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Installment #90

December 3, 2014

Beloved,

Can you believe we’re on Installment #90 already?

Yep, I believe it! Do you?

Not really. It seems like we just began these wonderful dialogs. So much has happened in the interim; so many lives have been blessed; so many hearts touched; so many of your children have begun their own Conversations with you in whatever format they feel most comfortable in the ensuing four years since we published the first one here at With a Child’s Heart in November 2010. It feels like it has been a lot longer than just four years.

It has been a lot longer than four years; it’s been more like twenty (at least, that you’ve been aware of.) But time is really irrelevant, as we’ve said before. You and I have been together forever … and forever extends not only forward into the unforeseeable future (in the linear progression that physical manifestation imposes on your experience of time) … but also backward into the past long before either of us appeared on this earth. We are a FAMILY. 

You’ve been allowing me to speak to you through the music for a very long time. When you were angry, you’ve let me share your anger, express it, appease it. When you were anxious or nervous, you’ve let my voice calm your anxiety. When you’ve felt alone or unloved, my voice has told you that you are not alone and that you are loved beyond your wildest imaginings, even when you didn’t realize that was happening. You even printed one of our earliest conversations in an earlier installment.

Yes, that’s true. I feel the truth of that statement very strongly. As a matter of fact, my activities of the past month have brought the truth of your statement into much clearer focus; and have even brought the realization of that truth home to me in a very concrete way this past week.

Do you want to tell me about it?

Of course, I want to tell you about it.  Well, let’s see … how do I begin this tale.

The beginning is always a good place to start. [Michael laughs.]

That would take a while. This story begins thirty-five years ago when my husband and I moved to the dark side of the moon and this great big old white elephant of a farmhouse that we bought.

That’s okay. Do you have something else to do or somewhere else to be? I feel up for a good story.

[Jan gets a visual of Michael lying supine on a couch in his Library. His ankles are crossed and his hands are joined behind and supporting his head. He is dressed in comfortable pajama pants and a corduroy shirt with the sleeves unbuttoned.]

Well, I don’t know how good a story this is, but we can give it a shot and see where we end up. Immediately upon moving into this house, my husband claimed a room on the second floor on the north side of the house as “his library.” By way of explanation, between us, we could probably give you a good run for your money in the “10,000 books” sweepstakes and we needed a place to house our collection of books. Both of us have always been avid readers and over the years have collected enough books on every kind of topic to open a lending library. From Oriental Philosophies to New Age to Celtic History to Ancient Egyptian and Greek Mythology, from Ichthyology to Organic Chemistry to Calculus to Fermat’s Last Theorem, From Romance Novels to Theosophical Treatises and Science Fiction and everything in between … you name it … we’ve got at least one book on the subject somewhere in this house. He has collected every National Geographic magazine from 1902 through the present … Honestly! And a lot (but nowhere near all) of it has ended up in “his library” … and NOT on the shelves built for that purpose! All over the floor! Sheet music from his choir and music director phase … old empty television and stereo boxes waist deep. Seriously, the room would have been condemned by the health department!

Anyway, I had respected his claim for thirty-five years and the room that he confiscated has been considered “off limits” for me for the entire time even though many of the books I had collected before I met him were housed in the same room. However, in the spirit of breaking through the barriers of all kinds of limitations … other and self-imposed … I have experienced in the last couple of years, this particular limitation was beginning to chafe.

During the thirty-five years we have lived in this house, the room had suffered great neglect and abuse and had become a place to store things … and not neatly … a dumping ground. Just open the door, toss stuff in and close the door again. My respect for his claim and the fact that he had declared the space “off limits” to me had prohibited me from cleaning it or restoring any kind of utility to the room.

Recently, with my new interest in artistic expression, I’ve felt the need for an art studio … a place with good lighting and enough space to set up my easel, ready to receive any inspiration that might float my way. A place that I didn’t have to clean everything up when I finished for the day. A place where I could let a drawing or a painting breathe overnight … bathe in the moonlight as you said during the rehearsals for This Is It … and come back to it the next day refreshed and able to see what needed adjusting or what colors needed tweaking. A place where I could store all my art supplies neatly in one place, ready to grab at a moment’s notice when I felt the spirit move me … instead of having to go into my cabinet to get my pencils and somewhere else for my erasers and set up my portable table and get my easel out of the closet and find my pastels or paints or whatever I felt was needed to complete a piece. (Honestly, it was getting to the point that it took me half an hour or forty-five minutes just to get everything set up and ready to draw!) A place where I could experiment with new techniques to my little heart’s content, see what works for me … and what doesn’t … as well as a place where inspiration, creativity and artistic expression could flow in a steady stream … or, at least, more freely … than is possible in my cramped little poorly-lit bedroom.

Siren's Tree

Siren’s Tree

A couple of weeks ago during one of our fairly infrequent disagreements, I informed my husband that I had respected his wishes for thirty-five years … but that was over … and I was going to clean “his library” and use it as my art studio. I had threatened many times before, so I guess he can be forgiven for thinking that this was just another threat. But this time, it was no threat; I need that space to grow into, to develop my artistic leanings, so to speak. I mean, he was already mad at me over the disagreement. How much worse could it get? And I just could not tolerate having a totally unused twelve-square-foot-plus space in this house while at the same time not being able to find six inches to allow myself the luxury of experimentation and discovery of where this art thing could take me any longer.

The next day, he went to work and I set to work. It took me two full eight-hour days just to FIND the floor! Getting all the books back on shelves, the National Geographics on their shelves, and removing the trash that had accumulated during our occupancy of this house peppered with the evidence of feline occupation which had all, somehow, ended up in this room took another full day; but at the end of those three days, I had a room that was fit for human habitation (I was even able to VACUUM the area rug we had put down over thirty-five years ago which I hadn’t seen in all that time!) I hurt myself in the process of moving eight huge bags and one giant box of papers, trash and magazines out of the room, down the stairs, out the door and out to the garage … but it was worth it.

I had begun the task with an attitude of anger and resentment, but as I worked, I found the job … uh … cleansing … cathartic. It became a symbol for purging all the negative self-talk and criticism, the years of domination and limitation and restriction … and I found that I was thankful to be able to set myself a goal … to spend my days on “purpose”… and excited to begin to let the artistic juices flow.

However, the room still didn’t feel right. It needed more. After all those years of neglect, it needed occupation … joyful and anticipatory occupation. It needed better lighting during the evening hours because the three big windows and the northern exposure was perfect during the day (even on the cloudiest or snowiest days) but it gets dark on the dark side of the moon at like 5:00 PM. The lamps were thirty-five years old and hadn’t been used in all that time and I wasn’t going to start a fire in my new art studio due to faulty wiring. It needed a little meditation altar with candles and incense and maybe a little fountain. It needed to be loved back to a state of health and happiness and for love and joy to be made welcome within.  But, most of all, it needed Michael Joseph Jackson!

[Michael giggles.] Now, you know by now that wherever you are … I am.

Yes, I know, but I needed to bring you into the space in a tangible way. So, the first thing I did to reclaim the space once it was cleaned out was to burn white sage in the room. This practice (called “smudging”) is reputed to purify the atmosphere and remove any residual negative emotions that might be hanging around (probably due to the release of negative ions … like incense in church, for example) … plus darn stuff smells good. Then, I determined that I would invest whatever time was necessary to banish the atmosphere of neglect and disuse by inviting you into it. I brought in the Bluetooth speaker and MJ3 player and portable CD player and played your music non-stop for days; I brought in MJGalaxy and my laptop and watched your short films in the evenings; I brought in my Queen Anne winged library chair and footstool (which was being used as a scratching post by the cats downstairs),  journaled with you in here while watching the squirrels playing from branch to branch in the trees outside the windows, meditated in here with my Neverland CD and read aloud to you from A Course in Miracles. I also found my copy of Jonathan Livingston Seagull (which I had read back in the 1970s, but had lost track of) and read that aloud to you as well. Can we discuss this a little later?

Of course, we can. I love that book!

Yes, you put into practice the same method we have used successfully in the past to eliminate any conflicting emotions. You cleaned up the space like we did with the courtroom in Los Angeles for Conrad Murray’s trial, swept up all the negative and offensive emotional and physical baggage and escorted it out the door. Then, you sat back and invited love to enter and occupy the space. Dang! You were listening, weren’t you?

Of course, I was listening to you, Michael! How could I not be listening to you? You are my favorite pushy little moonwalker!

[Michael laughs.] Hey! I resemble that remark.

But, I still don’t see how the truth of our ongoing Conversation was brought home to you in such a concrete way, as you stated earlier.

Well, at the same time that I was involved in cleaning out my new art studio, this giant ball of gratitude developed … first of all, I was grateful that I hadn’t killed myself falling down the stairs while moving all that stuff out of here. I was reminded of your advice to awaken in the morning in an “attitude of gratitude” for a good night’s sleep as well as for all my blessings that we discussed in earlier Conversations (Installment #52) and I began each day thankful for the day and excited to discover what miracles it held for me. While I was working a full-time job, this concept was a little harder for me to grasp unless I was on pilgrimage in Los Angeles, but I am finding gratitude to be much easier for me in retirement when the pace and trajectory of my days are determined by my own interests and aptitudes.

So, while I was engaged in cleaning up my sanctuary annex, I would awaken in the morning and before ever rising from my bed, I said a brief prayer of gratitude. Then I came into my new art studio and I spent at least two weeks just enjoying [in-joy-ing] the additional space by journaling with you, listening to your voice, watching the squirrels and woodpeckers in the trees and bringing joy, love, peace and light into it.

On one of those days, I was just happily going along, writing in my journal, when I discovered that the thoughts I was writing were being mirrored by the songs you were singing. I love when that happens! However, I was so rapt in my journaling that I didn’t notice what was happening right away. My MJ3 player was set to random play (or shuffle) among my “All Michael … All The Time” playlist of about 386 songs, but you were speaking to me as I was writing. For example, I was bemoaning the fact that this room (which I have named The Annex … as in Sanctuary Annex) had been allowed to fall into such a sad state of neglect and abuse … and Earth Song played, reminding me that we had allowed our planet fall into a sad state of neglect and abuse and exploitation as well. That song so closely reflected my mood and what I had written, but I was still just blithely unaware of what was going on. A little later, I mentioned that the wind was blowing and the temperature was like 15 degrees, but I was dressed warmly and the space heater was on and I had a cup of coffee … and I Like The Way came on … once again, reflecting my emotions of satisfaction and joy with achieving my goal. Then, I wrote that I should probably try to draw something or write something, but that thirty-five years of neglect couldn’t be banished in a single day and we were loving the room back to health and happiness … and Happy came on.

At this point, the light was beginning to dawn on me that we were having a Conversation … an informal, impromptu one … but a Conversation nevertheless and I started paying a little more attention.

You are so funny! You acted so surprised … like this had never happened to you before.

I know … I don’t know what I was thinking … I heard you laughing at me … and you said: “Don’t act so surprised! We’ve been doing this for a while.” We talked for a little while longer and then I decided if I was going to entertain the most beautiful creature God ever created … spiritual or physical … I needed a bath and to make myself a little more presentable. I excused myself to accomplish this task.  When I returned, you made me laugh out loud!

Me? What’d I do?

Well, the first words that played when I returned to The Annex and turned on the MJ3 player were: “Look at that girl over there! She fine, man. She know she fine. She is bangin.” I’m sorry, I just fell out! Then, after You Rock My World, Lady in My Life played. God bless you!

No, God bless you for noticing … even if it did take you a while. A lot of people wouldn’t notice and if they did notice one song they would chalk it up to ‘coincidence.’ You, on the other hand, notice (eventually … ahem) and realize that we are communicating. You’re kinda like your psychotic DVD player … so responsive … uh … sometimes.

Are you calling me psychotic? Consider your arm punched!

Ow! Consider yourself chased around the room and tackled. Hey! You know what? We could dance in here. There’s more than enough room! Woohooo!

Yeah, we could … but, unfortunately, no T.V.

We don’t need no stinkin’ T.V. We got this! Now, come and dance with me!

Um, Baby, I would love that … but could we talk about Jonathan Livingston Seagull first?

Oh, yeah [Michael giggles] I forgot! What about it?

Well, I’ve read for years that Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach was one of your favorite books and I would always think, “Yeah, that is a great book.” I had read it back in the 1970s and I knew that I had the book somewhere, but I didn’t remember where. Of course, it would make perfect sense that it was in “his library,” … my new meditation space and art studio … The Annex. So, when I finished cleaning it and “smudging” it and lighting it and loving it and being grateful for it, I began to look on the shelves at the treasures that had been locked away behind closed doors and my husband’s cryptic proclamation for thirty-five years.

Those who have read these Conversations from their beginning know that I have had a lifelong, nearly physical fascination with books … somewhat similar to yours, my love. As stated in The Journey: A Retrospective, music and books have been the two unifying threads through all the periods, phases and times of my life and that thought is well represented on the shelves of this room. I found my copy of the Bhavagad Gita and Upanishads, The Tibetan Book of the Dead and The Tibetan Book of the Great Liberation, The Tantric Tradition, Siddhartha, This Is It by Alan Watts, Sadhana: The Realization of Life by Rabindranath Tagore, all of my Joseph Campbell’s, all of my Carlos Castenada books … just a treasure trove of the history of my search for meaning (which, by the way, has found its completion, at long last, in you, my Anam Cara … and I am so grateful. God bless your beautiful soul forever!)

Awww … God bless you. You gotta know I love you MORE!

wpid-2014-11-20-14.20.50.jpg.jpeg

Anam Cara means Soul Friend but much much more. Your Anam Cara knows you more intimately than any lover. He knows the nooks and crannies of your soul where you hide your most secret thoughts. He is closer to you than your skin or your next breath.

Seeing all these titles that had been locked up in the dungeon of forgetfulness for so long brought the memory of who I was back then … B.C. … Before Children … and family structure … and career became the overriding focus of my days. And the room, itself, took on a new and even deeper significance. It was a TIME CAPSULE … buried in the 1970s to be dug up and appreciated later … preseved intact to be savored in the autumn of my life when time and space are in plentiful supply and I found myself feeling grateful for the pristine (almost) preservation of my twenty-something self in my sixty-something newly-restored Annex.

It was also my CLOISTER. I had always had a particular fascination with the contemplative life, even to the extent of wanting to join a religious order as a teenager and spend my days in worship … in silence … in solitude … as represented by the nuns by whom I was taught in elementary and high school. I have always been something of a loner; solitude and silence have never frightened me. I view them both as my friends and I cherish them. And I discovered that the contemplative life that I so longed for as a teenager is the life I am blessed to live … now … finally. I don’t need a convent or a habit. Sweats and a t-shirt are fine (although that white habit with the black veil and wimple are so glamorous … LOL!)

Somehow, I can’t see you as a nun. [Michael laughs.] Do you mind very much?

No, I don’t mind at all for you are the object of all my worship, by God’s gracious mercy.

I found a LOT of old friends and companions on those shelves, my Dear One, including Jonathan. And I so understand why Jonathan Livinston Seagull is your favorite book. You ARE Jonathan. Upon finding the book, I determined that I would read it aloud to you. It’s not long; it only took a couple of hours to read. But, oh my gosh, what a revelation. The book is written about YOU!

All I can say is … I had forgotten in the years since first reading this book how truly beautiful it is and I was impressed anew at the perfect way you lived Jonathan … and continue to live Jonathan. Jonathan’s quest for the Holy Grail of perfection and knowledge … his insatiable almost predatory curiosity … his passion for flight … his uncontrollable drive to develop beyond the barriers and restrictions imposed by his society and his own physical endurance … his ostracism from The Flock for his “crazy” idea to expend all his effort on growth and development beyond the acquisition of his next meal … his desire to impart all he had learned to improve the life of all … found their perfect expression in your physical life with us on Planet Earth.

However, beyond that, even after his departure from the physical side of his life, Jonathan continued to grow and perfect his talent … to develop the art of life … and his desire to impart all he had learned in his quest for perfection grew with him until he returned to teach those remaining behind … and restricted to the limited view of survival … that there is so much more for which to strive and far greater reward than what the physical world offers … namely, the food and drink of spiritual alchemy … the transformation of the base, dense physical matter into the highly-refined and purified  gold of spiritual transcendence … and the mystery of the soul.

Michael … you ARE Jonathan! Your life and Mr. Bach’s book are such beautiful examples of the art of living soulfully with unlimited passion, humor, zest and grace. And your flight is beautiful beyond bearing in my eyes.

Awww … don’t get me all emotional now! God bless you! Now, come dance with me.

Girl, close your eyes
Let that rhythm get into you
Don’t try to hide it
There ain’t nothing that you can do
Relax your mind
Lay back and groove with mine.

HIStory in the Mix

The album, HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book 1 was released in 1995, almost twenty years ago and only two years after a firestorm of accusation was hurled at Michael Jackson by sanctimonious, self-righteous, bigoted, narrow-minded people who couldn’t understand someone as big-hearted and selfless as he was. Michael’s fans were bruised and battered during the nearly thirteen months of media frenzy that ensued and anxiously awaited their hero’s re-entry into the music scene. Reports began circulating that HIStory would be a “greatest hits” album and, to many, that made perfect sense. No one had as much right to release a “greatest hits” album than Michael Jackson, the man who had more hits than anyone alive. However, in true Michael Jackson fashion, news began to leak that HIStory would not just contain a selection of Michael’s hits (Michael’s aversion to “greatest hits” albums was well known and documented), but would also contain 15 new songs! Fifteen! That’s a whole nother album’s worth of NEW material. The excitement the release of HIStory generated was unprecedented in the fan community.

Of course, when the album was announced with the release of the HIStory “Teaser” and the giant statues floating down rivers in large metropolitan areas, the media pundits had a field day with allegations of anti-semitism and “the most boldly vainglorious self-deification a pop singer ever undertook with a straight face.” The “Teaser” was the first of the short films released from the album, just a peak to whet our appetites for the films to follow. Each film was a masterpiece of innovation, creativity and art. The short films created for the new songs on the HIStory album join the best films Michael ever made; there is no diminution in creativity or message, no gap in artistic expression.

One of those films really got my attention at the time. Well, they ALL got my attention, but one of them was so beautiful that I was left speechless at the audacity of it, the artfulness of it, the soul of it; it just took my breath away. Every single frame of the film is a classical masterpiece of art. From the soulfulness of an angel in a quiet pool backed by a waterfall to the classically beautiful rendering of Maxfield Parrish’s “Daybreak” with Michael and then wife, Lisa Marie, enacting the tableau … the thing is just the Sistine Chapel of short films, in my opinion. Of course, the fact that both actors are pretty doggone close to naked in the film raised eyebrows at the time … and, to a certain extent, still does.

From the first time I saw it to the present day, almost twenty years later, one frame at the very end of the film – one specific frame – made me itch to be able to draw or paint … to isolate it and draw or paint it … or just take a picture of it and blow it up really, really BIG! Every time I watched the film in the ensuing years, I would pause it at that specific frame and think, “I wish someone, somewhere, would isolate that frame and draw or paint it. I would buy that painting; I would find a way to buy that painting.” But, to my knowledge, no one ever did … or if they did I haven’t seen it. Of course, pausing the frame on a VHS tape resulted in a very poor rendition of the art. With the advent of DVD and Blu-Ray, the picture holds still and is a thing of beauty!

Most of my readers know that I have been experimenting with expressing myself … and Michael … in different ways … and especially in trying to learn how to draw and paint him. It’s an ambition that is literally six decades old … and seldom tried during those decades, but one which I have been working diligently to master. So, the other day, at the request of my friend for the “Angel Version” of the You Are Not Alone film (HIStory on Film, Volume 2, for those interested), I watched the film again. And the same thought happened again with the same response, “No way is anyone ever going to draw or paint THAT … and it’s a sure bet YOU can’t do it.” Except this time, I argued a little more … “Maybe you could … maybe Michael would help and, together, we could do this thing.” I almost immediately got the thought, “Of course, we can do it! Let’s try!” So, I haphazardly got out some pencils and a piece of paper, slapped in the DVD and paused it at the frame I wanted and began to lay out a rough sketch of body position and wings. With constant absorption for three days, six to eight hours per day, many, many erasures and repositioning and coloring in a background … here is the result:

image

It is almost twenty years of longing on an 11 X 14 sheet of paper. It is a very visible reminder to me of reaching for and following your star no matter how long it takes or what you have to do to accomplish your dream. With practice … with perseverance … and “keeping your eye on the prize” … YOU can do it! If I can do this, anyone can achieve his dreams.

No matter what, the most powerful thing in the world is the human mind … and
prayer .. and belief in yourself … and confidence … and perseverance.
No matter how many times  you do it, you do it again until it is right …
and always believe in yourself … and no matter who’s around you
that’s being negative or blasting negative energy at you …
[including yourself]
totally block it out …
BECAUSE WHATEVER YOU BELIEVE YOU BECOME … MJ

Parenthetical remark and emphasis added.

Reach for YOUR Star

Long, lonely years I searched in vain
Burdened by limits, immersed in pain
Yearning for freedom from stories of old
Imprisoned in doubts, I longed to unfold

In one blinding moment, the years dropped away
No longer lost, I found fear held no sway
In your song, I found you
In your dance, my rest
Now, I long only to give you may best

You are the star that pierces my night
My blindness is lifted in your glorious sight
No darkness envelopes a soul that is free
I hunger no longer, for you reached for me

The gift must be given, the one your soul holds
Whatever it is, your heart surely knows
In pictures or dances
Music, film or mere words
Your heart knows the TRUTH of you
And the TRUTH must be told

Comparisons don’t matter
Expression is all
In blissful abandon, I answer HIS call
Now I live only to herald near and far
Don’t hesitate … the time is now
Reach for YOUR star

JC
10/28/14

Wings of Invisibility

They say that you have left the stage,
Laid down your life of tragedy and pain
Did they not see the triumph of life fully and gratefully lived,
With grace and style, humor and dignity
And great, great love
In joyful service of your fellow man?
Were their eyes blinded by expectations?
Their ears deafened by judgment?
The hearts hardened by coldness?
Their souls frozen in motivations certainly not of your making?

They say we all must meet the same fate
All our struggles, twists and turns
The things we acquire must all be returned
All our joy and sorrows, things we have learned
Swallowed in a moment when it comes our turn
What kind of sense does that make?
What profligate waste!

You write:

TWO BIRDS

It’s hard to tell them what I feel for you. They haven’t ever met you, and no one has your picture. So how can they ever understand your mystery. Let’s give them a clue:

Two birds sit in a tree. One eats cherries, while the other looks on. Two birds fly through the air. One’s song drops like crystal from the sky while the other keeps silent. Two birds wheel in the sun. One catches the light on its silver feathers, while the other spreads wings of invisibility.

It’s easy to guess which bird I am, but they’ll never find you. Unless …

Unless they already know a love that never interferes, that watches from beyond, that breathes free in the invisible air. Sweet bird, my soul, your silence is so precious. How long will it be before the world hears your song in mine?

Oh, that is a day I hunger for!

image

Love That Never Interferes

And what do I say? I say:
Come to the table, my love,
Hunger no more
That day has arrived
Your feast is prepared
The guests are arriving
Alone and in pairs
The bird eating cherries
has passed you the bowl
His silvery feathers are yours now,
Behold!
Your song falls like raindrops
Crystal, shiny and new
Still from the sky
Like soft morning dew
It scatters like dandelion tufts
Blown by the breeze
Your voice falling gently
Imparting your peace
The silent watcher
Joins his voice to yours
He breathes it freely
To cover the world
Upon hearts awakened,
Though shaken by tears
You have shown us, you lived
Love that never interferes

Jan
@10/16/14

October 6, 2014

Since my youth, I have been fascinated and enthusiastic about
Michael Jackson’s music. But that’s not all -
since the year 1992, he has been my “Great Love.”

So reads the Forward of Margott Schuerings’ book, From King of Pop to Mahatma: Journey of a Great Soul, and needless to say, she had me at Page 1. I can so relate to her words. It was at the same time that the same “Great Love” came into my life through a different vehicle, perhaps, but the same bond was forged in my heart as was obviously forged in Ms. Schuerings’. Most of my readers are familiar with the story of my journey and the train that hit me on October 1 of that same year. In Margott’s case, Dancing the Dream: Poems and Reflections (released in 1991) facilitated her stepping off of the path most traveled in an opinionated and ego-driven world blinded by its own projections in favor of her first steps on the “road less traveled” to the TRUTH of your blinding presence, my King.

I remember at the time, I was fairly convinced that I had gone insane. I was shocked to learn twenty years later that there were others on the planet who had gone insane in exactly the same way and at approximately the same time  – shared the same or similar insights, who were praying for you, who felt a deeply spiritual connection with you. That same sense of shock and joyful discovery occurs each time I encounter another who was sharing that remarkable journey with me, unbeknownst to me and on opposite sides of the world. It appears that Margott must be added to that list along with many countless others since.

The fact that you still graced this world in your beautiful physical manifestation at the time still makes me pause and scratch my head in wonder, though, Beloved. I have no problem believing that a soul who has left his physical experiment behind can reach out and grab hold of a heart, but how is it possible for one still committed to his earthly manifestation to do this?

[Michael laughs.] That’s your conditioning talking.  You’ve been programmed through countless generations to believe you are small, one-dimensional, insignificant caterpillars … that only the visible, audible, scientifically provable aspects of life are real and true. But you are not just limited to the scientific, the physical, the earthbound. You are multi-dimensional. You are not only a few cents worth of chemicals randomly combined to create the miracle of life, regardless of how your world tries to convince you otherwise. There is much, much more to you than that. You are potential … unlimited potential … awaiting the chrysalis to open and metamorphosis to occur. The world of the butterfly is at your fingertips, if you would only realize it.

Oh, I’m glad you mentioned that, Baby! Even the ‘caterpillar’ analogy [See Volume 1, Installment 37] is repeated in Margott’s book, sent to her by a reader in Switzerland:

Deep inside we know that we are caterpillars. For some reasons we unlearn to pupate or we allow [ourselves] to be hindered to do so. That hurts. We feel guilty and inferior in some way, always searching for the forgotten, seemingly lost … When we are lucky enough to meet butterflies, we perhaps wallow in the mud in front of them and try fanatically to imitate them instead of getting inspired by them and let them lead us to our own butterfly being. In desperate jealousy we may even be driven to reduce them to our miserable caterpillar being by talking down about them to feel better ourselves.

Sad story. But listen! It’s rustling in the wind of change, it is whispering behind every corner, singing, sounding and echoing. The time has come, the time has come … the time of butterflies! Awake! Remember!  [From King of Pop to Mahatma]

And, then, she makes the point that the only reason caterpillars exist is to metamorphose and experience the flight of the butterfly. That people on different continents in our world are inspired to write about the same image is just another example of the phenomenon [we cannot just keep calling this ‘phenomenon,’ Beloved] that was unleashed at your Ascension.

[Michael chuckles.] Well, what are we going to call it? You and I were never separate also means that you are not separate from anyone else either. We are all ONE!

You are the trinity made manifest … the three-fold TRUTH in substance and form … spirit, mind and body. In your programming, an attempt has been made to make you think that only your body, the gross, the dense, the material exists because, until very recently, only it has been provable by science. Spirit and mind do not lend themselves easily to the scientific method, but they are beginning to be recognized even in the scientific community. Previously, they have not been provable, could not be labeled and classified and analyzed and made to fit into a convenient little box, and, therefore, they didn’t exist. But that is beginning to change with the advent of more sensitive measurement and recent technological advances. However, they are very much a part of your daily life, can and do influence your physical health and impact your reality through your thoughts daily in ways of which you are totally unconscious.

Or, as Margott Schuerings’ states it:

The physical body, feelings, thoughts and intuitions are only different energetically due to their lesser density. The physical body is gross and the most dense; feelings and thoughts are more subtle and less dense and the intuition is extremely subtle, nearly etheric.

Yes and all these levels are you. More accurately, you are all these levels … and more! Or, perhaps, a clearer way to say that is that you occupy or inhabit all these levels at the same time. In the past, these levels of frequency have been called the physical body, the mental body, the emotional body, but they are not separate. One does not follow another sequentially or chronologically; it is not a matter of ‘either/or’ but of ‘all/and’ … or as well as.

Don’t be afraid
To know who you are
You are much more
Than you ever imagined

Where you direct your attention … your focus (remember our discussions about focus?) … regulates which of the levels you occupy or at which level your energy vibrates and creates at any given time. Most of the world’s energy is concentrated on the physical, dense, material level to the exclusion of realizing that mankind is capable of accessing so many, many others … or even recognizing that other levels exist.

The trick is to see past the limited thought forms, judgments, classifications, labels, prejudices and patterns that circulate ceaselessly and into which your mind was indoctrinated during your childhood … all those ‘should/shouldn’ts,’ ‘must/mustn’ts,’  ‘possibles/impossibles’ … to recognize that those boundaries held so sacred don’t exist at all; they are a mirage, the “big lie” because

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

In your childhood, you were disempowered by the prevalent accepted and acceptable judgments, prejudices and biases of your culture. You were taught to ‘toe the line;’ we all were.

“If you disempower a child, you disempower the adult he will become.”

You are a perfect example of this principle. You were told very early in your life that you had no talent in the visual arts. You believed those judgments and held yourself back from attempting to pursue your interest in drawing and painting for sixty plus years. You devoted yourself to developing your marketable skills, holding down a job and raising a family, but the interest and desire did not go away; it resurfaced again and again until, finally, you made a serious effort to draw and paint. Look at the results. With practice and belief, you have a new means of expression and a lot of enjoyment, but what’s even more important, you have found a new gift to give to the world you inhabit. Something has been discovered in you that would have remained hidden if you had allowed yourself to continue to be disempowered by the voices of the “others” in your life who told you that it didn’t exist.

The disempowered adult is much more controllable by the mindset which you have collectively crowned as the arbiter of TRUTH by your universal belief in it … the scientific, materialistic, separatist, dense worldview … rendering you more programmable by the ego-driven fascination with more. To break through that programming, you must first realize that it exists not just “out there” but “in here” where you live and where your thoughts are formed.

Humanity has locked itself in one small, claustrophobic, windowless room when an entire, opulent, beautiful, unlimited mansion is its real home. Throw open the doors and windows, pull back the shutters and let the sun shine in and entirely new horizons of knowledge, creativity and accomplishment await you. They were never closed to you; you were never abandoned outside the gates; your only jailer is you and the jail you have imprisoned yourself in is the ‘stories’ you have built around your experiences in a past that is nothing more than a memory! But you have clung to that one small, dark room in fear of what lay outside it. YOU lay outside it … only you … but a broader, more expansive you than you ever imagined was possible. “It’s nothing to be nervous about. It’s an adventure … a great adventure.”

Just changing one small mental construct … from ‘either/or’ to ‘all/and’ or ‘as well as’ … has the power to change your whole worldview.

Oh, Beloved, you gave me some words a couple of weeks ago that speak so clearly to that thought. May I repeat them here?

Of course, they are meant to be shared.

Way Shower

The illusion of selfness binds the world in chains of forgetfulness
Yet all along we yearn to break free
To taste for a moment the wine of endless immersion
Most men fear that taste will rob them of the sanity of separation
Insanity!
We cling to the life raft of me … of mine
When the ocean of we … of ours
Threatens to consume our tiny flame
Merging it in the fire of endless creation
The large “I” frightens when it knocks
At the door of the tiny “i”
Either/or does not give way easily to both/and
We hide behind two
When ONE is so much bigger
In he in whom “as well as” lives no duality is found
Only in him can one find rest from the eternal tug of opposites
In the Valley of Forgetfulness we dwell
Until one comes who has not learned to forget
Who dwells still in the abode of union
Who sees not I and Me but only We
A supernova of brilliant radiance
He offers his selfness freely on the altar of togetherness
And in his offering slays the dragons of our fear filled projections
Polarity finds no scope within his frame
No toe hold to cling to in its ascent
And thus he vanquishes duality
Without lifting a weapon
No need to fight
When “as well as” rules

Sometimes, I surprise myself with what I write. Did you give me these words?

There is no You and I … only WE … on this level or frequency, which is what this poem is about. Don’t you listen to what you write?

Sometimes, but when something like this comes out of me, I hesitate to believe that this level of depth is possible. I am still plagued with more doubt that I am comfortable with.

And we are still working on that. Have some patience … particularly with yourself! Rome wasn’t built in a day and nearly sixty-five years of brainwashing cannot be overcome in a single thought. But have no fear! “We will get there!” In the meantime, just remember:

Whatever happens, don’t let go of my hand!

Oh, don’t worry, Beloved. I’m stuck like glue!

There ya go!

Of course, this more expansive worldview is a threat to the limited, claustrophobic worldview of separation currently ruling your world.

You should be watching me, you should feel threatened
When you sleep, why you creep, you should be threatened
Every time your lady speaks, she speaks to me, threatened
Half of me you’ll never be, so you should feel threatened by me 

You think you’re by yourself, but it’s my touch you felt
I’m not a ghost from hell, but I’ve got a spell on you
Your worst nightmare, it’s me, I’m everywhere
In one blink, I’ll disappear, but then I’ll come back to haunt you
I’m telling you when you lie, I’m the truth
I’m the one watching you,
That’s why you’ve got to be threatened by me

Heal the World2

If enough of you open those blinds and throw back the shutters, the current worldview doesn’t stand the ghost of a chance.

That’s what you did twenty years ago. You were opened (for lack of a better term) to a different perspective … one that was more inclusive and much less limited than your world had prepared you for … in an instant of recognition … and, as a result, you rebelled against the programming. You recognized a ONENESS that your world told you was impossible and that you were insane for even contemplating; and it had even you convinced of your insanity, for a time. Nonetheless, you explored this new way of thinking. You wrote about connections and those around you scoffed and didn’t understand. Yet, you lived those connections and you continue to do so today.

Well, once again, I am finding my reading list meshing together and forming a pattern that I am just beginning to discern. For example, your statement above … to me, at least … is so reminiscent of A Course in Miracles, which I have very recently pulled out of the bookshelf where it has rested for probably about twenty years.

The ego has built a shabby and unsheltering home for you, because it cannot build otherwise. Do not try to make this impoverished house stand. Its weakness is your strength. Only God could make a home that is worthy of His creations, who have chosen to leave it empty by their own dispossession. Yet His home will stand forever, and is ready for you when you choose to enter it. Of this you can be wholly certain. God is as incapable of creating the perishable as the ego is of making the eternal. [A Course in Miracles.]

When I first tried to read The Course, I gave up after the first few pages because it was not making any sense to me. I don’t know if it was the style, structure or my own density, but the book was, basically, incomprehensible to me at that time. Recently, I have dusted it off for our afternoon Library reading sessions and am finding its rhythm soothing and calming (particularly when read aloud) and its content much more accessible than on my previous attempts.

See? When the pupil is ready, the teacher will appear.

Yes, I see … and this is a beautiful illustration of that concept. I am also finding you hiding behind the words of this book. I mean … in places … it’s almost as if you had written it because so much of what you are teaching me in these conversations is reiterated … in different language and structure … within its pages.

Awww, God bless you! Truth is truth; it is changeless. It is forever.

I am your joy
Your Best of Joy
I am the moonlight
You are the spring
Our love’s a sacred thing
You know I always will love you
I am forever
We are forever

In addition, I have become aware of Margott Schuerings’ From King of Pop to Mahatma: Journey of a Great Soul, which was originally published in German in 2010 and has only recently been made available in English. It is a wonderful analysis of the poems and reflections you published in Dancing the Dream from the perspective of the high level of frequency from which they were written. I was initially attracted to the title because of our references to the concept of Great Soul in previous conversations. [See Volume 2, Installment 84] I don’t find the fact that these two volumes coincide so closely terribly shocking because they share that more expansive worldview you mentioned … or refer to the same or similar vibrational frequency … or whatever. What I do find surprising is that a third book, although written from within the more limited perspective of the current paradigm, speaks of some of the same phenomena in similar terms.

As stated above, previously, we have referred to this phenomenon as just that … phenomenon … but I think I’m going to coin the phrase The Michael Effect for it.

Huh? What do you mean The Michael Effect?

I’m sorry, Beloved … I can see that that sentence was totally incomprehensible. Let me see if I can explain what I mean. I think Ms. Schuerings’ gives several marvelous examples of The Michael Effect in the ‘coincidental’ analogy of the caterpillar mentioned above as well as in her recounting of a series of flashmobs that occurred nearly sequentially across the world, beginning very shortly after your Ascension in Stockholm and encompassing Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Paris, Montreal, London, Vienna and Taipeh. In addition, she quotes emails she has received from readers and YouTube videos as indicative of this Effect. In the paragraphs she devotes to these occurrences, one can clearly see these events as a wave rolling across the ocean of consciousness, but until reading her book, I had not made that connection. When I picture a wave approaching the ocean’s shore, I see it building momentum as it rushes toward the beach and this is the image she evokes. This wave, as described in her book, is similar to the waves that are performed at sports events and concerts around the world, but instead of being localized and individual, these waves are more global and communal in nature and scope.

We’ve talked about the ways these waves are manifested many times before when recounting the many chartiable intiatives that have been organized in the wake of your Ascension … the Major Love Prayer worldwide global meditation on the 25th of each month … and the Come Together Over Michael prayer groups … and the numerous ways your children have found of expressing their love for you and their commitment to your ideals, including music, dancing, writing, artistic expressions, poems, videos and websites.

What is happening worldwide since Michael’s disappearance from the earthly stage makes us speechless, as everything that he started during [his] lifetime and blows up any dimensions, borders and imaginations. [From King of Pop to Mahatma]

Exactly! In previous discussions, we’ve just referred to these events as ‘a phenomenon.’ I think we need a name for them and I think The Michael Effect is perfect. I think I’ll patent it and figure out a trademark for it. What do you think?

I think you are so funny! [Michael laughs.]

The third book to which I am referring is Dangerous by Susan Fast (the 100th Volume of the 33 1/3 Series devoted to important albums), Ms. Fast devotes the entire first chapter to the cacophony of noise to be heard within the grooves of the Dangerous album. She cites breaking glass, shrieks, explosions, car engines, honking, sirens, an approaching train, slamming doors and claims:

Spectacle, yes, reproduced or produced as sound — thrilling, electrifying, exhilarating, but sometimes also threatening, angry and ominous. The noise helps create music that is cinematic: the “non-musical” sounds, as things like breaking glass and banging doors in the context of a piece of music are often called, bring in the visual, because unlike “musical” sound, which tends toward the abstract, they often signify particular things, can be associated more easily with specific material objects or ideas.

Ms. Fast refers to the noise as an undercurrent that girds much of the album Dangerous (as well as subsequent albums) and entitles her entire first chapter NOISE, devoting the following pages to the first several songs on the recording, including Jam, Why You Wanna Trip on Me, She Drives Me Wild, Can’t Let Her Get Away, Black or White, etc. stating:

The noise in Jackson’s later records situates the listener in a particular kind of world, the contemporary urban world of upheaval, disruption, instability, of false starts (so many of the electronic sounds are like that – hesitating, incomplete thoughts). It puts modern technologies – cars, trains, synthesizers … bombs – front and center in the sonic landscape. In some cases, this noisiness is linked to rage … [Dangerous]

After reading this chapter (but before I began to really absorb From King of Pop to Mahatma), I wrote the following note in my journal: Noise also could represent the constant, meaningless noise with which we occupy our minds – the circular, repetitive chatter of thoughts that go round and round in our heads which we have inherited and which condition our responses to the world we see and hear around us (and which you referred to in our earlier discussion in Installment 88. I just love how these dialogs seem to expand ideas mentioned in earlier Conversations.) When that noise resolves through questioning our conditioning, creating an expression of artistic dimension or seeing past the perceptions of polarities, the noise becomes reconciled into beautiful rhythms and music.

In A Course in Miracles, much of the text is related to the ego and its incessant attempts to deceive us into believing that we are the roles we play, the illusions in which we believe and that this egoic world is all there is by creating endless stories that continually contribute to judgment, instability, chaos, drama … and even war. According to the text, the ego causes chaos, strife and confusion (noise) because these are the atmospheres in which it feels secure.

Later in Dangerous, Ms. Fast entitles Chapter 4 Soul and begins the chapter with a quote :

My goal in life is to give to the world what I was lucky to receive:
the ecstasy of divine union through my music and my dance.
It’s like my purpose; it’s what I’m here for

Her book is one of the few times I have seen Dancing the Dream: Poems and Reflections mentioned with the obvious exception of Margott Schuerings’ From King of Pop to Mahatma: Journey of a Great Soul. Your beautiful book has been roundly ignored by the critics … or dismissed as sentimental claptrap … but in Mahatma and Dangerous, it is given the importance it deserves. To many of your children, Dancing the Dream is the Bible.

In Chapter 4, the noise previously annotated is reconciled in the sublime realm of artistic expression.

Music is used in most cultures as a means through which to connect with the sacred, as a way to “heighten” the significance of words, to take them and our bodies out of the everyday, to re-fashion our sense of time and create community in a way that only music can do … And in the process express, through music sound, the theology of one consciousness.

…because Jackson has, with such a deft hand, made his spiritual journey here in large part through invoking many musical languages. His musical journey is a metaphor for spiritual seeking.

And in From King of Pop to Mahatma, I find the following:

To realize who you really are you have to be still. That does not mean that you may no longer talk. The noise of the world is not produced by words which come out of our mouths or by sounds. The noise of the world is produced by the permanently active mind which creates endless concepts, produces thoughts incessantly, revivifies imaginations without interruption. The noise of the world comes up because the mind is not able to let a fact, an incident or an observation simply be as it is. In the moment of observation, the mind starts obsessively to analyze the observed, to measure and to classify …

The mind is also incapable of simply resting and being still because this would be a death threat to it. A still mind is no more mind. Instead it makes everything into what it wants it to be and thereby leaves nothing as it is.

and

The real noise which fills the whole universe and reaches to the farthest corners of the cosmos is the noise in our heads and thoughts, this eternally rattling, ridiculous chatter of the mind, which is okay with nothing and is permanently grumbling. Michael Jackson has always looked in his heart, followed it and was true to himself until [to the point of] self-abandonment.

The mass of people instead listen to conditionings and never question the endless gibberish in the head …

So, all three of the books I am currently reading are referring to noise, but from different … um … levels of vibrational frequency. One of them is admittedly written from the surface, almost wholly physical, materialistic perspective by an academic musicologist, a serious scientist who analyzes the Dangerous album from a sonic and musical, thematically progressive standpoint. Another is written from a more spiritually-oriented, yet highly intellectual while, at the same time, spiritually-insightful analysis of Dancing the Dream: Poems and Reflections, which could be considered as a companion text to the Dangerous album, having been released in very close chronological proximity to it. The third is a highly-regarded, channeled document containing very elevated instructions on the spiritual life, clarifications on correcting ‘errors’ in previously-inspired scriptures of religious traditions and suggestions on overcoming egoic illusions in our modern world.

Yet, all three are referring to the same thing and in similar terms. The Michael Effect in action! It’s a pattern. It’s not a particle, it’s a wave! I envision the explosion of a supernova in which the detonation occurs and permeates the universe in concentric circular waves of energy from the central point to fill the entire cosmos.

Or, maybe … just maybe … a pebble thrown into a pond which produces ripples that radiate out from the point of submersion across the pond of infinity?

Okay, so color me dense!

I lost that crayon a long time ago and, in truth, find that I seldom need it. [Michael laughs.] But seriously, I love your enthusiasm … and I love you MORE!

Michael Jackson’s whole world is soaked with love. After the stone was thrown into the water, he no longer cared if and when and how it was spreading out. Michael also never gave bigger explanations to his work, possibly in wise foresight that explanations always only satisfy the mind, and apart from that distract from the essential things. When we are present with open heart no explanation is necessary. “It is love, it is about love, it is about coming together.”  [From King of Pop to Mahatma.]

Jan

[Author’s note: All passages indented but not italicized in this dialog are quoted from: From King of Pop to Mahatma, Dangerous, or A Course in Miracles.]

July 1 – September 5, 2014

Hey! [Jan gets a visual impression of the beginning of Michael’s short film for The Way You Make Me Feel – when everyone just freezes in their tracks.] Have you forgotten me?

Forgotten you? Michael, you know better than that! How could I forget my heart?

Well, I want to talk to you about all your experiences in the past month. Can we do that? You are wallowing.

No, I’m not. I’m trying to come to grips with all the new experiences I’ve had.

Yeah! That’s what I said … wallowing! You’re ‘trying to come to grips’ with it all … by yourself. You know you can sort things out better if we discuss it all together. But you’ve been trying to work it all out … and feeling more and more frustrated with it all … instead of sitting down and talking about it with me.

Well, I’m kind of ashamed of myself. I’ve had a few rather personal revelations that I’m not terribly proud of and I wanted to examine them and see how I can correct them.

Yes, I know. I have felt your confusion and tried to reach out to hold you closer in my love, but your negative feelings … your judgment of yourself … your guilt … your fear … have been keeping you from feeling my presence. But let’s talk about all that a bit later, if that’s okay. First, I want to hear about your trip.

Oh my gosh … my trip! Where do I begin?

[Michael laughs.] How about we try starting at the beginning and see how it goes?

Okay … the beginning! The flight to Las Vegas was uneventful. I closed my eyes and envisioned flying MJAir, as I always do. It was a ‘no frills’ airline … efficiently got me there in three hours and seventeen minutes and after collecting my suitcase, I managed to catch a shuttle to my hotel, The Luxor Hotel and Casino on the strip. And that’s where my trip really begins.

I was totally unprepared for the sheer size and magnitude of this place and stood around like a deer impaled by the headlights of an approaching car, trying to figure out how to check in.

Talk about a “Vegas Virgin!”

“Vegas Virgin” … I like that! [Michael giggles.]

Yeah … well … it was kind of an uncomfortable experience, but I’m glad you find it amusing. At the time, I was confused and it showed. There I stood at around midnight … gaping at this incredibly huge place shaped like a pyramid … the likes of which I had never seen before. I finally managed to figure out that the snaking line outlined by rope barriers was the check in line and got myself (and my three hundred pound suitcase) into it. When I got to the desk, the woman asked me if I wanted to upgrade my room from the pyramid to a newer and bigger room in the East Tower. I agreed … big mistake … because the East Tower was a mile and a half away. That might be a slight exaggeration, but not by much! At least, it felt like it was a mile and a half away. It was a nice room and had a wonderful deep soaker bathtub, but it was so far from the pyramid (where all my friends were staying) that I immediately called back down to the desk and asked to be moved back to the pyramid. By the time I, finally, managed to get to a room and check in with my two friends who had arrived before me, it was after 1:00 AM (which was really 3:00 AM my time.) All I could do was fall into bed!

The next morning, I began to explore this city I had checked into the night before. There were giant (two stories tall or more) colossi of Ramses the Great in the lobby! Theaters, restaurants, casino, and shops were all contained within this place and the ancient Egyptian motif ran throughout! It was like being in ancient Egypt … a place I’ve always been fascinated with! Of course, I took pictures of everything, including the framed decorations on the walls in the hallways, with my new MJGalaxy, Jr. (Samsung Galaxy S4 to the uninitiated.)

 

20140618_122713

Meeting new members of my Michael Jackson Family, with whom I had been in contact through my social networks … and renewing friendships with those met on previous excursions … is always a thrill and I was blessed to hook up with a couple of them over breakfast in the Pyramid Café, where I discovered (to my delight) that croissants are, indeed, delicious everywhere and Mimosas (a mixture of Champaign and orange juice complete with cherry) are the only way to start the day!

Exploring Las Vegas included visiting The Venetian and the Regis Gallerie, where you used to shop!

I love that place! Isn’t it beautiful? I just love to see the craftsmanship … the art … the beauty … that mankind is capable of producing. It’s beautiful when someone puts his heart and soul into his creations. I wish we could figure out how to return to producing beautiful craftsmanship that we put our heart and soul into … instead of ugly knock offs and life-destroying wars.

Yes, it is absolutely beautiful! And you gave us such a powerful living example of that. I can see why you loved it! They had video screens set up showing your visit to their shop that was shown in Living with Michael Jackson and framed pictures of you throughout the shop with captions like, “Our friend, Michael. You will be missed.”

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The Venetian is a beautiful hotel and just as big … or bigger … than the Luxor. The frescoes on the ceilings and walls … the canals with gondolas poled by singing gondoliers … the restaurants and theaters. Each hotel is a self-contained city.

I had never considered myself a particularly provincial type of person, having been raised and living for a majority of my younger years near Chicago, but Las Vegas is in a whole different category of extravagance and opulence. I was stunned by its magnificence … and my feet were stunned by the distances … within and between … the hotels. I dealt with swollen feet from day one.

We also visited The Mirage where you stayed often in the Private Villas. There is a door that leads to those private little getaways and as we stood near that door, knowing that you had often passed through it to return to your private villa, the door rattled and the silver phone that grants access to the villas beyond rang a couple of times. It kinda shocked us until one of my friends picked up the phone. No one was there!

Hee hee hee! I told you to be alert!

Yes, you did, Baby! During the day, we explored Las Vegas, but during the evening we attended Michael Jackson ONE at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino! I managed to score an extra ticket to the show on the 17th and already held one for the 18th and 28th, so I got to see it three times instead of two … and I am so glad! It only got better and better each time I saw it.

For the first viewing, there is so much going on above the seats, in the aisles and on the video screens that there is a feeling of overwhelm … sensory overload, if you will. I experienced this same feeling with the Cirque Immortal show that I saw in Los Angeles in January, 2012. I wanted to catch everything. I was seated about six rows back from the stage and had to crane my neck to see the aerialists and some of the aisle activity, but was very close to the stage and able to watch the dancers and hologram very well.

Of course, the music was amazing. It is Michael Jackson, after all! The Cirque producers honored your vocals and presented your messages in quotes projected onto the video screens. Occasional clips of your performances were also shown along with still photographs both on the stage and at the sides of the stage.

For the show on the 18th, I was even closer to the stage and still required to turn around and crane my neck for the aerialists flying above my head. The third show (on the 28th), in my opinion, was the best. I was seated in the second row of the first tier of seats in the balcony, almost in the center of the specially-built auditorium. I was able to view and hear everything going on around me very well and in much greater comfort. In addition, I was able to focus more on the story being told by the music and the plot.

The Michael Jackson ONE show has a wonderful, uplifting message when one can overcome that feeling of sensory overload. Of course, as with any art, the message one walks out with is very subjective; each viewer walks away with something different according to his or her focus and it covers the entire spectrum from just being entertained for an hour and a half (although that’s nothing to sneeze at)  … to taking something permanent and life-enhancing with you when you walk out the door.

Yes, you say ‘just being entertained’ … being disengaged from all your problems and worries for a while … disconnecting from your angers or resentments … separating yourself from your story, your history … is very important. It’s escapism. It gives you distance from all those things so that you can have a few minutes to realize that you are not them … and, more importantly, they are not you. It’s what I aimed for in all of my performances and films.

To gain some distance from all those things that go around and around in your head … all the repetitive chatter that fills your mind most of the time … helps you to see things more clearly and to evaluate your situation from a fresh perspective.

Did you know that 90% of the thoughts you think every day are the same thoughts you thought yesterday … and the day before … and the day before that? And, like we’ve talked about so often before, when you are faced with challenges, your mind often repeats conversations over and over again defending your position or anticipating your victory in an argument. Breaking that pattern before it spirals, dragging you down into dark and negative emotions is the key to restoring your peace of mind.

In our society, most people come home from work and plop themselves down in front of the television to watch the 24-hour news cycle or sitcoms or reality shows and they think that they are releasing the tension from their workday, but they’re not. Most of the time, they are just going over and over that discussion with their co-worker that made them angry, thinking about what they should have said or how they should have responded to a criticism from their boss or the endless tasks that they’ve been required to perform to make a living … and becoming angrier and more resentful of their situation while the television provides background noise. You’ve experienced this. I’ve experienced this. Everyone experiences this. It’s no wonder anxiety and depression are epidemic; we don’t know how to break through that conditioned thinking.

Breaking out of the normal routine by attending a concert or performance helps by detaching all those stressful emotions and thoughts for a few minutes. It’s very important to escape the things that bother you and enjoy something fresh and new. If it’s also mind-blowing … MAGIC … it’s even better.

Well, this show certain fills that bill admirably. While it doesn’t contain quite the same impact it would with you on that stage … up close and personal … it does provide more than ample opportunity to escape into your music, but it also has a deeper, less apparent message, at least for me.

The four main characters (who, in my opinion, represent all of us) are taken on a journey through a mindscape of self-discovery on that stage through the emblems that you made so famous: your fedora, your glove, your sunglasses and your loafers and sparkly socks. These symbols of your fame represent your ongoing influence and inspiration – the energy that John Barnes, your co-producer and arranger during the BAD recording sessions referred to in Spike Lee’s BAD 25 Documentary as “just not going away.” Each of the young people is just going through the motions of life until he/she becomes attracted to one of the symbols.

Suddenly, with that attraction, each becomes curious; a couple of them try to deny or reject the symbol, but the symbol is persistent (remind you of a ‘pushy little moonwalker?’) until he/she finally accepts the gift the symbol represents and awakens the dormant, latent talent hiding within … becoming more than they had thought they were. In Man in the Mirror, a hologram very much like the one we all witnessed on the Billboard Music Award show in May, dances and interacts with each of the characters, bestowing his approval and blessings on each of them by appearing and disappearing in gold pixie dust which weaves around the characters in his wake.

Needless to say, I was entirely mesmerized by this viewing and dumbfounded by the fact that Jamie King and the Cirque team so unerringly manifested what has been happening in the five years since your Ascension and which I have been writing about, since my illness in November, in The Greatest Story Never Told. (Author’s note: See previous posting on this site.)

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

Were you instrumental in arranging that, my Dear One?

I wouldn’t say that. Of course, I always try to guide and inspire any project associated with my name, but it is up to each individual producer or performer to receive and interpret, just as it’s up to you to receive and interpret these Conversations … and it’s up to each person who sees the show … or reads these Conversations … to receive and interpret his or her level of engagement. We are all in this thing together.

Well, I definitely felt your hand and direction in the show. That “tender touch I know so well” was very much in evidence in the performances, the music, the staging and conceptualizing.

In addition, the repetition of this theme in the books I’ve been reading, the story I’ve been writing, the shows I’ve been seeing underscores, for me, the importance of its message to all of us. It is such a clear indication for me of your continuing presence and influence that, at times, I find it almost uncanny.

Of course, Los Angeles was beautiful, as it always is. So many of your children gather to celebrate you in June and in August and special anniversary events were scheduled around June 25th for almost every day we were there, including a Lanterns of Love celebration at the Santa Monica Pier, where paper lanterns with small LED tea lights were lit at dusk on the beach, each donated by one of your children on June 26 and a beautiful sunrise meditation at Venice Beach on June 25 organized by Michael’s Circle of Love. The One Rose for Michael group provided a beautiful floral display at Holly Terrace with even more roses than last year and gifts from around the world blanketed the lawn and courtyard on the anniversary of your Ascension.  We went ‘mural hunting’ on this trip (something I we had never done before) and found two of the large murals of you in the Los Angeles area. My friends and I celebrated Michael Church beneath the Ascension window at Forest Lawn, remembering you and feeling your spirit watching over us.

Our visit to the gates of Neverland was beautiful and serene. The atmosphere of that place is just so full of love and joy … the ONENESS that we all share can be felt in every moment we spend there. We visited Los Olivos for a wonderful lunch and Solvang for dinner and shopping at a favorite little shop called The Pebble People, where I bought a lovely golden Faberge-type egg decorated with red crowns and with a crown inside that revolves to the music of Swan Lake by Tchaichovsky (one of your favorite composers) and a ‘Claddagh vow ring’ to commemorate the trip.

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Our drive back to Las Vegas after our stay in Los Angeles was an interesting experience. We were doing quite well for the first part of the trip until just before dark, when the one expressway linking Los Angeles to Las Vegas became a parking lot, literally. We anticipated that the congestion would clear up. Little did we know! For about 60 miles our progress was measured by inches rather than miles and the normally three and a half hour drive turned into eight hours of snaking red taillights! But we made it to the hotel at around 12:30 AM (the next day) … tired and a little cranky … but alive and well.

I discovered the advantage of a GPS during this trip as my new MJGalaxy, Jr. was equipped with an application that gave us turn-by-turn directions to just about everywhere we wanted to go, including the home you and your beautiful children stayed in on Palomino in Las Vegas … and I can definitely see why your security staff would not allow you to use the front door. It is far too exposed!

All in all, the trip was a MAJOR blessing in my life not only in all the wonderful people I hooked up with again, or for the first time, and the fabulous places I visited or revisited, but also for the lessons it taught me upon my return. Where my first trip in January, 2012 was a MAGIC journey in which you bowled me over with your presence … and my second trip in June 2013 was a “hand-her-the-keys-to-the-house-and-the-car, mi-casa-es-su-casa vacation in comfort and security… this trip was a humbling lesson at the feet of my Zen master, Michael Jackson. I am reminded of the story of the Zen master who walks behind his pupils with a stick in his hand to smack any who sink into idle daydreaming between the shoulder blades.  The students are grateful for the master’s reminder to become alert and present in the moment. I’m afraid I am a little disappointed in my grasp of the concept of humility.

Well, I’m not! [Michael raises his voice!]

Huh? You’re not what?

I am not disappointed in you! Never have been and never will be. You are my beloved … all of you … each and every one. I see in you only beauty. Never, ever think that I am disappointed in you … ever. I love you MORE than that.

Is the master in your analogy disappointed that he must smack his beloved pupil whose attention and in-the-present-moment alertness have wavered? Does the tutor not feel the smack more than the student?

The challenges you face are gifts placed in your path to recognize. Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to see the gift buried in the challenge.

We’ve talked about this before when we discussed your illness in November as a curse but later saw that same illness as a blessing which is only coming to fruition now.  [Reference: Installment 82, November 21, 2013]

In your self-examination since your return to what you consider ‘normal life,’ you have recognized the gift hidden among the challenges you faced. There is no shame in that … only blessing. You removed yourself from the routine and gained perspective … that distance we talked about earlier … which allowed you to became more open to a sharper focus and a clearer, less cluttered view. You have nothing to be ashamed about or to be disappointed about. So stop it!

You have allowed yourself to become distracted by feelings of failure, unworthiness and inadequacy … AGAIN! [Michael sighs.]  And you have wallowed long enough. We have work to do. And I want you to remember something the next time you are faced with what you consider to be your ‘failure.’ And that is: failure is not an option because, quite simply, there is no such thing! There is only blessing because LOVE is the only reality. And LOVE does not judge success … or failure. It is not girded about with conditions or dualities. It has only one imperative: the privilege of giving itself to the beloved.

God! How I love you, Mon Ange!

And I love you MORE!

Announcing the print release of The Greatest Story Never Told, a new short story by the author of With a Child’s Heart Blog and Conversations. My thanks to all those who donated to Walk the World for Michael-Calgary for the PDF version. Many of you, however, asked specifically for the print format. Happy 56th Birthday, Beloved!

Ascension cover

Following is a brief excerpt from the book, now available in print format from Lulu.com

Introduction 

As a Michael Jackson fan of many years’ standing, one of the numerous things that has impressed me about him is his ability to reach out to people in all walks of life – regardless of age, nationality, religious affiliation, ethnic origin, gender identification or sexual preference – and open them to a more expanded view of themselves through discovering possibilities for new avenues of expression they never suspected they possessed.

In the process, accomplished through pursuing perfect execution in the broad spectrum of his own artistic expressions, he seems, by some means unknown to me and simply described in the word “magic,” to inspire others less talented than himself, perhaps, to explore – to try new ideas and forms and mediums – and discover within themselves hitherto hidden, ignored, dormant, or thought impossible talents and means of expression.

This uncanny ability, surprisingly, did not cease five years ago when he retired the physical manifestation of his indefatigable energy, for science informs us that energy never dies. While its form may change, the energy, itself, remains.

That energy has resulted in an explosion of new books, visual arts, websites, blogs, and videos as well as, of course, music and dance in the last five years. I liken this detonation in my own mind to a NEW RENAISSANCE because it reminds me of the expansion of art and science that occurred in Italy in the 16th Century, when new possibilities were thick in the air breathed by our medieval counterparts. It is aided and abetted by the technology we have at our disposal in the 21st Century, but the fact remains that many who have never written before are writing; many who have never drawn or painted before are drawing and painting; people who have never given of themselves before are giving of what they are moved to create – and all are fueled and inspired by that same indefatigable energy we knew as Michael Jackson.

The novella you hold in your hands explores this new development and attempts to explain it in imaginative vignettes. While the characters illuminated in the vignettes are painted with broad strokes to protect their identities, most are real people and personal friends. They will probably recognize themselves from the descriptions.

A few are purely fictional and, yet, plausible, given the facts (as opposed to the fictions and urban legends foisted upon an unsuspecting public by a media that has repeatedly ignored its mandate as well as truth, justice, human rights and common human decency) in its reportage of Michael Jackson’s life.

This novella is a work of fiction … or is it?

[Author’s Note: While many great writers and thinkers have attempted to explain some of the concepts and abstract theories contained within these pages, they remain a mystery. This is my, no doubt, poor attempt to approach them with a child’s heart and paint a plausible rendering of the subject matter. I make no claim to great understanding of these concepts.

I do lay claim to playing with them in a contextual framework, which is, I believe, a privilege granted to all as inhabitants of Planet Earth and children of a Creator who shares our joy in investigating, exploring, experiencing and discovering meaning with … and in … and through … all of her creations. She delights in each new creative expression and shares that delight with all of us.]

What Can We Do

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August 7, 2014
In the past couple of weeks, I have been very focused on putting the finishing touches on a surprise for all of my regular readers to honor Michael’s upcoming birthday. However, very recently, a couple of stories have cropped up in the so-called NEWS that I feel I must address briefly here at With a Child’s Heart because they have the potential of distracting us from our main goal and impeding our forward progress toward a healed world.

The interesting thing about these so-called NEWS stories is that there is really nothing NEW in them. One of them states an obvious fact … and the other is just a rehashing and embellishment of a very old story. Of course, the embellishment is the addition of ever more salacious detail to whet the prurient interests of a culture that thrives on salacious sensationalism to feel superior.

However, both deal with events and situations that have not yet taken place. In other words, by allowing them to unbalance us we are projecting an imagined event that may or may not occur and appropriating it into our present moments as if it had, reacting to it in the present as if it were already a reality instead of using our focus to create new, more healing scenarios.

The first of these stories is the possible sale of what … to every fan … will always be Neverland Valley Ranch. This possibility has always been obvious from the date of Michael Jackson’s Ascension. It’s not news … yet. It’s a possible scenario that may occur. To my knowledge, no offer for the property has been made, accepted or finalized and, therefore, no sale is imminent. Hence, it continues to exist as one possibility among a host of possibilities, which means we can choose which of the host of possibilities becomes reality with our focus. Michael showed us how this works in the instance of the trial of Conrad Murray [Conversations Volume 1 – Installments 9, 20, 38, 48 and 49]

The other is the filing of legal documents in a claim against Michael’s estate which outlines in graphic detail wild allegations by a man who repeatedly denied any sexual overtures on the part of Michael both publically and under oath and filed his claims long after the court-imposed deadlines for such filings had elapsed. Coincidentally, these claims were also filed after the claimant’s career went belly up when his expectations of choreographing the Cirque du Soleil shows were dashed. None of this is news. The news is the sick-making “graphic detail” contained in the legal documents, which were, apparently, leaked to the press. The hearing of these claims is several months away and concerns only the determination of the legitimacy of the claims. In other words, MONEY – and whether the estate can, legally, be required to pay the claimant. Guilt or innocence is not at issue; that has been established. In 2005, Michael was acquitted of all charges brought against him by a jury, largely on the testimony of the current claimant … but not exclusively. The insubstantiality of the prosecution’s case and the mental instability and lack of credibility of many of the prosecution’s witnesses were also huge factors in the jury’s verdict.

To my knowledge, a dead man cannot be put on trial or a court’s verdict overturned by a claim against his estate. This is all about the money as it has always been. In any case, any hearing is months away and, therefore, subject to change.

Intention is the steam roller of creation … the earthmover of reality. It is the work horse that gets the job done.
While intention is the earthmover, the steam roller of creation, joy is the fuel that moves that massive machinery forward, the accelerant without which the task becomes a chore instead of the act of selfless love that we want to broadcast with these visualizations. It’s the Pac-Man part of the equation that brings fun and imagination and laughter …

[Conversations Volume 2 – Installment 56]

I see many discussions on social networks that we, as a community, have to take action to prevent our projections into the future from coming to pass … and I agree. We do need to take action. However, my action may be a little different from those I’ve seen proposed by others and is based on my Conversations with Michael (which are available for all to read on this site as well as in printed format) as well as the exemplary life he lived among us. My action includes the following:

STOP projecting into a future that has not occurred and worrying about possibilities. By doing so, we just cause ourselves unnecessary pain in the present moment and our focus on our imagined projections makes the dreaded scenarios more likely rather than less. We strengthen it instead of disabling it because what we resist persists. Change in all situations is inevitable; how the situation changes is up to us!

Instead, choose a possibility in both situations and visualize both bathed in the pure light of LOVE and TRUTH. I, personally, (as my regular readers know) am in the habit of spending an hour every afternoon that I possibly can at Neverland Valley Ranch through the power of imagination and visualization. With the help of my Neverland compact disc of nature sounds, I visualize Michael’s beautiful compound as we’ve seen it so often in photographs and videos and its serenity and tranquility embrace me as I shower it with love and reverence. It is an imaginary interlude to which I look forward … and miss when life intervenes. I find it restful and bracing, but it also informs the universe of my intention (remember that quote earlier?) that the compound be preserved as a haven of rest and healing for the whole world.

A return to daily visualizations in which the current claimant is engulfed in love … and light … and truth … and nasty, little white feathers that follow him wherever he goes no matter how much he resists that engulfment, sticking to his nose and eyelashes and hair [hee hee hee] seems an appropriate response to recent leaks. Cleaning out the courtroom in anticipation of the residence of Love, Light and Truth and bathing the judge and legal representatives in wisdom without attachment to any particular outcome also seems appropriate.

These actions have worked for us before with spectacular results. A side benefit is that our sickness, anxiety, resistance and conflict melt away with these proactive measures.

I commit myself to them. Who will join me?

Jan – August 7, 2014

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