There are so many ways that we refer to this place. Liminal spaces, the Void, life between lives, edge dwelling, shadow work, transitions, shedding and transformation, the Bardo… if a “world” is a place with a concrete location, the space between is somehow beyond location. It is everywhere, it is the connective tissues of our energetic universe, surrounding everything and also unifying it. Frequently we are thrust into it unexpectedly, or through tragic circumstance and see it mostly as a temporary space to get through. Somewhere we look back upon in hindsight with acknowledgment of our learning perhaps, but in the moment we fight it intensely.
That space between, is incredibly vibrant if we let it be. If we can renegotiate our relationship to pain and even suffering. It’s not just a cosmic waiting room until you get to the next destination. It’s not an absent space, or even a dark space. It is the mystery. We learn to navigate it and see its beauty when we travel there intentionally, without the blinders of trauma and fear.
In my continued studies recently around mediumship and psychic awareness, I’ve had the space to explore in more depth how we connect with this current, what can be found there and what can’t. And it’s been on my mind as I’m preparing for the reiki master training in a couple weeks. I’ve been sitting with this question of what that relationship with energy means, to be a “reiki master.” One piece of it is external, learning to teach, learning about attunements and the responsibility of offering them. But I think it goes deeper than that, because having the capacity to move energy in this way means you have a responsibility to energy itself, to spirit or the mystery or whatever you want to call that force in the universe that allows it all to exist and change.
To shift or project into that space between, is to remove yourself from a particularly human context of understanding what is “good” and “bad.” On the level of energy, things simply are. Chaos is not worse than flow or alignment. Different forms of life and existence, as well as consciousness, thrive or falter in different energetic frequencies. I don’t think this happens for all Energywork practitioners, but perhaps often enough, when you develop a certain depth of relationship to energy you may find yourself encountering “less pleasant” energies or presences. I’m choosing my words carefully here because I think much of this is personal, how we define a “bad vibe” for example may very well be shared by others but it’s not universal. It’s largely based on how it makes our bodies feel, the foreignness of it to our consciousness.
In my own training in reiki, I was taught that those energies would appear in order to be transmuted and so you would use the symbols to do that. Increasingly I believe this violates the idea of consent in energy practice. It’s one thing to work with the energy in a person’s body, who has asked you to assist with that transmuting or release (even then I find it more helpful to facilitate dialogue with the energy and approach it collaboratively), and it’s another thing to reshape your environment based on what you think to be best. There are ways to exert and express our values that are not about imposing our will on an energetic level.
It’s also a meaningful distinction to consider how we may protect ourselves from energy that would be harmful to us vs. trying to eliminate or fundamentally re-form that energy even when it has merely frightened us with its presence. We are allowed to exercise free will over our own energy bodies. And at the same time there is a natural tendency in reiki, as there is in all human endeavors, to shape it in our image. “What do I, and those close to me, want and need? What is the ideal flow for my experience, how can I avoid pain and suffering?” These concerns elevate our needs over those of all the other beings in this universe, maybe the more apt question would be why do we want those things.
Finding some acceptance with these complexities allows for a much safer and more generative experience moving between realms, where we can see more clearly and also are willing to have our minds changed. In my personal experience with these spaces and states of awareness, it is humbling how little we understand about our world around us and approaching those encounters with humility creates collaboration and learning. In recent months I’ve had a few revelations in meditation with my guides that challenged my willingness to be open to something that radically changed my whole perspective on karma.
(“Have you ever questioned the nature of your reality?” —sorry, I couldn’t resist! Have you been watching this season of Westworld??? 👀)
Often times when we speak of reincarnation, or karma, we describe it in linear terms. As if we have a singular consciousness or soul that moves in one piece from lifetime to lifetime, in chronological order accumulating various karmic agreements based on those lifetimes. And that it is an escalating (or stagnating) path leading you towards eventually graduating to…enlightenment, the divine, somewhere else. I do know that serious Buddhists and Yogis, among others, would expand this description considerably and I’m oversimplifying it. But on the level of the self as a concept, the suggestion in common parlance is that it might be more or less intact from life to life. We know that energy, and time, is not linear. It is continuous, it doesn’t happen in what we would consider to be chronological order, we just experience it that way. Maybe we should say more specifically that humans here on earth experience it that way. I had an unfamiliar experience a couple months back and was deeply rattled by the questions that emerged, and started contemplating the idea of blended consciousness.
What came through was that just as we know in concepts like soul retrieval, that soul parts splinter off due to karma, trauma, energetic interference that might not have anything to do with a personal “reason,” we also incorporate energies from multiple origins into our being. These energies have their own stories and experiences, their own purpose and potentials. Some may be more active than others, but also we activate them through our choices and our experiences. The more we cling to a particular idea of who we are and who we can be, the more dialed into a particular frequency we become. And the more we can acknowledge and invite collaboration between these energies, we can hold a range of frequency with greater flexibility.
Consider for a moment, your own experience at different eras in your life. You’ve probably described these “past selves” before in a way that acknowledges that we can embody really different versions of who we are at different times.
Would it be so strange to consider that in different circumstances and ages we might feel into a distinct aspect of our own consciousness more easily? That perhaps there are different unique forms of consciousness that we each hold?
If consciousness is essentially a form of energy, is it such a big leap to then consider that having more than one experience of the energy might mean there is more than one “history” (or series of lifetimes)?
And if there is more than one history, perhaps this can change the way we view patterns and inner conflicts as requiring a behavioral and mindset change, AND a spiritual one?
This was one of those all too familiar “have I totally lost my mind” moments where I felt pushed against the limits of how much disintegration of ego I could tolerate in waking life. And yet this also began to create space to better understand or contemplate these different versions of myself. Maybe more importantly it began to break down the idea that some selves are “past” while others are “future.”
An unexpected and beautiful consequence of these meditations is that my creative spark, in the more concrete sense of making physical art, was suddenly reawakened. Both in a way that feels very familiar and that is informed by completely different motivations and experience. The phrase that comes to mind is “collapsing of timelines.” Feeling the continuity and layers of experience, as something that used to feel separate but increasingly feels as easy as changing the radio station. What an interesting experience to be simultaneously in a whole new perspective and version, while feeling the presence of a version of me that hasn’t been so “alive” in my consciousness since my early 20s.
The implications of this from a trauma healing perspective are way more than I wish to write in a single essay (or at least this one!), but suffice it to say it has brought fresh eyes to how I would conceptualize my own history and the many stories I have witnessed. It also has me thinking about the concept of guides, the way individual guides may appear and recede at different points and how perhaps that’s because some are aligned with certain aspects of your consciousness more than others. I’m reflecting on the concept of activation, as well as Baba Ram Das’ perspective (I believe it’s a more broad Kundalini perspective) that when we dream we are actually seeing and experiencing ourselves in different dimensional realities.
What is your understanding of your own “life” history over time?
Where has your soul been and where is it going?
What do you think about the idea of blended consciousness?
Feel free to send me a long email and tell me all about it.