lives, you are the soundtrack of mine!

This is a perfect illustration of what we are all doing here … and now. We are, as you said above, extending the limits of what a ‘pop’ song is capable of communicating … in this case, what you thought you were capable of becoming. In this, I will nurture each of you with the same loving patience, the same painstaking attention to detail, the same stubborn inability to let you go until you embody the melody that I am hearing in my heart as I did with the songs I left you. As you said earlier in these conversations, “When I latch onto something … or someone … it would take a small army to shake me loose.” There isn’t a small army in existence that can ‘shake me loose’ now.

Yes, and that statement is just as true today as it was when we first had the discussion in 2011 … and it will still be true five years from now … and ten years beyond that … because I love you more. Didn’t you believe me?

Of course, I believed you, Michael, but it’s one thing to understand and believe you intellectually and an entirely different thing to experience that patience and nurturance in one’s own life. It reminds me so much of the way you encouraged everyone around you to reach for his or her highest potential … not with critical comments, but with L.O.V.E. and your unshakeable faith in each person’s abilities and talents. You encouraged all of them to give you their best.

Of course! All of us have always heard that to ‘spare the rod spoils the child.’ So, we’ve all grown up with the paradigm that negative feedback, critical evaluation or punishment for failure is a viable learning method. I’ve always found that such strategies only contribute to humiliating the pupil, hardening his heart against pouring out the best that he can possibly be. After all, why should he expose himself to such criticism or make himself so vulnerable.

When I was young, my father (who let’s remember was a product of his times and cultural influences, as we’ve discussed before) used those negative feedback loops constantly. Approval and praise were foreign concepts to him. Fortunately, I was more attuned to the positive feedback loops all of you were sending me. Your love encouraged me more than his criticism discouraged me. Your approval meant more to me than his disapproval. Your embrace was the sunshine and water that encouraged me to reach deeper into my roots and pull out everything I had to give.

We’ve all heard lots of things all our lives. It’s time to take a step back and re-evaluate what we’ve all been taught and accepted. “It’s an adventure … a great adventure” … an adventure in new ways of thinking … new ways of seeing and hearing the world around us … new ways of judging and identifying with the people and circumstances we face … new ways of relating to the world we inhabit … because it’s pretty obvious the old ways aren’t working. It is these new ways of being human that produce the new ways of being conscious participants in creating a new, healed world for us and our children.

Well, I think it’s brilliant, Beloved … and I so love you. I am grateful.

Now, in other news … a new album from Michael Jackson is on the horizon. May 13, 2014 will see the release of Xscape, a new album of previously unreleased material (much of which has been leaked on the internet in some remixed format) from your vault which has been re-worked by producers who either collaborated with you in the studio (like Rodney Jerkins) or whom you respected (like Timbaland), but who share their admiration of you and are eager to contribute to your legacy. They’ve put together eight songs which have been updated or ‘contemporized,’ which necessarily means ‘remixed,’ because you are not physically present to put your stamp of approval on them. With this release, they plan to include your original demo masters on the deluxe version along with the re-worked versions.

If I recall correctly, this is how our Conversations began almost four years ago, isn’t it? Because of the furor generated in the fan community over the release of Michael (your first posthumously released album), we began regular dialogs which have proven to be a major blessing not only in my life but also in the lives of many of my readers.

[Michael snorts.] Our dialogs began long before that; they were just not formatted, formalized or shared before then. However

We’ve been
together
For such a long time, now

Yes, that’s true, Beloved. I feel the truth of that statement very strongly. This release is being heralded … and received … very differently than Michael. Rather than being greeted with controversy and resentment, Xscape is being rolled out in a manner similar to the way you always announced the advent of a new project. There have been ‘listening parties’ in several major markets, nationally-televised debuts of the first single, Love Never Felt So Good, and Michael Jackson is, once again, on the cover of Billboard with the headline, “He still has that red hot magic!” The fan community is eager to embrace Xscape and even media outlets are nearly overwhelmingly and unanimously supportive in reviewing the quality of the material it contains. Of course, there always have to be a few voices raised to rain on everyone’s parade, but the few dissenters I’ve seen are being roundly ignored.

The first single from Xscape was debuted on a new awards show on Thursday, May 1, 2014 and introduced by L.A. Reid of the Epic Division of Sony Music with a snippet being played and a tribute dance by Usher. It has also been remixed into a duet with Justin Timberlake. Additional songs are being streamed (one per day every day this week) on IHeartRadio stations and presales of the album are through the roof with Amazon ranking it #2 on its topsellers list.

While I had to tune in to the television debut of Love Never Felt So Good, I have decided to wait until the release to enjoy the rest of the songs. I know how you loved to surprise us … and create that magic suspense … and I want to be surprised. However, awaiting the television premiere of the song brought back wonderful memories of the 1990s, when your appearance on an awards show or interview found me checking my television for reception and my recording equipment to make sure everything was ready. As the time of the broadcast approached, I was nervous and almost vibrating with anticipation.

Love Never Felt So Good sounds very like the leaked version I’ve heard with the addition of soaring strings and staccato guitar plucks. I, personally, don’t think the tapestry is quite as integrated and richly woven as you would have done, but I loved how they honored your vocals in the mix. I also feel that you would have made a much stronger statement in the intro, outro and bridge sections. You always loved to enter and leave with a major flourish whether in the studio or on the stage. That said, I love seeing your music, once again, being respected.

However, I love even more the fact that those who worked on realizing Xscape did so with your wishes in mind. The article in Billboard quotes several of them saying that they heard your ‘disembodied voice’ giving them instructions … or had ‘conversations in their heads’ with you about their decisions … and poor Rodney (Jerkins) felt like he had to ‘convince you’ that the drum sounds he used on Xscape were not too ‘muddy.’ LOL!

Welcome to my world, guys!

[Michael laughs.] See? You are not alone for I am here with you.

I guess it has become fashionable to have Conversations with Michael Jackson in the last four years.

Of course, I told you. We are re-imagining what it is to be human. And they, too, are being opened to a fuller, more complete understanding. The world is awakening … and WE ARE THE WORLD.

These comments from the producers of the new album and those I remember from Kenny Ortega and Travis Payne during the patching together of the footage for This Is It just seem to augment an article I ran into very recently called The Zen of Michael Jackson. The following paragraphs are quoted directly from the article:

My thanks to my friend, Debbie, for allowing me to use her beautiful Photoshop Image. I call it Saffron.

My thanks to my friend, Debbie, for allowing me to use her beautiful Photoshop Image. I call it Saffron.

How quickly we forget that our sojourn here on earth is short. How marvelous it is when we do something remarkable between hello and goodbye. Here at the Soul Sword Zen Community, we would like to pause and reflect on a soul who transfused us with his love energy – Michael Jackson.

And

…The power of his spirit and its message bore witness of itself time and time again. That message was beautiful. By reclaiming what we once loved without apology, the public embraced redemption, the gift of heaven to all who seek it.

And

Michael Jackson delivered it [soul] at full force decade after decade … When I watch Michael Jackson perform, I feel the spiritual current flowing back through me to the source of all things. God loves us because we can send the current of Him back with our own spin on it. We can touch him when we act from soul (spirit) … We are taught that only one who comes like a child can enter the “kingdom of heaven.” No adult in the modern world blazed a more obvious path to that sacred place than our Michael.

And

The artist has fallen and now his greatness is apparent. The music lives on. The rhythm is unbroken. The curtain has not closed on Michael Jackson. A curtain has two sides. He’s just backstage until the rest of the show plays out. You must perform also. Will you pour out the best you have to give without looking back, without seeking approval from those around you? Will you give from the essence of your soul? Will your activity have the power of Zen because it is real?

And

Michael Jackson demonstrated a great Zen lesson. He lived Michael Jackson. There is a saying, “When you are really you, that is enlightenment.”

And

How clever to disguise a cosmic agent as a child-like singer.

And

Michael was humble. Despite his tremendous accomplishments, fame and money, he spoke gently and with respect to others. This is a significant sign to those who understand. The current of the Spirit flows through us not from us.

And

The Zen of anything is simply living and doing it from Source, a “place” beyond prior thought. So, Michael danced and we moved. He sang and our volcal chords vibrated. He was one soul expressing for many bodies.

For the convenience of my readers, the rest of this article can be viewed at http://www.soulsword.com/kitabu-roshi/the-zen-of-Michael-Jackson

God bless you … and I love you more.

 

 

 

Thursday, April 10, 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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