The rusted, metal garden sculpture twists in rhythmic patterns with the wind. Watching it through the bay window has become an unintentional meditation. The mind stops because it cannot create meaning out of its movements. Emotion gives way like a curtain to feeling. The simple perception of what is.
I am in Portland, Oregon. Since landing here, I have been greeted with a juxtaposition of two opposing spiritual practices. The first, “I create my own reality”. The practice of controlling your thoughts so as to make life what you want life to be. The second, “Control is an illusion and nothing more than a resistance to what is.” The practice of awareness, acceptance and dis identification with the ego. These two spiritual principals stand like a married couple whose love has soured. In my mind, I hear them screaming at one another. Each position is full of invalidation of the opposing philosophy. In the middle, I can see the benefits and pitfalls of both positions.
Two days post-surgery, I had to travel through the airport and plane via wheelchair today. It was an excellent exercise in perspective. Initially, I felt the embarrassment that comes with being the center of attention in a compromised position. In truth, I have never experienced people being nicer to me in all my life. Quite to my astonishment, and contrary to my usual state, I felt completely safe around people. Instantly, people were going out of their way to be friendly and to compliment me. Instantly, they were taking care of me and making sure my needs were met. It was as if everyone rallied around me and the usual abrasion was gone. There was no more social pressure. I became everyone’s pet. In the relief of that lack of pressure, I felt a fury that this is what it takes to make people be nice. I had to sit with the fury long enough to see that in this position, they perceived me as posing no threat to them anymore. The ego can feel good about itself when it has something pathetic to compare itself to.
I have a friend who I text with all the time who is wheelchair bound due to cerebral palsy. He is one of the most optimistic people I’ve ever met. We have gotten into a few friendly arguments about people. His argument usually goes something like this “people are inherently good and friendly and you have to put more faith in them”. Today, in conjunction with the heated bitterness that arose as a result of the experience of being in a wheelchair, I sent him a text from the airport that said, “I know why you think everyone is nice now”. It was a friendly jab that opened up a whole new dimension of conversation about having been thrust into an exercise of understanding with him. He asked me to tell him how it felt. I texted back that I felt pitied, not seen and underestimated. I told him what I experienced when I settled into the initial relief of having all the abrasive social pressure give way to niceness… Vampirism.
The human ego needs to see itself a certain way. When it encounters a situation that enables it to see itself the way it wants to see itself, it greets the situation like a feeding frenzy. Today, stuck in a wheelchair, I experienced myself being used as a tool to help people feed their own need to experience themselves as “good”. They did not really care about me as a person; it was more that being nice to me (as someone in a compromised position) was an opportunity to experience themselves as a ‘good person’. And this caused them to relax. It felt like my condition was being fed off of, like a vampire drinks blood. When I told my friend this he responded, “now you know how I feel sometimes”. My heart hurt at the idea of spending a life being fed off of like that. I imagine the only way to be able to deal with it would be to create an identity for yourself around helping people experience their own goodness. To some degree, to avoid isolation, I imagine you’d have to make it ok to be fed off of in that way.
Aside from a deeper understanding of my friend and of the human condition, I gained incredible awareness today about just how threatened people are by me. I am so used to the exhausting coarseness of people’s undivided attention and subsequent resistance to me when I walk into a room that I had taken the abrasiveness for normal. A fish does not understand water until it experiences air so to speak. I didn’t know there was a different way to feel in a social atmosphere. I’m not sure which is better and which is worse. The corrosive nature of being perceived as a threat by the collective is both painful and traumatizing. It puts trust out of reach. But the relief of not being perceived as a threat by the collective was… diminishing.
As you know, whenever I go to a new city, everyone waits with baited breath for my energetic diagnosis of the city. So, I wont keep you waiting any longer.
The dominant negative vibration of Portland, Oregon is: Socked In. Socked in is an idiom that conveys a pattern of energy. It is most often used to describe the state of being trapped or otherwise restricted because of fog. When an airport is “socked in”, the planes cannot take off. As it applies to Portland, socked in is a metaphor for the dominant negative energetic state of the people here. Depression is the most common emotional manifestation of this dominant energetic pattern. To generalize, the people of Portland are socked into themselves. They are lonely because of it. There is a lack of movement of the being within the body as a result of it. When you watch someone on an opiate drug, it is as if they sink deep within a hole inside themselves and an emotional and mental fogginess keeps them at the bottom of this inner hole. Many people in Portland are in a minor mental and emotional version of this state without opiates. That being said, the drug use in this city is VERY high. When you feel emotionally and mentally socked in, the pain of the restriction often forces people to try to find relief in any way they can, legal or illegal.
Depression manifests when we have a painful relationship with the universe at large or as some would say, with the divine. There are many things that can happen in our lives that put us at odds with the universe at large. For example, if you have a really hard breakup, you may be thrown into an existential crisis because you feel like the universe gives you signs that something is right only to be hurt by it to the degree that it seems like a mistake in retrospect. This can make it feel like the universe is not on the side of your happiness. A painful relationship with the universe is the result. You end up feeling like no matter how hard you try to move towards your desires, only pain will result. And many, many people in Portland have a dysfunctional relationship with the universe at large, most especially because there is such an overabundance of astral energy here… As you will see with the dominant positive vibration of Portland.
The dominant positive vibration of the city is: Depth. So many cities exhibit a shallowness. A shallowness to the people and to the concerns of the people. Most of all, a shallowness to the astral body of the city itself. Portland is not one of these cities. The people here are deep. The land here is deep. The history is deep. The astral body of the city itself is so thick and so deep that it feels like the city itself has a double life. A life on the physical plane and a life on the non physical plane. But its life on the non physical plane is so strong that its contents can be felt by even the most spiritually cut off people. I am quite convinced that because of the astral dimension here, the only way to survive Portland if you were not a spiritual person would be to use drugs. In a place with this large of an astral body, there is just no other way to escape yourself. This city is the exact opposite of Los Angeles. I would love to transplant the people of Portland to LA and the People of LA to Portland. Doing so would transmute the dominant negative vibration in each group of people. I am quite at home in the depth here. But I have spent my life traveling in the astral realm. I watch people struggle with it however. Not knowing how to cope with the depth here is like watching people emotionally struggle for air. Each person here would benefit immensely by selecting a medicine man or shaman or spiritual guide to mentor them. I often teach spiritual skills that enable a person to learn directly from the universe so they do not have to rely on anyone external for spiritual guidance. However, as it applies to Portland, mentorship is a very good idea.
Too many people are in over their heads here with all the astral influences and with the dominant negative vibration. This is not a place I would suggest people to live unless they are specifically looking to delve into both the internal and external spiritual realms. One exception may be artists. Artists can channel the waves of the spiritual dimension without having to be particularly aware of them; as a result, they are not drowned by them. I LOVE the depth of the dimensions here. I could spend more than a lifetime exploring the astral body of Portland and its surrounding land. One would run into the most extraordinary creatures and thought forms here. I LOVE mental, emotional and spiritual depth. I feel like a fish in water in it. It pains me to see people drowning in it. This would be the most difficult part of it. If I lived here, I would be spending a very large amount of my time out of body being called to assist in situations where people are committing suicide.
The key to a successful life in Portland is to be ACTIVE. This vibration is the one that will dissipate the dominant negative vibration of the city. If you live in Portland, be mentally active, be physically active and be spiritually active. Slipping into passivity could prove to be a fatal move. The people of Portland need to really put forth the effort and discipline to be “doers” on all levels. If I had a goal for the city to bring it into balance, it would be to create more activities for people to attend or participate in than any other city in the nation. Any activities that center around community or group events are a necessary endeavor. I’m convinced this is a large part of why native cultures were able to thrive here as opposed to modern cultures. There is an assumption that doing is a contradiction to being. This is not the case. When being gives rise to action (which it naturally does), those actions are the ones with the most power and impact. So, if you live in Portland and you start to feel socked into yourself and like you are drowning or lonely, even if it feels hard to do, get active. There is no time to waste.
I have a feeling that given the dominant theme of this city, Saturday’s workshop will be a great deal about initiating movement… The action steps that follow in the footsteps of being. I can feel a great many attendees lacking the initiative to take the action steps to get un-stuck. Luckily, I carry the vibration of freedom. This is one of my single favorite spiritual issues to catalyze and subsequently to help set people free from. As a result, I am genuinely excited for Saturday.