On The Way to Awakening

Dear friends

In response to the talks I have had and the mails I have received from many people recently I feel like writing this newsletter. I know we face many challenges on this planet right now collectively and individually. I suggest we can choose to see the individual challenges as opportunities to live the teachings. Here is an audio clip where I answer a question from Maria about living the teachings and also say a few words about the heart.

      Here and Now Heart

Many seem to be facing some very painful relationship difficulties. Some experience crises with regards to trusting the flow – trusting all is well. Many ask for astrological readings and it brings me joy to experience people wanting to cooperate with the energies moving in their charts right now. So here are some things I’d like to share.

  1. 1. A dear friend and colleague recently shared insights about relationships. I was touched to read that he mentioned his need for emotional security and told him so. I’d say it is very important to be aware of and honest about one’s needs at the beginning of a relationship and to be willing to see if there is a good foundation for the relationship or not. Here are a few things he later wrote that I feel are good to share..

He said: “About emotional safety, I feel it’s important to develop strong friendship first. That is so needed for emotional safety and trust. Also, no matter what, you still have the relationship even if it transitions. My guru often talked about this as well as compatibility. So wise.”

He also said: “I have noticed that when people feel immediately comfortable with each other, there is a kind of opening that doesn’t necessarily happen otherwise.  As I have gotten older I really appreciate emotional safety. It makes it so much easier to do the real work in relationship when trust and safety are present. For me, when I don’t feel that, I am less inclined to really engage and be open. Of course, it can be about self-protection. It’s also about meeting someone where they are – the mutuality of relationship. In relationships where this an issue it is usually when someone has an agenda that isn’t revealed but  can be picked up by the other. Perhaps there is too much focus on “me” instead of “we.” To receive trust you also must be willing to give it.”

Jacqueline says: In response to mails I have received from students lately I would like to add that to truly give unconditional love (Neptune  – no boundaries) you have to have your boundaries in order (Saturn). To allow someone to use you as a doormat or a trash can for their garbage is not good for you or for the other. A relationship needs to be grounded (Saturn again) and I often describe grounding as being able to stand  up for oneself. In Danish “at stå ind for sig selv”. When a couple can do this together they have a good foundation to build on.

It is extremely unhealthy to stay in an abusive relationship – physically or emotionally abusive. If you are in such a relationship ask yourself how you would feel if your own child was in such a relationship. Do you love yourself enough to break away? Also look at the relationship from a karmic perspective: Do you really want to allow your partner to use you to create more negative karma for him or herself? I suggest finishing the relationship in the most clear and loving way possible and then doing the inner work of taking back the projections you have on your partner.

  1. Now I’d like to inject a little more astrology here about two very important planets. I did a quick here and now reading for someone recently where I specifically talked about the Jupiter and Saturn aspects moving powerfully in his chart right now. Saturn rules discipleship – “Keep on  keeping on” and we must be able to listen to Saturn’s teaching and do what Saturn demands of us if we are to deal with karma and awaken to our Dharma. After our talk this man did some research, following up on certain aspects to understand them better. Below you can see some of what he shared about Jupiter and Saturn returns written by Robert Wilkinson. There are some fine teachings here. (A return is when a planet returns to the place it was at the time of your birth.)

“Around the age of 59-60, every one of us has our fifth Jupiter return AND our second Saturn return. This is something that happens once a lifetime to everyone. Usually there’s a time gap between the two events. Seldom do the two occupy the same transiting degrees as they did at birth at the same time.” (Jacqueline says: Apparently Wilkinson wrote that real maturity really happens around the age of 60. I like that  🙂 I have often said it would perhaps be best if people didn’t get married before the first Saturn return at around 28 / 29 Then at least people have a good chance of some emotional maturity. Might also help the over population situation!!)

Wilkinson also said: “A Jupiter return brings a renewal of our Jupiterian sense. Whether of adventure, abundance, compassion, extravagance, or higher awareness, it’s the end of a 12 year period and the beginning of another. A Jupiter return can bring us liberation, new life openings, greater possibilities. That’s why it’s such a big deal. Every eleven and a half to twelve years we can get a new sense of an expanding life.

The Saturn return, on the other hand, brings us finality, completion, a sense of maturity and how we have authored our experience for good or ill. It also brings renewal, but a longer wave, slower pace of ending an old sense of purpose, duty, limitation, or fear, depending on how we have lived our purpose to our own ends or not, selfishly or not, responsibly or not. Saturn return most definitely shuts doors and opens others. Whether we experience life as a slog, or expressive of our sense of what truly matters to us, Saturn return shows us how we’ve made Saturn our friend or not. Saturn symbolizes chains and age, but also power and experience.”

(Jacqueline says: Remember I often say how important it is to make a friend of Saturn.)

Wilkinson: “By embracing Saturn’s virtues and turning away from childish things at critical moments we come to know our mature power to shape our destiny through wise choices. We all have to “know our limitations,” but these can show us the way to freedom to do our thing in our way without fear or feeling like life has lost its luster. Since Saturn moves much slower than Jupiter, we have fewer Saturn returns. Our first one happens between 28-30. The second one happens between 57-59. I explained a lot more about what these most important life periods are about Of course, there are other Saturn cycles as well, but that’s beyond the scope of this article.”

Jacqueline says: Jupiter is our inner wisdom and when we are in touch with this wisdom there is a natural trust in life even when life seem tough. I know that in Vedic astrology the 9th house (Jupiter’s house) is often referred to as the house of Dharma. Many of you understand your charts well and have learned to cooperate with the challenges. Some of you might still be fighting. At such times I suggest taking a look at what you perceive to be your inner wisdom and what helps you to stay open and trust what you know.

3. I wish to share a few quotes from a Waking Times article written by Caitlin Johnstone.

I quote from this article as it resonates so well with what I often say is important to be aware of. In some cases I would say: to be aware of but not get lost in. Here is an edited version of what she writes including 8 suggestions for becoming free. I added a few comments here and there.

She writes: “Our species is at an evolve-or-die crossroads. We will cease destroying our ecosystem and flirting with nuclear Armageddon in the very near future, or we will go the way of the dinosaur. The reason we continue on our current trajectory is because a few sociopathic plutocrats have seized control of the dominant narratives we tell ourselves about what’s going on in the world by buying up the news media people use to keep themselves informed. The plutocrat-controlled media manipulate the ways we think and vote to ensure that we will continue supporting the ecocidal, omnicidal, Orwellian status quo upon which the oligarchs have built their empire, instead of rising up and demanding a system that prioritizes human thriving and peaceful coexistence with each other and our environment.

If enough of us can awaken from this narrative matrix in which the plutocrats have imprisoned us, this abusive dynamic will be unable to find any purchase. When your mental processes become enlightened (made conscious), belief in/identification with mental narrative falls away. This radically changes your perception of reality, since it turns out that concepts as fundamental as self, other, world and separateness are all made entirely of mental narrative. A deep and abiding peace comes to the forefront of experience, because almost all human suffering is caused by believed mental narrative. You gain the ability to decide what thought (if any) is useful to you in a given moment, and then let it go without attachment in the next instant. Obviously, thoughts which harm our species and benefit only the powerful are not useful to keep around, so the official authorized narratives of the elite class are swiftly dispensed with. As you become more conscious of your inner processes, you can move more and more gracefully in the world, in graceful alignment with what is in the world’s highest interest. We can wake up, and we should.

  1. Get intensely curious about the nature of consciousness/experience.

Imagine if you’d been living your entire life in a strange sort of coma where you were cut off from senses and from thought, experiencing nothing other than your own empty consciousness. Imagine if you’d lived your entire life from birth until now in that state, and then you suddenly gained the ability to see, hear, touch, smell, taste, touch, think, form memories, and feel. How amazing would it be to have that field of experience suddenly explode into your awareness?

It’s really weird how there’s this nonstop explosion of sensory impressions, thoughts and feelings erupting onto our field of experience in each instant, yet we overlook it and take it for granted, and it almost never occurs to anyone to investigate its nature. When someone gets the itch to find the answer to Life’s Big Questions, they’ll typically read a bunch of books, they’ll look to religion, travel to India, search for answers within this field of experience instead of turning their attention to the field itself.

What is all this? How is this experience occurring? From where do these thoughts arise? To whom do they appear? What is it that this field of experience is arising to? What the hell am I, anyway? If you follow this investigation all the way through, you’ll wake up. You will realize for yourself that you’ve been operating with some unquestioned assumptions about the nature of experience, and when those assumptions are seen through you’ll be able to experience life as it actually is, not as the mind says it is.

  1. Get intensely curious about the nature of self.

This one is so closely related to #1 it only gets its own category due to difference in emphasis. When you investigate the nature of experience, it eventually becomes clear that you’re actually investigating the nature of the experiencer. You’re investigating the investigator. The appearances of sensory impressions, thoughts and feelings are clearly appearing, but what is it that they are appearing to? You can answer that question with a mental narrative (“I’m Alice and I was born in New Jersey and I’ve been divorced a couple times and that’s the me that they’re appearing to” or whatever), but if you try to find the self in your own non-conceptual experience, you can’t find anything solid to point to. There are thoughts, sensory impressions and feelings, but no tangible “me” to be found anywhere.

  1. Bring consciousness to your unconscious conditioning patterns.

Society Is Made Of Narrative. Realizing This Is Awakening From The Matrix. Gaining clear and abiding insight into the nature of self and experience will bring great clarity and peace, but until you start bringing that awakened consciousness into the world of form it doesn’t do anyone else a damn bit of good. Since we’re talking about enlightening our way out of our path toward extinction here and not mere spiritual escapism, this is where the rubber meets the road.

Enlightenment means bringing the unconscious into consciousness. In most spiritual circles it is used to refer to becoming  conscious of the nature of self, thought, experience, but it’s useful and accurate to think of it as shining the light of consciousness on any part of your operating system. Anyone who’s been involved in enlightenment-oriented communities has heard of (and probably encountered) individuals who have undergone profound shifts in consciousness as a result of powerful insights into the nature of self and experience, but who still act out deeply unconscious conditioning patterns which harm themselves and those around them. They’ve turned on the lights in the rooms upstairs, but the whole bottom floor and basement are still left in the dark.

So the process of waking up, of enlightening, necessarily includes bringing those habitual processes into consciousness. Why do I keep repeating that same behavior? Why do I keep having those hateful thoughts about myself/others? Why am I so deeply triggered by those words/ideas? Feel your way around your experience of what’s coming up for you, talk about it, write about it, experiment with different ways of thinking and behaving to make the unconscious conditioning pattern pop out against the background, until you gain some insight into why you probably formed that mental habit over the course of your life and what purpose it’s intended for.

  1. Kinesiology

Another way to bring unconscious conditioning patterns into consciousness is with kinesiology. Muscles hold memories. You can access the unconscious traumatic memories that are the cause of pernicious mental habits through kinesiology practices such as body talk with a therapist, or using a pendulum on yourself, and although you won’t be able to recall the full story of what happened, you will be able to sense the trauma. If you feel safe enough, you’ll be able to release the suppressed emotions too.

  1. Body Awareness

Eckhart Tolle talks about the energy body. In his book A New Earth, he shows how you can sense your energy body by closing your eyes, holding out your hands, and noticing how you can sense the energy of your hands even though they’re not touching anything. It’s a buzzy, furry feeling that extends out a little way past the periphery of your hand. He says that you can’t be sensing your body and caught up in your thoughts at the same time. Try it. Feel your feet on the floor right now while trying to keep your focus on your thoughts. It can’t be done. Find a sequence of body movements you find easy, that  moves your energy tangibly. After a while you’ll notice points of constriction the energy has to flow around, like rocks in a river. You don’t have to do anything about it, just notice it. Eventually your body’s intelligence will help you dissolve it.

  1. Energy expulsion

After doing body awareness meditation, this started happening spontaneously. I would be noticing a contraction in my energy body, feeling around the edges of it, and I’d start to feel queasy. I found if I leaned in to the queasy feeling, I could expel the energy out of my mouth. If you know qi gong, you’ll know you tend to feel your energy go out through your feet and into the floor, but this was energy that wanted to come up. It comes up in a roar or dry heaves or a burp, a bit like the dude in the movie The Green Mile.

We constrict our animal bodies for social reasons, restricting our ability to process trauma at the time it occurs. Often when something bad happens to us, it’s not safe to curl up into a little ball and shake it off like any other animal would. These traumas stay in the energy field until they are released. This practice bypasses narrative, and lets your body intelligence take out the trash.

We protect ourselves from revisiting trauma through hyper-vigilance, which can manifest as anything from an overreaction to a full-blown panic attack. Coming back in to the body, giving it permission to explore old wounds can give a lot of much needed relief in all aspects of life. Most of us spend our days avoiding nonexistent trap doors, fighting invisible ghosts. It’s exhausting.

  1. Bring consciousness to unseen societal dynamics.

We’re inseparable from the society in which we live; it’s responsible for everything from the language we speak to the thoughts in our heads to the laws we must obey. Societal dynamics inform all aspects of experience, but there are many aspects people find psychologically uncomfortable to look at, so they ignore, deny, and compartmentalize away from them. So get curious: In what ways do I avoid looking at the horrific things my government does in my name? At the horrors of war, outsourced slavery, brutalization of indigenous populations, prison for profit, and Orwellian police state oppression? How can I become more conscious of those things?

In what ways do I avoid looking at how the dynamics of racial inequality, gender inequality, socioeconomic inequality, institutional white supremacy, institutional male supremacy, rape culture etc influence the society in which I live? How can I inform myself and become conscious of these dynamics? In what ways have I been avoiding looking at the brutality of factory farming, the cruel destruction of our planet’s wildlife, at any suffering or brutality in my community and my life, at the ways my own actions or inactions hurt those around me?

Of course, this kind of enquiry brings up a lot of grief, guilt and shame, but that’s actually the point. Those feelings were always there, I was just unconsciously defensive of them, which resulted in harmful reactions and behavior. One of the hallmarks of egoic thinking is its binary nature. The ego wants to be either victim or victor; it can’t accept that any one person is a mixture of both, and it will fight attempts to enquire into that.”

Jacqueline says: Some of you have heard me speak about a technique Jes Bertelsen described. Jes Bertelsen is a well known spiritual teacher and author.) He suggested being willing to play all roles in any drama that keeps recurring in your life. You can meditatively imagine playing all roles. For example – The so-called love triangle. Do you always seem to be the victim or the “other woman” or “other man”? In a meditative state experience yourself being the one who is cheated on, the partner who is cheating, the other woman or man in this triangle. Meditatively feel each role. Then allow yourself to experience all three at once. Repeat daily until you feel the issue has become conscious and is accepted and healed in some way. Remember it’s all about becoming WHOLE.

More from Caitlin Johnstone.

  1. Be gentle with yourself.

I say this all the time to people, because it’s really so important. (Jacqueline says- “So do I!”) We’re so hard on ourselves, so hyper-critical, so self-punitive and so resistant to self-soothing. Take a moment. The world won’t cave in. Have a nap. Take a bath and sink into it for as long as possible. Take care of yourself like you would take care of someone you really loved who had been going through a rough time lately. Give your heart a little pat and say, “There, there, you’re safe, it’s okay, I love you. You can relax.”

  1. Jacqueline says: I would like to finish off with a reminder of what I’ve often said: “The mind produces thoughts – you don’t have to think them.” I recently received the following from a student. (I shortened the message and include the photo that accompanied the mail.) I hope it makes you smile.

Dear Jacqueline

I thought you might like to read the story that happened to me a few days ago. I walking on the street, feeling very dark and heavy, and feeding my mind with dark thoughts. Then just beside me on the pavement, there was a poster that must have been a message for me!  (See picture below).

Jacqueline says: As some of you know my Guru said to me many years ago “Existence has a way of getting its messages across”!

A final reminder of something I have often shared: Remember that whatever you heal within your self you cannot only heal for you. We are ultimately all one and when you heal something “individually” you also heal a little bit more of the whole. I hope you all find something of interest / inspiration in this Newsletter and attached recording.

Love and blessings from Jacqueline