In our blog, you’ll find information about metaphysics and spirituality from Lazaris and Jach, excerpts from Lazaris recordings and interviews, and travelogues from Jach’s adventures around the world.
There Is Magic in the Telling ... There is an extraordinary recording of Lazaris' called "Discovering the Dreamer from Lemuria" in which Lazaris takes the listener on a brilliantly beautiful meditation to meet The Dreamer and to enlist The Dreamer's help in "dreaming into reality" something the listener wants to create. The article that follows is an excerpt of the part of that tape in which Lazaris paints a lush portrait of the land that was (and is!) Lemuria and of its incredibly beautiful Dreamers. It's a description you may want to read more than once, for "there is magic in the telling," and perhaps more than a bit of memory as well ...
Lemuria is a Land That Imagination Forgot. Many will speak of it as legend or as fantasy or even as mythology. And that is perfectly fine; we have no objection. However, Lemuria was real in the physical fact, in the physical world. But it will never be conclusively proved to have been so. No amount of archaeological or anthropological exploration will ever conclusively prove that Lemuria ever existed. Because, you see, Lemuria existed beyond the Bridge of Belief, beyond the Bridge of Belief in the realm that God and God/Goddess/All That Is exist.
Lemuria was, and Lemuria is. Past tense and present tense. Lemuria is still real. Even now, it is still existing beyond that Bridge, and it is only to be found by the individual, only to be found by you, the individual you who is willing to cross that Bridge. And it is only to be found by those who are brave enough and courageous enough to suspend the illusion, the physical illusion, and to cross over that Bridge of Belief into the real, into the metaphysical realness to find the Land That Imagination Forgot, and in that land to find the Dreamer.
And as you cross the Bridge of Belief, as you imagine yourself lifting out of the logic and reason of the consensus reality, moving beyond time and space and beyond time-space, you can find that land that is and has been forgotten in imagination.
As one were to approach Lemuria by air, it would be located in the Pacific Ocean, far from other land masses, to be sure. And one would note first what seemed to be a cloud or a mist that seemed to hang low over the ocean. And out of that mist would poke mountain peaks that would be black rock ... very dark, very black, like coal almost, almost shiny against the soft mist.
Indeed as one would be flying over it in one's journey beyond the Bridge of Belief, one would perhaps miss it quite entirely, because all that would seem to be there was this innocuous sort of mist, with these mountain peaks that seemed to be sticking through. But as you would descend into that mist toward those black mountain peaks into what seems to be a black-and-white reality against the otherwise blue sea, you would emerge beneath the mist and see before you a most glorious land. It was a huge island, an island so large that people could live and die upon it without ever knowing they were on an island.
The waters would be bluer than any blue that you have ever seen. An aquamarine blue, a midnight blue, a steely blue, a soft turquoise blue -- all kinds of blues, motley shades changing from one hour to another during the day. And along the shore would be the most beautiful sandy beaches. The sand was an almost white sand, almost a glistening sand, almost sparkling. At first you might think it was made of grains of diamond rather than grains of silica.
Once you found yourself squarely planted in this most glorious sand, you would notice that all that surrounds you seems somehow brighter, more brilliant than it ought to be. The greens, greener; the browns, browner; the slate grays of stone, greyer, more brilliant than you would expect, particularly since the entire continent is surrounded in a mist -- not a haze, no, not even a fog, but just a gentle, almost imperceptible, but ever-present mist that keeps the edges soft. Shadows are present, certainly so, but they are soft-edged shadows. The sun is brilliant in the sky, and the blue of the sky is blue, absolutely, but always with a gentle mist that seems to accompany it. Yet everything seems to radiate as if the color and light were coming from the object rather than being reflected upon it.
The continent itself is surrounded by the various beaches, and in the very north and very south also by jagged rock, the land meeting the waters very severely in these areas. On the east and west coasts primarily, the beaches give way to lush forests, that in turn give way to the foothills -- rolling, gentle lands that look almost as though one took a lush green blanket and shook it in the air and then let it fall as it might.
And we would suggest that interior to that, there is a mountain range, a beautiful mountain range that seems to surround the entire continent, to protect the interior. For the interior was known as The Magic Land, The Mystic Land, and those that would go there were only those who were called. Only those who, in their dreams or in their mystical explorations, were entreated to come would venture there. It wasn't out of fear that others would not go. No, it was out of respect. For if it was not for you to go to the interior, then you would not go there. Therefore, it was in the exterior, the periphery, that the vast majority of the population lived.
In the north and the east there were the timberlands. These were beautiful forests, huge, virgin forests for the most part, as well as those forests that were cultivated. The lumberjacks (as you might call them now) would cut the timber to sell as their vocation, but they would do so not in a way to rape the land, to strip it of all the trees. No, they would systematically move from one area to another to prune the forest in a certain sense so that it might grow lusher and richer, so that it might give a better bounty in years to come.
As one moves southward from this timberland, the brilliant trees of timber would give way to the gentle farmland, to the gentle countryside. Here crops were grown and animals were raised and grazed. People gathered together here almost in familial villages -- grandparents and their children, their aunts and uncles and nephews and nieces and first cousins and second cousins. They would all congregate and almost create their own villages, interacting with other villages, but creating their own, quite independent family units. They were beautiful, beautiful farmlands: gentle, rolling hills -- wonderful country lanes that seem to lay like ribbons across the land.
As one moved farther south, the gentle farmlands gave way to mountains, beautiful mountains that would stretch all the way to the sea. And as you would pass through these mountains heading more westward along the southern boundary, you would come to what we call the mining country. This was an area where there was very little flat land, and what there was, was used for crops and raising animals. The main activity was that of mining precious metals -- but also metals that you would now think to be quite innocuous, quite unimportant, that were often used for healing purposes and for mystical exploration. The mining country was a very profitable, very productive area. Indeed, this area would look most as like some wonderful area in Switzerland, with valleys that were lost to everyone, above the clouds in that way, and wonderful mountain streams that seem to bustle their way toward the ocean. It was absolutely breathtakingly beautiful.
As you moved farther north toward the true west, you would find jagged mountains with their sharp, austere peaks giving way to high plateaux, high flatlands upon which the savannahs existed -- wild fields of grass that seemed to stretch forever. Some of this land was cultivated into huge farmlands where grain was grown. It was much like your Midwest and parts of Kansas and Oklahoma -- flatland, but much higher -- high plateaux that led to huge cliffs of a hundred or more feet that would drop drastically, severely to the water's edge.
As one moved farther now into the northern portions -- again along the periphery -- the flatlands would give way again to mountainous ranges that would be uninhabitable: raging rivers, grander than any river you might imagine in your world, dumping billions upon billions of gallons of water into the ocean every second of the day. Huge fjords, as you think of them in the Scandinavian part of your world, where mountain ranges seem to lift straight out of the ocean, leaving finger-like bays or inlets that were raging with torrents of water. This breathtaking, but uninhabitable, area leads all the way around to the timber country where we began, in the northern and eastern parts of Lemuria.
As we say, most people lived and worked in the exterior lands, knowing of the interior, and knowing of the interior mountains that seemed to ring the civilization. And they knew that beyond those mountains was the Magic Land, the place where the mystics would learn to become the mystics they were. Often it would be that children -- or adults for that matter, but often it would be children -- would dream that they should cross the mountains and go to become a Crystal Climber. Sometimes, as they'd relate the dream, the parents would know what it meant and would take them there. Other times the parents would be totally oblivious to the meaning -- curious, but not having any answers to it.
These would become the travelers -- some of them The Witnesses, some of them The Teachers, some The Healers, and some The Dreamers -- the travelers would come from the interior and seek out those whose destiny called them to come to the interior to become Crystal Climbers.Indeed, at carnivals and festivals and various celebrations of solstices and equinoxes, the Mystics would gather together those that would travel with them. If you were a person so called, either in a dream or meditation, or given the message -by a Teacher, a Healer, a Witness, a Keeper of the Flame, a Keeper of the Truth, or a Dreamer -- indeed you might travel with them for weeks, months, or sometimes even years, as you crossed these interior mountains to the interior land. Sometimes it might take as much as a decade before you would finally reach your destination.
And the reason that you were called a Crystal Climber is because in this interior there were pillars of stone. They were like columns of stone -- natural, of course, not man-made or human-made -- that reached up maybe 100, maybe 200, feet above the lushness of the tropical forest that was the interior.
On top of the pillars of stone there were cities, huge cities, much as you might imagine Shangri-La or Valhalla must have been. Perhaps the first concepts that heaven was a City of Gold, a city of brilliant light, were of Lemuria, for these cities that sat atop the pillars of stone were called Crystal Cities not because they were really made of crystal, but because they glowed and glimmered as though they were.
Those such as yourself who were called would come and sit at the base of these pillars with that teacher or person who brought you, or sit at the base being called on your own. And you would learn to teleport. You would learn to alter your energy, alter your chemistry, alter yourself such as to visually disappear to those who would be sitting around you -- and reappear, rematerialize, in the Crystal City that was at the top.
You see, there was no other way to get there. There were no elevators, no staircases, no bridges, no little indentations that you could laboriously climb. The only way to get to the top was to teleport. No one had to judge anybody else, because if you couldn't make it to the top, if you couldn't teleport yourself, then you didn't belong there. And if indeed you did belong there, you would be able to learn to teleport yourself.
So those who were there were never questioned for their credentials, for the very fact that they were there was credential enough. There were those, in that sensing, who demanded, insisted that they belonged there -- they just knew it, they just knew it -- but if they couldn't get there, then no one argued with them. Indeed their reality reflected the fact that they did not so belong.
In these Crystal Cities, you would learn. Some of the cities were Cities of Healing. Others were Cities of Teaching. Others were Cities of Dreaming. Those who became the inhabitants of these cities, high upon these pillars, learned to do their particular avocation/vocation to fulfill their spiritual destiny.
After the decade of traveling to get there, and perhaps six months or eight months learning to teleport, you might spend ten, 20, or even 30 years in this city, learning and growing and teaching. And in a certain time there would be those who would know that now they must go back into the world to heal and witness, and guard the light, and gain the truth.
And those who Dreamed knew that they had to return to dream. So they would teleport once again, leaving this wonderful Crystal City. Once again materializing on the earth, they would go forth into the exterior, not often to where they came from initially, but to where their work called them. The teachers would go and teach, and the witnesses would go forth and witness. And those that were Guardians of the Light, and Guardians of the Flame, would go forth and perform the functions of their guardianship. And those that were the Dreamers would go forth, and they would Dream.
Now a Dreamer was a very special kind of person, for a Dreamer was a person who could dream other people's dreams. And in Lemuria there were those -- rare, admittedly so -- who could dream dreams for you. If you could find a Dreamer, you could tell them what you wanted them to dream, and they would dream your dreams for you.
They were androgynous people. Often it was difficult to tell whether they were man or woman. They were often very old, yet they seemed to be ageless. They were often very large, yet they seemed to be almost translucent, and therefore very light. Sometimes they were very thin and very fragile and frail, yet they seemed almost made of steel, and therefore very dense. A juxtaposition of opposites, of paradoxes, is often what the Dreamers looked like. Often very old, yet seeming so youthful. Often very young, yet seeming so very old. They were a contradiction, a combination.
And they would be in a place ... often to be found on the other side of a gazebo. And you would go to them when they were ready to receive you, and they would ask you: "What do you want me to dream?"And then you would tell them. They would ask you a series of questions to which you must answer correctly. If you did answer correctly, then they would close their eyes, and seem to settle into a deep and wondrous sleep.
And then they would dream. They would dream your dreams. And they would dream your dreams into reality.
Lemuria is a Land That Imagination Forgot. As you can spark your own imagination, as you can travel on a Quest, crossing the terrain of Lemuria to find a Dreamer, you too can ask The Dreamer to dream your dreams. For dreams exist outside of time and space, and the dreams The Dreamer will dream for you will not manifest in Lemuria, but will manifest in your reality, in your world. The Dreamer can dream your dreams if you will cross the Bridge of Belief and journey the land of Lemuria, the Land That Imagination Forgot ...
With love and peace ...
An interview by Patti Normandy Greenwood
Since 1974, Jach Pursel has channeled Lazaris, a spark of consciousness that has never been physical. Through workshops, private consultations, books and tapes, the message that Lazaris brings has lovingly touched thousands of people all over the planet.
Explaining Lazaris is a lot like trying to explain love. He brings to our world a positive message of hope for our future, but it is the love between the lines that touches the heart. There is a joyful realization that you have found a new friend who loves you unconditionally.
Lazaris comes to help us discover more of who we are, gently empowering us as we expand our awareness to embrace the endless possibilities that are the undiscovered aspects of ourselves.
I count his telephone interview among the special moments of my life.
Patti Greenwood: Lazaris, your beautiful message reminds a lot of us of the Seth Material. Can you tell us anything about multi-dimensional personality called Seth and the current whereabouts of his channel, Jane Roberts?
Lazaris: Yes. All right. Well, we are aware indeed that a lot of what we talk about is very similar to a lot that Seth has spoken of, which was also very similar to the core of metaphysics--the real metaphysics which began with the conception of human consciousness.
First, we have a great deal of admiration for Seth, for the courage and the commitment that he demonstrated so very beautifully so many years ago by beginning his communications, by bringing forth the words both verbally and most particularly in writing so early, so quickly, so beautifully.
Similarly, we have tremendous admiration and respect for Jane for her courage and curiosity as well as her level of commitment and the intellect that was required in order to allow curiosity to be a valid, functioning strength. Long before this was an acceptable process, long before channeling was acknowledged, there they were. And it's a tremendous love and a tremendous respect that we have for both of them.
Seth is very busy, quite clearly so. We were aware of the energy that is Jane and Seth when they were both functioning on the physical plane, and we are still aware of them.
What's happening in the two accounts: First of all, the one who is know as Seth is doing similar work, clearly so--one would expect that--teaching, communicating, sharing concepts, laying forth ideas and understandings of the truth. By the way, part of the reason why a lot of what Seth talked about sound so very similar is because the truth is the truth. You've got real problems when it starts sounding very dissimilar. Then there's difficulty in your world.
Seth is still doing similar work without the use of the channeled body form, clearly so. He is now working with those who have passed on, as you would call it, those who have left the physical plane and are searching. Because, you see, growth does not end with the physical body. One could well say that real growth begins when you decide to discard that physical form. You get rid of the vehicle that you are currently using in all of its density, and then the growth really "revs up," then things really "heat up." Then you really get going, as it were, with the patterns of growth so much more quickly.
You know, we have sometimes used the analogy of when you were in fourth and fifth grade, and you learned how to multiply and divide and your teacher rather persistently kept telling you, "Show your work!" And the reason that the teacher asked you to show your work so frequently--almost so irritatingly--was because she or he wanted not only to know that you got the right answer, but that you know how you got there.
Well, the physical plane is, in its own way, showing your work, because, in a sense, you create your own reality out of the thoughts and feelings that you have, out of the choices and out of the decisions, out of the attitudes and the beliefs.
As we have said, and as Seth has said, belief precedes experience. Belief precedes reality, clearly so. You see, you create it first "in your head." You could "do it in your head," but indeed you show your work. You demonstrate that not only can you create your own reality, but you know how it got there. You create a physical form which is, in a sense, the long division--all that stuff that is below the line that you use to show your work. Once you have demonstrated, as in mathematics, that you know how to multiply and divide, then the teacher says, "OK, you can do it in your head," or "you can use a calculator to figure it all out."
Well, in a similar sense, once you have demonstrated physically that you know what you're doing, that you have learned, at least to an adequate degree, how to create to success, and how to create fun, then the teacher inside of you, the God energy inside of you, says, "OK, you can do it in your head now," and therefore you can leave the physical form behind.
Well, once you leave the physical forms behind, and you can do basic mathematics in your head, then you get into the higher kind of mathematics, to use that analogy a little further. You get into the real tricky, the real intricate, and lots of fun stuff.
Well, similarly, in growth, once you can "do it in your head," once you can create your reality in your head and not have to demonstrate your homework, not have to demonstrate that you know how you got there, then, in that sense, you get into the really exciting and fun stuff that growth is really made of.
Seth is like Seth, in that sense, still the same, perhaps more Seth II than Seth I, but doing the same kind of work: exploring, explaining, helping, reaching, touching people, in that particular regard.
What about Jane? Her work is different, but similarly delightful. She spent her time, of course, in the somnambulistic state, recovering from the agony that she went through in the process of leaving her body. In her indecision as to "should I stay, should I go" she experienced a tremendous amount of agony, as those who are close to her, those who are aware of the situation, know. And those who aren't don't really need to know more details than just that. She went into a somnambulistic state to rest, to catch up in that way, to sort of make up for that lost time that she went through.
Once she completed that she was very alert, very ready. Since she already knew what death was about, it did not frighten her. It did not scare her. It was like stepping across through a veil onto another level, very clearly, with a great deal of consciousness involved, very clearly so. But nonetheless, after the rest, she was up and at it, as it were, reviewing the life, looking at it wondering, "Now what in the world did I do that for?" And, "What in the world was this lifetime all about and how does it fit in with all the others?"
Indeed, she is in communication with Seth, there's no question, but not in a "channeled" form where she has to "get out of the way" so that he can come through her, but now they can sit together. Now they take long walks hand in hand. They take long walks, so to speak--not literally hand in hand perhaps--but they take long walks. They talk. They discuss. Seth offers her ideas. He counters with his. They agree. They disagree is a very joyous and friendly way. They smile a tremendous amount, and they laugh an awful lot. She has a real friendship, something that she missed in that way, the part of the puzzle that for her was missing with her relationship with Seth as long as she had a body and he did not. She missed the friendship.
And now that she does not have a body, either, she can still learn from Seth, which was her greatest and truest joy. She can walk with him and talk with him and the two of them can share as friends, in that way, meeting somewhat eyeball to eyeball. Finally she has what was missing--her friendship with Seth.
She so much wanted to know what he said. So much she wanted to know, "What did he tell people tonight?" Her desire was so strong that some of the information would bleed through for her. She would get a sense of it. "I had a feeling he was talking of that." Etc. Now she knows, and indeed is joyously happy. She is doing fantastically well.
Her plans, of course, are her own and therefore not to be fully shared, but let us suggest that her plans are obviously to grow, to move forward, not to return to physical form, but rather to continue her growth on other levels and to continue a friendship which is deepening as the emotional content of her relationship with Seth has now deepened and broadened.
Once, when she was alive she realized, "I never want to let go of this." Now that she's no longer in physical form and perhaps is more alive than ever, she knows, very clearly, "I never want to let go of this."
Therefore, the two of them are quite content, quite happy, each doing their own work. She's doing a lot of writing on her own. She cherishes those "times" (as you call them in your physical world) that they can be together. They both love "the time" they have together, walking in the gardens, walking by the riverbank, and sitting and arguing philosophical points. They both appreciate the wonderful friendship of learning, and that emotional depth of learning that so much they both sought with one another as aspects, as they sense themselves of one another.
Therefore, that's what's going on with Jane as best we can tell you at this point, and as best we're, in a sense, permitted to tell you at this point.
Patti: Thank you very much.
Lazaris: Certainly so. Well, we suggest that each person does create their own reality, so each person has to answer that for themselves. If, for example, you, Patti, were to get a double-barreled shotgun and go tromping through the woods hunting deer, it would be quite an interesting and even funny sight, but it also would also not work with your consciousness, because you would feel like it's very wrong--whereas someone else with clear or full consciousness could go deer hunting and, for them, it would be fine. Out point; Some say, "Well, it's consciousness, and therefore I don't want to eat it or in any way disrupt its pattern of life." The problem: Everything is consciousness. Every plant is consciousness. Every rock is consciousness, clearly so.
Therefore, follow your beliefs, but don't judge others for theirs. Also, don't become dogmatic or rigid even in your beliefs. As you refuse to eat meat because it is a consciousness, what do you think the carrot is that you just ate, or the rice is that you plan to eat later? Everything has consciousness. If you are not going to eat things with consciousness, there's nothing left. What are you going to do? Breathe the air? That's consciousness too!
As you breath, you're converting oxygen, using it in the body, and expelling what? Carbon dioxide! You are disturbing the pattern of life. Hold your breath, don't eat anything, and, by the way, don't move, because you're stepping on consciousness. Therefore, suspend yourself, elevate, without breathing, without eating, if indeed you don't want to disrupt consciousness. Maybe consciousness is intended to be disrupted. Maybe.
An answer: There is the Mineral Kingdom, and its goal is ultimately to become a plant. It may not be consciously sitting around as a rock thinking, "I wish I were a philodendron," but on a spiritual level, it knows it can grow, it can become, and it will become, a higher form which, to it, is a plant. The Mineral Kingdom is stationary, seeking vertical growth. The Plant Kingdom is vertical growth and represents the next level or plane of evolution for the mineral in its kingdom. The Plant Kingdom, with its vertical growth, seeks to move into the Animal Kingdom, with its vertical and horizontal movement.
You see, a rock doesn't seem to move, although it is growing. A plant moves vertically. An animal moves vertically and horizontally.
The highest stage of evolution, as far as can be figured out from the Mineral, from the Plant, and from the Animal Kingdom, is that of the Human Kingdom. That is the most "godlike" kingdom that it knows, because it can move vertically, horizontally, and it can also move in the third dimension with depth! Depth means with reason or the ability to reason.
The rock cannot move, whereas the plant can move vertically out of instinct following its growth pattern. A plant doesn't think, "Let's see, should I grow towards the sun or not? Should I drop my roots down to the water level, or not?" It happens.
An animal responds. Animals do think rudimentarily, but mostly they respond to instinct, in their two-dimensional movement. No movement. One-dimensional movement. Two-dimensional movement.
Now you, as human beings, have three-dimensional movement where you can move vertically, you can move horizontally, and you can also move with depth, with richness, with meaning, with understanding, with reason, with wisdom. To the minerals, plants, and animals, you are "the god level."
Your goal as human beings is to evolve to a higher form that does not have a name, that can move in many directions simultaneously, that can move horizontally, that can move vertically, that can move with depth and can move outside of time/space (the fourth dimension). You're moving on that evolutionary ladder as well.
Now, let us ask you this, Patti. If indeed someone came along and said, "All right, Patti, what you can do to move to the next level is to be willing to be of service. Would you be willing to be of service to God/Goddess/All that Is if you knew it would bring you closer to being God/Goddess/All That Is?" How many seconds--how many nanoseconds--would it take you to say, "Yes!"? "Yes! Absolutely! When? Tell me, right now!" Would you allow your pattern of life to be disrupted in service to God/Goddess/All That Is? Certainly!
Approach food in a similar capacity. As you approach it with respect, as you approach it with love, as you let the food know that by its sacrifice it can contribute to your growth, it can contribute to your becoming more of who you are, then the food, just as you, says, "When? Now! Take me! I'm willing!" Because its goal is to grow.
If you approach food in a nonchalant way, if you approach vegetables or meat (or any food) in a callous, nonchalant way, we suggest: Yes, that is hurtful. That is a disregard for consciousness. But if whatever food you eat, you regard with respect, and it is within your personal belief system, it is fine. Eat out of love, not guilt. Eat with gratitude, not guilt.
You would have difficulty going out shooting an animal and feeling love and gratitude. Therefore, Patti, don't do it. But you could go out and pick flowers, and you could do it with love and gratitude, and therefore it's a wonderful thing to do.
So go pick flowers and let yourself create bouquets and beauty around you. But understand that with picking flowers as with shooting a deer, you have altered that state of consciousness. If you do it with love and gratitude, if you understand what you're doing, and if you are willing to grow from the experience, then it's fine. The mineral, plant, or animal is willing to allow itself to serve you, and in its way, become more godlike.
We don't encourage flagrant activities. We encourage each person to examine their own beliefs, their own attitudes, their own thoughts and feelings and thus ultimately make their own choices and decisions.
Patti: Thank you very much, Lazaris.
Patti: Many people who've been on the spiritual path for some time feel they get stuck or hit a plateau and don't know what to do next to expand their awareness to get closer to God/Goddess/All that Is.
Patti: Can you give guidance in that area?
Lazaris: Certainly so. There are several plateau that people can get stuck upon. One is called inertia--negative inertia. Standing still.
Everyone experiences; many get stuck in inertia. You've grown. You've done this; you've done that. You've done it all. Inertia is produced by a reluctance, on a minimal level to the maximum lever, to think and to feel. It is a refusal to think and feel.
What happens is that people get involved in their growth, and they learn technique, and they use technique. The techniques work--especially the valid ones. Life changes.
Their life changes, and it seems too easy. It seems like it's happening too fast. It seems almost unfair. It seems almost as though they have an advantage, a "handicapped" advantage here that they shouldn't have.
Issues of deservability perhaps enter in here as well, but the point is that people stop thinking. They stop feeling, and they start operating out of rote. They operate by following the ritual, so to speak, rather than by thinking about what they're doing. They do their daily meditation. They do their daily programming. "Oh, it's time to meditate. It's time to program. It's time to touch my crystal. It's time...it's time...it's time." They get stuck.
They do the daily routine in such a way that that's all they're doing. They're not thinking about why they're doing it or what they're doing, and they're not feeling it. With no more thought and no more feeling, you get stuck in inertia.
If that's the problem you have, then the answer is: start thinking, start feeling. Remember why you're doing what you're doing. Start feeling the power and the beauty of your metaphysics, not just the utilitarian necessity of it.
A second plateau that may be reached is the plateau of deserving. People reach a certain saturation point: "Well, OK, maybe I deserve, and maybe I deserve that...I'm not quite sure...I don't believe that, but I'm going to take you at your word...we'll just suppose it for awhile." At the point of saturation, like a sponge, they say, "Uh-uh, that's it. Uh-uh. I may have deserved that, but I don't deserve any more." And therefore, they reach that particular point where they just do not feel they deserve more growth, not yet, not yet. And therefore, they plateau themselves.
If this is your problem, the answer, almost seeming too obvious, is to stop working on the forward progression of your growth, and start working on the depth. You can move vertically. You can add more height to your metaphysical knowledge--one more body class, workshop, technique. You can move horizontally: Apply your metaphysics first to the tangibles in your life, then widen to the tangibles in other people's lives, and even widen to the intangibles of growth. You can add width--move horizontally.
But if you don't add to the depth, that dimension that human consciousness has, that the Human Kingdom has, that the lower kingdoms don't have--if you don't add the depth, the richness, the value, the beauty, the deserving, then ultimately you'll plateau. Even additional height and width won't help. One more book, one more seminar, one more technique, one more meditation. "I can't stand it."
The third plateau--the first cousin of deserving--is guilt. "Life is going too well. It's just to good." So many times people will learn how to use their metaphysics, they'll learn the technique, and it will work. And they surprise themselves. "Hey! This stuff really works." And then they get scared. They feel almost like a criminal: "I don't have a right to do this. Who am I?" And therefore: "I'm doing something wrong, and I'm feeling guilty, like a little kid with a hand in the cookie jar. I've got a leg up. I've got an advantage, and I feel guilty."
The answer to guilt is laughter and joy. Start giving both to feel and to generate laughter and joy! The answer to guilt is to give, to start giving laughter and joy to others, to start being of service--not to be a martyr, not to be used, not to be taken advantage of, no, not at all. Giving and being a martyr are quite different things. If you will give laughter and joy, you will move off this plateau.
The fourth plateau: impatience. Sometimes people create plateaus simply to learn how to be patient. The answer is similar; go deeper. If you're stuck, if you don't seem to be progressing, then review. Review what you've learned. Go back over. Read those notes you took so many years ago when you said, "Boy, am I really going to study this stuff!" But they end up putting it on the shelf just to let it collect dust. Pull out some of those old notebooks. Listen to some of those old tapes that you were going to pore over when you first purchased them. Go back and review to give yourself that chance to catch your breath, so to speak, to deepen your growth.
Fifth plateau: Needing to slow down and absorb. The goal isn't to cross the finish line first. The goal is to enjoy the race, and therefore, sometimes when you you're getting the finish line in sight--"I've got to cross it! I've got to finish! I've got to grow!"--you stop yourself to say, "No. It's not a contest. It's a way of life, and therefore I don't need to `race' to finish, to cross the finish line. I need to stop now and stand still and let all that I've covered catch up with me. Then I'll elegantly `walk' across the finish line."
Sixth: Some plateau because their Success Cube is just too small. They need to stretch it before they can or will allow themselves to proceed.
Finally, there is the image plateau. The image they hold of who they think they are is not big enough to hold who they really are. It's like this: "I have this container yes? It's an 8-oz. glass, and I'm trying to put 10-oz of water in it. I'm going to have the time of my life, because no matter how much I try, an 8-oz glass is going to hold only 8 ounces of water, and therefore, I've got to get a bigger glass if I want to put more water in it." Similarly, you need to stretch or change your image so it can hold more of who you really are. You will sit on a plateau until you stretch.
Therefore, seven reasons that people get caught in plateaus. Ask yourself--even though our description are very brief in many cases--but as you hear the words, ask: Is it inertia? Is it deserving? Perhaps guilt? Is it impatience that you're trying to overcome? Could it be that your plateau is just a time for you to stop and to absorb and let yourself appreciate and feel the gratitude? Could it possibly be that your Success Cube is too small, that the height, width and depth of what you believe isn't big enough for you? Or is it such that the image that you hold of yourself is just too small?
You will resonate to your plateau. Then look deeper and find the answer and respond. Become aware and then act on that awareness. As you recognize it, as you acknowledge it, as you forgive yourself for the plateau and then change the beliefs, the attitudes, the thoughts, the feelings, the choices, and the decisions around whatever you've discovered, then you can get moving again.
And with that, Patty, we very much have enjoyed talking with you. We very much have enjoyed the questions that you've asked, and we look forward to talking with you again some time in the future.
Patti: Thank you, Lazaris. It's been a thrill for me.
Lazaris: Well, thank you, and with that we will close, my dear, with love and peace. Good-bye now...
Copyright 1997 NPN Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission. Except for one-time use, no part of this Article may be reproduced by any mechanical, photographic or electronic process, or in the form of a phonographic recording, nor may it be stored in a retrieval system, transmitted or otherwise copied for public or private use without written permission. For more information or to be placed on Lazaris' mailing list please call Concept: Synergy at 1-800/678-2356, or write Concept: Synergy, P.O. Box 691867, Orlando, FL 32869.
It wasn’t out of pity; it was out of admiration. It’s another long weekend in Colombia — un puente fin de semana — “a bridge weekend.”
Friday we drove to Periera, a city in “el Eje Cafetero,” the coffer growing area. It’s not a pretty city but it’s popular as a party town with a reputation. (What happens in Pereira …). With a population of about a million people, and many more tourists, it sits at edge of the middle range of the Andes Mountains. It shares the region with Armenia, Santa Rosa, Manizales, and Medellin. We are staying two blocks from the historical center, Plaza Bolivar. Friday evening, a gentle breeze rolling in from the mountains, a clear night, a night quietly bustling with locals, we walked the plaza and the adjoining streets.
Dinner around 10:30. A hotdog — perro caliente — purchased from a street vendor. Hotdog smothered in creamy slaw, melted cheese, slivered potato chips, and any number of sauces of our choosing. Big, messy, delicious. We sat on high plastic stools on the sidewalk. Eating. Watching the passebys. Lovely night. Pereira.
Saturday, we walked the same route, but oh my, it was so different. The side streets swollen with vendors and alive with throngs of Colombia tourists, a few street musicians, and here and there sad beggars and homeless people. All the stores were overflowing with shoppers. While popping in and out of stores, we managed to located two interesting restaurants and a night club that would have live music for the evening. Found a few shirts. Pereira is know for certain nefarious things, but it is also know for manufacturing clothes.
After lunch, along one of the less busy side streets, among the old men talking of politics, of the state of the world, of the state of their family, or of the past that has slipped way as that sat in the shade of buildings and of the occasional tree lining the walkway, I notice a young family: mother, father, young son. The father picked up a long needle between the toes of his left foot. With his right foot he steadied a tray of tiny colorful beads. Carefully, he guided the needle through the tiny holes and gathered up a short line of rainbow colors. Lifting his left foot high to let gravity do its work, he then moved his foot with needle still between his toes, and transferred the line of color to a tiny loom. With his right big toe, he held the loom steady and then used that same toe to move the bead in place. Tight. It was slow work. He was patient. He did all this meticulous work with his feet and toes because he had no arms.
I bought the piece in the photo. It wasn’t out of pity; it was out of admiration. The human spirit. I marvel at it. I cherish it. It deserves to be cherished. Its persistence gives me hope.When I remember the beauty and the power of the human spirit that can, at times, be undaunted by the rigors of life or in the face of manipulations by those who would attempt to take power away or those who demand to be in control, I embrace my spirit and find a renewed sense of determination. I can’t string beads with my toes, but I can be the magician that I am.
Pouring rain on a tin roof. It’s been sixty-two years, but I remember the sound and the sensation. We were visiting my grandmother in Schoolcraft, Michigan.
The house had been the family home for several generations. A historical site and a clandestine stop on the Underground Railroad during the Civil War.
The basement with its steep stone steps was eery and frightening to me that summer. The house had a living room with plenty of mahogany wood rocking
chairs with cane wicker seats and back, and a parlor with a shining ebony grand piano and ferns on plant stands that cascaded to the hardwood floor.
We were only allowed in the parlor accompanied by our grandmother. The running water in the kitchen came from a hand pump and drained onto the Hydrangeas
just beyond the kitchen window. There was a wood burning stove in the kitchen. But a refrigerator not an Ice Box. [s] I loved that old house. I would
sit and rock in the living room and imagined the stories that were lost in the cracks of the walls and floors. In time house with its architectural
uniqueness became protected and it continued to stand intact long after my grandmother died.
My grandmother, a proud woman, had once applied to the DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) but was rejected. Her family had fought for the British. Even so, she was American through and through. She made lemon meringue pies for the 4th of July celebrations. No tears in her meringue.
That late June night, I was 6, my brother was 9. We shared a double bed that was so high off the floor that we had three steps to climb. A chamber pot under the bed. The room was small on the second floor. There was what appeared to be an old traveling truck on the far wall, maybe 18 inches beyond the foot of the bed. It appeared to be a truck but there was no bottom to it. With the lid open we could see the dining room below. With the lid open heat rose to the second floor. Otherwise no heat. Outside the window, the pantry below had a old tin roof.
I loved the high bed. I loved the chill of the night. That night, it began to rain and the drops played their slow percussion on the tin outside and below. The sound of a snare drum with its marching cadence. Then faster and faster and the rain poured down and the percussion roared and goosebumps rose on my arms and neck and I was in heaven.
This last Sunday night while we were in the country, I woke at 3:20 a.m. to that pounding percussion. The rain poured down on the tin roof of our country cottage. I laid there listening. Remembering. Getting lost in the memories and in the feelings and in the innocence and in the wonder . . . and I laid there being my child again. It all came back,that night. It pounded back pouring the memories into me. I welcomed my child, and we just laid there together for what seemed forever. I’ve missed him. I realize I need him now. He has something that I need now. So I welcomed him to my new world. I don’t want to leave him behind as I had once done. This time, he doesn’t want to be left behind either. It must have been 4:00 maybe later when I — when we — slipped off to sleep again. I woke at 7:00. Smiling.
Monday morning, July 20. Colombian Independence Day. Clear. Bright. Eye squinting bright. Balmy but fresh. Refreshing. Country blue sky. No clouds. The greens sizzled. Independence. Freedom is a grand thing. Freedom from is liberating and exciting. Freedom to is finally thrilling.
We had a memorable four days in the country.
It was hard to leave Bali. Many people wrote those words. Everyone felt it. It was hard. Lazaris spoke of Bali as a land “of the between of worlds.” It’s a little island that sits in the middle, in the between, of the Archipelago of Indonesia. Bali is a little world unto itself that sits between our world that is and a new world that is now destined to be. Though not literally true, metaphorically and emotionally — spiritually — it’s true. I felt it. Bali has the beauty akin to Hawaii and to many tropical islands and locations, but yet it is very different from any other place. It certainly is very different from Jakarta or Java or any of the other Indonesian Islands.
There is an animism to the land. Up at 6:15 each morning, I would wander out the terrace just to sit and welcome the day. The sun had just risen or was about to, and the trees seemed to greet me. I felt them watching me, and I watched them. I spoke to them each morning. They listened. The trees along with the incredible morning blue sky or sometimes grey sky and I made some important life decisions together. That happens in Bali.
The beauty of the land was undeniable, and like Colombia, there was ugliness as well. Lots of litter. Lots of plastic. But the ugliness was only a brief distraction, a strangely grounding or anchoring influence that surrendered each time to the imposing presence and utter grace of the beauty. The power of beauty: Beauty creates beauty; beauty is eternal. I get that now in ways that I never did before. Beauty makes us beautiful. Yes it does. Lazaris says that beauty is a demanding lover, but she offers us all that she demands of us. Yes, I get that now as well.
Steps. 200 to 250 (I didn’t count) down and down and down to a water temple — a purification temple. 300 steps at the Mother Temple and another 70+ to the Dark Temple (named that because it was built of black lava stone) that stands behind the Mother Temple. The Thousand Steps to the Big Buddha on Lantau Island (Hong Kong) — actually 247 steps (I did count [s]). Each temple: steps. Each family compound: steps. Each doorway: Steps. According to the legends, Demons and Evil Spirits cannot climb steps. I believe that. Now. At the purification temple, the 200+ steps down was easy. In the small changing room I slipped out of my clothes and into my sarong. Into the water and under the cascading waterfall, amazing. I could have stayed there all day. Laying flat against the rock with tons of water washing over my, washing away the impure and my demons, I felt so alive, so new, so ready. Dressed again and walking up those steps, it occurred to me: My demons would have looked at those steps and said, “Hell no. I’m not walking up all those steps. I’m no fool!” My demons didn’t walk up with me.
So many steps. I climbed up them. Down them. And in more meaningful ways, I took some really important, really powerful, steps in Bali. Little steps producing little changing steps. And out of it all: Big changes. So many of us walked those steps. I suspect we all took steps — more than we realize — and that we all are becoming new in our individual, unique, and personal ways. Steps of change to leave “who we are not” behind. That’s Bali.
My dragonfly and praying mantis. During our time in Bali, Lazaris asked us to collect special moments that we want to infuse with the mystery of remembering — moments that hold hints and perhaps clues to who we are becoming. We were at a beautiful pristine temple lost in the countryside. Breathtaking. It was a Vishnu Temple: water, mutable, flexible, healing, balancing, protecting, maintaining. I was standing at the edge of one of the many pools of sacred or holy water, and I looked down. There, between my feet, a beet-red dragonfly. She sat there; she didn’t move. Dragonflies are a special symbol to me. A precious moment. Later that day at the temple with the Banyan Tree and the rock that protects the Earth (can’t remember the names, it’s a Brahman Temple), as Enrique and I were walking close to the Banyan Tree looking for portals, a praying mantis dropped from the tree on to Enrique’s shoulder and then hopped to the ground at our feet. Huge. Beautiful. He sat there without moving. Enrique lowered to the ground and captured the light of that being in a photograph. The Praying Mantis is a powerful symbol connected to my Lemurian Dreamer. Another exquisite moment.
Together the two moments entwined to become one defining moment. That’s Bali.
The people. Tender. Vulnerable. Refreshingly innocent yet wise at an earlier age. So many of us wrote about the people. All true. In my experience, I saw in them more of what I want to see in me, more of what I want to experience and want to know in myself. Remembering? Yes, remembering, but it’s not about remembering the past, it’s about remembering the way life can be — the future.
Lazaris asked, “What do you want to leave in Bali?” He also asked, “What do you want to take with you from Bali?” Bali can absorb what we leave behind (our “litter,” our “plastic”), and it is exalted and gracious enough to give us what we want to take. Enrique and I left Bali on Saturday, May 30. I left some things behind. It felt good to shed them. I haven’t fully decided what I want to take with me. I am still deciding. Perhaps I am taking Bali with me. It will be alive in me as I remember — as I piece together the precious and unforgettable moments to create a marvelous mosaic. There is something timeless about it all. Eternal.
Hong Kong. It was almost 11:00 pm when we arrived at the hotel overlooking Victoria Harbor. Shangri-La Kowloon. Now we have one more night before we leave for LAX and then to Santa Barbara. We had arranged several tours: a City Tour Monday morning, a New Territory Tour Wednesday morning and a Night Markets Tour in the evening. Thursday we went to Lantau Island and up the “1000 Steps” to the Big Buddha. (247 steps. It was sunny, hot, humid, and beautiful, 247 steps was enough.)
Tuesday was a special day to explore Hong Kong with dear friends: to see Hong Kong through their eyes as they have lived here for several decades. The Hong Kong Park/Gardens, the Tea House, the Tram, dinner at the Helena May Club, and mostly the conversation with friends, it was a uniquely special day. Memorable moments everywhere.
I find Hong Kong to be a beautiful city. The architecture is renowned, but it’s the intangible beauty that I find most intriguing. I couldn’t live here. Too many people; too little space. As I’ve often said of New York City and also of Bogotá, I love the energy but only for a short time. So it is with Hong Kong. There is a vitality here that feels very right.
Beyond the obvious of Hong Kong, it feels to me like we are making a transition from the between world of Bali and from the other worldly adventure of our time there as we slip back into our personal realities. It feels like a transition that offers us the opportunity to bring with us all that we want to, or all that we can, bring back from Bali in an elegant fashion. Whether that’s true or not, I am going to create the reality that it is.
I have changed. My life has changed. Now I am about a new adventure of discovering what that all means.
Jach's Travels (in PANAMA)
His fingers moved with precision across the keypad. Four digits and the thick battered metal door popped. Opening only a few inches, he pushed the door wide. A small room, an anti-room actually. Scared concrete floor, walls, and ceiling. Decades old dust covered the beams. But a shiny elevator and a well dressed young man with a broad smile welcomed us.
“Welcome to Caliope.” The shiny door opened and we stepped in as he pushed the button. The 3 lit up. Moments later the rear door opened, and we stepped out into a chrome and glass world of a high tech restaurant. Live music. Elegantly dressed people, young and old. Bursts of laughter. “Let it Be” being sung in the distance. The name is pronounced (Collie-o-pee) — in English: Calliope, often called the first daughter of Mnemosyne, the mother of the Muse and the goddess of memory. Calliope as it said upon the menu: “The most powerful and distinguished of the nine muses from greek mythology who presides over eloquence and epic poetry” . . . the Muse with the heroic voice, the one voice. Beautiful.
What a delightful welcome to Panama City. Enrique and I, along with two friends, took advantage of a Colombian long weekend for a quick trip to Panama. We arrived Thursday evening, checked into our hotel in the old town — Casco Viejo — and went walking. Many buildings stand like ghosts of the past. Broken. Run down. Crumpled litter of the present discarded among the rotten wood and shattered bricks. All that remain are the facades covering deteriorating stone walls and hiding an overgrowth of weeds reaching through the litter for a bit of sun. Recently a project of renovation is underway and many of these ghosts are being restored and/or remodeled, and the old town is reemerging building by building. Slow. Arduous. Happening.
Friday we hired a guide, Clemente, and for seven hours we explored the city, learned of its past, and of its future. We visited the Canal and learned of its past and of its future expansion as well. Tired, we ended Friday early.
Saturday: We walked. Street by street we wandered about Casco Viejo stepping in and out of local shops and restaurants. Around 3:00, the heat and humidity having taken its toll on us, we stopped for Mojitos at an open air cafe by the sea. Sea breezes. Mojitos. Conversations in Spanish. Yes. I understood the story that Hemingway, while living in Key West, wrote only 350 words a day and then went to sit and talk at the cafe. Oh, and to drink, of course.
At 6:00 we wandered back to the hotel to rest and to get ready to explore a Panama night. Dinner from 9:00 to midnight, two clubs until 3:00, and back to the hotel. We had to ring and be met by the night clerk to gain entry. Even so, there was still music drifting across the plaza from a club in the far corner. Casco Viejo, and I image much of the city, is alive all night long.
Sunday: Lazy day and a return trip to Colombia.
Just a quick trip, and I was not overall impressed with Panama City. The old town holds some fascination, but it’s very small. The modern city is a phenomenon in growth and expansion, and the skyline is impressive. But in too many ways, for me, it’s just another big city. Perhaps two days are not enough time to get a feel for a city or at least not enough to get a feel for this city. However, this trip was an important one for me. We are no longer visiting Colombia as we have done over the past several years. Now we are living in Colombia, and we are taking short vacation trips like “normal people” do.
I am finding other evidences of normalcy: I am handling the wash and this last week, I set up the iron board and spent my early morning ironing shirts — 22 of them. (Doing the laundry and ironing are my therapy. I love doing each.) I grabbed the keys and ran some errands: pet store, grocery, bank. It all felt wonderful because it was normal. For me, it’s important to have a foundation of normal from which to leap into the mystery of being. I continue to find my ground. Now I am beginning to leap.
Jach's Travels (in IRELAND) Sept 20, 2015
“That strange object you see there in the sky is the sun. Get a picture now. You may not see it again.”
I left Colombia Monday afternoon (September 7) and with the overnight flight and a very long layover in Madrid, I arrived in Dublin Tuesday evening. Enrique and his mother flew in from Paris the next day as did my sister. My brother and his wife arrived early Thursday morning.
Thursday: By 10:00 a.m. we were on the top deck of the green line hop on hop off bus when the sun peeked through the otherwise gray sky. It was our first venture of our ten day tour of Southern Ireland. Dublin, Kilkenny, Waterford, Killarney, Ennis, and a whole lot of pubs in between: Foley's, the Hairy Lemon, the Winding Stair (57 steps in all), Brody's, Murphy's, Monk's Pub …. You get the idea.
Friday: It was our free day in Dublin, time to explore on our own. By 9:15 we were heading in our separate ways with plans to meet for lunch to share our mornings. Enrique and I headed to the National Library of Ireland to see a permanent exhibit of W. B. Yeats. It was amazing. Yeats, not only a brilliant poet, was a magician, a mapmaker, and a visionary. For example he had a powerful influence on the movement for Irish independence and upon the formulation of the newly independent country thereafter. He studied the magics of that time and lived a magician’s spirituality. Amazing. We meandered our way through the exhibit of photographs, documents, video recordings, and all the while there were recorded readings of his most renowned poems. “Easter 1916” (his struggle with the revolution that began on that day) was particularly stirring and chilling. Our morning tempered the rest of the day. Lunch at the Hairy Lemon, walking the city in the afternoon, dinner at the Winding Stair. Nightcap back at our hotel. A full day. A rich and mellow day.
Saturday to Thursday: Six days and nights and six of us in a 12-seater van. Dan was our driver/guide. We inched our way through the countryside avoiding the highways whenever we could. The Powerscourt Estate in Enniskerry, a magnificent garden, the Kerry Ring, the Dingle Ring, the Cliffs of Moher, and the Burren. Rolling hills, stone bordered pastures, lifting mountains, and countless shades of green that defied description. There may be 50 shades of gray, but there are even more shades of green. Breathtaking landscapes around each of the countless bends in the roads, roads that are more like trails. And the sun!! With a bit of weather magic we only had one rain-day and that was our stay in the van day.. Otherwise each gray morning turned bright and sunny, and the other mornings were vibrant with clear blue delight. Dan was amazed.
“It was a shocking summer,” he had said, “it rained every day. Shocking summer.” The entire week before it had rained and the forecast for our trip had also been rain. Did I say Ireland was green? With the rain, of course it is.
The beauty: So often there were no words. We would round a bend and the beauty was breathtaking. Literally. All I could do was take a deep breath so that the beauty didn't take it away. Hour after hour, I loved it. So often we would be talking about some silly detail and then we’d all fall silent as the beauty captured us and held us in its embrace. The beauty is unique. I can’t find the words other than to call it Irish Beauty. Unique, yes, but bountiful.
I think my favorite place was the Cliffs of Moher. We left Killarney at 9:00 as the night drizzle subsided and as the fog was lowering. Dan, the driver, hurried us into the van. No time to waste. We had to get to the cliffs before the fog blanketed everything. As he pulled into the parking lot he told us not to waste time in the Visiter's Center. We were to go immediately to the top and get our pictures. Then once the fog swallowed everything up we could check out the Center. We followed Dan's instructions.
The cliffs, capped in rich pasture green still glistening from morning dew, lift from the Atlantic. 700 feet of naked rock. Majestic. Fierce. Standing for thousands of years against the sea that crashes against them mercilessly. The cliffs run for more than 5 miles. Rock and sea. Raw. Powerful. Yet there is a harmony. Their clash and crash is an eternal dance, and on that morning as the sun came out and the gray sky turned dazzling blue, we got to witness that dance. We got to stand still in the harmony. Silent. Us and the wind howling. Silent. Howling. Awesome.
Why do people always want to walk or climb to the top? We had done as Dan instructed. We followed the incline and we climbed the steps going higher and higher turning to view the cliffs at different heights. At the peak there was a stone tower. 13th Century. Our goal: reach the top and then climb that tower. We and all the other tourist seemed to be on a mission. Yes, see the Cliffs of Moher (pronounced “more”), and then climb that tower. Why?
Accomplishment? Completion? Not missing anything? Opportunity? I don't know. I got to the top but I didn't climb the spiral steps, but I had had the urge. Maybe putting the question stopped me. But I think it was the cliffs instead. I stood at the base of the tower and just look at the cliffs. That was enough. It was a special moment. A memorable one that I have planted in Cosmic Memory. In time I will retrieve it and unfold the gift that that moment holds for me.
Ireland was beautiful and magical. Being with my family was also beautiful, magical, and just lots of old fashioned fun. The Cliffs of Moher held the seed of Ireland for me. The other thing that stood out was the people. The sense of humor, the delight with life, the level of laughter, and the unselfish kindness shone through in so many ways. We asked a shop keeper for directions to a restaurant and he came out from behind the counter and out into the street with us and gave us detailed instructions. The sassy waitress in the pub was full of joy as she told us about her husband and kids and about how she had come to Ireland from Poland and has never looked back. Her Polish-Irish accent full of laughter and light.
The luck of the Irish. When we learned of their history and their struggle, I wondered where the “luck” was. But once I met the people, I found it. The luck is in their hearts and it shimmers in their souls.
We are home now in Colombia. Enrique’s mother went back to France before heading to Santa Barbara. My sister’s in Kansas, and brother and his wife are in Michigan. We each returned to our worlds, but Ireland will live on in our memories. For me, Ireland will be remembered in magical, beautiful and bountiful ways.
It begins with corrugated cardboard and blue tarp. A bit tattered. Maybe torn. The cardboard may be soggy or blood stained found behind a butcher shop. A lean-to shelter is built on a slope of a vacant or abandoned hillside just beyond the limits of the city.
Scraps of wood discarded at construction sites or buried in the debris of a collapsed building are added to support the deteriorating cardboard. Tarp is replaced with more tarp. Tin is added to create a better roof. A few bricks. More wood. In time walls take shape with a door opening and spaces called windows. No glass. More bricks, and the walls become more clearly defined and stronger than the cardboard and wood had been. Tarp is replaced with fabric remnants that become door and window coverings.
The walls grow taller. The tin is lifted and replaced with wood planks and then the tin is positioned higher to become the roof of a new forming second floor. Plastic squares remnants, blue, green, amber, fill the previously bare windows openings. Stairs of concrete blocks or of rusty spiral staircases found at a bankrupt building sites offer access to the upper levels. Ill fitting wood doors or slabs of warping plywood, cover the door openings. Painting these entry ways garish bold primary colors, the structures because unique. Individual.
A house. No plumbing. No running water. No electricity. No, not a house. A home.
Beside it, another home is morphed out of the cardboards and blue tarps. Two stories become three or maybe four. One home and another appears. Like a melanoma, the earth’s surface is covered by this uncontrolled growth. Expanding in every direction. No order. Chaos. Survival. The homeless build their homes.
Someone wires into the city utility pole and there is electricity. Free. Light jumps from one structure to the next and to another. The hillside shines dimly in the night. In time, bright.
No building codes, the structures pile on top of each other as they creep up the hillside. Steep narrow almost impassable walkways become the “streets.” A new city of squatters is born.
Not sure, but if the people can continue to squat for five years, the property becomes their own. The stench of raw sewerage and rotting food and stale air are almost unbearable. Yet, amid the chaos and the growing dangerous squalor, the human spirit survives. Eventually more and sometimes better building supplies are added. Windows get glass. Doors fit and get locks. Porches form.
And people sweep. They sweep those new porches. They sweep the dirt floors. Their homes may seem a shambles but they are clean. Always clean. The slums become crude barrios, rough plumbing and more sophisticated electricity become part of the neighborhood. Narrow paths are widened becoming “open roads” (rut riddled dirt roads) and in time paved streets (sort of). The squatters now own their land. A municipality acknowledges its existence and its presence. A neighborhood … small shops and store fronts emerge. A few park benches create a community gathering place. A community forms and thrives. The human spirit thrives and shines brighter even in the raw stretches for survival.
I love Colombia. In the air of lawlessness, it survives. It thrives.
Christmas season officially begins December 7 with the Festival of Lights (Festival de Las Velitas) on the Eve of the Celebration of the Immaculate Conception, but the season of the Novenas begins December 16. I am not altogether sure of what a Novena is. What I experience is that Colombian families and friends get together in the early evening to celebrate Christmas with the Telling of the Tale — the telling the Christian Story of the birth of Jesus. It is told in spoken verse and in song. Everyone knows all the chants and knows which ones to speak and which ones to sing. The storytelling ritual lasts perhaps 15 or 20 minutes.
Before the ritual a party begins with the chatter becoming more fluid and rapid, and louder. After the Novena, the party continues with appetizers, beer, wine, soft drinks, and conversational chaos. That is to say, the party continues to be oh so very Colombian. Between December 16 and Christmas, there are countless Novenas. December is really Christmas month in Colombia. While it’s a shopping month in the States, it’s a celebratory month here.
This morning I attended my first Novena of this year. It was different. It touched my heart and pleased my soul in unexpected ways. My soul was more than happy; it was enchanted. “Me encanta la Novena.”
We grabbed a taxi at 7:45 a.m. and raced across the city to the south. We met up with three of Enrique’s cousins, and a few of his cousins’ grown kids, at the headquarters of The Jera Foundation, a charitable family foundation funded primarily by the family of those cousins. The name, Jera, was chosen as it is the name of a Rune. Jera is the Rune of harvest and of reward for right actions. It’s the Rune of peace on the land and in the heart.
We boarded a small bus and we were off to the country. We moved easily along “La Quinta” (Fifth Street) a major traffic artery, heading further south. Right turn along a side street, traffic was lighter but foot traffic increased. We moved haltingly through the congestion. The streets narrowed and lifted switchbacking up the mountainside. Narrower in poorer and poorer neighborhoods, and then the paved road became an open road (gravel, dirt, ruts, potholes). We crawled along bouncing our way higher and farther from our world.
We were going to a Novena at a school that is sponsored and funded by the Jera Foundation. It’s a rural school, or better said, a rural pre-school. It is for children 3 to 5. These children are taught the normal things that kids are taught in pre-schools through the world, and they are also taught the rudimentary educational and social skills. The kids had to learn numbers, colors, shapes, for example. They were also taught some human skills: how to go to the bathroom on their own, how to wash their hands and why to do that, how to bathe, how to properly dress themselves. They are taught how to be self-sufficient.
The children’s lack of knowing is not due to parental lack of caring. It’s due to the excessive and extensive property of hundreds of displaced peasants. The ravages of war are not just dead bodies though there have been plenty of those in the past. The ravages of war include forcing people, who lived and thrived on the land, even in states of poverty, they thrived on the land, to move into towns and cities where the land — the dirt — has been replaced by concrete, and the harvesting is of garbage looking for recyclables rather than of fruits and vegetables. It’s due to mothers who have to try to find some sort of work in order to try to earn the kind of money we tend to leave on our dressers and to forget about. It’s due a woeful lack of education among the forgotten impoverished ones. The Jera Foundation is working to change that in this rural poverty ravaged community. They work with 3 to 5 year old children and their parents. These kids with their parents are the “new harvest” of Colombia’s future. They are the “new harvest” of kids reaching to climb out of poverty into Colombia’s newly forming middle class.
At age 5 the kids go to the Primary School. For the first year there, they are “in transition.” They spend the school year learning to integrate into society — the normal world. The Jera Foundation continues to monitor those kids for that year of transition. If the kids succeed, they enter First Grade.
The beauty of this program is that the Jera Foundation provides the lion’s share of the funding, but the community — those mothers and fathers — also provide funds. For example, the school is near the bottom of an endless and incredibly steep hill. The community wanted to created paved tracks to make passage easier. They asked the Jera Foundation to help. Jera provided most the money but block by block the people raised money — yard sales, bake sales, baby sitting — to pay a small portion of the cost of “their block.” The community also provided the labor.This year, the school has a security guard. Next year it won’t. The community knows that if anything is stolen, they will be stealing from themselves. The community will keep the school safe.
The 3 to 5 year old children, many of them riding the hips of their young mothers or resting their heads on the shoulders of their equally young fathers, came to watch the Novena. The Angels came in singing and dancing, a pregnant Mary with her Joseph on to the stage. The drums beat, hands clapped, the words were read, the songs were sung. The story was told as it had been told for centuries. Christmas has begun.
Another cousin arrived with four team members of the Cali Football (soccer) Team — celebrities — and with gifts for some among the crowd (a soccer ball, team hats. etc.). Then the families all made their way to their children’s respective classrooms to receive a Christmas gift along with a small box lunch and a juice drink. And the band — a youth orchestra of teenaged kids from impoverished families — played on … oboes, bassoons, violins, and all the traditional instruments of a “real orchestra.” This group is funded by different local family’s foundation.
I received such a beautiful gift this morning. To be there in that moment, to experience that moment, was amazing to me. What an incredible way to begin my Christmas season. With all the terror in the world and with all the legitimate and opportunistic stirrings of fear and warnings about our safety, to remember the beauty of gracious generosity and of open hearted innocence wrapped in the utter amazement at the wonder of life itself was an incredible gift.
Watching those little bitty kids with their huge eyes as they watched the Novena and especially as they received their gift comes rushing back as I type this now. That moment lives on. It fills my heart and all but overwhelms my soul all over again. Will I remember this morning? It would be hard to forget it.
As people dispersed, we trudged up the hill. Slow. Deliberate steps. Slower. At the top we waited for our bus to take us back to our world. A memorable morning, a memorable Christmas season … a beautiful gift worth remembering as this Year of Remembering reaches for its end.
A fun and touching ADDENDUM: The community mothers realized that they needed more help. It was so valuable to reach kids at pre-school levels, but it was also critically important to reach and to help even younger kids and to help their mothers. The Jera Foundation also recognized this need. They are expanding the school’s reach. They are beginning a program for the “pre pre-schoolers” — a program for even younger children from infancy until they are 3 years old. This program will also included helping the mothers.
What especially touches our hearts about this new program is that the mother’s recognized the need and the mothers reached out to ask for help. Not for a handout but for help in creating opportunities for their children that they never had. Many of them are illiterate having had no education at all. No one helped them learn their numbers or their colors. No one taught them shapes. It’s hard for me to even image that, but it’s the life they lived and are living. They had no opportunities, no chances, no education. But they know enough and they love enough to want more for their babies.
Another ADDENDUM: I wrote a short piece called, “Squatters” about the development of squatters’ land. This whole community where the school is … it all began with squatters and as swatters’ land. It was built with the mortar of the human spirit to survive and to thrive. It is continues to be built with the human spirit and with soul’s love. I am blown away and humbled.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
A Grouping of Questions with Jach's Replies from the Online Conferences
Q. What are the differences between Union and Oneness? Seems like Oneness is more connected with divinity.
JACH: Certainly they are connected, and often the terms can be interchangeable in our language, but there are differences, I think.
First, union has to do with conscious creation ... creating alliances for mutual benefit. It has to do with creating a concordance or a connecting, or linking, of the heart and also of the soul (I think). It has to do with bonding as well as with binding together. In all this, union implies separateness. In the alliances of union there is still you and me ... there is also an us, but there is still you and me. In the alliances there are still parts that are gathered, collected, and combined.
In oneness, there aren't parts. [s]
In the binding and bonding of union, there are separate components or agents -- separate voices -- that are brought together to function as one. But they are not one. Union is the stuff of complexity.
Oneness, on the other hand, does not have separate parts. Oneness is not about alliance, and it does not require binding or bonding. In fact, I think binding and bonding are not only superfluous to oneness, I don't think they are possible. In oneness, there is no separateness or individuality.
In a way, union is the stuff of complexity; oneness is the higher octave that emerges from that complexity. Union comes first and with complexity, in the womb of complexity, union gives birth to oneness. Union precedes and oneness follows.
And yeah, I think Oneness has more to do with divinity. Out of creating divine union ... a divine mystery to be sure ... can come Oneness. It is interesting that 1999 was the Year of Oneness, and then 2004 was the Year of Union. It is almost as if we needed a taste of Oneness to motivate us to pursue Union. And then I think of what Lazaris said of 2004: Ours was to seek union to meet our needs and desires like everyone else within the consensus would, but for us, this year was about seeking union with self as we pursued triumph. I think the triumph involved ultimately becomes the triumph of Oneness.
So for me, therein lies the difference.
Q. It feels like the "Activating the Magics" workshop effected change on so many levels ... one thing I have noticed is that my sense of "beingness" has changed; it is more profound and it does feel as if there is a sense of Oneness involved ... maybe it has brought a deeper sense of peace, though that is not quite what I am meaning to say. I find it hard to articulate the changes, but I wondered whether you would want to talk about some of the ways that activating the magics can change us and has changed you?
So many of the workshops this year  have had a certain profundity about them that is hard to describe. There has been a deepening and a quickening. And you know, I think it does have to do with Oneness. It's the year of Oneness, I know, but as I think about your question, it seems as though that energy -- the energy of Oneness -- is mixed into the texture as well as the content of so much of the work of this year.
"Activating the Magics" was such an experience. What happened for me is this ... I opened up to a fuller range of possibility. When I listened to Lazaris lay out the steps of finding our particular gateway to transcendent states and then discovering how to move through that gateway into a state of ... of what? of being? of mind? Yes, I think that a transcendent state is a state of being and a state of mind. [g] But what was so powerful in it all was that we could consciously go there. It did not have to be a peak experience that happened spontaneously or by something divine. It could be our choice. We could go to our gate, enter our gate, and be taken into a transcendent state. In that state, we could work our magic. We could allow a healing and we could allow it to happen in a transcendent way. We could do so much and we could be fully conscious and fully in charge.
Realizing that has deepened my sense of responsibility. It has altered the depth of my commitment. It has changed the way I look at my reality. I have so much more gratitude now. I have a heightened sense of appreciation now. And out of it, how can I justify playing the role of martyr, for example? How can I hold on to errant emotions for the fun of blame or the hopes of vindication? I mean, those things become so meaningless and such a waste of time. I don't mean to sound glib about it, but it does come down to that. So my martyr comes up, sure. But I send it away as quickly. I don't spend hours sending it away. It goes quickly. [g]
And then I think about metamorphosis. When I listened to the tape from Saturday morning where Lazaris talks about the potentials of metamorphosis and how our lives are geared and calibrated to allow metamorphosis, I got really excited. Again, the level of responsibility really increases and it feels so right to me.
These are some of the things that activating the magics has done for me. Oh yeah, my magic and its effectiveness has taken a giant's step forward. [vbg] There is a new punch to my magic now. I think it's a confidence and a courage. A confidence in the magician that I am and a courage to work the magic with a knowing and with a demand. [g]
The Oneness comes into it for me with the particular faces of Oneness ... Uniqueness and Harmony. For those not familiar, Lazaris says there are seven faces of Oneness ... seven ways to enter the grace of Oneness:
Of these seven, there is a link between the first and seventh, second and sixth, third and fifth, while the fourth stands alone.
So the face of Oneness that works best for me ... is the easiest or the most valuable face ... is uniqueness. When I can come to peace with my uniqueness, I begin to move closer to Oneness. But that is not enough. My sense of uniqueness needs to be tempered with harmony. So that is the face of Oneness that can most elegantly bring me into the grace of Oneness.
Someone else may have the face of harmony. And they need to temper their sense of harmony with uniqueness. Though in linear language, it is just switching the words around, in the non-linear of experience it is so much more than that. For example, uniqueness tempered with harmony has a very different meaning than a harmony tempered or altered by uniqueness. The same applies to whatever your face of Oneness is. There is a coloring or a shifting that is necessary. Unity needs to be tempered with accord (connect to the heart) while accord needs to be shifted by unity. Excellence needs the harness of individuality while individuality needs the guidance of excellence. Difference? Ha! Now that's ... you guessed it ... different. [vbg]
So to the point: Activating the magics has brought me closer to my uniqueness. It has opened me more to my sense of harmony. And as I bring them together in the state of transcendence and with the potential of metamorphosis ... a profound change in the essence that changes the substance of a thing ... I experience Oneness. And as Lazaris says, it can be magical, transcendent, and exhilarating.
Q. What is it about the energy of trust that makes it such an important part of the journey of Oneness?
JACH: Well, I think there is something about the energy of trust that makes it profoundly important in many aspects of our lives. The other day, I was thinking about the role of trust in my life, and I realized that it plays so heavily in the arena of developing my valued self. It plays a critical role in that work for each of us. To truly value ourselves, we need to be self-aware (know we have impact) and self-worthy (know that we are spiritual). We need self-esteem (earned love) and self-love (given love to be received). As well there is self-confidence (knowing we can cope), self-respect (looking again at our emotions), and finally self-realization (knowing we can consciously direct our impact).
In all this, trust -- self-trust -- is pivotal. I think that self-trust is the keystone that holds all the other components together. It is core to esteem and to self-confidence, and it is core to love (earned and received).
And without trust, what value would there be in looking deeper into our emotions? I mean, what value could there be if we didn't or couldn't trust what we saw?
Now to the idea of Oneness …
Lazaris talked in early February about the various parts of what makes up Oneness. One of those parts was Unity. Another is Uniqueness. And within unity there are concepts of sameness or equality, while within uniqueness there are issues of entitlement and empowerment. Another issue involved with Oneness is individuality, and along with that come concerns about expression or suppression. In the maze of ideas that comprise Oneness, if we cannot or do not trust ourselves, how can we find our way? I don't think we can.[g]
Finally, to find the mystery and the diversity that is Oneness and to make our way through the paradox and dichotomy that is Oneness, we need the alliance of ourselves. When we come to face the majesty and the magnificence of what Oneness -- our Oneness -- is all about, I think we need a very intimate relationship and alliance with ourselves. Self-trust offers that.
Q. Would you share any thoughts you might have about the role our crystals may play in our work with Oneness?
JACH: Oh, yes. I am sure that the role is a mighty one. [vbg]
I have so many thoughts about crystals, ... I have plunged deeper and deeper into my work with them. I sit with certain crystals for hours, and the joy only expands. Well, I don't sit for hours on end, but I will work with one crystal for hours over several days. [g] But the fascination and the depth of intrigue is only growing. The crystals are shifting and changing and becoming more awake than ever. More and more of them seem to be finding their way to Lazaris and to Lazaris workshops.
A little digression ... One new crystal dealer who is European and who spends a great deal of time in Brazil contacted us. He did not know us at all, but had heard of us through a friend, etc. We had purchased one crystal from him a while back. Well, he contacted us as he was "lead to do so." Something was "drawing him to us and he did not understand how or why." But he was following his instinct. He came from Brazil directly to Orlando to show us his crystals. Though we were a new client, he wanted us to see them first. We have had many similar stories. It's as though the crystals are insisting upon coming to be with Lazaris and to be at his workshops. The energy is amazing.
Well, back to your question ... I think crystals understand Oneness in a certain way. They, as consciousness, have a concept of time and space that is very different than ours. They can communicate across space-time in an instant. Also, I think there is an element of "one consciousness" in all crystals simultaneously. In that I mean, I think all crystals know what all other crystals know in an instant. There is an integrity here that is crystalline. That quality of Oneness ... each crystal being capable of knowing what every other crystal knows in the moment ... is a component of Oneness that is most intriguing and most frightening to us humans.
Now, when I say that each crystal has that level of integrity and that each knows what all others know, I do not mean that keeping one crystal is adequate. Not at all. Each crystal, as well as a sophisticated integrity, also has destiny. I am coming to understand that more and more ... They have destiny. They also have the concept of exalted giving within their consciousness. All of this ties together to mean that crystals can offer us a great deal of guidance when it comes to Oneness. They have not achieved it. But they can offer a great deal of guidance.
And when we work together, crystals and we can find more of that elusive mystery that is oneness. Similarly, when we learn to work together with the Other and Mystical Other, we will come closer to understanding and experiencing that Oneness.
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