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The Swan King

What I love the most about London is that you can feel every other world city connected to it as if by energetic meridians.  You can feel them pulsing.  It is quite literally like having your finger on the pulse of rest of the world.  It is the epicenter of human consciousness.  Because of this, you always feel mentally in touch with everything and abreast of everything.  London is where this European tour began.  I brought four team members with me across the Atlantic Ocean.  I have discovered the solution to Jet lag.  Here it is:  Take a very large dose of Turmeric before you take off in the airplane and again right when you land.  The second you land, run your lower arms and lower legs in cold water to discharge the excessive electric charge in your body.  After that and as soon as you can, get a full body massage followed by a shower.  Then, try to get synced with the new sleep schedule as soon as you can.  

This tour has felt like being swept up by a dizzying wind and delivered from studio to stage with no time to breathe or catch any bearings in-between.  I gave two interviews and three talks in the first two days after landing; one stage appearance in London for Alternatives and two stage appearances in Birmingham for The Mind Body Spirit Expo.   I also arrived just in time for the release of my new book The Anatomy of Loneliness.  The feel of European soil awakens an aching nostalgia in the nucleus of my cells.  I wonder if all Americans with purely European roots, such as myself, would feel this way.  It is as if when we went across the ocean to establish a new colony, layers of us became a different species, but the core of us still belongs to that land and that history and that truth.  The sound of the church bells is more familiar to my body, to my cellular knowing, than anything I have heard in the whole of my own country. 

IMG_1503.thumb.JPG.28e92722abba8e81b39467533d2ed513.JPGAgain this tour reminded me of how much my skin loves the warmth and glow of the stage lights…  Of how much I love to play a chess game with people’s egos, where me winning is them winning because when I win that game, it means they are set free.  In fact it is one of the only games in the world where winning means the other person wins.  The game is this:  Find whatever within a person is serving as resistance to their best interests and release that resistance.  And that resistance is both heavily armored and guarded.  Like animals caught in the metal teeth of traps laid out for them, people are caught in traps too.  Most of these traps are composed of concepts that imprison them, traps that cut into the very flesh of their capacity to feel happiness.  And when you go to remove them from those traps, you so often get bitten.  Sometimes these bites make you want to stop helping people all together.  It feels like they are both screaming to be free of their traps and screaming at you to defend the rightness of staying in them.  It is all fear that makes them scream these contradictory messages.  It is fear that would make me abandon them to their cages and forget that if they are in a trap, it is me that is in a trap.  And I cannot do that to myself. 

After my talks in Birmingham we immediately flew to Stockholm, Sweden.  My intuition started calling me to Stockholm two years ago.  It was the city I was most adamant we had to go to on this trip.  I was expecting that the reason I was being intuitively called there was due to the emotional suffering there.  But because of that expectation, I was not expecting that it would be a place that I didn’t want to leave.  The audience there was my favorite I’ve had in years.  The wanting they had for my visit to them was so strong that it practically sucked me through the doors and onto the stage.  I had fun with them.  They were engaged and they were not in resistance.  And during one of the on stage segments, they took a deep psychological dive with me that was SO deep most people do not have the stomach for it.  But they did. 

My close protection agent determined that the crowd was safe that night and as a result, we could do a meet and greet.  So after the day was up, I met them one by one.  As an extrasensory, every time I see someone, I experience a download of information about them.  When I smell them, another download of information.  And when I touch them, yet another.  I felt as if they drowned me in a pleasant gravy of Scandinavian feelings and flavors.  I found the people of Sweden to be so rich with the feeling of the land and the sacred magic within it.  I found them to be some of my favorite people I’ve met in terms of substance and feeling.  There has been almost no dilution to the Viking song in their veins.                         

flag-2567418_640.jpgStockholm is the most populated Nordic city.  Its name essentially means isle (islet) that protects (like a defensive wall).  My heart skipped a beat when we landed because it look so much like one of my favorite places in the world… It is the European Alaska.  It stays dark like Alaska does in the winter. I am told that in the dead of winter there are only 6 hours of daylight and 18 during summer.  But just like Alaska, the light that far north has a particular quality.  A creamy quality that is less sharp and more fragile.

suburbs-2211335_640.jpgThe dominant negative energetic vibration of Stockholm is: Settling (To Settle).  I observed the people of Stockholm in various locations at length.  I even decided to go for a nighttime walk in the frigid blackness through neighborhoods.  Something that seemed to really set most of the neighborhoods in Sweden apart is that no one seems to use blinds to cover their windows.  I love that.  It felt inviting.  All though it did allow me to spend hours peeping without their knowledge.  Through the windows, you can see them collected in their kitchens and around the dinner tables.  The outside is so cold and dark that each little home seems like a warmly glowing heaven of coziness.  The houses look like something that in America, we would use as part of a children’s play set.  Many of them painted in Victorian style colors.  They are adorable.  The neighborhoods of Stockholm would be a torture to anyone who felt themselves to be an orphan.  I find there to be very little sense of large community in Sweden.  People have a very shy, keep to yourself attitude, but then as if in perfect contradiction to that, they harbor the idea that unless you have a family and a few close friends, you will have no one to keep to yourself with.  As a result they remind me very much of raspberries…  People who collect in little clusters to try to keep each other warm in many ways.  I have nicknamed them 'The Shy Vikings'.   

Untitled-1.jpgPeople settle when they are content with something.  Contentment can mean that a person is genuinely satisfied with a certain level of achievement or good fortune and does not actually wish for more.  But as it applies to the kind of settling that is Stockholm’s most dominant negative vibration, not many people are genuinely content with their certain level of achievement or place in life; it is that they have simply decided that they have to be content with it whether they like it or not.  It seemed as if so many of the people of Stockholm feel that their vocation is to serve or please customers instead of to chase their dreams.  I’m not even sure many of them know what their dreams actually are, just that there is a faint calling towards something waiting to be unlocked in them and a movement to something more, something higher.

star-1562808_640.jpgTypical of Scandinavian consciousness, the emotional gap between people is 50 miles wide.  They are so used to it and it doesn’t seem uncomfortable enough to most for them to make a real change regarding it.  Besides, that’s the thing with needs and wants.  you can only understand your needs and wants when you understand what is missing. You have to become aware of what could be there.  The people in Sweden are for the most part not aware of what could be there.  So instead what they experience is missing something.  Much of what the people of Stockholm long for is emotional attunement and closeness.  In truth, they lack this attunement even with their vegetation. 

Vegetation in every area of the globe has its own consciousness.  In many parts of the world, certain trees and plants love to be pruned and fawned over and even trained.  They love the focus.  That is not the case with vegetation in Stockholm.  They are like wild creatures who do not want their will to be imposed upon in any way.  They love only freedom.  The trees are frustrated when they are planted near fences.  The plants hate being clipped or planted anywhere they don’t want to be.  None of the landscaping I saw took any of this rather loud energetic statement on behalf of the vegetation into account.  None were attuned to this at all.  The plants and trees were like wild beings in protest, being kept against their will.  And it had great impact on the overall energetic feel of the properties.  It was frustrating that I could do very little for them.  With this overall lack of emotional attunement, a great many people feel the way these plants do.                   

 All this being said, the people of Stockholm do have a very acceptable level of living but this does not mean that they do not wish for more.  They are unhappy because they do wish for more and often don’t know what that more is or if they do know, they don't know how to chase it.  They doubt whether or not they should.  It is like a culture staring with longing every night at the North Star before they carry on with their routines.  And I am in love their longing hearts.  

business-561387_640.jpgThe dominant positive vibration of Stockholm is: Innovation. I was a bit frustrated that I couldn’t assert that the dominant positive vibration is that sorcery, ice, moss and wood like Norse feeling to their energy fields.  That is simply a personal favorite.  It is an energetic feeling flavor that I find addictive.  But the dominant positive vibration is innovation.  The way this manifests in the people of Stockholm is not in creating new things to do.  It is in finding new ways or methods of doing the same thing that has already been done.  Their minds seem to be bent for success in improving upon methods and they are unbridled by the idea that just because something has been done in a certain way for a long time, that makes it the best way to do something.  Cultures that operate under the idea that because something has been done a certain way forever means it is the best way of doing something, tend to be highly hierarchical.  Stockholm (and potentially all of Sweden) is one of the least hierarchical places I’ve ever been.  You can feel the unfamiliar lack of tension inherent in their sense of equality and mutual respect.  It is startling to feel that lack of tension actually.        

stockholm-3897532_640.jpgTo generalize, the people of Stockholm were very clean, healthy and lets say it, beautiful people.  My Son owes most of his genetic roots on his fathers side to Sweden.  I could not believe how much the people in Sweden looked and felt like both he and his father.  It made me miss him so much more.  I will bring him there one day to awaken and activate that aspect of his genetic memory.  I could not write anything on Sweden without making it known that the people of Sweden are some of the most beautiful people on the planet earth.  I might say that as a whole, they are the most beautiful example of what the Caucasian race is capable of being.  The lines of their faces and figures are mesmerizing.  And something that really stuck out to myself as an extrasensory is that compared to so many other people around the world, their skin is incredibly healthy.  Whether they are attuned or not, they put effort into taking care of themselves and of everything in their lives really.  They are not the type of people to ‘let themselves or their property go’.  And the water in the city is the highest vibrationally speaking and the least ‘abused’ and tainted in a major metropolitan city that I’ve ever seen.  I actually chose to drink the tap water.

I get the very real sense that the people of Stockholm and potentially Sweden in general are reserved and require a patience in terms of establishing closeness that an American like myself feels incapable of allowing them.  But once that distance and shyness is traversed, they would be the most loyal and forever of people.  It is not that I want to go back to Sweden.  It is that I have to go back.  I have fallen in love with a group of people I didn’t even know I was missing in my life. 

morning-1789903_640.jpgFrom Stockholm we flew to Switzerland and Germany.  I filmed an e-course on self love in a little village house in the Black Forest just outside Glassheutten.  What little time I had not filming, I spend in the tiny towns and in the forest itself.  The Black Forest is famous amongst esoteric circles.  It has an ominous reputation, especially for the practice of black magic.  It definitely lives up to its reputation.  There are places where the tall trees are so tightly enmeshed that all you see, even in the peak of sunlight is blackness underneath them.  Their trunks seem taken up by it.  That darkness calls to you as if it contains something for you, if only you would follow it.  The trees are silent.  This probably sounds strange to most people.  But the consciousness of trees and plants in general are usually loud.  And the consciousness of insects are even louder.  In the Black Forest, even though they are there, they are nearly silent.  There is no chorus to be heard.  Rather a hush of observation.  The forest feels like it is keeping secrets from you.  The loudest thing in the forest in terms of consciousness is the fungi.  The mushrooms make up for what the trees are not saying.  I loved the Black Forest.  It contains so much of shadow and so much of light. 

christmas-market-1864241_640.jpgOn the one day I had off during the entire tour, we went into Basel to meet up with my close friend Frederic.  We wandered across the cobblestones and up and down the twisting streets.  We got lost in the old part of the city.  Typically, when you are lost and surrender the steerage of your vessel to instinct, you end up finding exactly where you were meant to be.  That happened to us.  We ended up being inhaled by the Basel Fair market.  The kind of thing you only see in Europe.  For what seems like forever, the little stands are lined up in maze-like rows on both sides of the streets.  Stands that are so heavily decorated with whatever the vendors are selling that it makes you dizzy to look at it all.  I was lured in by the homesick scent of chestnuts roasting on fire in one of the metal ovens.  I walked through the market picking off their shells and biting into the creamy rubber of them.  In one stand there would be porcelain figurines, the other potato pancakes sizzling in sparkling oil.  In the next there would be clinquant Christmas ornaments and the next rows and rows of books.  Jewelry and gemstones and clothing and instruments and cookware.   There were stands with every European pastry and Swiss chocolate and handmade local candy under the sun.  I could have eaten until I got sick.  At the center of the market was a tiny collection of rides with an ornate carousel taking children in their little hats and mittens around and around.  I was so happy that tears came to my eyes.  I pulled the people that were with me through the crowd with endless enthusiasm from stand to stand until we had seen as much of it as we could.  This is my favorite thing about the human race.  The things that we create and that we share and trade with each other.  These little seasonal European markets are one of my favorite things that earth has to offer.  There is nothing like them anywhere else.  They make your heart swell and blush in your chest. 

gorgeous T in gold.jpgFor three days following that, I held my last mirror workshop with an audience of people all wanting and willing and brave enough to really see themselves.  I was in good humor and spent much of the workshop trying to tease the audience with humor out of their shells and into interacting.  Many people stepped squarely into breakthroughs for themselves.  The tears stained their faces..  Tears of finally getting it.  Tears of finally seeing reality and by seeing reality, knowing what to do about the place they are in.  They were breakthroughs people could take home with them and build their lives from.  I was exhausted upon leaving the venue.  The kind of exhaustion that feels exquisite, like a sedated ecstasy.  However, I had to say goodbye to so many of my friends and team.  I left my European family behind at the venue.  Two of my teammates stayed in Switzerland and two left to explore Madrid.  Saying goodbye to them felt tragic.  We had shared a journey full of so much rich experience and intimacy and laughter that to leave them behind felt like a loss of something I wanted to hold and keep re-experiencing forever.  My heart ached driving away from them.  I found myself wishing that one day each of their characters will be immortalized somehow.  I want you to know them all as I do. 

autobahn-307642_640.pngThat sedated ecstasy that I felt upon leaving the stage was short lived.  Because myself and my Manager ended up on an autobahn.  Americans have a reputation worldwide for being uneducated, especially in terms of geography and history and general understanding of anything except America.  I wish I could consider myself a challenge to that reputation but the more I explore Europe, the more I realize I am not the candidate to do that.  When we study the world, which hardly happens in our curriculum, we are taught about the autobahn.  But what the teachers teach you, is that the autobahn is one single road in Germany where a person can drive whatever speed limit they want.  Car enthusiasts in America dream of going to Germany to drive on that one road.  I came to discover on this trip that Germans are a lot more insane that I originally thought.  Because the autobahn isn’t the name of one road.  Rather it is simply their name for highway.  This means that all the highways in Germany have no speed limit.  The odometers in German cars have a whole other range beyond the cars we see in America.  I was going 120 miles per hour.  The fastest I have ever gone in a car.  And I can assure you, I was freaking out just like it was the fastest I have ever been in a car.  But what destroys your mind even more than that is when you are driving that fast and like a bat flying out of hell, another car passes you on the right going 200 miles per hour.  It is unlike anything I have ever experienced.  I hated it.  My mind cannot let go of the unwanted imagining of what would happen if one crashed at those speeds.  I finally got why Germans make the best cars in the world.  It is because if they didn’t, they would die!! 

the view.jpgThe end of my tour ended with a visit to a castle that I have wanted to see for as long as I’ve known about it.  In the mountainside near Fuessen Bavaria, there is a castle that stands like a fantasy come to life.  It is the Neuschwanstein Castle.  Built in the 1800s but in the style of the medieval knights and kings. It is one of the most popular destinations in the world.  It was built by King Ludwig II, The Swan king.  We drove in the purple shadow before sunrise to its base.  As if we stepped into a fairy tale, the animals seemed overly friendly.  The birds came to our feet.  The squirrels hopped towards us.  And a cat came running straight for me to nuzzle my legs and have me pet her tummy.  There was no one near when we arrived.   Just the towering white grey limestone of the castle walls looming over us.  I was a bit confused about that until I came to understand that it was gift.  My manager, knowing how much I love castles and history, had decided to book the entire castle out for only myself and himself and a tour guide.  For an hour, we got to explore the rooms and hear the stories about this shy and eccentric king with no one else there.  It was incredible.  We also explored the castle of his childhood across the mountainside from Neuschwanstein.  And what I saw has impacted me incredibly.  I am both seriously disappointed in people and seriously moved because of it.

castle-2602216_640.jpgIn the paint on the walls of every one of his rooms, and in the fabric and wood paneling is a very complex vibration stuck there: The vibration of a man who was so ashamed of who he really was and who spent his life fighting against who he really was and whose sense of goodness and heroism was in that fight against himself.  What the highly conservative people of Bavaria and what even the tour guides do not tell you when you look through the castle is that Ludwig II was homosexual.  And instead of to destroy a stereotype, I must say that he behaved in life exactly like stereotypical Gay man.  He did not care for war or conquest but instead, loved to build and design castles.  He was raised Roman Catholic, a religion that was entirely against homosexuality.  He was simply allowed to have “special friends”.  And he had those.  Unlike other kings, he has a “special room” for his “special friends” right next to his reading room.  And it is here that the great love of his life spent time overlooking the beautiful lake below.  This man was named Richard Wagner.  He was a brilliant composer.  His works would not have been known today if it were not for the interest that this king took in him.  The two exchanged hundreds and hundreds of letters. 

Consider these two excerpts: 

From Richard Wagner to Ludwig:

"What bliss enfolds me! A wonderful dream has become a reality! . . . I am in the Gralsburg, in Parsifal's sublime and loving care. . . . I am in your angelic arms! We are near to one another." Or Ludwig: "My only beloved Friend! My saviour! My god! . . . Ah, now I am happy, for I know that my Only One draws near. Stay, oh stay! adored one for whom alone I live, with whom I die."

And this from Ludwig to Wagner:

My one, my much-loved Friend, – 

You express to me your sorrow that, as it seems to you, each one of our last meetings has only brought pain and anxiety to me. – Must I then remind my loved one of Brynhilda's words? – Not only in gladness and enjoyment, but in suffering also Love makes man blest. . . . When does my friend think of coming to the "Hill-Top", to the woodland's aromatic breezes? – Should a stay in that particular spot not altogether suit, why, I beg my dear one to choose any of my other mountain-cabins for his residence. – What is mine is his! Perhaps we may meet on the way between the Wood and the World, as my friend expressed it! . . . To thee I am wholly devoted; for thee, for thee only to live.  Unto death your own, your faithful 

399px-De_20_.jpgLudwig, despite pressures to marry and produce an heir to the throne, never did.  He kept postponing and then called off his stately engagement.  He had other “special friends” throughout his life.  Walking through the castle and seeing the thought forms still there, I think the affections were probably much greater on Ludwig’s side that Wagner’s, which were partially motivated by the desire for personal success interests. 

I have noticed that almost every homosexual man I know has a character or story that he identifies with.  Ludwig was no exception.  He identified with the character Tristan from the romantic legend of Tristan and Iseult.  His bedroom at Neuschwanstein is entirely decorated with exquisite wall murals of this legend.  Wagner even created an Opera Tristan and Isolde.  Ludwig saw Tristan as an unsung hero…  A hero for choosing what was right for king and country above his own, selfish love interests.  For King Ludwig, other men were his Iseult.  He had done what was right.  For the sake of what was right in terms of god and country, he had denied his inner urges towards a love that he thought was wrong and caused pain.  But the constant fighting with himself and the inauthenticity he had to maintain took a huge toll on him.  He became reclusive.  He designed rooms to host parties and then re-designed them because he didn’t like being around other people.  And when the doctor visited to give him relief because his teeth went bad due to eating too many of his beloved sweets, he found another way to silence the emotional pain of self denial and the loneliness of never being able to be his true self in connection with other people…. Morphine.  He developed an addiction, which deteriorated him.  He was later declared insane and murdered. 

interior-102282_640.jpgStanding in his bedroom in the castle he spent his childhood in, you can feel this king.  His window looks out on the two old ruins that once stood where he built his Neuschwanstein castle.  The place is thick with the emotional suffering of a man who was obsessed with a vision, with the idea of a better time and a better place and an ideal way to be.  Neuschwanstein is a manifestation of this vision.  It is a manifestation of his attempt to escape that pain by building a better world for himself.  One might say, a fantasy world where everything could be as he thought it should be.  It is as exquisite as you’d imagine a fantasy to be.  It is heartbreaking to me that a man can live and die believing that what is right is to prevent himself from being himself…  To live forever compensating for his shame and spending endless amounts of money to try to escape that pain.  Anyone who has any connection to the struggle that homosexuals have faced and still do face should visit this castle if they can.  Anyone who is unwilling to accept that this is the story to be told here about this place and about this king is in total denial.  It serves as such a painful reminder of the prejudice we have come from and such a beautiful example of what change can take place within society so people do not suffer as he did.

For this reason, it is only fitting to say this: When we come into the world the people around us do not look at us like gifts to nurture so we can unfold so they can see the unique pearl within us.  The people around us look at us as if we are a raw substance to mold into what they think is best for us and for them.  They tell us that certain things are acceptable and if we are those things, we will be loved and safe.  They tell us that certain things are unacceptable and if we are those things, we will be rejected and unsafe. 

Anything that remotely resembles something that will meet with disapproval is then something that we feel vulnerable about.  And we begin a process of splitting ourselves.  We put forward only the things about us that make us loved and safe in the world.  The rest, we keep hidden.  It is as if we will not let certain lotus petals open and therefore keep the pearl hidden so as to fit into the world  and feel safe. 

horsey teal.jpgYou can only build a life from what is real.  Unless you know and admit to what you really think, really feel, really want, really need and actually do, you are working with illusion and you are going nowhere.  It is like building a castle on thin air.  It will crumble.  Anything in life can either be true to our unique essence or the very thing that is preventing us from uncovering that unique essence.   Literally anything you do that makes you more self-aware is a step in the direction of authenticity.

Authenticity is the highest state of being that one can achieve.  In the years to come, authenticity and integration will become the replacement for 'enlightenment' as the true goal of spiritual practice and more than that, the true goal of life itself.  And as such, our society will be an expression of our collective human essence instead of the very thing that molds it, corrupts it, keeps it hidden and shuts it up.




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