Category Archives: Messages From Beyond

Jonathan Livingston Seagull * Exile, Going Home, and Return

If I had to pick one book that “says it all” I would pick Jonathan Livingston Seagull, that beautiful spiritual parable by Richard Bach. In my view this book was channelled from first to last, a message from beyond, and a light for dark times – two themes of my blog here at Silk Road Visions.  Truly It illuminates for us the gifts of solitude, and above all the courage to take – when Life beckons –  the solitary path.

Here is one of the most poignant, life-affirming excerpts:

Exile
“It happened that morning, then, just after sunrise, that Jonathan Livingston Seagull fired directly through the center of the Breakfast Flock, ticking off two hundred twelve miles per hour, eyes closed, in a great roaring shriek of wind and feathers.

The Gull of Fortune smiled upon him this once, and no one was killed. By the time he had pulled his beak straight up into the sky he was still scorching along at a hundred and sixty miles per hour. When he had slowed to twenty and stretched his wings again at last, the boat was a crumb on the sea, four thousand feet below. His thought was triumph. Terminal velocity! A seagull at two hundred fourteen miles per hour! It was a breakthrough, the greatest single moment in the history of the Flock, and in that moment a new age opened for Jonathan Gull.

“Flying out to his lonely practice area, folding his wings for a dive from eight thousand feet, he set himself at once to discover how to turn. A single wingtip feather, he found, moved a fraction of an inch, gives a smooth sweeping curve at tremendous speed. Before he learned this, however, he found that moving more than one feather at that speed will spin you like a rifle ball…and Jonathan had flown the first aerobatics of any seagull on earth. He spared no time that day for talk with other gulls, but flew on past sunset. He discovered the loop, slow roll, the point roll, the inverted spin, the gull bunt, the pinwheel.

When Jonathan Seagull joined the Flock on the beach, it was full night. He was dizzy and terribly tired. Yet in delight he flew a loop to landing, with a snap roll just before touchdown. When they hear of it, he thought, of the Breakthrough, they’ll be wild with joy. How much more there is now to living! Instead of our drab slogging forth and back to the fishing boats, there’s a reason to life! We can lift ourselves out of ignorance, we can find ourselves as creatures of excellence and intelligence and skill. We can be free! We can learn to fly! The years ahead hummed and glowed with promise.

The gulls were flocked into the Council Gathering when he landed, and apparently had been so flocked for some time. They were, in fact, waiting. Jonathan Livingston Seagull! Stand to Center! The Elder’s words sounded in a voice of highest ceremony. Stand to Center meant only great shame or great honor. Stand to Center for Honor was the way the gulls’ foremost leaders were marked. Of course, he thought, the Breakfast Flock this morning; they saw the Breakthrough! But I want no honors. I have no wish to be leader. I want only to share what I’ve found, to show those horizons out ahead for us all. He stepped forward.

Jonathan Livingston Seagull, said the Elder, Stand to Center for Shame in the sight of your fellow gulls!

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Finding the Self * Solitude, Healing and the Spiritual Life

These are difficult, even dark, times. Almost 25 years ago, I began to predict in the psychic readings of many of my clients that there were dark times visible on the distant horizon. These were visions of a future in which stark changes in the climate as well as geological and political stability of our Mother Earth were the dominant features of a dramatically darkened world.

Balsamic Moon, end of a Phase, end of an Age

I saw soldiers relocating people in what seemed to be massive floods, even large pieces of land turning into islands at sea where they had been part of a mainland.  In fact, one good thing was that the world’s armies were deployed more in saving, than in destroying, and it seemed that this was redemptive karma for those whose lives had been ones of violence.

I saw what seemed to be islands formed by rising waters, camps of orphaned children, and doctors administering vaccines or antibiotics to the children, as is done in the midst of an epidemic or to prevent the spread of something like malaria or dengue.

There were perhaps new wars but if so, these seemed less immediate than changes in our collective, social, geographical worlds.

Because above all, I sensed far-reaching dislocations in social mood, in our connections to one another, in our connections to the planet itself. Some of this is now upon us, in the form of climate changes, weather violence, and a pandemic which adds a massive layer of existential uncertainty – indeed fear – to every aspect of our lives.

Even with the war in Ukraine, and all the shock felt by a world not expecting this war, at this time, in this place, the real threats seem still lurking, not quite upon us, but vaguely sensed by so many of us.  It is this premonition of coming dark times, I think, that has caused so much psychological alienation…we feel as if the world is moving beneath our feet, that nothing will ever be the same…

Yet out of all of this,  may come for many a blessing, a light in dark times. In the midst of social disconnections, we discover the gift of solitude, the recovery of a fuller selfhood, opening to creativity and growth in ways our busy, highly socialized lives could never give us.

Though it may sound impossible to achieve, it is actually liberating to face dark times boldly, to embrace what they bring into our lives, and in a way to defy them by refusing to be unhappy. There can be something empowering in spiritual insight which tells us that this world is not the beginning nor the ending of the universe, God or Love, and it is certainly not the ending of us.

These are the times which force us to go deep within and reaffirm an identity and strength which truly can never come from the world and its goods; many of us knew that a long time ago – our heritage as Baby Boomers. Much less obvious is another truth, that as we progress on the spiritual planes, we must walk a more and more solitary Path.

We will still love, but the Circle for us is as large as the Earth and the Universe beyond,.

So it may well be a time to embrace the social solitude so many lament.  This may be the high point, the high ground, of this lifetime – the very reason you chose life at this time here on Earth.

I am not alone in suggesting that solitude brings extraordinary gifts, that these  may be the lemonade we can make with our lemons…

An article in LifeKit – How Solitude Can Help You Regulate Your Mood is a good starting place, pointing to research showing that time alone helps us even out in our mood, that we don’t have to go into full-blown monastic retreat to attain alone time, nor do we have to push our friends away from us. There can be an art to finding small spaces of solitude, though we may need to first overcome a (western) aversion to being alone in the first place…

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Healing Tears In Meditation

I suddenly remembered my mother’s trance work at Hillshore in the early Sixties, along the Bay of Quinte…and her guide saying matter-of-factly – “You see, only when the tears actually flow, are there deep changes in the cells themselves…”

The alchemists of old marvelled at the dissolving of salt in water which happens with our tears. Research shows that their appearance – when not for show or petulant “on cue” dramatics – marks a turning point deep within the psyche. Without these tears, many “journeys of healing” may be only imaginative explorations of one’s inner and other worlds, falling short, however, of actual healing. What we are looking for is a deep, permanent transformation within the body’s cells and those of the still-physical, but much less dense body – the personality or psyche.

The meditation process described here, leading to the release of old trauma, seems to be authored by one’s Higher Self and to center on guided, spontaneous, and transformational imagery. It is a unique form of meditation filled with practical, spiritual teaching and above all, deep, personal healing. This is an alchemical, and thus Shamanic, form of meditation.

The state of mind is very close to what Carl Jung called active imagination. This is very similar to the hypnagogic state just as you drift off to sleep and just as you are first vaguely awakening, when you have flashes of images and thoughts which seem almost like waking dreams. These are very receptive states and thus present an opening into the Unconscious and other realms of the Psyche. Here, at any point on the Circle, you are connecting with the Higher Self, the Shaman within who will take you on your journeys Within and teach you the gift of self-transformation.

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Beginnings * My First Psychic Pictures

Hillshore on the Bay of Quinte, c. 1954

I was no more than ten, sitting on the back steps that led into the old extra room, really a storage shed, tacked onto the farmhouse at Hillshore. In there, we kept our piles of chopped wood for the ancient black cook stove, “Beulah”.

It was also the place where Rocket, our large bullmastiff, used to sleep with Patsy, the small black Labrador cross, tucked close to Rocket’s tummy for warmth. Our stolid bodyguard, a cat named Sir Pook of Quinte, would ensconce himself on Rocket’s back and in this fashion the trio would settle in for their night’s sleep.

The day came, however, when Dad tore down the old shed with its step, and we could go directly across the small gulley to the larger apple orchard. Rocket was allocated his own suite of rooms in the barn for winter, Patsy was given hers close by, and Sir Pook of Quinte had by then inveigled himself into becoming a House Cat….

But the old steps and shed were still there when I settled in that evening in the late fall after supper. It was almost dark, and a light mist had fallen over the Bay. It was quite usual for me to find an odd spot to ponder things. I was a thoughtful, only child, very interested in the deeper questions of life. I was born under the Sun in Aquarius too, so that I was  a child deeply concerned from an early age about justice, animals, refugees; I was always different” in some way, not quite one of the crowd.

And with an IQ of around 140, I was said to be “gifted” though no one paid much attention to such things in those days…certainly it was always more of a burden than a gift…

Bay of Quinte shores, southern Ontario

But I was a dreamer, and found my world in places others did not see.  So as I sat there on the old steps, I was fascinated by the large auras of mist around the trees that lined our waterfront along the beautiful Bay of Quinte, and stood in groups in our apple orchard.

I felt myself merging with those misty apparitions, and as I gazed at them, a series of pictures began to form in my mind. They were very different from daydreaming, quite unconnected with anything I had been thinking about; they were coherent, with a message, a teaching session.

Such an experience might, in some circumstances, have been a worrisome “symptom” of impending mental illness in a child; not all that appears “psychic” truly is.  Fortunately, in my case, these pictures were the announcement of a lifelong gift.

I know now that such pictures are a form Active Imagination, a kind of dreaming, during which the conscious mind and therefore the Ego both remain awake, participating in the spiritual, clairvoyant, and often psychological revelations of the Higher Self (and sometimes of one’s spirit guides). These pictures or images “come in”, one might say, like a text message.

These were the pictures that, in the future, would always be there on request when I gave professional life readings. They enter my mind spontaneously as I pore over my clients’ birth charts.  These were the pictures that would light my Path in the darkest of times.

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A Mystical Rose For Healing

In my mother’s work as a channel, or medium, in the very early 1960s, she and her group were taught some fascinating truths about reincarnation, karma, and dream analysis, along with techniques of healing mind and body – borne out much later by scientific and medical research.

It was in a series of early meditations – taught to her by her guides – at our country home Hillshore that my mother was first shown a short simple method to create and use a beautiful image to replace ugly, painful, fearful ones. Mom’s experience was lovely and most helpful, so I am passing it on here.

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