Monday, 25 August 2008


I woke up on Friday with a great feeling of anxiety. Turns out that someone who pretends to be a guru of sorts (???) had commented on some innocent questions I had regarding his article on depression. Boy do I regret having written anything more than the very barest of words. I wanted to know where I can find out about the difference between real and 'spiritual' depression, which was the subject of the article. Instead I was bombarded with the typical "look at your own words and what kind of life you're creating". I truly resent anyone telling me how I should think in order to fix my problems - even less so when it's totally unsolicited. I think it's very scary that some people who are not professionals, give "advice" regarding medical problems. A depressed person could indeed create a very sad "life" (meaning death) as a result of someone's harsh comment. You might feel very hopeless if you're trying your damnest and not manifesting health and prosperity the way many New Age people think you should.

I wrote a private e-mail to this guy and you know what he did? He actually published it for everyone to see. While his idea was that I should see what I have written (which he could have done in private if he had been a compassionate being), it was obvious that all he wanted was to ridicule me in front of other people. This is both unethical and even against the law, since my identity was there for all to see. This put me in a state of shellshock: once more my private space had been violated.

I knew that I would have to follow up on it. I declared I was leaving the site altogether but I wasn't throwing out dramatic exclamations in order to get attention and compassion. That's also why I kept it short. I simply had enough, as this is not first of mental attacks that I've had to deal with. Now regardless, many have come forth and given me various points of view. Some of them I do not agree with in the least. Some dismissed me as overdramatic and told me in a presumptious way that "you think everyone is against you". Someone used a manipulative and patronizing language such as "the vibes that I pick up from you tell me...." and then comes a whole array of what my problems obviously are and why do I keep bickering when I claim to want peace. Since the whole discussion was obviously about me though no one wanted to admit it, I just said "So that you'd have something to vent about, why else?".

Some on the other hand were very much along the lines of what I feel called to stand for. At some point I almost had to laugh when it dawned on me how relative people's perception of a person is. As someone else whom I respect was talking about my "lovely energies" I concluded that no one out there in the world can nail me down or categorize me. This left me in a more empowerd state of mind and I started to feel warrior-like energy.

It almost seemed like the whole site was suddenly divided in two camps. In some rather sorry/funny way I see this as exemplary of the dualism of this level that we are all struggling to understand and overcome - well, at least MANY of us do have to 'struggle' in one way or another. I am but a button in a big board game. Do I think it would be important for me stay? Well, I do appreciate that some people think it might be. But who knows? Maybe I am really creating unsolicited havoc where a lot of people prefer to lull in Lala land. ("If we all pretend really, really hard then the bad things will go away and we will all be in paradise"!) I feel very driven to stand up for compassion and simple, humanitarian values that have always existed and will always exist as long as we are human beings if even only close to who we are right now, as a collective.

I don't particularly like to be the target of people's varied opinions, especially when they are not respectful and kind and cause me tremendous stress. It seems to be something some people just are. Because they create a crappy life for themselves? Well, I don't think anyone would say that about Jesus though he had to hang on a cross... or to take a slightly less dramatic example, Socrates who drank poison because his peers did not support his views on freedom of speech and the idea that everyone should think for themselves rather than follow the dictation of authorities like a flock of sheep. I am not saying I am on the level of these guys, only that I think I know why they and many other have felt a need to sacrifice themselves for something bigger than the individual. I will continue to do the work as I feel driven to, yet I wonder if staying here and trying to fit in with a community is really helping anything at all.

I am not really mainstream in the arena called the New Age and so it's probably to be expected that those who like to be mainstream will not tolerate my points of view. I am very sorry about this dilemma since I have learned a lot from being here and have met some really great people. I would rather get it all over and done with as quickly as possible but I am trying to think what is truly the best thing to do. So for those who wonder why I am still here, it is about a difficult choice for me. Taking a simple break may not work for me, as it never really has in the past. That is why I said I will leave. If I do stay it will be in order to attempt a break nonetheless, some form of golden middle path. I am not one that likes to remain silent, but I just might have to. After all, the people who are out there the most with all their opinions and creeds, are the ones who want to show off. As someone did say, even if no one says anything, they are not dumb and do read inbetween the lines. I certainly hope so! I have wanted to participate and help but I guess I will stop wasting my time and energy on internet boards.

Perhaps I have become too desillusioned and need to collect myself so as to believe that what is going on is just purging in every sense of the word, and nothing I should take personally. I also need to hold onto faith that one day, we will all be able to co-laborate. Of course I realize, that each and everyone has some responsibility in that sense, since it's a matter of energy that we send out into the world.

In some areas my self-confidence is still a bit low and so I do get hurt. My health is also an issue, as it adds to my oversensitive nature. Oh I certainly believe that pain and other symptoms can be relieved, but I wish that people would understand and respect that my condition is irreversible unless I get a spine- and body transplant... My life and condition, as well as my mind, does leave me particularly open to cyber bullying, and so I can understand why I tend to attract these kind of people. It is not right though and I wish more people had the audacity to stand up for justice in this area, in all locations. Rather than ask what you want to manifest, I'd ask; what kind of person do you choose to be? But that's just how I see things.

Artwork: "As Long As There Is Life There Is Hope", handmade collage by author, all rights reserved 2008

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Reality Is Real And How To Survive Life

I spent several years at the University of Helsinki in the 90s learning about the basic nature of reality being an illusion, but at the end of the day I learned nothing whatsoever of any use. Life was still the same. I was hoping I could arrive at some feeling of interconnectedness with all that is, and feel oneness. But it simply wasn't time. I've always liked the old zen story that goes something like this: "First you see a tree as a tree. Then comes a time, when the tree is no longer a tree. However, at the end of your explorations into the nature of the tree, the tree is again just a tree".

I guess I'm at the point where the tree is really a tree and nothing else. In my view, it doesn't really matter for us whether reality is an illusion or not. It's useful to us to know that it's malleable and that we can affect the order of things through the focus of our mind, but our reality is still our reality. At a certain point in our development we have only certain choices available to us, because we have specific set of tools at the time and not the more expansive knowledge required to make a more informed and wiser choice. This also applies to our perception of reality, which can only change when we are ready for it. So while in some sense we have free will, it's doubtful whether we can really apply it all that often other than regarding little matters such as having soup or salad for dinner. Many people speak of options that will secure a happier life for us. Yet those options can only come to play when we have full understanding of it and have transcended the karmic bonds that tie us down.

Could karma really be abolished in a dualist reality? Dualism implies, of course, that there are polarities and that one event will cause another. What it is, is simply the law of cause and effect. There may be alternatives available to those who have transcended the attachments of this world (quite the feat to arrive at that!) or to some beings who are here only to assist humankind in growing into more responsible and loving beings. I used to take karma very seriously and try and make sure that I paid off everything that might be brewing in my subconscious mind. I have changed perspective a little but am still very respectful of the consequences of my actions. One source has suggested that I am one of those who don't have to worry about karma because my initial intention in coming here was infused with compassion. I can relate to this idea since I've always felt this must be my last life and I have also felt that this life is not about creating a safe haven on Earth for myself even though I'd like to feel more secure. I have definitely been scared of this place, and the traps that abound. I had fear that I would get caught up in some karmic drama that would tie me to this reality for many lifetimes. For many years I also resonated very strongly with the ideal of the Bodhisattva, the Buddha of Compassion. Ironically, my life was so complicated that I also felt it was a burden - a duty. One of my artworks features a woman lying flat on her stomach in her bed with a whole bunch of Bodhisattvas stacked on her back.

Enormous changes are pervading our world and there is definitely a transition going on that involves very high frequencies of energy. As we are not used to this and are having to adapt, many of us feel very much out of focus and may display a whole array of mental and physcial symptoms. From where I stand, this really is no joke. For those who want to know more about the ascension and light working, please refer to the links at the bottom of this page. As for myself, I have noticed that my states of mind tend to fluctuate in accordance with the so-called energy alerts. The infiltration of energy is of course tied in with the universe, and it is also fluctuating in different ways depending on cosmic constellations and other factors. The way people react is of course individual. Many experience that their subconscious traumas are all surging to the surface in an intense and rapid fashion. For instance yesterday, I was feeling pretty okay until a close person did something that I interpreted as some form of callous and selfish act. "Why do you always think the worst of me?", he has often had the reason to ask me. Yes, why indeed? Why am I so suspiscious of him and why does he have to recieve this kind of energy from another person? You see, we are both in it, we are a constellation that makes sense only as such. Yet we both should look into our own history to see what is causing this repeated pattern. What made this incident different from others though was the scope of my reaction. I wasn't able to call him at all during the whole day, so I wrote rather nasty e-mails that were supposed to ensure that he would not take advantage of me in any way. Needless to say, my nigth's sleep was truly bad and the next day I felt that I have no right to walk the face of this earth. But... maybe the worse it feels the greater the change?

What caused my reaction to be blown out of proportion like that? Well, my guess is that there is something in the air... But I also sensed that all my disappointments with people who I feel have let me down in the past surged up like an activated volcano. Isn't it funny how one moment you think everything is fine and then the next you're crawling and whining on the floors of hell? I know now that this is not just about a pathology (meaning the symptoms of traumas of the past). It is that, but it is also about other things. For the life of me I can't concieve of the importance of trying to prevent these things from happening by resorting to medication - unless you're really chronically depressed in the clinical sense or have a mental illness. Of course it takes a good doctor's intuition to determine which it is, but since we know or suspect that our own purification is now intensified, we might like to think twice about the happy pill.

Life is, for one thing, not about being happy all the time. I know that many disagree; there is in some western cultures a tendency to want to have partytime with cream layer cake every day. There is also a frightening tendency in children today of wanting everything right now instead of learning the noble art of waiting. I can imagine it would be hard to be a parent these days! When I see how stuck many of my friends are because of having children at a time in their life when a certain fatigue is already kicking in, I do not envy them. Children can be a blessing, no doubt. But they can also be a distraction and a heavy challenge. Many artists like myself have also concluded that the need to fulfill themselves through parenthood is not really there.

Anyway, I was talking about happiness. Does it really exist, I sometimes wonder? I think a life could harbour more of those fleeting moments of happiness or contentedness if your life's beginning was a happy one and your life's lessons were not all that deep. But let's face it - some strong souls have chosen to either take care of their karma shit or to learn something valuable and deep about this reality. It seems that the latter may be the case with me though I used to think it was the former. Fact remains - I feel screwed up right now. I can assure you that I've been pretty distressed a lot of my life and can't really recall many moments during which I actually felt happiness. But mixed up and confused about my direction - nooooo... not really. Now it's as if my neat pack of cards had been shoved by the devil himself! The curious thing is that during the intensified process that began at Easter, I have also enjoyed many surprising things in a deeper and more meaningful way than before. After my tough months in the USA last winter I allowed myself a little more care about my personal well-being and this opened the doors to more of life's little luxuries.

At the moment I don't have money, and you really need to have some in order to do things that make your boring day-to-day life a little more appealing. I really cannot make any money at the moment, as I am not allowed to from the point of view of the law. Anyway, I am not talking cream layer cake every day. But I've decided that I deserve more opulence than before, and so at the risk of building up debts that I won't be able to pay I am allowing myself some cheap roses every once in a while, a yummy cheese cake, a cd that I buy on the internet, pretty tea cups from the English antiques store in town, some cool new clothes from the postorder catalogues, soap that smells heavenly, candles lit in the evening, incense burning, a good film to watch in my rather appealing red sofa with all its cushions... Ok, so if abundance is available to all, certainly I can start here as well as anywhere? It's risky though. How do you avoid being foolish and ending up with bills you can't pay? Well, I guess you try and focus on the fact that this is what you truly deserve and keep up some kind of motivation to 'fix' it, and then hope the opportunities arise as the universe is benevolent to those who are willing to work with it and not against it. I don't know any other way.

The things that are free are... well, there really aren't many when you live alone - and certainly not in these days of extreme capitalism that even make healing a commodity only the rich can afford. So... a walk in the forest with my cats. Perhaps a walk to my powerspot on the cliffs by the sea, which ends up brightening my spirit though it seems like a drag at the time. Using my art supplies until I run out... What I'm really doing is fighting loneliness and despair.

Someone explained the difference between emotions and feelings. Emotions being our reactions to things we don't understand, and feelings being a whisper from spirit about the state of affairs (well roughly speaking anyway). I spent a great part of my life denying my emotional life and so I haven't really known mine for more than about ten years. Perhaps it accounts for some of my rash reactions that embarrass me more than anyone else. So what exactly are my problems? Well, I'd say it's the "usual". Fear of rejection because no one cared when I was little (and by the way, I hated being a child because it disempowered me!), as well as a lack of trust in the way of other people. I get very annoyed for both of these reasons if I am being made to wait or people make promises they don't keep. This is what happened yesterday too. This brings me to the issue of hurt.

I know all about the ideas that emotions are only within us and we are the only ones responsible for them. But once again I would like to remind you that this is a polarised version of reality. This cannot be the one and single truth simply because it represents only one point of view in a constellation. Now at the other end we have the idea that all hurt is caused by external sources and so they should be condemned or obliterated. Isn't it time we learned to embrace these extremes and look at what it is we get if we join them together and follow the middle path? I don't think that denying that somone has caused us hurt is helping the world in the least. Of course they should be accountable for what they do onto others! It's ridiculous to abolish the idea of victimhood, it's as I've said before the same as claiming that Hitler was a chimera. No, these are real things. They are real in this realm. All we can do is become more informed and open up our hearts to prevent ghastly things from happening. Until then, we need to take responsibility for our own hurt emotions and examine them closely, but meanwhile, the other party might have a reason to look into the things they throw at other people. After all, it's all about constellations, right?
Artwork: "Broken Promises", handmade collage by author, all rights reserved 2008

Saturday, 16 August 2008

The Social Trap - Read This If You Want To Know About Injustice!

I think it is rather obvious that victimhood rules the planet. However, many spiritual people like to come down on people who they feel are victimizing themselves, while in reality it may be that there are great lessons to be learned from a state of victimhood. This is something that has happened to me numerous times, and that I always find frustrating. I know that my life has a purpose in that I can pinpoint things that are very wrong with many of the attitudes that govern our world. If I complain about issues in regards to feeling like a victim, it may sometimes be just that - a complaint. But I also want to raise awareness, that if we close our eyes to some of the things people do to each other in order to make them into victims, people could get away with murder. Which in fact, as things are now, they do! I can see that many people could gain from looking at their situation from a point of view that would empower them instead of disempower them. I am not advocating apathy! But Hitler existed for real and what happened then and all the time as we speak, is not a chimera. This is an article about social injustice the way I have experienced it, written for the ezine Scribespirit 2/3 2007. This is an important topic that I have had to learn about in this life. A choice? Who knows. I don't believe in coincidence and chance.
You can also skip the philosophy and go directly to the latter part, "later addition", which explains some bare facts about poverty in Finland.

It has often been said that being born in Finland is like winning the lottery. I live in Finland and I am on disability. Against my will, I have had to live off social welfare for the greater part of my life, so I feel that I'm in a position to make a few statements about money and power in this context. I want to bring out a few of my experiences at the grass root's level, but also some thoughts regarding some deeper values and virtues connected to wealth and poverty, namely those of compassion and generosity. It has been suggested, that a person's happiness is dependent on the environment they live in. The implication seems to be, that a poor person is likely to be less miserable in a poverty stricken environment than a poor person in an affluent environment. This is why I also want to address the issue of poverty in affluent countries.

Are there any virtues connected to poverty? I will present a couple of points of view of a spiritual nature before I dig into the more concrete facts. I think that most people would agree that the renunciation of worldly goods can be a sign of over strung religious sentiments where martyrdom is seen as a virtuous stance with the potential of removing sinful behavior. A counter reaction has emerged within New Age thinking which promotes the idea that we create our own reality and have a birth right to live in abundance. Unfortunately this kind of stance may cause an unwillingness to see and respect the suffering of the poverty stricken part of humanity. I personally agree with the new spiritualist ideas that our attitude is of crucial importance in helping us attract certain things into our lives, but this is an idea apart from moral virtues. I am thus not against the ideas that have been presented in relation to the so-called Law of Attraction (c.f. movies such as The Secret and What the Bleep do we know). What concerns me is that only very rarely do people who have it all, care much about anyone else's welfare. I think obsessing about having more money and seeing the accumulation of money as a sign of spiritual success is dangerous. Financial elitism of any kind can create more barriers between people where people might in fact gain from seeing themselves as part of a great network that is in essence One. How can we avoid the ego traps and stay real? I'm not trying to ban any contemporary spiritual beliefs. I only hope that people are aware of the deeper implications of their belief systems. What are spiritual people truly surrendering to?

Since the spiritual viewpoints are deep and complicated I hope my comments have given a little food for thought, and will leave the purely religious/spiritualist dogmas at this. I want to bring into focus the case about money in the context of our lives as human beings within the framework of society (the collective, in other words). I believe that the living conditions that are an undeniable part of reality for so many people in the Western world of today need to be addressed as a priority next to ecological pursuits and animal rescue. I think that knowing reality for what it is and understanding the problems on the collective level, is a prerequisite for transcending it. Although we need to own a healthy sense of self-preservation and look for our own happiness, I think it goes without saying that compassion and altruism cannot flourish in those who turn a blind eye to the reality and suffering of so many other fellow human beings. Maybe we are, in fact, dealing with a fundamental paradox here? Could the marriage of abundance and compassion be a solution to spiritual impoverishment? Not an easy trick to perform, I think, but then nothing of any greater value ever is, is it?

I would claim that it is virtuous to be poor if it makes you understand what life is like for other people who are poor. After all, over 90 % of the world's population is poor. On the other hand, it is probably virtuous to be wealthy if it teaches you to appreciate abundance without becoming mentally dependant on it, and if it helps you develop a truly generous frame of mind. We all have our lessons, but surely compassion and altruistic deeds are among the deepest and most important lessons of them all? I believe we are dealing with very complicated issues here. How about, for instance, trying to be compassionate of the wealthy if we are poor, and vice versa. Who can honestly say that they can do this?

It's a problem when you don't have much energy to accumulate wealth, and you get stuck in a vicious circle where you feel deprived and depressed and unable to pick yourself up onto a happier level of existence. It's also a problem if you are rich and you get cut off from the realm of the physical world the way it appears to most people in the world, and you get fixated on holding onto your money. How many people are able to sustain a good middle ground? I bet it's not very many.

Life can obviously be beautiful whether you are rich or poor. But the reality is usually that money does help to provide with a better life experience and may empower the individual with a sense of self worth, social status and independence. A poor person is likely to suffer from chronic stress due to not being able to make ends meet easily. While it is true that many of the best things in life are for free, the opportunities of enjoying these are obviously much lower if you do not have the means of paying for the various fees related to these. This could mean any number of things. How about living in a safe neighborhood, owning a car that helps you "get away from it all" every once in a while (relying on public transportation is very tiring, tedious, expensive and generally dissatisfactory), owning a pet, having money to buy plants for your garden (not everybody has a greenhouse to sow plants from seeds), paying for the ridiculously high entrance fees to museums (yes, they've gone up!), visiting social gatherings, paying for the dating services online (the prizes are outrageous!), paying for a cleaning service if you're elderly or sick, or paying for the medicines or the experts that can help relieve any physical suffering (national healthcare only provides with the means to barely keep you alive!). Many think that the elderly and handicapped get plenty of social aid. This is only true for the most severely handicapped people. The rest of us who are either old or suffer from arthritis, fibromyalgia or any other physically debilitating disease, have to make it through the day without external help. Consider also, that in Finland cheap dental care is only granted citizens born after 1954! One would think that assisting people in keeping their own teeth would be of a major concern, not to mention how dangerous it is to the heart to have bad teeth. It is ironic how much money goes into fussing with cardiac healthcare in other ways!

In most countries, living off social security (so-called "welfare", haha) means that you receive monetary help for the bare necessities only. The old fashioned mentality that depriving people as much as possible will motivate them to find work or create other means of making a living is still alive and well in today's world. New research has found, however, that this old fashioned assumption is not true at all. In fact, it is the little "extras" in life and other people's compassion and generosity that spur most people to try and better their lives. Dependence on feeble and insufficient, not always so benevolent, good-will (be it of the government or some charity), is without any doubt a very stifling and depressive predicament to find oneself in. Research has also found that it is precisely the feeling of deprivation that leads to crazy bouts of overspending. Behavior which is, of course, condemned as immature and irrational behavior by those in a more fortunate position.

For those who suffer from a chronic and hugely debilitating illness from an early age it gets even worse, since the prospect of changing the situation is bleak. In my own case the pension that I receive is of a minimum, and therefore I also have to apply for some social aid every month. Suffice to say, that the amount has not increased in 15 years although the living costs have, and that the procedures that one is put through on a constant basis are excruciatingly humiliating. Unfortunately, the social people rarely meet you with respect and understanding. One even asked me to find a little job on the side so that I could earn some extra money. I guess they don't believe that you are ill! Well... the money that I'd be allowed to earn would be minimal, and it would rob me of the social security! In practice it means that the extra money would go into medicines and electricity and not into any so-called luxury items or uplifting experiences! What do you do when you're either too old, or ill, and dependent on social welfare, and not even allowed to make any extra money in the case you could manage it physically? In fact, you do not even own the right to take a loan in order to balance up your finances, because this is seen as an income and will rob you of the social services. So what can you do? What sense of dignity can a person in this predicament maintain?

Not long ago a minister here in my home country Finland made a statement on TV saying that the beneficiaries of the social services are so well off because the social pays one's telephone bill, TV license, or alternatively a daily journal of your choice. This badly informed minister who was spreading false beliefs in the living situation of the less fortunate ones was in fact referring to the golden days of the 1980's. That was very, very long ago. Finland prides itself of being one of the 20 most affluent countries in the world. Well, I ask you, of what consequence is this when the level of affluence in a true democratic spirit is so appallingly low in the rest of the world? We all know that the governments tend to make financial cuts by reducing the social benefits so that the logistics (state loans, etc.) would look good on paper.For many, living off social security means being cut off from the external world (no TV, since licences in this country cost over 1000 US dollars per year, no computer, no telephone, no newspaper) and not even being able to enjoy the closeness and love of a pet (not counting the veterinary costs, the upkeep of one cat is at least 30 € a month. In this country nonbreed cats are not liable to insurances). This is what many in the affluent countries have to live with. This is a very real and very traumatic issue, because it is directly related to the idea that those who are not capable of making a living are second rate citizens and consequently of less value to society than those who are making a palpable contribution. All this boils down to the simple fact that a person's value is measured in money, and that authorities have the means to exert a subtle but none the less potent power over those who are less fortunate.

Later addition - more gory details: On request, I will clarify how the Finnish social system works for people on disability. If you have worked prior to your disability, you get a monthly payment that is dependent on the money that was saved for your pension. If not, then you get a very low income, the lowest being 560 € a month. On top of that, you get a couple of hundred in the form of an aid to pay your rent. For instance if your rent is low such as 400 €/month you pay about 100 € yourself out of your pension. However, if you have electric heating and/or expensive medication, you will have to go to the social services. They distract about 60 € from the minimum pension because according to their calculation you only need about 400 € to survive each month. The trouble is, this is a sum that has not changed much over the past 20 years although inflation and a radical increase in the cost of food and living has happened during this time. What is even worse is that this money is really meant only for emergency situations. It has not been intended for long term use although as far as I know unemployment money is about the same once you're long term unemployed. This means that for some odd reason, disabled people are put in the same category as people who are temporarily out of money.
If you're disabled at a young age, you have no way of creating a normal life for yourself, since the money you recieve is hardly enough to feed you, let alone feed any pets. There are only very few charities that hand out anything for free in this country - in fact the Salvation Army charges horrible amounts for their stuff. And no one will transport the things for you either. Clothes you either buy second hand (not very tempting option once you're past 40) or you start collecting debts. Ironically, you are not allowed to have a credit card because your income is too low, however post order companies willingly grant you credits since you're likely to be paying them for many years to come and they thus gain quite a bit in interest. This is basically the only way that you can acquire things such as a computer, a TV, a telephone, any other appliances for the home, furniture and of course nice looking clothes (unless you're into the bum look or happen to have a figure that works with anything you can find - being deformed myself I can tell you this is not a minor issue in some people's lives!). Now, it's obvious that many of the items listed are going to help you not get potty. We need things to do and ways of following up on stuff that's going on in the world. Yes, there is the library but it can be a long trip for some... It is one of society's finest inventions but limited, nonetheless, and also threatened to become extinct. Obviously using the library computer is not a long term solution if you really want to do things on it and spend time talking or chatting with other people. The telephone is something that even the social people expect you to have. In fact, most companies also expect you to have a computer. And now to the really upsetting part: you cannot have a TV unless you pay the licence. That is about 200 € a year. It's quite a lot of money considering you already have adsl (in my house the cheapest you get is 36 € a month) and phone bills (the cheapest deal I have is a minimum of 20 € a month), plus need to renew your equipment and appliances every once in a while as well. Not everyone has a handy/geeky husband, brother or son who takes care of such things! Forget about insurances, too.
Ok, you don't need a medical insurance in this country (not that the service you get is worth much anyway). But what about the other things (not traveller's insurance since you obviously cannot travel anywhere) - but, for instance, what happens if your house burns down because you didn't quite have the 60-100 € to pay for the home insurance? It hit me the other day and I simply could think of no other answer from the social people than: start over. This is a horryfying thought especially if you are already in debt because of wanting a reasonably decent home (some of us actually do care!). In fact, being ill is a full time job and you need to be super smart to prioritize and plan your life absolutely correctly and you can obviously have no vices whatsoever so you should basically just sit in a rocking chair, follow the spider's track on the wall, and lull yourself to sleep. Unless you have insomnia from all the worrying about money, of course.
I also want to mention that in our country, a car is definitely not considered a necessity, and it is thus something you probably won't have unless you have family that supplies that kind of thing for you. Someone who has nobody has to walk or bike. And no, the bike nor a trolley in which you can put your groceries, are not supported by the social service (my dad took pity on me and got me a trolley, and they cost 200 €!). I live about 3 km's away from the shops. Luckily the trains grant you 50% off and the bus too if the trip is more than 30 km, but it's still very expensive. My social worker wants me to move so that they wouldn't have to pay for the electric heating. She cannot get it into her head that I do not know a man or two who would pack my things and then transport them for me. Obviously, the move would be on me. The same woman thinks I should have a part time job such as teaching - basically, as far as I can see, for the very same reasons. That is, so that they wouldn't have to pay my electricity. So I, who am not fit for working, should still work so that the city can save a few bucks?
In fact, the only things supported these days are heating/electricity, and prescription medicines. Still, your social worker might ask you to pay first and then get refunded, but it can be a terrible thing if you suddenly have to get an expensive medecine at the end of the month. Once my social worker looked at my bank statement and said, oh, but you paid the 200 € with your credit card so no problem right? NO I didn't! It's a f*** bank card that usually takes the money out of your account immediately. I won't go into the details of the trouble this kind of expense could render if you have bills that need to go the same day. No pardon there! If you're into herbal medicines and such things, forget it, you can't afford it. If your pet has trouble and needs to see a veterinarian, it's on you. I have had to come up with 400 € several times because of some issue with my cats. I reckon I pay about 100 € a month for three cats, because two of them happen to be very big and eat tons. In short, there is no space for emergencies. You want to know what my reality looks like? Ok, I'll satisfy your curiousity. It is the absolute worst case scenario. And that is in a country that prides itself to be among the most affluent in the world. But sure, I have a roof over my head and stuff. Sure. I'm luckier than people in the third world country but am I lucky to live in Finland? And remember, don't try to immigrate here. They don't want more people who live off social security. It's bad for the statistics.
Let me tell you something: a couple of years ago, someone collected stories of poverty in Finland, published them and gave a free copy to all the politicians in the parliament. What is your guess - do you think anyone ever cared to read it?

Artwork: "A Matter of Priorities", handmade collage by author, all rights reserved 2008

The Love Game - A Play of Shadows

This is a piece written about a year ago when I was again decieved by a man who suddenly disappeared from my life after a few months of courting on the internet. I had had a very dramatic break up six months earlier, but I thought I had matured into an independent state of mind that would help me attract someone who would be good for me. I should probably mention, that I have always shunned co-dependency, as my childhood experience of love was not wholesome. I had grown to believe that love is draining you, and was unfortunately repeating the pattern when at a late age in my life allowed myself to be "allured" into relationships. It's a strange paradox, that I finally allowed myself to be co-dependent, and that it might have been a necessary phase for me to go through in my search for a more wholesome way of conducting a relationship. This entry is about the shadow side of love.

My experience of love has always been, that it is a trap, and a painful one at that. I have had a deeply desillusioned attitude regarding the love that has occasionally been offered to me. This is echoed in a dysfunctional childhood, of course, where I suffered neglect and emotional abuse. For many years I resisted the sticky love game. I held members of the opposite sex safely at bay and did not allow any ingoing or outgoing feelings to penetrate the walls of my fortress. Although I soon realized that this is not a way of life that is conducive to personal growth and a joy in life, it took me years and years of hard work to let down my armour. I had to rush into some relationships in a way that would take the controlling element, the Gate Keeper, in me with surprise. I would so as to speak, sneek the love feeling in through the backdoor. This made me very vulnerable and broke down my nervous system. The whole scope of my sensitive nature came into the open. What a scary place to be! Although I experienced several burn outs - not least due to the ensuing chronic insomnia and ill physical health - I managed to somehow retain my sanity. While all this was going on, one tangibly positive thing did happen. I became more discerning.

I truly believe that discernement is the prerequisite for a balanced, spiritual way of life and possible enlightenement. I can see that traps abound. Life is a maze that can keep you captive as long as you go along with the human tendency to think in terms of either-or and allow your mental self to make judmental arguments for or against. I like the idea of discernement simply because even though it doesn't remove you from the human sphere of preferences, it allows you the occasional restful moment in What Is. The further you advance on your quest for a deepfelt and honest life, the greater the likelihood that your senses, subconscious mind, and higher awareness will co-operate harmoniously to tell you what IS and what needs to be. While for a long time I thought I was plagued by fears, it seemed that after I had made some tough deciscions that helped me release the tension, I had actually had gutfeelings about things that where dangerous to my welfare. For a while it also seemed that I had premonitions telling that I was heading for a nightmarish experience but could not avoid it because it seemed that it had to be! I did not really feel that I had much free will, and believed that my higher self was always guiding me.

Although maybe those experiences did have to be in order that I would learn some valuable lessons about myself and other people (thus I was guided to enter the situations by my higher self), I have now seen that I probably do have some choice in the matter. Lets put it this way: if I clear out my own Shadow issues, my desperation is decreasing and my ability to choose a better life is increasing. All these things go hand in hand. It seems to me that becoming aware of your own deeper problems (Shadow issues) will open you up, thus creating more flow of information between you and the outside world as well as better attuned instinct and intuition. This again facilitates discernement and a better realization of what has to be and how to deal with it emotionally.

I have not really changed my opinion regarding human love. While sometimes people do see something beautiful in each other, the main driving force seems to be the Shadows that they harbour in their own subconscious mind and project onto the other person like a movie on a screen. I have no doubt harboured love in my own Shadow (good things can be there too), but have worked on it sufficiently to believe that it's one of the deepest issues in my life but also one that I am supposed to resolve. Very often spirituality is in a person's Shadow. I believe that was the case with the guy that I was trying to have a relationship with the longest. A lot of people want so badly to be spiritual, but refuse to see the entire scope of that kind of a life style. Spirituality is not in my opinion a very gooey state of mind, at least not to begin with, because you have to integrate your Shadow and learn to tolerate every aspect of yourself and the surrounding reality. It's downright dangerous to think that you know and see more than you actually do - but by that I mean it's not good for yourself either. Some men also pretend to be spiritual in order to allure a woman into liking them better - someone who was keen on me did that to me and I've seen it happen to others. In the end my spirituality was naturally thrown back into my face by this guy. One day I saw that my best match on a datingsite was this very person due to the very fact that spirituality was listed as a priority in this person's life. Ha! But I know he's my worst match in reality! So beware...

I recently had the experience of a spiritually minded man who was very much fascinated with my preoccupation with the matters of the physical world. I am defenitely not one who mingles much with other earthlings on the social arena, but I've worked all my life at trying to understand the dynamics of this reality. Basically, I feel that we need to embrace all aspects of reality in order to transcend them. Ironically, although there is no earth on my astrological chart, it seems that I'm more in tune with Earth than many a person whose astrological sign is an earth sign (mine is water). Haha, practice makes a master, I guess. It is a known fact that the most creative people are the one's working hardest at it, and I see a similarity here.

Seeking to understand mundane reality and human behaviour is a pursuit that requires that I deal with a terrible amount of details and sensorial input, and it's totally overwhelming at times, as I'm not physically all that strong and tolerant. I had almost given up on finding a man who would be understanding of this and also see why I have to be selective with the information that keeps bombarding me. Although I admit that I have been a bit of a control freak because of this and other reasons too, it really also connects to a feeling of having to keep things orderly and under supervision so they don't end up stressing me too much. Well sure, of course it's not an ideal situation and I hope I can in time find greater equaniminity that would take care of that issue.

Anyway, when I did find a man who did see and understand my preoccupation with the matters of the physical realm, I was naturally quite taken by it. I was, however, not able to feel the same kind of love that this man said he felt for me. I felt that I needed more information than what I could get virtually, through the internet. I also felt that I was being idealized. In fact I started to feel anxious about it. I felt pressured. It's terrible to want to feel something that you cannot feel.

One problem we had was a mutual fear of being used, although in different ways. Not an uncommon scenario, I gather. To me it was mostly a matter of not having to be the one who pulls the wagon (i.e the one taking care of the practical issues in life and taking on responsibilities that are way too heavy for me alone to carry), because I've had a tendency to attract similar experiences all my life. Having pursued the relationship on a virtual level through the internet for quite a while, I was becoming increasingly anxious to meet up in real life. In the end I had to voice my need very strongly. I have been made to wait, grilled, many times before, and I was not going to take it one more time! I decided that I need no longer wait for anybody. And that was the end of it, he backed off. One object was propably that an encounter in the physical would have required a lot of physical actions from him. The person in question probably also got scared of my strong sense of realism as well as the physical, mental and emotional boundaries that go with it. I figure this characteristic of mine was part of his Shadow and not something he really had the guts to confront.

What kind of a love is a love that ends that abruptly, anyway? To me it's just another shadowplay. One reason I think this might have been the case was the strong blamatory reaction that I got. Most men I have met have blamed me for things they are also guilty of themselves.

The thing is, we cannot ever offer to help anyone else even when we feel sorry for them. All we can do is try to be in tune intuitively with the situation at hand and keep in mind that the other person deserves that same kind of respect that we expect for ourselves. They have a right to their own choices although to the extent that these affect others some consideration might be expected. Anyway it's not altruism to think that you know what someone is about and then try to manipulate them into accepting your gracious gift of help and compassion. Besides, an exaggerated need to help others can be a way of disguising one's own problems, by kind of steering one's own and everybody else's attention away from them... So even in a relationship, we are sometimes less powerful than we wish we would be. A relationship will necessarily involve some work, but there's a limit to how much one has to put up with all the same. However, it seems that it's up to each and everyone to use their discernement and determine that limit.
There is an idealistic view that positive desires will not lead to any kind of karma or that a relationship should be happy. Of course we all wish this would be the case! And while I probably need my sceptical stance in order to get to grips with the way things really are here in this realm, I should maybe also open myself to a more optimistic view of love. Not because it can ever be an easy thing to deal with, or that humans will change their ways all that much, but because I deserve a better experience of what it means to love and be loved. I would really like to share my life with someone and practice this in my daily life. And yet, I may never get there, because it might cause me to create karma that I should be without. Or I may simply never find a man who is on the same wavelength as myself. It's a curious thing that I have shared some important things with some men, but I have never felt in sync with anyone. I do not want more "sticky" love from anyone. Real and honest love that doesn't hurt or require sacrifices is so elusive... And of course a love that doesn't hurt others either. It is very hard not to ever hurt or harm anybody, isn't it? Maybe it is impossible, even.

The above story with its harsh ending was a pretty good replica of a childhood scenario, where I was feeling that I was giving plenty of myself, while all I was getting in return was complaints that I am being selfish. Somehow I need to truly accept that I should not become a martyr and sacrifice my wellbeing for anybody so that they will get what they want from me. I have to admit that the last few days since the events took place that I was talking about earlier, I've felt a prescence of an energy that wasn't there before. It hasn't gone away yet, so I am starting to assume that I'm empowered by what seems to have been a clear break with a typical behavioural pattern in me. I guess I'm starting to have a realistic view of how much I can take in that respect. Ideally, one should not have to sacrifice anything at all, but can that really happen here on Earth? In any case I must not sacrifice the seed of kindness and empathy that makes me want to do that. Instead I have to trust that nature takes its course and grows a plant out of the seed in some way that will be beneficial to me as well as to the collective that I belong to.

Artwork: "Don't Let Smoke Get In Your Eyes" handmade collage by author, all rights reserved 2005

Sunday, 3 August 2008

Avoiding Spiritual Elitism In Favour of Love

As I was reading the excerpt that accompanied Karen Bishop's latest energy alert I was a little taken a back - this time it was all about how people moving into higher frequencies will want to avoid the lower ones. The rest of the alert did in fact hit home as usual - there are many contradictions at play on the energetic level right now(check it out at

Anyhow, I got to thinking about this thing about avoidance. I understand KB's point but I think it could use some elaboration. Very often, people talk about how they don't respond to anger or they don't want to be close to such and such because this person drains them or whatever. It's all very well but this sort of talk sometimes has an aura of snobbism/spiritual elitism about it that I feel quite sad about. Who wants to hear that they are toxic - who wants to feel avoided? Then it occurred to me, that there are two ways in which to react in this manner; there is the high way and the low way. So my suggestion is that we examine the reasons why we feel repelled by certain people or things before lashing out at them. Again there are two options: you may not want to face the shadow issues that a certain person or situation is triggering in you, thus it is a case of denial which will certainly not be buried and forgotten. The other reason is very simply that you cannot relate to the lower energy anymore. Truth to say I find this latter one a bit difficult to fathom as I think that a fully enlightened person would have nothing to fear and would thus not have a need to 'stay away'. On our journey, however, I can understand that such feelings and experiences might occur. I truly believe that these are issues worth considering with great thought since we are supposed to be in this together - yes, TOGETHER!

It seems that there's a gray scale from impersonal to personal that matches our mirroring/learning processes. I am assuming that everything we encounter in the world is a mirror of sorts. So the confusing energies in a mall or massmeeting would be somewhat different thing to deal with than a confrontation with someone on an internet site (more or less semi-personal, for the most part) or the argument with a beloved/close person. Whereas it may be annoying for others to be around someone who's fussy about public energies, I presume it's usually easier to solve than hearing personal accusations about how we 'always' drain so and so because they "have" to read our "negative" comments on a site - yes, someone actually said this to me recently and I wondered, why does this person read my stuff if it "sucks her dry" and how can they throw an unspecific point about "negativity" in my face that is totally meaningless, let alone helpful! It's interesting what people feel they can throw at you on the internet, not having to take responsibility for the consequences. In any case, going up the ladder there are the cases in which people are obliged to deal with us for instance through work, or by encountering us within the family, and these are obviously the more tricky situations that should normally force us to take more responsibility for our actions. I admit when I was writing this blog I was mostly thinking of confrontations that concern other people's feelings.

After all, everyone's point of view is subjective so why go out and make it into an objective truth that would hurt others? I would put grace and discretion at the top of my list though I can't claim to be there myself yet (but I try). Some people just do this avoidance thing out of habit and a mental picture of the situation - I'd say in this case, ego rules. If you do it with a true sense of respect and kindness for those who are less fortunate/wise, juvenile or whatever, you can surely not go wrong... See what I mean? I myself find this thing very difficult to deal with so by no means am I an expert myself. It's not my place to say whether someone's choices are good ones, but my point is that we should try and be really sure of who and what we want to be. I've just noticed that other people's view of myself varies dramatically from person to person. That certainly speaks volumes to me!

I don't really think we can ever bypass the fact that our perception is subjective and so all our explanations are too, nor that everything mirrors our perception in one way or another. This would be the reason we, and only we, can take responsibility for our own perception. Yes? It doesn't mean that nobody else is concerned, of course, but primarily reality comes into being through us, ourselves.

To be accepted for who we are is crucial no matter what stage we are at, then it's another matter altogether whether we feel we can be around that person or not... I myself had to make a change on the relationship arena, I think that besides the general state of the energies, this relationship was contributing to a lot of my anxiety. It was tough because I feel so incredibly sorry for this person, but I had to... It happened just on the day KB said a change would occur for many of us though I didn't know it at that point. So I myself had to make a choice in which I still accept and love a person but I just can't be tied to them.

I see a peril in talking about energies in an elitist way that discounts the struggles some people have either because of the automatic workings of karma or challenges they have taken on in order to better understand humanity. Substitute "high frequencies" with "arian" and you have... you know what. However, I do recoqnize that now is a time to focus on our own well-being so that we can become stronger and better light workers in a world that is in an obvious state of confusion and chaos. All I'm asking is that we consider what our ultimate intentions truly are. Consider this: are all those who speak of oneness and unconditional love truly an example for others to follow?

Is there a point in time when we can really let go of watching ego-issues? It seems to me, that there are always ego-traps and the further we progress, the easier it may be to self-delude in some way, because we think ok, "I am now this and that, I am that I am for sure, so therefore I cannot have an ego-issue" - ah, ever more explanations to resort to! But can we be really sure that we have gained the level or status or whatever of an enlightened person who has no more ego-issues? How can we know our subconscious mind is empty? When are we truly authentic?

I would also like to point out that when we feel superior to another being and not willing to engage in closer contact with them due to their 'toxic' energies, there is always someone more evolved/superior to us who might find US rather undeveloped and naive or something to that effect... (most likely not judgmental though, if they are really far on their spiritual path). It is a very human trait to believe that we (me or a group of like-minded people) are at this moment at the height of evolution - even history can prove that. I also admit that I sometimes catch myself thinking that I can't put up with some "childish BS" (to borrow a line that was delivered to me today), but it is nonetheless not the kind of judgmental person I'd like to be! Besides, there is no way that we can truly determine where we or anyone else is at on their evolutionary chart, we are way too complex for that - and maybe way more complex than we can even imagine. Everything in this universe is surely relative. It is my belief that unconditional love can only exist when these truths have been firmly anchored in our consciousness. Where is your mind at today? ;-)

Post Scriptum: I think that all the varied opinions that my blog provoked already shows that this truly is an issue of a complexity and magnitude that needs attention and deep analysis. We can basically concieve of the idea of taking care of ourselves so as not to get dragged down into lower frequencies fairly easily (something I myself was warned against by an external source, and though I don't know if the source was for real an authority in the field it did make sense - the reason being that I am more of an empath than I actually realized myself). But putting this into practice or living the truth is not that easy. Since many of us are not 'there' yet ('there' a place where there is nothing more to fear, embracing unconditonal love with no more ego traps), we are still prone to judgmental thinking and so if something feels bad there is the instant label of 'toxic' or 'negative' or whatever. This is a subjective perception, of course, but I feel that people don't always remember or realize that. And so they usually also express their dislike. Now it seems innocent enough when it comes to mass gatherings and other chaotic places, but when it comes to people we are in touch with it would surely be a spiritual act to show some heartfelt respect for the level this person is on even if you don't wish to dwell there for long? No one can really know what's going on with someone else, so why assume anything - PLUS make someone feel bad??? Ego is always around somewhere and thus elitism is too. I have heard some horrifying viewpoints at times that sounded downright fascist (such as 'there will be a Darwinian selection of the healthiest and spritually fittest'). And yes, as you're suggesting, ego can also show as an excessive need (note that this is hard to point at objectively though) to reform and act as a missionary. I personally have a tendency to being a martyr though I don't think I'm a missionary - just as an example of various scenarious that I assume we all have.

Artwork: "Encounter Engenders Life", mixed media on paper by author 1998, all rights reserved