Caution, Gates Open Inward

By Adam Crosthwaite

Preparing for Passage to Higher Levels of Awareness

People spend their time in a world full of gates, boundaries  and barriers of many different types.  These barriers, regardless of their form being both nonphysical as well as physical, exist as a form of protection.  Sometimes these are negative barriers created by misunderstandings in the minds of people who have stumbled along the life path.  Others are perhaps temporary stop gaps to buy time to work out solutions to complex issues that have become more permanent.  Whatever the case may be, there are a lot of these obstacles and they can be cumbersome to negotiate around at times.  That is why it nice to find out there are doorways and gateways to allow for passage between and amongst these divided zones.

Sure, a way past an obstacle can be nice and very welcome, especially in a moment of frustration or panic when timing (an especially challenging variable in my personal sphere of influence) is of the essence and the need to be able to bypass any unnecessary obstacle to maintain a course is of utmost importance.  However fool’s gold can be just that and reaching out for that shiny rock on the bottom of a river can cost more than time or energy.  An awfully tempting short cut can leave a person in dire straits with little or no help to come along for some time. Taking the wrong pathway into situations one is unprepared for or unaware of can create a lot of chaos in a world already dependent on being regulated and contain at many different levels, which is why most gates have a regulatory function built into how they operate.

Gates in the physical world can be a pain to deal with at times.  The nice thing about these gates is they usually come with instructions and warnings on them.  There are those gates in the non-physical sense such as mental and emotional levels that come with little to no warning or even acknowledgment of their existence without training and even still it can be worse to negotiate than the Maze of the Minotaur.

Caution: Gate Opens Inward

One of my favorite warnings is: CAUTION: GATE OPENS INWARD.  This warning always makes me smile, not just because the thought of some jerk in a rush running headlong into an iron gate and getting his head rung seems to be funny to me on a bad day,  but also because it makes me pause for a moment.  Few things in the world grab the full attention of my thoughts, not my random unconscious reactions from the reptilian or mammalian brain centers, but my actual human thoughts.  It is the external notification of an inward opening and the levels of caution necessary in such an event.  In other words, here is a reminder in the physical world communicating to me through the visual fabric of manifestation that I need remain vigilant in my internal explorations and development.  There are several barriers that have become unregulated and need to be repaired as well as protected.  What good is the security measures that have been set up when in passing through a gate something unwelcome or detrimental is let in and what’s worse what if it goes unnoticed?

This is a scenario I have come face to face with on more than one occasion, and it is never easy to explain or fix.  The reflection of how these portals, doorways, gates or whatever name people may come up with for these check points may be operate on different levels of understanding and knowledge is also worth considering.  Generally speaking people grow up and spend much of their early years developing awareness of surroundings including people.  Who is safe to talk to, who can be trusted to take me home or give a hug to?  Where is the safest place to be when something is happening?  Who should be avoided to stay out of trouble?  These are all examples of the many different aspects of safety regulation that most people start out with learning and build from there.

Fear

Sadly much of this understanding stops expanding at a certain age and fear is enacted as a safety net.  People become unsure of others in an unhealthy way and start to shun and push away others who are deemed different for reasons other than genuine safety and protection.  Eventfully a level of ignorance becomes the social norm amongst different pockets of a population and people stop maintaining any semblance of vigilance as long as they have their close knit circle and any outsiders that may look or sound or think differently are far away and pose no seeable threat.  People stop paying attention to or following up on major changes in the world and stop continuing to learn and grow until they become stagnate and bored, just as I was pointing out in my last article with help from The Boss, Rev. Strickler, when I found myself in such a place.

When people are in this state of mind, there is no one awake at the gate standing guard.  It is at these times that anything can happen.  Any security professional from patrol to gate guard to information technology can tell you that there is no such thing as a one hundred percent secure environment.  There are always exploitable points with in any system and where ever you have a human being you have a chance for an exploitable advantage if you know how manipulate.  Just as major corporations and the special interest groups or individuals behind the faces of big name companies have spent time and resources learning and practicing to slip through the cracks of awareness; one day people are looking at each other asking, “How did we get to this point where things are so out of control?”

The different mystical traditions from around the world and through the ages are full of these check points and gates that regulate who and what may pass in and out of an area at any time.  If only people were as self-aware and consider choices and actions just as much as a simple warning on a gate or door, taking the time to make sure no one gets smacked in the face with an unknown variable. It can be as simple as finding a shut off notice from the power company because the choice to save ten dollars on a new digital whatever while it was on sale seemed like a good idea, when in fact it would have been wiser to have waited two days and pay the ten extra dollars because the electricity payment could bounce and payday is tomorrow; spending extra money can wait.

I can recall having these seemingly ridiculous scenarios pop up just like this one in my early twenties as I would attempt to play the game of Beat the Bank, a term and discussion that came up much with Rev. Strickler in the past.  It was his words, “Beat the Bank” that eventually helped my mind to refocus from the mindset of a kid running to the comic book store with his allowance to that of a grown up with a paycheck and bills to pay.  A juvenile mentality that I find at play still from time to time as I work on regulating and restructuring my own pathways and gates to maintain and protect necessary areas with in my mind.

Warning: This Is Going To Hurt

Now I have to question myself, why am I being warned so eminently by the Universe literally giving me a sign that saying: “CAUTION YOU MAY GET HIT BY SOMETHING HERE.”  I have been working for a long time to overcome my own negative barriers and establish proper boundaries, to learn to regulate what and whom I allow access to in my life, both coming and going.  In this time I have been aided and taught by what can only be described as the most patient and compassionate human being ever known, Rev. David Strickler, without whom I never would have realized what was happening let alone what to do about it.

Someday I will be standing in front of a gate that I need to pass and I know I will be completely alone in this task.  I know this because I have been through situations and discussions and many warnings in preparation for this.  My goal is to be aware enough and to be ready to pass the gate, overcoming my past shortcomings, and to be accepted by the Higher Self into those levels that would allow me to better regulate in order to not only be better prepared, but to aid those along the way who still keep running headlong into variables of iron and chaos.

Wishing you the awareness to see and understand the sign upon the gate, and the good fortune for it not to read: WARNING – THIS IS GOING TO HURT.

Blessings,

Adam Crosthwaite

Copyright © 2016 by Institute of Spiritual Climate LLC

 

— the End of October 2016 Spiritual Climate Newsletter —

you know you want to do it:

Get Up!  Get Up!

By Adam Crosthwaite

A single moment, just like a flash, is all it takes to change a world.  Even a world as small as one corner of a person’s life that is in the process of challenging itself to get up, or a universe teaming with life sprawled out over light years, this process may appear to follow a universal formula for sudden awareness.  One might even say it was so obvious that some ancient culture from centuries before had been writing about such events in a pictorial script on walls and tablets.

There are different ways to bring about changes within any space.  In the ongoing explorations of the mysteries of Qabalah, as I continue to be taught by Rev. David Strickler, the primary focus is on the personal space thus far. In working with mental and emotional energies using the principles of spiritual alchemy changes within one’s own personal sphere of influence become possible and spiritual growth may occur.  This is mostly a process of cleaning up and clearing out energies and habits.  In this clearing of the way not only is there a change in perceptions and attitudes but the receptivity to higher consciousness is opened up and honed.  Years of practice, study and application helped guide initiates as they continually seek out the lessons and advice of the Masters, such as Rev. Strickler, who have walked the path and aid those along the way.

Finding the Will to Get Up!

Along the path there are many challenges, some which appear to throw one to the ground, brought on by an number of factors many from outside our own personal circle but most, and the more devious, are those from within our own circle; each of us with our own personal, emotional and mental baggage or rather “spiritual disorders”.  Part of the challenge can be to get up, having been thrown to the ground.  These challenges can stay with a person until resolved for whatever the reason.  Along the path I have encountered many of these challenges, some without knowing what they were, but each one just as capable of throwing me off my path, or down to the ground on my path, as the next.

Recently my world has been changed by a clearing of my own perception.  I had been struggling with some personal problems that managed to manifest into physical health issues, mostly weight gain.  Strangely,  I had no idea that this was happening.  Actually I knew something was wrong, I just had no idea that it was at affect with something from deep within my past.  This whole time I was looking at my present mindset and thinking that I was just being lazy or momentarily careless about my own well-being.  You see, a long time ago I learned that I was good enough at certain things in school and some other areas where work was hard, I could slack off without getting noticed.  What started out as a kid thinking he was gaming the system turned into a man who didn’t expect to be challenged as much as he was later on in life.  I found myself in a struggle to get up off the mat of Life.

The alchemical mixture of sloppy behavior and unethical mindset has been in place and hiding, waiting for the perfect setting to spill over and try to infect other areas of my mental and emotional laboratory that I have been working on cleaning and building for twelve years as student of Rev. Strickler’s.  After a few years of slippery situations and seemingly chaotic events it takes a slap in the face in the form of a doctor’s diagnosis and a few months later a sucker punch from an employer with a pink slip drive home the message, “YOU HAVE A PROBLEM!”

There is much more to my challenge than I am letting be known, but I am sure the details would just drone on and not serve the writing very well; not all disclosure is for public consumption.  Those who have been a part of my journey know as they have been there, for those who don’t just imagine temporally losing a loved one and a few years later losing one that you spent a good portion of your adult life trying to find.

I was brought down to the level of self-pity and doubt, feeling pinned down to the ground.  I was just trying not to panic while in panic mode for days.  I couldn’t make sense of things for a day or two until I crashed out and didn’t do anything for a day.  It wasn’t until I started to move that things started to clear up and make since.  Suddenly I knew what to do, I needed to get up off the ground.  I woke up one day and I started with just cleaning my space a little.  It started with clearing out an area to work with.  Then I counseled a few memberships on line then updated my resume and started to apply for work.  In a flash, my world once again had changed.  I could hear a voice from somewhere telling me to get up and move, to get up and get going.  At times it sounds like my mentor Rev. Strickler, just as if I was sitting with him and he was speaking to me directly, other times it is a voice similar to my own but bigger and clearer than the whispering voice I am used to.

The irony of this experience is that I was convinced that I didn’t make the changes necessary to change my situation quick enough to break out of the rut I was in mentally and physically once I was aware of them.  It was a month after the first awareness of how far reaching my problem was which was six months after finally accepting the doctor’s diagnosis.  The final blow from work hit.  Even in the process of making changes, more fallout from events can continue to disrupt things, from the simplest most mundane aspects to the larger more threatening situations that may irrevocably affect your life.  It all depends on the size and scope of the events involved.

Now I am working a new job, one that took only two days to find and get after choosing to move; it is the exact opposite of the one I had.  I went from a comfortable air conditioned building to walking around all night locking up buildings in the beginning of the monsoon season in Phoenix, Arizona.  I get all the fresh air and exercise I can handle!  No more sitting around the office for hours on end watching monitors or reading.  Now I have to eat right to keep in decent shape, so no more fast food short cuts every night or pizza delivery late night at work.  In a flash my lifestyle was changed.

For all the study and practice over the last twelve years as an initiate in the art of Qabalah, I still needed a little help to get up off the ground and push me in the right direction, to get me under way even though I was ready all along.  It is very easy to become wrapped up in illusions when your guard is down.  That is why it’s important to have some type of emotional and mental conditioning. There are aspects of the alchemical process in the Q tradition of Qabalah that aid and teach in these manners, but one never truly understands them until they have undergone the experience of having to rely on them when faced with a challenge.

I can remember many times in the middle of a fight and looking to the sidelines and seeing my teacher yelling at me to ‘Get Up!’  I finally became aware, engaged in the situation fully to make changes.  In the past Rev. Strickler has used the image of the mentor standing by and watching his student from the sidelines as they train and fight in the ring.  With the patience of a true master, Rev. Strickler has used image as a metaphor to explain to me how he watched over and waited for his student to engage the process and make the changes that have been worked for so long.  There will be times when it feels as if there is nothing more to do, that no matter, what nothing will get better.  That is a dangerous time to be down and unwilling to find the ability to get up and keep moving.  Even more so when you are up against yourself and all your spiritual disorders, also referred to as the shadow self, the darker part of the inner person created from within.

The shadow self is smooth and can use any number of exploitable vulnerabilities just like a computer virus as a type of sabotage against the efforts of the self attempting to find expression of the true or higher in the physical world.  Few things in life are as scary as the realization that you have been under the influence of a shadow.

All the preparation and training in the world is useless to a person who is unable to function when under pressure.  Knowing there is a problem can help, but will not do much to effect the situation for the better.  It is through the engagement of Will that allows for changes to occur in the world.  No matter how big or small a change or world, no movement means there can be no engagement of the energies present.

No matter how dark or overwhelming the situation may seem if you listen closely enough, you may hear someone silently cheering for you.  Even if you don’t see any one, there is always a voice saying, “Get up!  Get up, Now!”

Blessings,

Adam Crosthwaite

Copyright © 2016 by Institute of Spiritual Climate LLC

you know you want to do it:

Echoes & Reflections

by Adam Crosthwaite

The month of March has always been a major point of reflection for me because in my short lived history in this lifetime, it has been a month of great change. While traveling the path of return to the true self I have found the view to change, slowly at times and rapidly at others.  There are moments when it may seem that nothing at all has changed.  Sometimes I hear echoes from a long time ago of one of my first teachers when I was a kid attending martial arts classes in a small school in Denver, Colorado who taught me to remember where I was at before the present.  There are times when I stop and reflect on the past to see where I was and where I am.   Some of the darkest, hardest and even the most beautiful moments of my life have taken place during this time of year.  All of these moments have been life changing both the painful and the empowering; it has always been a time to contemplate the echoes and reflections of March and take note of what has been and how things have changed.

A year ago I would get out of work just as the sun was rising, and head home traveling mostly on the freeway, passing neighborhoods and businesses, crossing over from one side of downtown the other side of downtown.  The contrast between neighborhoods never ceased to amaze me.  As the sun started to rise behind me each morning I would watch as the oncoming buildings stood tall and shiny in the sunlight.  They would remind me of the same buildings I saw as a child growing up in the city within walking distance from the warehouse district and Capitol Hill area of Denver, Colorado.  As similar as this view was to me, I knew things were very different.  This was a different time and place all together.  As I crossed over from the well-kept, well to do neighborhoods and into the smoggy, rundown side of the city down by the rail road tracks, I began to feel half relieved to be getting home and half ill realizing that this was home.

Every day was the same until I finally reached several of my goals that required me to be more frugal than I had been.  A year ago I moved out of that area and ended up closer to work and in a quieter, cleaner and less violent neighborhood.  I moved to the other side of the tracks literally.

Now the sun rises to my side; we ride home together instead of me trying to race against the light so I don’t have to look upon the world around me and remember the way home across the other side of the tracks, to that world of the working poor who once were the back bone and support of the economy that built those shining tall buildings that now cast long shadows over them in the morning light. I had dug my way out of a similar situation, reminding me of how I could never completely forget how it felt to live in a neighborhood with barely breathable air, gunshots at all hours of the night and the feeling of dread when the flashing lights of emergency response units from the police or fire department light up you bedroom at night.

Once again another day begins and the sun rises in the desert revealing one abandoned block after another in a neighborhood that was vibrant and once sprang to life as an oasis serving travelers who have come for reprieve from everyday life, a luxury saved only for few people these days.  The train tracks no longer serve as the demarcation point running through downtown separating the down trodden and would be middle class.

The boarded up store fronts and bulldozed lots spread further across different neighborhoods.  On one block there may be a park that runs up to a gated community with a high school across the street, while just down a block from there sits a shuttered corner store that serves as a warm place for the homeless to get out of the wind to try and sleep a few hours before being awakened by the kids on their way to school.  Gradually the neighborhoods start to look the same, abandoned and boarded up.

Even with help after working for a long time to get out of financial difficulties I understand just how much work it takes to stay financially above water in today’s economy.  As I look around and pay attention to the world as it changes around me, I wonder just how different other people are in their personal struggles.  Although these struggles take on different qualities based on each personal perspective, they are similar at their core.  Everyone seems to be having a bad day.

In the Alchemical practices that I have been guided through by Rev. Strickler, I have been brought to face off with the many aspects of myself in preparation to achieve higher levels of knowledge and growth.  Awareness of the self, as well as awareness of things out side of one’s own personal circle of self has been the main focus of much of my learning and understanding as a student.  Looking out at the edge of my own circle of influence I noticed things have become much worse than most people would have believed.  The biggest problem of all is a lacking of awareness in the world.  People remain stuck in their own corner facing outward in fear but not understanding what it is they are seeing.

It’s as if some sinister force has clouded the minds of the masses, like a group of dark magicians casting digital enchantments across great distances to ensnare the masses by tapping deep pools of fear.  The more people I speak to about this the clearer it becomes that most of them are simply accepting the spoon fed misinformation and false guidance from sources that have been long known as shady and even down right unethical.  This is one of the apertures through which those of us walking the path of return know we we can become entangled within and get in our own way of making progress.  In my outward view of the world, the sequestration of the masses through fear has taken hold and shows few signs of letting go any time soon.

So what is there for anyone to do when faced with the realization that there is  definitely something wrong with the world and there seems to be very little any one can do about it?  There are days when I look at the outer world around me and feel that same twinge of dread in realizing how wrong I was in my life before learning there is a way out of the darkness that I created with my own misuse of will, which I was allowed access to at various parts of my life.  That was before I heard the voice of the man I would come to know as Master Teacher, Rev. David Strickler aka The Boss.  Over the years my lessons and training seemed to be more like a round of celestial chess at times, like a round of hide and seek with no light at all.  There are days when I wonder how many other people out there have been able to hear that same voice cutting through the darkness in some form that is able to reach them and hold them in place long enough to pay attention.

Fortunately a voice from the past calls out to those who are looking for a way out of the artificial darkness cast upon the masses of people struggling to keep their families and homes safe and secure.  More and more voices are sounding out in the darkness and with each new voice comes a new point of reflection for the light to weave its way through the blackness,  gradually lighting the way for those along the path of return.  It can be hard at times to see and to hear.  Ironically, finding the dimmest of lights amongst the darkest of spaces is not always hindered by the darkness, but rather aided by contrast of shadows against one another.

There was an old saying I heard when I was young, I do not remember where I first heard it or who said it.  It was a well-known saying I would hear over and over again in several different versions, but the message remained the same.  I heard it almost everywhere off and on for years, until one day during a class The Boss walked over, picked up a candle and said, “Do not sit there and curse the darkness.  Light a candle. ” as he lit the candle in his hand.  At that moment I felt the connection across time and space, or at least my own limited perception of it.  In reflection upon that moment, I understood the higher self can and will use any person, place or thing to reach any one, anywhere, any time and as many times as it takes.

Surely the light is reaching into those spaces that need healing and growth for all and balance will be restored with time.  For those who have yet to find this source, there are reflections of it everywhere. The darkness does not carry silence; if one cannot see what the eye is straining to see then perhaps it time to learn to see with the ears and then watch to see what may manifest in the shadows.

May your darkest moments be filled with the echoing of guiding voices speaking loud enough to help you pay attention to where once were to where you may find yourself in the light.

Blessings,

Adam Crosthwaite

Copyright © 2016 by Institute of Spiritual Climate LLC

 

you know you want to do it:

Remembering the Light

by Adam Crosthwaite

“…for it is the doom of men that they forget.” 1

When I was younger I would get lost in the world of science fiction.  Through movies, novels and my favorite comic books; even the toys I played with as a child had come from the same stories I had read about.  Just like the old tales of knights and dragons, ancient gods of the great mythologies, and other heroes who committed acts of valor in the name good, I would look to the stories of heroes for inspiration and guidance as I was taught to by my grade school teachers.  As I grew older I played less and read more.  The characters became more mystical as I moved toward more classical fairytale style of books rather than science fiction.  Comic books remained, but volumes of Grimm’s Fairy Tales and other classic stories with their historical references had been added.  Over time I realized a recurring theme among all the stories both old and new.  I also saw as I was growing in understanding of the world around me that the same was happening in real life as well.  Where is the light?

The art of storytelling has been an effective means of teaching for countless traditions over the ages.  Unfortunately, this art is easily manipulated and even corrupted to serve the ideologies of any subversive group leading by ways of ignorance and intolerance in order to feed into fear as a means to their own ends.  The effects of this practice become more apparent as the darker time of the year approaches and you can watch as people everywhere begin to seek out external comforts in an effort to cope with the encroaching darkness and cold of winter on an instinctual level.

This can be seen as people respond to the colder longer nights and shorter days by seeking comfort from some mysterious fear that seems to be closing in but never really arrives.  I remember this topic of discussion with Rev. Strickler around this time of year since I first started out as one of his students.  Every year I could recognize this response being around other people most of the time, but this year has been very different.  I have been mostly alone; with my schedule and new living space I can go most weeks without contact with more than the six people I see at work, not accounting for cashiers or passing neighbors.  This has made it much simpler for me to focus on my personal circle rather than trying to do so while drowning out distractions.  That is until I found myself seeking the comfort and insulation from the darkness I had spent years learning and working toward understanding.  I was subverted away from my path by the distraction of that ever lurking distraction waiting in the darkest corner of the mind, fear.  What the fear is of is not the main question, forgetting that it will never go away, that it will be present in one form or another; there is the danger.

While as a student Qabalah I know good and well what is happening and should never have been tripped up so quietly, but what alchemical lesson is complete without the administration of a litmus test?  As it turns out I found that my basic elements (emotional centers) are still a little too acidic or hot (overly sensitive). Bad puns aside I was sidelined by an emotional response left over from a major event in my past that I had not reviewed in my alchemical process since its passing.  It took longer than I thought but after finding myself stuck, unaware of the darkness, I was surrounding myself by choosing to ignore the past; I realized that it was in forgetting that I slipped and failed.  As a light was reflected from a seemingly distant point, the way was pointed for me to hear as I sat talking with Rev. Strickler one evening during one of my much anticipated visits to spend time talking with him and the rest of the group.

As I started to review my path after my last visit to the Temple, Rev. Strickler’s home where I look forward to meeting with him and everyone else when I can, I was not completely clear on what I was missing in my examination of the situation.  I knew where some mistakes had been made, but I was not clear on how I had become entangled in this Gordian knot.  Then one day I heard what was at the time the most ridiculous statement I had heard in a long time.  A person at my work was attempting to break an awkward silence with a generic statement about the weather.  Living in Arizona, this is not a subject that one talks about unless necessary.

It was getting cold outside as winter had arrived for most of the Northern Hemisphere with snow storms and freezing rains, but we had just broken out of the 90 degree range and were enjoying our 80 degree days as the rest of North America was icing over at the time.  This person who walks by and looks out the window at midnight at the pitch black sky with no clouds in sight and says, “Man it sure looks cold out there.”  My first response was to bite my tongue while thinking to myself, “What the hell did I just hear?  It’s a freaking desert, how the hell does a desert look cold?  Ever?”  After my internal response quieted down I started to think about what a cold night would look like.

I remembered the snow frosted rooftops of my old neighborhood where I grew up in Denver.  I could recall the watching the first snow as a blanket of silence that fell down on everything, masking the city white almost every night.  Even the smell of the neighborhood changed; first from the dingy oily smog to a crisp neutral scent, followed moments later by the warmth of fresh pine slowly burning in fireplaces.  Then suddenly it hit me, THE LIGHT!  In the snow there was no such thing as darkness, not as long as there was even just a speck of light no matter how dim.  Every snow coated surface reflected that same light sharing it, borrowing from the previous source, passing it on the next and so on, so that every source of light was magnified leaving no shadow save for those cast up to the sky, only to be drowned out by the moon and stars.  Each point of light reflected outward as it was touched by the light before it, expressing the same light in a different angle of perception, just as each person is a point of light cast from the source sharing that same light with others, each reflecting to the best of their ability.

Where was the light?  It was always there, all around.  I had failed to maintain that piece of the reflection that was my angle of perception in the tapestry of the Great Work.  The profound feeling of loss was the loss of time, time that could have been used in growing through knowledge and expanding awareness.  I was looking for an exterior solution to a problem I had set into motion within an interior arena set up for this very purpose.  Within my alchemical laboratory I had simply stopped looking with the light I was given use of and totally ignored an important aspect of my undeveloped self until it became enough of a problem to cause discomfort.  To add insult to injury, I created a process to amplify the effects by a misuse of negative energy in form of saying no to engaging with the light of the alchemical process and working on bettering myself.

The best example of this process I can use is an addict.  In most cases of addiction, there are tendencies to avoid pain; in some forms there are tendencies to engage in pain either similar to or another more destructive form that can cause harm.  Either way the person is running from an experience no matter how much damage they may cause in the process.  They will eventually look to whatever vice they chose as their escape as if it were a light switch that makes the dark disappear, only the light never shines, so the intensity of the vice is increased until a major event forces a change, or worse, death.  While this is an extreme example of how this can unfold, it also is the clearest one for the moment.

The scary part is that anyone could easily fall into this pattern, not so much the addiction model, but a very close version of it.  Couple that with the tendency for outside influences by those with less altruistic motives to attempt interference for their own ends; the world could appear rather frightening at times.  It is because of this I understand the proclivity toward the stories of heroes that stood up against dark forces.  They always seemed to be endowed with a gift or ability seemingly inhuman or impossible for so called normal people to achieve.  They didn’t need to find the light; they had teachers who showed them how work with the light they had been given to reflect for others who may be receptive, forwarding the light on, illuminating the darkness by exposing the unknown thus making way for knowledge and growth.

There are countless stories out there about heroes and victories over the darkness, whatever form it may take.  From great space battles to superhuman abilities, new stories are written every day but not just to entertain. If you look, the same process is in motion in every story being told; to overcome the darkness one does not look outward for an external source of salvation.  The source of the salvation will make its self known when the hero (student/reflective vessel) is ready.  The Timeless Wisdom of the Ancients is ever unfolding in as many forms as there are angles of perception from those capable of being as receptive as the heroes of yesterday, today and tomorrow.  If it is a story of inspiration that is needed to get things started, I know of a good one with a little reindeer with low self-esteem and bright shiny nose.

Whether you find inspiration in the form of a story or a dialog with a teacher, remember to shine so the light you are given use of in this world can show another the way home in the dark.

May the inner light of the true Self, borrowed from the Source, be reflected not just in memory, but along the path you find yourself traveling.

Blessings,

Adam Crosthwaite

2016 Christmas-NewYear


Notes:

  1. Merlin from the Movie: Excalibur (1981) Orion Pictures
you know you want to do it:

Self-Subterfuge

© Mike Taylor - Taylor Photography
Super Blood Moon Eclipse Sequence by © Mike Taylor – Taylor Photography

SELF-SUBTERFUGE
(Overcoming Dopamine Dependency and Facing Yourself)
by Adam Crosthwaite

As an initiate of the esoteric in Qabalah under Rev. Strickler I have seen, learned and experienced enough in the moments with him or in those moments engaged along the path with work’s he has shown or included me in to change a hundred lifetimes. All these experiences and now years of learning and growing yet, at times, I must question if there has been any progress at all. In keeping with the teaching and traditions of the esoteric masters I work to understand by dialog yet at the end of the week, month or year I find myself taking stock of what was missed and what was gained. As those who fail to learn through understanding of dialog must undergo the pain of learning through experience the laboratory of everyday life as always provides the materials for the student, myself, to undergo yet another experiment. In other words, here we go again.

There are moments when experiences along the Spiritual Path become surreal. There are times when I find myself questioning if I am even on a Spiritual Path let alone heading in the right direction. Even in a seemingly perfect situation with no obvious distractions or obstacles a person can find themselves struggling with a self-made quagmire while remaining completely unaware of the dire circumstances and impending catastrophe approaching. This could look a lot like a scary movie when the audience is trying to tell the characters not to open the cellar door or hide under the bed because that’s where the monsters are waiting for them. Everyone knows what is going to happen, even the other characters may know what is coming, but true to script the next victim willingly walks into that trap as if it was meant to be. When Rev. Strickler talks about the Spirit and Soul trying to communicate with the personality and ego I see it looking something like this. Few things are as frustrating as witnessing someone yelling at an unaware character on a screen who is about to walk into a bad situation that can be avoided if not for want of a clear sense of hearing in a real life situation.

The effect is much like what we are seeing with the current digital generation as more people every day become befuddled by the numerous forms from which they can receive their digital dose of dopamine. The constant interruption of personal interactions, conversations and even driving not only frustrate and confuse the senses as well as others, it lends an opening for outside interferences. These interferences can become dangerous on many levels. Also when another person attempts to make contact to share or voice concern or even just to offer assistance, the message becomes distorted or dismissed. In my case I believed that others were just over-reacting to something that I could control. I told myself that they were panicking and I had things under control that I could turn my circumstance around at any time and with minimal effort. That’s right, the classic mantra of the addict. “I don’t have a problem. Everything is under control. I can change whenever I want to.”

To further the frustration I could hear the voices of reason in my own circumstance coming from those around me that I trust and care about warning me yet I stayed true to the script that I had written out as if preordained to become the next victim of circumstance. At one point I could hear my own voice with in me screaming and pounding on the hollow walls of my mind to change the trajectory. I was aware of my circumstance and even how to reverse it. I had the time, space, resources and knowledge to achieve this. I had worked under great frustration and determination for years to get to the point I was at and I had only a few steps to make a goal that was I set out for over ten years ago. I even had great assistance from outside of my own abilities that made the path much more smother than it could have been yet I still missed the mark. I took a moment to rest for a breath and turned it into much more than just that allowing those aspects of the personality I had worked on to emerge in true form and fashion just as they did in the past.

Any behavioral distraction to avoid an interaction between a person and the emotive forces that are present at all times, whether they are aware of it or not, will do the trick in order to either postpone or all together ignore the messages sent out as a warning or worse a distress call for a much bigger more pressing issue. Whatever the form of the distraction, be it food, sex, drugs, entertainment, the ambiguous acceptance of total strangers from some social network or any other form of self-subterfuge; they are all a means to mask a fact that something is being avoided. No matter how big or small the issue is, the squaring off with and facing of one’s personal self in relation to the issue must take place. No amount of dopamine can ever take that away.

The famous and often misquoted line from the poem Marmion by Sir Walter Scott 1 comes to mind as a haunting reminder of just how complicated this world can become when one seeks to undermine the truth for themselves. “Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.” A person can become so entangled I their own illusion that they become deaf and blind to the signs and warnings all around them. Even when the voice of reason is screaming inside their own mind to get up and move in the right direction they can remain in that state of numbness and apathy like a fish that becomes frozen in ice because it failed to move to warmer water as the freezing winter moved in. Yet as odd as a picture that makes in one’s mind (a fish frozen in a lake) because fish always move on, one can just as easily find themselves in that very same paradoxical position even though it is against the nature of a person to stand still in a state of ignorance. So much can be missed all for the sake of distraction from pain no matter how small or great.

And so, back to the cleaning and untangling of webs as I stand with in the garden of my own circle of influence reaching out choosing life over death once again. I begin the next stage of my climb up the spiraling path of return seeking out truths and facing the challenges set forth by my own ignorance. The great web of biological circuitry (nervous system) I have been given to operate through in this world still remains handy as a working laboratory for me to work on my own Alchemical process of change and Spiritual Evolution. Regardless of how much aid is offered or what others may say to help or point out things, it is the work and attention along with being receptive, not just hearing but understanding, the messages from sources both externally and internally that lend themselves to guidance along the path.

With the aid, guidance and compassion of my teacher, Rev. Strickler and the ancient lineage of esoteric teachers proceeding from an unbroken line of hidden meaning (Sod:  pronounced sewd or sood –meaning “hidden”) from the emerging application of knowledge (like D’rash (pronounced deh-rahsh) of Ancient Masters and Master Teachers, from all the texts and lectures I have afforded me, I find myself gradually making my way along the Spiritual Path. Even when I find myself selfish enough to not keep this in mind for weeks, even months at a time I eventually find myself dependent upon that same guidance and Timeless Wisdom passed on from those who have traveled the path before me. This I am reminded of as I continue to transmute the portion of tangled web from my own forging into a genuine tapestry of creation so it may be added as part of the Great Work.

I will return to my laboratory and pick back up my work and continue my process. I will maintain the vigilant presence in the moment as well as watchfulness for the next challenge, as it will come across my path if it is not already here now, as it most likely has always been. I will even continue to put down my experiences this digital pen and share what I have learned through the trial of experience; not for some kind of self-deprecating expose of a student missing the mark of the esoteric order as taught by a Master Teacher such as I have found in Rev. Strickler, but as traveler along the Spiritual Path seeking to find clarity in setting out into the physical world the very thoughts and words that were once echoed to me from sources unseen.

You never can tell where challenges will come from. There may be clues and hints along the way, but take into account it is an infinite universe both out there and inside your own circle of influence. When the universe is kind enough to aid by tapping you on the shoulder, be it by a friend, a mentor or even a stranger, it would be foolish to maintain the status-quo and not take a pause to listen and take the time to appreciate the assistance. Then make a choice and act upon it, otherwise what is the point?

The Spiritual Path can be very daunting and challenging in many ways as I have been warned and also experienced firsthand. The challenges can be modified in any number of ways many of which are up to the traveler himself. May you find the footing and the grace to maintain the path and not slip into frozen waters or entangling webs.

Blessings,
Adam Crosthwaite

self-sabotage




Copyright © 2015 by Institute of Spiritual Climate LLC

 


 

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