Awakening Our Gifts Part 1: The Face of Our Challenge
Back in the late 80’s, I was at a bar enjoying myself with a couple of friends when a young man walked up to me and stated he’d heard I was psychic. I remember thinking that was an odd introduction, especially since I’d never called or referred to myself as a psychic and wondered who he was. Of course, I do not remember exactly what I said, but essentially I asked him where he had heard that. He mentioned the person who had told him I was, who I did know, which had me wondering why he would say that as I never had. I did say something to the effect that everyone was and asked why he mentioned it.
He went on about how he did not believe in it and though the whole “psychic thing” was a crock and asked me to prove it to him. I was a little taken aback by such a direct and aggressive question, which bordered on a demand. I remember suggesting to him that belief is a personal choice, that he was free to believe or not and that I it wasn’t my job to prove it to him. For one thing, I’d never done psychic “things” on demand and actually still don’t, nor was I sure that I could and I was being honest in it did not feel like it was my task to convince him.
I thought that would be enough to get him to move on, and was surprised he didn’t leave as I expected and perhaps hoped he would. I was out to enjoy myself, not prove myself to anyone. He went on to a thinly veiled insult, which I shrugged off, but oddly enough he just stood there with a slightly strange expression of expectation on his face, even when I turned away to go back with my friends to our table.
I had mixed feelings about him and his question because while I always want to help people if I can, his attitude was confrontational and somewhat derogatory. I was not sure that anything I could say or do would make a difference. At that point I’d made up my mind that I would not respond to his challenge, even though I got the impression that behind his aggressiveness was a genuine need to know something. I turned and took a step away, but at that moment I felt a little poke on the top of my right shoulder.
It wasn’t a physical poke and with it came the urge to stop. In that moment, I had a few ego based thoughts “it’s not my job to prove it to him”, “who does he think he is?” However, I also felt or had the distinct impression that I was supposed to respond to his request in some fashion. I felt this way because I couldn’t seem to take a step further and was almost compelled to speak to him even though that was not my preference at the time.
At that moment, even as I turned back to see if he was still there, I didn’t believe I could actually do it because I’d never done such a thing before. I was still somewhat annoyed at him for questioning me when he didn’t know me and for disrupting my time with my friends. However, as I turned to face him I felt an odd calmness (though I might have called it a sense of feeling resigned to it at the time). There he was standing in the same place, staring at me as he had before. I said something like “I don’t do psychic things on command, but for some reason it feels like I am supposed to try, but I am not guaranteeing anything since I am not a practicing psychic”. I then asked him what he thought would be proof.
He said that if I was psychic I should know what he was looking for. I expected a specific question so his statement caught me off guard, though I expect any statement or question would have. I felt a little like a fish out of water as I tried to figure out what to do. While I was still torn between wanting to help him and wanting to simply walk away, the urge to help him remained strong and consistent. With it came the thought that I could do, whatever "it" was.
Not knowing what else to do I went into a quick meditation, breathing, grounding, clearing my energy and got as centered as I could considering the environment and circumstances. This is something I can do in a few seconds when I have the right focus. I looked at him wondering how I was supposed to know how to answer his challenge. I wondered if something would just pop into my mind or whether I would simply know.
In that moment, nothing came to mind so I reached to “feel” his energy to see if anything surfaced in my awareness. I noticed he was tense and uncertain on the outside but his core energy was closed off. I got the distinct impression this was important to him, a sense of wanting and waiting, though I was not getting anything specific to suggest why. Nothing came to me after a bit and he got a little impatient with me.
My initial reluctance combined with my inability to “get something” led to uncertainty over my being able to do it. As a result I shrugged and said I was sorry, but nothing was coming to mind and that awareness isn’t like a tap you can just turn on and off (at least that was the reason I gave to him). I may have said something about the environment making it harder and repeated I wasn’t a practicing psychic before turning to walk away. I did feel a little disappointed in me, but did not dwell on it. I would have liked to help him; I just didn’t see how I could.
At that moment, my mind was fairly clear (due to my having done the quick meditation). I really did want to help him and was in a pretty good space mentally and energy wise, which was enough for me to be open for whatever might come through. That is when the thought occurred to me that I would have an answer if only I could scan his life. What came forward was a thought; actually it was more like a visual impression. I saw a stack of photographs of him and as I wondered why it was a stack of pictures it occurred to me that each one of them was of a different year in his life. That thought led me examine the top picture, and when I as I did I perceived or felt there was a big gash right through it as if the pile had been slashed or stabbed by a knife.
The impression came through strongly, which had me thinking to myself “this is interesting....I wonder how far back the slash goes?” What followed was an impression of scanning the pictures quickly, like back in school when I used to do little stick men animations in the upper right hand corner of books. Once I drew the pictures I would run my finger down the corner so each page went by quickly, the result was like watching a ‘mini-movie’. I did that in my mind with the stack of photos and noticed that the gash went away in between the third and second last pictures. When that happened the new pictures appeared, though this time I had the feeling the pictures were not of years but of months and noticed the gash ended somewhere around two or three months into of the second year.
I also got the distinct impression that the gash represented trauma. I told him that I felt something very traumatic happened to him when he was two or three years old and it has affected his life since then. Curious about his reaction to that, I tried to “monitor” his energy, but it remained closed and about as rigid as it was before. Yet I still got that feeling he needed something from me and that somehow I was to provide it.
He did not say a word and remained exactly as he was. I said that was all I got and apologized for not being able to answer his question, adding that perhaps it was not my place to do so. After that I started to turn away and got that little nudge on the top of my right shoulder again. This time it came with feelings of loneliness and even helpless. I got the impression of parents feeling very sad and distant from their child. One thing I had learned about intuition is to act on it, even if it seems inconvenient at the time. I wanted to help him if I could and before I could stop myself I found my mouth opening to talk and I went with it. I turned around and said to him, “you were adopted.... did your parents die in an accident or something or...?”
Stating this to him certainly got a reaction, he turned white as a ghost and his mouth dropped open. I almost appeared as thought I’d said something bizarre and it freaked him out. Instead, he said, “How the BLEEP do you know that.... did someone tell you?” I asked him who would tell me and he admitted the friend we had in common did not know that about him either and he’d never even been to that bar before. I apologized, in the case that what I said was painful and he said no, thanked me and simply wandered off and blended in with the crowd within a few seconds.
I do know that what I had done had grabbed his attention as I felt it on me the rest of the time I was there. Several times I would feel his attention poking at me and when I turned me head I could see his eyes through the crowds of people staring at me, though they quickly turned away as if he did not want me to know.
This type of challenge has happened occasionally, and I have tended to want to resist them primarily because I have never felt it to be my place to be proving things to people (though this lessened over time). I am not a practising clairvoyant so it is also a little bit out of my comfort zone. However, through these events I have learned is that I am to share what I know, even in circumstances that run contrary to my personal interests. I also learned that if I truly care for others and can become clear enough, I can help people to learn or see something helpful to them.
I never saw him again, and at times wondered what role that shared experience had in his life. I did picture that stack of photos in a later meditation and got the impression that the gash had nearly vanished so I expect that it was a significant moment for him though I had no way of validating it. I worked on letting that thought go because the only reason to keep it would be if I needed it to feel special or perhaps “gifted”, which I did not (I have been doing similar things most of my life). It did have an effect on me as well. It reinforced that I have the ability to be aware of when I am being prompted and to listen to and trust that voice.
As a result, such events continue to occur, though the situations and reasons I was prompted to act were different. I became able to recognize the energy and know there was something to be done (though it is not always easy to get what I am to do). The energy is quite similar to what I get when I go in an intuitive or automatic type of writing mode. In these situations I get the sensation of energy, somewhat like two fingers with one on each side, touching the back of my neck lightly at the spot where it meets my shoulders. If I let it be and my head tilts back I know there is something there to allow out.
At this point you may wonder why I am sharing this story. Simply put, over the years I have come to accept that my caring and compassion for people comes from a core understanding that we are all connected and that service to others is not just a thought form it is a part of our nature (though poor programming generally blocks awareness of this). I do not have a need to share; it would be more akin to a duty, one that I resisted for various reasons, but have come to accept more fully over time. I included the above story as it has elements in it that others may be able to relate to and by doing so may help them to believe they can develop a similar capacity within themselves.
Too few have what you could refer to as direct channels to their non-rational awareness (1), at term I use to refer to aspects of our awareness that are not part of our thinking mind.
“I use the term non-rational mind rather than psychic mind or self though both provide an umbrella term for all aspects of us that are not part of the physical world or its “interface”, the rational mind. I use the term “non-rational” to describe these types of aspects of the self. It is a simple way to view aspects that appear separate from one’s physicality.
Non-rational awareness would include intuition, precognition, telepathy, empathy and so forth. A common schema for the lower non-physical aspects of the self is the aura, which includes the astral, spiritual and mental bodies. Everyone has an aura with the various vehicles; however, possession of these aspects is not the same as awareness of or conscious access to them. Remember, the rational mind exerts almost total control over what we are aware of consciously. Access to the non-rational aspects of our awareness requires a direct channel through our rational mind (such as the gift of sight etc.) or the presence of thought forms for their expression. Without them, one is likely using little of their non-rational awareness.”
In my case, sensitivity to and awareness of energy began when I was very young; it surfaced as empathy and various forms of telepathy. While I questioned it numerous times, I have always been able to know what people are feeling, though it took years for me to realize that they were often not aware of it themselves (some of the lessons on this were not fun ones), and that the thoughts I received telepathically were not necessarily from the people I was interacting with at the time or even me.
My telepathy often manifested itself in the form of answers to questions, often very complex ones, answers I did not know how to prove or on topics I wasn’t even knowledgeable about. It was these experiences that led me to explore consciousness and awareness with increasing determination in my late teen years, something I have continued to do and expect I always will.
I have learned that my gifts, if you would call them that, indeed the gifts of any referred to as psychic are no different than the gift of a master craftsman, an artist or a musician. Everyone is good at something, and find that they can do it well without thinking much about it. It could be gardening, home decorating, building things, playing ping-pong, bowling, public speaking. It could be areas considered more complex such as mathematics, science or psychology or even an ability to make be loving, compassionate and caring of and for others.
Areas that we are good at come naturally because we have an affinity for it, that is our awareness and mind are in more in tune when we do these things. This is not to say that having a gift is sufficient to become an expert at something. While we can progress to a fairly high level of proficiency without much effort, there are always barriers or walls that we must work through or transcend. The difference is that when we have a gift these walls are further away rather than right before us.
Consider when you do something you are not proficient at. In these cases, we may try to do it but do not seem to get very far. We can become frustrated by this, feel inadequate or even embarrassed by our lack of ability. The typical response is to say something like “I am not very good at this” to ourselves and we tend not pursue it unless we feel driven to. In such cases, the barrier or wall is right there in front of us and provides a deterrent to going further as failing is not something many have a high tolerance for.
For example, many people would like to play a musical instrument, such as the drums which I play, but when offered the opportunity they typically do one of the following occurs:
- They resist the urge to try altogether or shy away from trying for fear of looking foolish
- They do try they cannot let go of their minds uncertainty, concern that they cannot play the instrument or will looking foolish doing so
What happens in either of these cases is that their thoughts about playing the drums end up reinforcing a belief they are incapable of playing them. I have tried to encourage people to set aside their fears or consternation and simply give it a try. In both cases I mentioned, the persons minds has created a wall. The wall prevents them for actually just getting behind the drums and having fun. For them, even before they try to do so, the encounter the wall the have built in their own minds and it blocks them from expressing themselves freely without concern or fear. The wall is not off in the distance, it is right there before them. Offer the same opportunity to a child and they are far more likely to give it a go. They are not concerned about how they look, whether they can play it or not and allow the playfulness or curiosity out and go at it with abandon.These walls I am referring to are no different than the walls, or mental barriers, that keep people for trying to develop more conscious access to their non-rational or psychic awareness.
There are numerous reasons why people resist doing things they are not good at. One is interest, for we tend to like doing things we are good at and avoid those where are not good at. Another common reason is that our pride and ego get in the way, we are concerned about how we would appear to others. That said I am sure everyone has developed at least a certain measure of competency in doing something in an area where they do not have a natural gift. Such experiences teach us that getting past the wall requires the desire and effort to do so, an acceptance that while one might not be good at everything we can do anything we choose to if we "put our minds to it” and either the patience to persevere or help of a mentor. Developing ones awareness is no different.
Teaching what I knew about consciousness, awareness and our non-rational mind did not happen overnight, it gradually unfolded even though it is something that I have known about at one level or another since I was a young man. I pursued understanding such things for my own development, yet the notion that what I learned could be of benefit to others and the desire or urge to share this started surfacing. The more I came to find this energy present in my life the more I found myself being devoted to sharing it.
Like many people, I had a number of issues that required attention. I chose to work on these issues by exploring and hopefully understand the nature of myself. Hence, I used my awareness to help me solve many of them (of course a number remain). As the years went on I came to understand that sharing experiences alone, while helpful for potentially opening doors in people’s minds, was not as helpful for others as more detailed explanations could be. To provide such explanations meant I needed to exploring energy dynamics in far more detail.
I started this exploration in deep meditations and over time was able to bring it into my normal waking consciousness. I dabbled in channelling, reading the energy of people and things, with telling the future, reading the past, and eventually was able to work directly with energy, notably un-associated energies. By these I mean free energies, those not connected with anyone or any “thing”. One of my intents was to develop an understanding of the link between thoughts, emotions and energies of various levels, how they interact and their effect on us as we go through our lives. My awareness of energy helped me immensely, and I wanted to be able to communicate and share what I learned with others.
Over the years, many people who knew little about me found out or heard that I am a spiritual person or even “psychic”. They have asked me questions or challenged me about it as in the story I shared above. I should say that the term psychic is not one I am fond for several reasons. It comes with a significant baggage, is used as umbrella term for everything that is not based on physical realities and so is too vague a sense to be either helpful or accurate, and often comes with the idea that there are those who are psychic and those who are not.
The baggage I refer to comes from my discussions with people of all beliefs over the years. A great many people in the western world see psychic awareness and gifts as impossible or an illusion and those that believe they have it have deluded in some fashion. Yet others believe that there is something inherently wrong or evil about it or that psychics are not only manipulative but opportunists who take advantage of people. The irony is that everyone is psychic to one degree or another, even those who misunderstand it.
That said, the term psychic is one we have become accustomed to as a label for awareness that transcends our physical senses. Attitudes towards “psychism” are gradually shifting as more and more people start to take a spiritual approach to life. Religion can lead to disillusionment due to such things as the lack of consistency in doctrine or their tendency to stifle exploration beyond the bounds of tenants. Further, reliance only on science, what can be objectively proven, can leave people feeling empty and disconnected while others find it leads to uncertainty as it does not provide explanations for experiences that go beyond what science can account for.
The reality is that everyone is psychic though many are not aware of where and how it manifests in their lives and they are not able to do it consciously or regularly enough to notice. We are all aware beyond our five senses. The primary difference between those who are psychic and those who are not is that the former have an inherent conscious awareness of their abilities. They do not have to try to be aware of such things; they merely are as a matter of course.
“Our natural intuition, empathy and general connectivity to the world around us suffers during the process of growing up. Adults tend to make decisions based on facts alone, and typically trust only objectively verifiable intuition, these are notions supported by some form of evidence. The expectation becomes one where we are to have reasons for anything and everything we do. Living this way takes the adventure out of life and replaces it with a predictable sanctuary from experiences.
Children explore life with what appears to adults to be carefree abandon. For them everything is new and exciting. Over time adults tend to imbed their fears in their children which stifles their psychic, or “non-rational minds”. We can avoid this, to a certain extent, though it is true that as we grow we rely heavily on our elders for guidance, instructions and examples of how to be, to act. The consequence is without efforts to do otherwise, we take on their fears and weaknesses.” (1)
I believe that developing our non-rational awareness is something that everyone would benefit immensely from and the primary purpose of my writings is to assist those who would like to do so. The challenge is how to develop it for doing so is fundamentally different that how we develop a physical skill or even how we tend to acquire knowledge.
My approach has been first to explore why people are not consciously aware of their gifts and then to try to find out what will help people to overcome this. In the course of my exploration I have come to perceive areas that one needs to work on in order to become psychically aware at the conscious level. While there are others I see the primary ones as:
- Weak or underdeveloped reasoning processes
- Difficulty in focusing attention
- Rational mind programming that blocks perceptions
- Rigid/conflicting beliefs or concepts on the nature of the Cosmos and self
- The rational mind has a strong need for control
- Predominance or strong presence of lower emotions
- Lack of sensitivity to the subtle vibrations
- The illusion of “I” created by our ego
- Seeing oneself as being separate from others and the world around us
- Underdeveloped compassion, devotion and love for ALL
The items in the list are numbered for reference only, though there is an order of sorts from the first to the last. The first ones deal primarily with the thinking mind, the ones in the middle with how our mind and thoughts affects our energy and the last few are concerned with our relationship with the world around us.
If you look at this list, and have been reading my essays, you will notice that I have discussed these many times and from various angles. Some people face all of these challenges, though most have at half of the list to overcome. Even those who have the gift are not free from one or more of these challenges and must overcome them if they want to develop their gifts further.
When I began teaching meditation and later energy awareness, what I discovered was that people tend to fall into three general categories: those who could meditate to some degree, those who could not meditate to any significant degree because they could not get past their thinking minds and those who fell asleep when trying to do so. I found that each of the groups had different challenges.
Essentially the challenge people face in meditating boil down to two things: not having developed the thought forms to sustain conscious awareness when they start to reduce their thoughts (those who fall asleep) and/or a mind that refuses or is very reluctant to let go of conscious control (those who cannot get very deep and who fidget when they meditate).
If you consider the list and the story I shared you will notice that the areas I needed to work on, and still do, are the challenge of focusing attention, the desire to control circumstances and to a lesser extent the illusion of separateness and devotion to others. I was able to overcome them in part, else I would not have been able to do what I did, yet they remain part of what I work on regularly.
I truly believe that everyone can enhance their awareness significantly. Besides the willingness to devote oneself to this goal, one of the keys to this is getting to know where your walls or barriers lie. We will look at this over the next few weeks as this essay is just the start of a new series, one in which I will go through the above list of barriers in more detail.
If you are intent on developing your non-rational awareness I would like you to consider the above list and if you have time, contemplate or meditate on each of the points. When you do this, have as your intent a desire to understand which blocks you feel are most relevant to you. Over the course of the series, I will share my thoughts about them and where helpful draw on material from previous essays.
End of Part 1
==> Continue to Part 2: The Makings of Mind
© 2012 Allan Beveridge
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