Sunday, July 20, 2014

Guides, Guardians & Watchers.

In a comment to the previous blog, "  August in the Cabinet" Tyler asks: "You emphasized that the two Aes Sidhe that accompanied you are not Guides, but Guardians. What is the difference?"

   In the upcoming new book, "Risen on Earth: A Companion to Grief" (in progress) this subject is addressed, and briefly discusses those  I call guides, guardians and watchers.  I can speak only from my experience, but feel I can reasonably expect that it's shared by many others in general ways. It's my pleasure to share some of the yet-unpublished material here.

   There doesn't appear to be any limit to who or even what a Guide in Spirit could be. A Guide can also be a Guardian, but sometimes not. Perhaps some have already intuited and experienced this, but keep in mind that the Universe is a population of beings, so wherever we are, we are never alone and never far from help. For many, our Guides and Guardians will be someone who was once living on the Earth and has since transitioned to another spiritual geography. They might be someone we actually knew when they were earth-embodied, but often not.

   It’s possible that one or more of will have once been related to us in some way, as family, friend, or companion, including animals and birds. The affinity we have for and with them, which might reach back through many generations before we were born on the Earth, is the glue that attracts and holds such relationships together. The Principle of Affinity is but a very small facet of the Unprincipled Principle—Love, the ultimate energy.

   For example, one of my Guardians is my great-grandfather, who interestingly shares my terrestrial birthday but whom I never met on Earth, since he was born 120 years earlier.  Although it appears he achieved a notable amount of service in his brief life, he personally felt that he missed out on certain experiences to develop as a spiritual being and which were unique to an earthly life. When he asked how he could be of more service as a Risen being he was offered the role as one of my Guardians, to which he assented. My experience has been that his job is to keep me safe and out of physical danger, which he clearly has, once briefly materializing during a life-and-death situation. Until that had happened, I’d no idea that he was around me. His duties seem modest and do not include the relaying and teaching of deeper metaphysical information, which are handled by certain Guides.

  I also have two Guardians who are not human, but entities of a spirit race that once lived on the Earth, which left so long ago that they have have all but vanished into the mystery and obscurity of Celtic myth. Known by scholars as the Aes Sidhe, they are 8-9 feet tall and present as shining, silvery beings of vaguely humanoid form. Sometimes called "The Shining Ones", some people call them "faerie" -- which they are, but they are not the tiny elementals most people think of as fairies. They are absolutely fearless. They are said to have left portals throughout Ireland and Scotland in the many mounds and stone circles that pre-date the Milesians who drove them away and are not the modern race of Ireland. These two Guardians have names and personalities, but would appear so alien regarding their emotional and thought processes to a human that they could easily be mistaken as extra-terrestrial. They came to me via my Irish ancestry, able to connect because there has always been someone in my family who has sustained a conscious awareness and belief in such beings. Our beliefs can act as portals through which all kinds of energy and energy beings can pass. If I were to no longer believe in them, or engage with them or ask for their support, they would not be able to assist me; yet I know that they will wait patiently until I do. My intimate contact with them since earliest childhood has resulted in a strong relationship of sharing and trust, and they are more like companions or siblings than anything else.

   Guides can also develop a sibling or parental-like relationship with us, acting as mentors and educators about many things. They are always with us to provide a shoulder to lean on. My Guides include someone who had been a Russian poet, another once a professor of Spanish history, and another a Native American shaman in the 1500’s. Since my birth and for several decades after, my main Risen Mentor had been a well-known spiritual philosopher who transitioned in the 1980's. This role “softened” after he transitioned from his earthly life, and then even more so when he moved further beyond the Risen state. He will still make himself available should I ask for help, but he doesn’t make house calls anymore. Everything and everyone is truly in a constant state of movement and change. People come and go in our lives, no matter where we are.

   There are also those whom I call “Watchers.” While they aren’t exactly active as guides, or intervene as a Guardian might, they maintain a watchful presence about me, which is probably why I never feel alone. One of these is a younger brother who transitioned ten days after his birth. He also appears to be the caretaker of all the dogs my family ever had, and so I often feel them around me as well. And of course, all the cats I’ve ever had might be called Watchers, but still belong to nobody, continue to come and check on me, spend some time, and then zip off to other business.

   Not everyone can be a Spirit Guide or Guardian for someone on Earth, even if we want them as such. Still, it can’t hurt to ask, for our asking allows them to be able to step forward and then help in some way of service. After a good friend made her transition, I asked her if she could still keep an eye on me, especially in difficult emotional times. And she has, by whispering sweet reminders in my spirit ears that all is well and that “this, too, shall pass.” Although he is not a formal Guide, Tim serves in any way he can, sometimes more like a benevolent annoyance.

   Although I’ve never been aware of having an extraterrestrial guide, there is no reason to dismiss such a possibility, including what some are increasingly referring to as “interdimensional beings.” Tim has mentioned that he has his own Risen-equivalent guides, one which apparently appears as a kind of dolphin-like being from another dimension, and is actually visible to him much of the time.

   Spirit Guides and perhaps Watchers will lead us to certain things, places or people that may assist us in some way. We might not realize that we have a need for compassionate listening, but our Guides will, and so gently steer us to an online video about compassionate listening as presented by a Buddhist monk. In turn, we will learn from such experiences, and will be able to provide compassionate listening to others in need at some time.

   People who are spiritually different in even small ways may not attract one another across the spirit geographies. I have heard many stories about the surprising discovery of who is most like us—often they’re not who we’d expect. There are many “jobs” in The Summerland, all having to do with service, and a guide is just one possibility. Although I don’t know the specific criteria that qualify someone for such a service, there does appear to be all kinds of training, education and supervision involved.

  It is of primary importance to keep in mind that even though these beings are ever ready to respond to our call for help, they cannot easily reach us or be of use if we are shut down or closed off by deeper states of grief and other strong, uncontrolled emotions, which act as a force field against them. It is a relationship, which means we have our responsibilities as well, and this includes understanding that we will not be able to easily ask for and accept assistance if we are paralyzed by a state of fear. Therefore we must have some kind of spiritual practice in place that allows us get centered, grounded, and open to receiving the help that is always awaiting us. Even so, Guides and Guardians have their own ways and means to find a way to reach us, even through the barriers of our fear. These gestures of support often appear so subtly that we may not notice them or even dismiss them before realizing that help has arrived. Connecting with them throughout our day is a good way to learn how to recognize the signals, and to practice to stay connected with higher and sustaining forms of spiritual energy.

   One might wonder where our Guides actually are when they’re with us, and when they’re not. The answer lies not in the idea of an actual location but in actual reality, which is defined not by space and time, but by Mind.

   All spiritual geographies—which are also states or levels of the One Mind which we all share—interpenetrate one another in vastly different vibrational ways. This is how our transitioned loved ones and Guides are instantly accessible to us when we open our individual minds to each other. What keeps us seemingly apart is our ignorance or denial that they are still alive. Or we may accept they are still alive, but not believe that they are accessible. Because of the vast differences in vibration, most of us can’t see or hear them in our usual physical ways, yet another challenge to accepting their existence, until we learn to access our spiritual senses that enable us to sense and maybe even see, hear and feel them.

   A true Guide will never try to dominate or threaten us, and certainly won’t tell us what to do. But they may gently intervene by making suggestions or posing questions to us, primarily through feelings, which are also vibrations. Our spiritual senses pick up these vibrational suggestions, which are then relayed to what psychologists call our subconscious mind, which then relays them to our physical body, which then relays the feelings to our conscious mind. Remember how it was stated that feelings are messages? We must be in an open, unafraid state to be consciously aware of these messages from Spirit, as well as consciously able to tell the difference between our feelings and the feelings from someone in Spirit.

   In case there’s worry about our personal privacy, a Spirit Guide can sense when we are feeling the need for it, and will keep a respectful distance from us until we ask for help. If there is concern that someone in Spirit might take advantage of their position in inappropriate voyeuristic ways, we can simply surround our self with a protective white light, or any prayer of protection. But keep in mind that one of the tasks of Spirit Guides is to keep us safe, which includes keeping negative entities away, so they’re not going to violate their own standards.

Some Guides will also help educate us about ourselves and even help connect us with deeper, intuitive channels of information, which is the purest meaning of “channeling.”

How does one find these Guides, our Helpers in Spirit? They've usually already found us first, and are generally fine with us being unaware of them. We may actually never become aware of them in the way we might want, but we should still talk to them and try to listen.  Quite often we are meeting up and working with them in etheric-astral geographies while our physical body sleeps or even daydreams in certain trance states. But upon awakening we immediately forget them, although we may still carry very strong emotions about them with us as we move throughout our day.

   Our beliefs about our life, the universe, and everything in it* primarily dictate what we will allow in our minds and thus in our experience. So first we must locate and examine those beliefs that may be helping or hindering the experiences we want to have. This might be challenging, especially if our religion or other philosophy has instilled fear to form and manipulate our beliefs. It will be seen that throughout this book the necessity of reducing or removing fear will be presented many times and in many ways, for it is of the utmost importance for the transformation of grief.

   Reducing fear is of the utmost importance for the transformation of grief.

   I cannot tell you what your beliefs should be or how to change or remove them. That is your responsibility and nobody else’s. However, we can offer a few creative suggestions.

   Picture yourself standing before a vast, beautiful landscape, stretching in all directions around you, and maybe even above. A belief is like a fence, wall or other barrier that will prevent one from traveling in certain directions and distances. Sometimes the barrier allows you to see through or over it, and sometimes it totally hides the land beyond it. You cannot go beyond it unless you find a way through, over, under or around it. Your feelings are also your guides—what feelings come up for you as you encounter and contemplate your beliefs? You may have to modify some of them in some way, or even remove and replace them with new ones.

So we must be able to change, build or maintain beliefs about feelings and about Spirit Guides—and that at the very least such a thing is possible. Sometimes a deeper examination of one’s lesser-known religious texts may reveal that a belief in helpers in Spirit is actually stated and supported, even though certain leaders in the organization may be unaware of it, or discourage it through their own bias and fear. Examine the fence, and decide if it needs a gate, or do we just want to go over it and explore the land beyond? Then follow your feelings. Your own inner spirit will know what to do if you let it guide you.

Here is another suggestion to try, which might loosen us up a bit so that we become more open to the idea that there might be helpers in Spirit who are also devoted to guide and care for us in our time of need. It starts with the brief mindfulness exercise introduced earlier—which is presented here again, so there’s no need to to go back and find it.

Step 1
      Take a moment to be still where you are now physically. Sit or lie in a comfortable position with your back straight. Bring your shoulders up to your ears for a few seconds, and then release them. Silently and slowly say the word, “relaaaxxx” as you release and feel your shoulders settle.

      Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths, and let yourself make some sounds while exhaling—more or less like sighing. In fact, sighing is sometimes a particular body signal of stress, so if you ever catch yourself sighing, you could let it move naturally into this exercise.

      After a few sighs, let the breath come naturally without trying to force it.

      You’re going to take only 5 breaths.

      Begin by gently taking the first breath, easily and unhurried, and then let it out slowly and gently.
  1. As you exhale, silently say “One” to yourself. Inhale slowly and gently.
  2. As you exhale, silently say “Two” to yourself. Inhale slowly and gently.
  3. As you exhale, silently say “Three” to yourself. Inhale slowly and gently.
  4. As you exhale, silently say “Four” to yourself. Inhale slowly and gently.
  5. As you exhale, silently say “Five” to yourself. Inhale slowly and gently.

 Then begin a new cycle by counting “One” on the next exhalation.
  1. As you exhale, silently say “One” to yourself. Inhale slowly and gently.
  2. As you exhale, silently say “Two” to yourself. Inhale slowly and gently.
  3. As you exhale, silently say “Three” to yourself. Inhale slowly and gently.
  4. As you exhale, silently say “Four” to yourself. Inhale slowly and gently.
  5. As you exhale, silently say “Five” to yourself. Inhale slowly and gently.
 Never go higher than five, and count only when you exhale. You will know you are no longer mindful when you find yourself up to eight, twelve, or nineteen. Try to do this form of light meditation for ten minutes. If you fall asleep, that’s alright—you needed the nap, which is an important part of self-care for the grieving. After you’ve rested sufficiently, you can do it again.

Step 2
      Continue to breathe naturally from where you’re sitting or resting, and then imagine that golden white light is shining on you or surrounding you in some way. Maybe it comes up through your feet, traveling up through your body and then out of the top of your head and then continues to flow over your body like a fountain of water. Or maybe it comes down from above, like a spotlight shining on you or a column of light. Do whatever you like best. If you can’t imagine anything, don’t worry about it and instead say something simple, such as “Divine Light now surrounds and protects me, thanks very much!” The more you do this kind of thing, the more it will change and adapt, and eventually you will find what feels right for you. Don’t strive for perfection, just take a small action and let it unfold. Remember this also takes practice.

Step 3
      Say the following or anything like it: “I now ask for and accept help from those who are interested in my welfare and that of the Universe.” Continue to relax and breathe in a restful way.

Step 4
      Say the following or anything like it: “If my guides or helpers in Spirit are here now, please let me know in some safe and gentle way.” Feel perfectly free to suggest how they might do that, but it’s easier to let them decide as they are more experienced in such things. Be prepared to feel something, such as a soft tingling or movement on your face, particularly the forehead, temples, neck, cheeks or nose. One might feel something similar on the backs of the hands, or even on the feet, anywhere where the skin is soft and sensitive. Some people will internally hear music or something like tiny bells ringing, or even crickets and birds chirping. Others will see shapes and colors while their eyes are closed. Many feel certain emotions along with the physical sensations, such as joy or sadness, either of which might make them cry. Just be still, be unafraid, and let it happen. Nothing harmful will occur. You can stop at any time.

Step 5

      Once you’ve had some kind of response from your request, then let yourself experience it and try to refrain from judging it. You can respond back—first by saying “thank you” and then waiting for a reply back from your guide. Your might continue to sense feelings or even words in some way, or perhaps see an internal image of someone, which could be clear or blurry. The image could be of a person, animal, place or thing. You needn't force anything; but just let it unfold for as long as it wants to. At some point it will slow down and/or abruptly stop and then your can continue to rest, or fall asleep, or later journal about it.

The Inner Guide
There is also a Guide that is always and instantly available—our core self, which we also might call Authentic Self. We say “Authentic” because it is the essence and originator of who we are, from out of our origin. An originator can also be called an author. So regardless of all the unoriginal beliefs layered over us from many non-authentic sources—or other authors—each one of us must eventually come to realize that:
“I am the Author of my life and its living. I am in charge of my inner scripts and manuscripts.” Therefore it is ultimately up to me to authorize the beliefs or scripts that I carry about with me and speak as I live. It is also up to me to change them as I see fit.”
* With affectionate acknowledgement to Douglas Adams (1952–2001).