The Virgin of Guadalupe
December 12, 2018 was a big holiday in Mexico - the celebration at The Basilica de Guadalupe, Mexico City. A huge holiday for Mexicans. For Catholics, this is the pilgrimage of the Perfect Virgin Holy Mary Mother of God, and for the indigenous or non-Catholics, she represents Toci, the Grandmother of who we all Are.
For the people of Mexico it is the blending of their two traditions, for me, it is one step closer to the story I am chasing, the vision I am chasing all the way to the eventual destination of Tikal, Guatemala. The story of Toci, our eternal Grandmother of Who We Really Are, the story of the coming of the conquerors, and how despite the suppression, Toci still remains in our hearts, ready and waiting for us to rediscover and resurrect into our beings.
What follows is my own mini-pilgrimage on October 12, 2018, two months ago at the Basilica de Zapopan, next to the city of Guadalajara; and a translated version of the story behind the Virgen de Guadalupe.
Soon after I came back from Standing Rock; I experienced something while I was watching videos of fracking. I had been talking to others about ways to lessen our dependence on oil when I suddenly realized just how much we consume petroleum products - plastics; processed food, hygiene, cosmetic, beauty, cleaning, storage products; utensils, toys, natural gases; medical supplies - the list goes on nearly endlessly. We spend so much of our time, energy, money into what logically seems like a miracle product; how can one single resource be used for just about everything in conventional society?! We even use this stuff extensively to protect ourselves from invading germs, virii, and bacteria in a hyper sterilizing culture! Anyways, this enormity of our dependence on such a resource led me to behold how this oil is actually part of our life energy cycle. Just as our air relationship with trees is a circuit - the tree breathes in carbon dioxide; and exhale oxygen; humans and animals breathe in that same oxygen that the trees exhales; and exhale carbon dioxide, completing the circuit. We are surrounded by life energy, which has many names such as chi, ki, prana, lifeforce, etc. It is in our air, water, earth, sun, and other living beings including plants. We use such energy all the time to be life being the process of life. According to the principles of Pranic Healing, a.k.a Medical Chi Kung; our bodies are a conduit for energy to flow through. As it turns out, we are part of a much bigger circuit where we utilize this energy; and in some cases consume it; and any energy that we exhale, exhaust, or otherwise let go of is expended or negative energy that wants to be returned to the earth. This is the same with all beings in our existence - we all take in this energy then return the resulting energy back to the earth. This energy that is around us to use, I will refer to as "light energy" for lack of a better term. The exhaled energy that wants to return to the earth shall be referred to as "dark energy", again for lack of a better term. This dark energy when returned to the earth presents itself in several ways; one of them being concentrating itself into a physical form, which is the oil that we so heavily consume. This oil nourishes the earth and the forms of life beneath the surface, and like the tree that utilizes the carbon dioxide, functions and goes on its being process using that oil. Along with the other forms of dark energy, our Earth uses it all, and the exhaled product is then brought out from under the surface as light energy, ready for us above-surface dwellers to utilize again. When I witnessed that process, it made total sense to me why we can use oil in so many ways - it is part of that SAME life energy we use, but it is not meant for us, just as breathing carbon dioxide does not work with us oxygen breathers. Whenever we consume any of this dark energy, we immerse ourselves with a bit of that "death energy" while being under the impression that we are benefiting greatly from it. While we are consuming this energy, we are depriving our Earth of this energy at the same time; which limits Her ability to provide us with that light energy we actually need to thrive. It is part of a giant earth-wide circuit and we as conscious beings are given the love and opportunity to be stewards of this process.
First Foray into the Shadow World
It is really funny, just when I thought I was ready to move on to Neale Donald Walsch's 2nd tip for a simpler life, the Universe gives me a profound experience in relevance to death to add! So, allow me to indulge you further with the recollection of this experience.
On Saturday night, I found myself locked out of the place I was going to sleep at night, and temperatures were going to be low, and windy. I found a spot that had just enough room for me to squeeze in and sleep standing up, and although it did not offer any warmth that was any different from the outside, BUT it did offer shelter from the wind, and therefore windchill. There were several thoughts and other events that led up to it, and I am beginning to understand that one of my "spirit guides" as would be phrased is the thought-form / concept that many would refer to as "death". What I experienced I only had a pre-infant level of comprehension, and a high level of awareness. It was as if I was still in the womb, but was spiritually aware of what was going on in the larger scheme of things.
THE SURROUNDING PIECES AND BACKSTORY
For the longest time, I felt that the things that I have been doing, especially things that I do the hard way, or learning the hard way was simply training, long-haul training in preparation towards doing something significant and life defining. Every little thing I did was training, even stuff I dismissed because it was like building a large Black Ship from scratch, - plant the trees and other plants to grow the material to make the tools, which are then used to make the small boats, the docks, the rope that are then in turn used to make better tools and shipyards, to finally build the ship. That kind of training. Okay, end of this piece.
Back in September, I spent some time pondering and feeling through a revelation I had where in order to honor free-will of all beings, there had to be multiple realities going on at the same time; and that we were in the middle of a major reality split where a bunch of realities would have the planet and its spirit being become paradise and reach a higher level of existence; and another bunch of realities would witness all the catastrophes and major reworking of things that would yield a significant reduction in the world population in the short-term. The prophecies of the Hopi tribe also tell of this reality split. The training I was putting myself through SEEMS to also be preparing for a life after this reality split is completed. Okay, end of this piece.
A month and a half ago, I found myself downloading a game that was never officially released in the United States, but was created in Japan, and applying a fan-made translation patch that translated it via hacking into English. As I played it over the course of several weeks, it relayed a story where the protagonist leads a normal life that suddenly changes to where things felt a little off, and starts to question it. There is a major conflict going on that affects the whole world, and one king of a nearby kingdom is spearheading the war against a force bent on complete domination. At one point, the protagonist enters that kingdom and hears that the king never seems to sleep, and is constantly tending to the war. This turns out to be true, as we come to find out that the world is known as the DREAM world, with strange holes all over that lead to another world, which we later know as the WAKING world. In the waking world, the same antagonist also exists and is waging the same campaign to complete domination, and that there are places in the WAKING world that were destroyed by the antagonist, but still exist in the DREAM world. Throughout the protagonist's adventure, they switch back and forth in between worlds. While the protagonist and king are SLEEPING in the WAKING world, they are AWAKE and doing their thing in the DREAM world. While they are SLEEPING in the DREAM world, they are awake and doing their thing in the WAKING world. Basically they are progressing on their journey while interweaving between both the DREAM and WAKING worlds. I strongly responded to this game, because I felt the same way - I often felt that I was never sleeping when I thought I was sleeping, and that there is a part of me engaging in something where some of my efforts were going somewhere else. Okay, end of this piece.
There was this movie called Pitch Black / Chronicles of Riddick where the protagonist, Riddick is thrown into a prison for essentially being of a race of gifted beings that were perceived as a threat to a dictator of a different race due to a prophecy foretold where he would be undone by a member of this race; so this dictator uses all the resources at his disposal and murders every single member of this race, and destroy their homeworld. Riddick is the sole survivor. While in prison, Riddick happens upon a strange hermit who promises to gift him with night-sight in return for a trivial favor. The sight Riddick gains allows him to see in pitch black, and it is demonstrated that he "sees" a strange amalgam of black and white while in pitch black, and his eyes had turned a luminous purple after this operation. Okay, end of that piece.
I read an article on Facebook a while back where a former priest was interview where he revealed that the Church's concept of Hell was made up to keep people in fear. I agreed with this, given that I see different understandings of Hell, depending on where someone is at with their spirituality. The Church's version; a dense and difficult place where one is suffering more often than not due to their heavy mood; the idea that we are in our own personal Hell of our own making when we suffer, and where we are not suffering more often than not; and then a lighter state where one does not perceive an existence of Hell. Okay, end of that piece.
I've had my fear of fire for as long as I can remember. When I was three, my 4th finger on my right hand was exposed to flame from a gas stove for a prolonged period of time; punishment for trying to destroy the steroids my biological father took in pursuit of his bodybuilding. I did this in hopes to rid his physical abuse of my mother and myself. I had an experience that led to a profound vision where an old woman who could see many things beyond what typical eyesight could see, had her eyes burnt out by fearful villagers in hopes that she would no longer see "too much". There were times when I had desired to relive the pain I felt from that disciplinary pain, whenever I was in a lot of emotional pain in order to find out what was on the other side. There was even one occasion of this desire where I had asked my friend to act as a "second" in case things got out of control. I still have this curiosity to find out what is on the other side of the pain of fire. Okay, end of this piece.
At some point after my fire-discipline from my biological father, I was having a field day with my collection of Lego building block sets, and had left them all over the place. He was so furious with me (I think he stepped on a wayward piece), that he introduced a new punishment for this occassion. That evening, after the usual beatings, he directed me to stand next to his bed, as straight as possible, with arms akimbo (out to the sides, palms straight out, facing down, reminiscent of being nailed to the cross), and to remain in that exact position the entire night. Each time a muscle twitched, moved, or if I made any sort of noise, he would lash out at me physically. He went to sleep with a stick in hand, and like a kneejerk reflex, anything out of me was met with an immediate, swift and sharp *smack* of the stick. There were many *smack* moments, and I eventually fell asleep, having gotten used to the stick, as it became part of the routine. Okay, end of that piece.
There were three occasions this year where I ended up sleeping outside when the temperature was going to cross the freezing point. The first night, there was a LOT of wind, and I started to lose feeling all over my body - toes and fingers first. I also had a harder time keeping them moving in an effort to keep warm. Just when I felt I was losing the last dot of feeling sensation in the core of my body, there was a sudden pin of intense, yet comforting warmth, similar to the kind of warming sensation the consumption of alcohol would yield, in the same spot, and quickly radiated outwards, returning full feeling as it went outwards, until I had full sensation again, and was able to fall asleep for the remainder of the night, until I woke up at next dawn. This first time, I thought it was a fluke experience. The second night it happened, I was getting the hint that I was not going to freeze. The third time, I was still uncertain that it would happen again, but took the chance and after that third night, I was sold on the idea that I was definitely not going to freeze at this stage of life. Okay, end of that piece.
A friend responded to my previous peace reflecting Neale Donald Walsch's first tip to live a simpler life; with a warning to me that the portal between this world and the other side of death was open; and to be careful in that regard. Little would I know that I would jump right in, head first.
On Saturday evening, prior to being locked out, I was at a Winter Solstice celebration over at Tammy's Edge Salon, which was called "3 Wise Women" event. It featured some healing services, readings, belly dancing, potluck, and some firedancing by the bellydance performers. I was watching the firedances and was imaging the same kinds of dance but different intent - to become the essence of fire, and envisaged the flames moving on their own without the dance-aids, moving in tandem with the dancers. Serpents of flames twirling, circling, enfolding the dancers without burning them. Dancers and flames became one and danced in celebration of that kind of transcendence. I watched with a mix of fascination and fear - being reminded of that gas stove and my finger.
THE ACTUAL FORAY
After leaving the "3 Wise Women" event, I got a ride to the place I was going to stay Saturday night, and by that time, it was nearly 11pm. I went to retrieve the spare key from its hiding spot only to find that it was not there. It was about 34 degrees F (1.1 degree C), and rather windy. I started to look around for an improvised place to sleep, and the only place available was a shed filled with tables and other knick-knacks. There was JUST enough room right behind the door for me to squeeze in there and fall asleep standing up. The last time I fell asleep standing up was when my father introduced that standing sleeping discipline. I had brief flashbacks to that time as I processed how I was sleeping that night, and thinking that there would be no improvement in the temperature aspect, but at least the wind won't be a factor to my cold. I got in and closed the door.
I could not tell if my eyes were open or closed, because no matter how much I moved my eyelids and eyes, there was no change in what I saw from said eyes. I moved my hands back and forth slowly, and rapidly - no difference. When I was outside, I could see the predominant color - a certain shade of purple that was actually the night sky with cloud cover, reflecting the streetlights of the city. I had a real hard time distinguishing anything else other than that predominant color, but at least I could see movement, or tell when my hands moved. I also tested my bounds.. there was just enough room to move my right hand and forearm to reach the doorknob and open or close the door. There was maybe an inch or two for my feet to move inside, but not enough room to turn sideways or completely around. I was leaning against a folded up table. All I could do was try to close my eyes and fall asleep. At least I did not have to have my arms akimbo, and there was nobody to hit me with a stick if I twitched. Even if I DID move my arms, there was not enough room to move them SOMEWHERE - what a punchline!
Pretty soon, I started to feel the familiar sensation of losing feeling in my body, toes, feet, hands, fingers first. Here we go again.. and it got really cold and numb for me. My right ear was beginning to ring again, and the ringing slowly started to increase in its intensity. All I can do is trust that I will not freeze, and it was safe to fall asleep - just close my eyes (I think) and sleep.
I started to see blotches of slight purplish and white glaze in my field of view, and these blotches would change size and slowly shift positions and movement. I was used to seeing these by this time - they started two years ago, after I had my first meditation experience. I watched them idly, with nothing else to do, nothing else to feel. Then I started to feel subtle, yet distinct differences in gradation in correspondence to the blotches as PRESSURE against my eyeballs. Where there was a lighter shade of purplish white blotch, would be increasing pressure on my eyes - and the sensation matched exactly what I saw. So, I am able to see AND feel these blotches exactly.
The blotches then changed shape, merged, disappeared, flow in places until I started to perceive a place of sorts. I had no idea what I was seeing, everything looked so foreign. I still heard that ringing in my right ear, and it was pretty loud and grating by now. I decided to test if I was "seeing" after all, so I lifted my right hand, and waved my hand slowly waved it across my supposed field of vision. I felt and saw an outline of my gloved hand go back and forth my field of vision - so it was black, outlined in that purplish white color, with soft edges and gradations into black otherwise. I FELT an exact corresponding map of the same thing with the pressure against my eyes.
Things seemed to get more refined as I kept witnessing - shapes became more defined, a bit sharper edges, patterns - not like anything in my current existence, but there were patterns that suggest that this was not a random fancy of my eyes. The hand waving thing confirmed this earlier. I then got more scientific and started to move my head left, then right very slowly, and saw more, which revealed more of itself at the same speed as my head moving and corresponding field of vision changes. I swiveled my head several times, changing the speed in a methodical manner, and saw a consistent and 1 to 1 corresponding ratio of changes in my field of vision, and as my "gaze" swept over the same areas, I also saw certain things again in the field of view, consistent with witnessing something consistent in my current existence. I stopped and placed my head back in its center position and angle, and started to slowly move my head so that my field of view would create a square, moving clockwise. The changes in my field of view changed correspondingly, and I started to comprehend that I was looking at a different place.
I still had no frame of reference - what I saw was very foreign. If you look at a page of written English, then a page of say... Japanese, the Japanese page is going to look downright foreign. What I saw and was able to comprehend felt exactly the same way - where were the shapes and curves and angles and lines that I was familiar with. There were no such things! I waved my right hand again to see if I would see my hand overlaid over what I was seeing, and sure enough, it did. I was beginning to become downright FASCINATED with what I was witnessing. Next, lets see if there was any sort of correspondence between what I was witnessing, and where I was at "in real life". I reached out with my left hand and felt for the shed door and doorknob, tracing the shapes, and looking at that hand to see what I would see. Sure enough, there was.. something that tracked with the door in real life - except it looked NOTHING like a door. I had no idea how to describe what I saw, much less words to assign to any aspect to it, no matter how much I try to dissect it into little pieces mentally.
By this time, I noticed that the ringing from my right ear had stopped increasing in intensity, and was now staying constant, and I head some sort of background noise .. ambient, yet distinct sounds, but distorted in some way. I was suddenly thinking of what it might be like to be witnessing the world from inside my mother's womb - and what i was witnessing with my "sight", pressure "feelings" on my eyes, and hearing seemed to make more sense. I certainly was perceiving and comprehending on a pre-infantile level. I repeated my head movements, with an attempt to map what I was seeing - and all I could ascertain was that I was perceiving some other environment that had correspondence of sorts to the space and place I am at in my current existence. I looked for what seemed a few more moments, and decided that I was going to see if there was a "me"...
Suddenly, a faint blue line came into my field of view and I was looking at the doorframe outline where the right edge of the door would be, a dark azure line going down amongst black. I brought my left hand to that outline and could see my gloved hand like I would in my current existence. I was back, and it was dawn.
I was feeling that familiar intense warm feeling all over my body, and that I had full sensation functionality; but it was still really cold. I reached for the doorknob and turned it - rather stiffly, but still managing to turn it, and opened the door. There were the familiar surroundings of the place I was staying at the previous night. What seemed like a short period of time in this other place, I daresay this other WORLD, and apparently the whole evening had passed in my current existence.
What was THAT? I was reminded of Riddick's eyeshine sight - I decided to nickname this see and feel thing "shadow-second-sight". Is it another world, the shadow world that has correspondence and mapping to this current existence? Suddenly, it's like something out of the game I downloaded and played. Am I a participant of two different worlds, and that I am really not sleeping at all? Do I have a body or identity of sorts if this was another world? So many questions, a confirmation that I do indeed have a pre-infantile comprehension of what I had just experienced.
What does this mean, really? Did I just get a preview of that next version of that Hell - where Hell does not exist in my field of experience, but instead, I witnessed a dichotomy consisting of this world, and a shadow world? I know "shadow-second-sight" and "shadow world" are really crude expressions of what is actually there; but I got to start somewhere.
I numbly fumble for my phone in my left pocket and checked the time - 6:34AM. The nearby coffee shop will not open for another hour and a half; so I shut the shed door and just continued to lean against the table I was leaning against and bide my time and recount what I just experienced. Eventually it was 8AM and I ambled my way over to the coffee shop.
As I sat with a large steaming brew of coffee, I looked out the window towards the Eastern sky and noticed how super bright it was - the New Mexican cityscape was looking really cold, being bathed and lavished with wet, soft, yet passionate kisses on every nook and cranny from the overly bright, overly rich-spectrumed reaches of the sunlight; and I am reminded of the numerous pictures of Casablanca countryscape and how it was bathed in intense yellow light - light that melts away the coldness of the night, and brings out the inner warmth of everything it touches with these kisses; until all is aglow in mirrored intense yellow-light.
Life is so interesting right now! After two years and three months into this pilgrimage, I have come through full circle; when I did not know I was going in a circle in the first place. The beginning of this loop happened nearly three decades ago when I first found myself emotionally isolated. What I mean by emotionally isolated was that I could not relate or connect to anybody at a satisfactory level due to my limited eyesight and hearing. I would feel like I was left out of the loop, and not know what was going on at a given moment; which led to frustration, loneliness, abandonment, and being relegated to a sub-class of a group. At some point, I found ways to simultaneously numb myself of these feeling, and finding other ways to connect with other people. Now, 29 years later, I have come around again to observing the exact same issue; the exact same feelings; and another opportunity of making a choice once again. The only difference is, I am aware of more possibilities, my feelings, my story, and of myself.
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