From the Bob and Ann Journal Dialogues

Chapter IV

Reuniting the Two as One

Jesus said to them, “When you make the two into one, and when you make the inner like the outer and the outer like the inner, and the upper like the lower, and when you make male and female into a single one . . . then you will enter [the kingdom].”
Gospel of Thomas, Logon 22

Connecting the dots between Emanuel Swedenborg and Carl Jung brought into focus their respective works on the Sacred Union by which the two are reunited so as to become one. For Jung this took form in his Mysterium Coniunctionis, and for Swedenborg in his Amore Conjugiali.

Jung’s Mysterium was the magnum opus of his individuation process, liberally illustrated with 16th alchemical drawings. Edward Edinger expanded on Jung’s text and provided further illustrations in his Mysterium Lectures. The Conjugiali was Swedenborg’s defining expression of his principle of complementary or reciprocating pairs. In essence this principle stated:

Nothing is ever something—i.e., some one thing—but rather two things forming a complementary pair.

In working out his theory of “Conjugial” or Marriage Love, Swedenborg was seeking to understand how the universe worked. His Amore was about “the nuts and bolts of the marriage relationship in a variety of situations.” What would emerge would be his underlying theology of a reciprocal dualism present in all things. Cosmologically, his view of the universe was one in which the two parts of every creative whole were interchangeably giving—the one to the other, and in turn, the other reciprocating by a total re-giving of itself back to the one.

Also central to Swedenborgian thought was his theory of correspondences stating, “on earth as in heaven;” “as above, so below.” When applied to the marriage partnership, he saw the physical and therefore temporal union of two persons as an opportunity by which the interchange of love between the two could so deepen as to unite them in mind and heart as well as physically. According to Swedenborg, such a union was regarded in heaven as being “one angel,” where together the conjugial pair fully and single-mindedly functioned and served as a complementary unit of the greater whole, participating in the creation of worlds in an ongoing and evolving way.

The problem today is that the old mindset, by which we have been collectively and so convincingly influenced, would have us believe that the physical world of the five senses is all that there is. I have been surprised on hearing thoughtful Christians say, “When you’re dead, you’re dead.” Perhaps I misunderstood where they were coming from, or it was in light of my own discontent with the moderate Protestant Christianity of my upbringing and its relative silence on what comes after this life. In any event, I have wondered if, believing we were open-minded, nevertheless have been thrown off course by an insistence that Jesus’ resurrection be understood in strictly physical terms. Whereas, how much of a mind shift does it take to read the resurrection stories in the gospels only slightly differently? What St Paul says on the subject of there being two kinds of bodies is helpful; that there is an earthly or terrestrial body; and a heavenly or celestial one. He sees the first as on death “perishing,” but on rising or resurrecting as being “imperishable.”

Corresponding to the temporal and the everlasting bodies, Swedenborg recognized there were two types of marriages, the vows for the one being “until death do us part,” and the other “for all eternity.” To understand how two individual beings can act en tandem he offered his principle of reciprocal dualism. In practice and most particularly in the marriage relationship this works in a way that enlarges the capacities of both for a kind of love that puts the need and well being of the other before one’s own. And subsequently, when the need or well being of the other becomes more apparent, then that one reciprocates. Of course the opposite can and in marriage often does happen, in which case the love and its potential for ultimate fulfillment dies, but not necessarily or before fulfilling some higher purpose of each soul’s journey. Swedenborg understood this as well as the suffering of unrequited love, and although he never used the term “soul mates,” he addressed the possibility of this occurring “if not on earth then in heaven.” His emphasis, however, was on when gradually and repeatedly each desires and chooses the well being of the other over one’s self, a love that can endure and withstand even the parting of one or the other in death is born. Then one truly comes to knowing the beloved as “only a thought away.”

The Rosarium Images

To the present point in my Swedenborgian research I’ve not discovered any reference connecting the 16th century alchemists and the 18th century Swedish visionary. As Jung seems to have held, alchemical procedures were clearly describing how the lead of human nature is transformed into the gold of a divine or higher conscious. Jung’s focus was on the individual and helping to heal the modern psyche of its split into multiple and warring inner dualities, foremost of these being outwardly masculine with inwardly feminine characteristics or attributes outwardly feminine and inwardly masculine. The aim of the individuation process was to balance, to reconcile, and to integrate the two into a more fully functioning or whole being. Swedenborg, on the other hand, seems to have taken a more objective view of masculinity and femininity as two parts of an original being that in the long and lost history of human origins suffered a separation—“the wound that would not heal.” Alchemical commentaries seem also to indicate this assumption in their treatises. In recent correspondence with my good friend Helene Joy she wrote:

I remember first hearing about Jung’s “coniunctionis” from John Sanford in a lecture he gave . . . .I was amazed as he told of Plato’s explanation that the original human was spherical, a whole with both masculine and feminine. And that the gods (Greek mythological thought enters in here) decided that this being was too powerful, threatening their power, and so they split this being down the middle, and that afterwards “the deepest impulse of the human soul was to find its other half.

Ever since I first came across a series of woodcut designs in Jung’s Psychology of Transference, I have been understandably reticent to speak of my personal identification with these 16th alchemical drawings known as the Rosarium Philosophorum—The Rosary of the Philosophers. At the time Jung had written this book he had only been aware of the existence of ten images. Some years later, with the discovery of other sets of images, including as many as twenty-two, the rest of the story the images tell can be surmised and that points back to Plato’s original spherical beings.

While visiting our oldest son in Scotland in 2007, I spent an afternoon at the Special Collections Library at the University of Glasgow. On explaining my interest, the research librarian had shown me to a table and then brought and set to one side of me a stack of different renditions of the ancient and fragile volumes—hand lettered, illustrated and bound—four or five in all. A foam cradle was placed before me and I was instructed on the care of handling the manuscripts. I recall feeling a rare sense of immediacy and appreciation for the scribes whose work had been so carefully preserved over the ensuing centuries, and for the graciousness of the institution in sharing them with a stranger from across the seas. I was further surprised by their generosity in offering, for a very modest sum, to make photocopies of any pages I would like to take with me. At the conclusion of my several hours spent examining the originals, I selected one particular set in which something about the facial expressions of the subjects held for me the greater appeal. Except for the first shown below, these are the images I brought home. Through an oversight I didn’t get home with Sol and Luna and substituted in its place from Jung’s Transference. Most often this is the second in the series, and follows an image of the Mercurial Fountain, symbolic of initiation into the transformational process.  Here Sol and Luna, the alchemical King and Queen, are young, innocent, and fully clothed. They are encountering one another for the first time. And from my first glance at this image (years ago in Jung’s Transference) it spoke to me of its relevance to the mysterious forces and purposes by which Bob’s life and mine had been drawn together. When, after Bob’s passing, the images again came to my attention, I noted:

With Bob’s transition on the vernal equinox of 2006, my outer as well as inner journey took its most decisive turn since the wintry eve sixty-two years previously when first our eyes had met. I had been fifteen and he seventeen. The below illustration from a 16th alchemical work titled Rosarium Philosophorum is a picture worth a 1000 words of what the future held for us.

Sol and Luna

Sol and Luna


Steeped in the Jungian stance that individuation is a progression of unions by which the divided or alienated parts of one’s self are reunited, I had a certain reticence, even one of embarrassment around my tendency to identify and objectify these images with the stages of Bob and my relationship.

In the third drawing the two figures, stripped of their outer garments, stand facing one another naked and vulnerable. The time frame to which I relate this image is when Bob and I were newly married. He was barely twenty and I eighteen and a half. It was around the time of our autumnal equinox honeymoon. By the vernal equinox we would be driving across country to California, to Bob’s years at Stanford and mine as a secretary, later studies and work in design, the beginning of our family, and Bob’s career as an attorney.

These were also the years over which we began to be aware of the “naked truth” concerning the psychological pain each of us brought to our marriage, not knowing the degree to which we would be instrumental to one another in a process of inner healing that would span many years, even decades.

The Naked Truth

"The Naked Truth"

The next image in the series is again one I have also found myself subjectively identifying with and which I referred to in Chapter III as an “initiation” or “baptism,” not so much as an event as a process and a descent into new and greater depths of consciousness. In this image I see us as having entered the alchemical fountain and about to be immersed into the divine mystery by which two souls—his and mine—are to be “conjoined.”



Vain Regrets

My next experience with the Rosarium images would take me to a whole new depth of inner healing and be instrumental in my release from a persistent battle with “vain regrets,” a struggle going back to the onset, on the weekend of July 4th, 2005, of the pneumonia that would eventually lead, on February 14th, 2006, to Bob’s diagnosis of lung cancer, and five weeks later, to his soul’s return home.

In a particularly long Journal entry dated January 9, 2007, I recorded these details:

Today as I was doing my post knee-surgery exercises and listening to an Eckhart Tolle CD on the importance of staying in the Now, something Tolle said triggered the memory of a scene which ever since Bob’s return to spirit had been repeatedly impinging upon my mind.

In early June of 2005, a swarm of bees had arrived and attached to the west wall of the building known for as long as we had owned Murray Creek as the Prayer Closet. There the swarm hived between the walls of the building. At dusk the bees began forming a large cluster in the angle between the ceiling and the wall on the inside of the building. In the morning they emerged from woodpecker holes in the siding and began their day’s back and forth activity of collecting nectar.

With no idea of how to get rid of them we spent the first week calling local exterminators, all of whom said they didn’t do bees. At their suggestions we next tried beekeepers who said they didn’t remove bees from buildings. When county agencies as well had no ideas, we asked friends, one of whom had some experience with bees and advised us to abandon the building to the bees. At the time I don’t recall us taking his advice seriously. We had recently spent a considerable sum of money and effort on major repairs to the building. Finally, Bob did obtain a pamphlet with directions for applying a substance that was said to be relatively safe for humans but toxic to bees. Bob was able to obtain this and the equipment needed to pump it between the walls, which by now were oozing honey.

During our weeks of frustration, with attempts on my part to fog the building at night when the bees were quiet and vacuum up their dead bodies in the morning, tension between us had built. Finally one evening after the bees had retired we decided to just go ahead and do it. But we were still conflicted as to how to proceed. In any event, Bob climbed the ladder, and with a kerchief over his nose and mouth, holding his breath, he pumped the poison into a space, hoping it would reach the bees. The next morning dead bees by the thousands were strewn everywhere in the building. That afternoon, and similar to my having observed their arrival approximately a month earlier, I was again witness to their then greatly diminished number swarming and taking flight. I wondered at the odds of my being witness to both their coming and their going?

A week later Bob suffered pain in his chest but not of the same sort as the pain of a heart attack. Anna and our daughter-in-law Katie, both nurses, were visiting and on their advice we went with Bob to the Emergency Room at the hospital three miles down the road. A couple hours later he was diagnosed as having pneumonia and hospitalized. The next morning he insisted on going home and, reluctantly, was released. Anna stayed on to care for him for most of the summer. We were encouraged that he appeared to be recovering—just as he always had—from all the other serious and even life-threatening illnesses that had followed him through life.

[When I was writing this entry it was little over nine months since his transition.] In the upstairs bedroom at Anna’s, doing my exercises and listening to Eckhart Tolle, in my mind I was again rehearsing the scene of the poisoning of the bees. And I was caught in the same cycle of regret and guilt from which I had over and over sought and thought I had received release—only to have the haunting regrets return. Still wanting to know, “what could I, what should I have done differently?” Still feeling guilty, and now over feeling guilty, and on the verge of despair over not being able to get beyond this bondage to the past—the suffering Tolle had just been referring to as “self inflicting,” as when the mind engages in regret over the past or fears of the future instead of embracing the present moment and the accepting “what is,” I gave way to an emotional melt-down.

After a fresh release of tears, I resolved to move, once and for all, beyond my guilt and regret. And so I asked the one I had always turned to for help to get me through this obstacle to my inner peace; to help me through this dark pit into which once again I had fallen–to ; to help me get through it once and for all.

Even though I was two hundred miles away from Murray Creek, in my mind’s eye, I saw myself outside the Prayer Closet. Bob was there. Jesus was there. And also there I saw Cliff Custer, our spiritual mentor of many years, and from whom Bob and I had learned the practice of inner healing with its many similarities to the Jungian process of Active Imagination, but from Cliff we had learned to include the presence of Jesus as the Risen Christ, or sometimes Mary, as the archetypal heavenly Mother.

In this inner and imaginal way, I heard Cliff instructing:

“Ann, I want you to see Jesus giving Bob a note.”

I watched as indeed Jesus did hand Bob a piece of paper, which he unfolded and read. I understood that the note was explaining to Bob that he had a choice. Essentially the note was from his eternal Self and laying out what his choices were. Much was being weighed in the balance. There were the 36 years which already had been added to Bob’s life, dating back to the time he had been within a hair of leaving his body at a time when our youngest child had been six months old. I then had pleaded for Bob’s life. My gratitude for those years, and Bob’s too, had never ceased. Another blessing of those years had been our sense of having grown closer and closer together until Bob had begun to refer to us as “joined at the hips.”

At this point in the scene now unfolding on the screen of my inner vision, Cliff was letting me know that Bob was not able to share with me all that was at stake here. He was being told that he had nine months to prepare for his leave-taking and to prepare me to withstand the pain he knew it would inflict on me.

As Cliff spoke in this way to me I realize that I too had known, but on a deep soul level, that our time together was running out. The synchronicities and the symbolism that had played out with the bees in the Prayer Closet, and in our helplessness up against their instinctually determined perseverance, were in hindsight indicative that we were in a no-way-out situation. And yes, I had known, we both had known on some level that the cycles of our lives as they had converged sixty years ago in our meeting and falling in love were converging again—in our parting.

Next to unfold in this totally spontaneous “mind’s eye” scene was seeing Jesus hand me a note. It was a similar message from my essential or eternal Self. Actually and over our entire life together I had done everything I could possibly have known to do to counter the numerous shutdown attempts of Bob’s physical body. But the truth was that there was a higher agreement in place, a higher will for each of our souls, and it was now irreversibly in motion. In any event, that is the discernment I gained from the note Jesus handed me.

At this point I said, “What I regret is my resistance and my insistence on defeating the bees.” To this Jesus added, “But which eventually you would do in your willingness to freely release Bob to go on before you.”

The enactment not quite over, turning and speaking to me with a firm, insistent authority he only rarely used, Bob asked for my promise that from this moment I would totally and completely let go and forego any and all guilt and sense of shame and accept here and now that there had been no other or right way I could have done otherwise than resist the inevitable. Here he again referred to “the cycles.” But more important than my understanding these, he emphasized, was my acceptance that all was in accordance with the higher will for our lives. And he added:

You, we, have survived our worst fear—we have been through, we have passed through our Gethsemane and Golgotha. Our physical life together has undergone death. We have made the descent into Hell, for however so brief a visit, and passed through the fear of the anguish of separation. But we have also experienced the resurrection of my spiritual body and now we are on the count down to the final eternal merging of our two souls into one. Do not let vain regrets stand in the way of the fullness of our souls’ most sincere desire—to bear for one another all the weight of our combined souls’ burdens as we prepare to meet our higher destiny as one in mind and heart—conjoined.

I then asked: “Is there a sign you can give me to seal forever my absolution and my resolve?”

To this the answer came as a visual image and the explanation: The Seal is the image of the two of us in the baptismal font—entwined in one another’s arms.

The image was familiar. Had I been home I could have gone to my shelf of Jungian books and found it. But away from home two words came up along with the image: “alchemical” and “Rosarium.” I goggled the two words and found a close likeness to the image that had been given me as a “seal” against any recurrence of “vain regrets.” I was then further instructed by Bob to work with this image.



And that was the end of vain regrets, and the beginning of my deep reverence for the work of the alchemists who just may have been the depth psychologists of their time as well as followers of the Risen Christ, at least the last image of the series suggests the Rosarium images had been an effort to encode their unorthodox discoveries concerning the celestial or resurrection body.



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The First Five Years – Chapter III

From the Bob and Ann Journal Dialogues

Chapter III
Interconnections Between Here and the Beyond

How our lives interconnect with those who have gone before, even as to historic persons, is a profound mystery. This phenomenon is part of the excitement Bob and I caught when we met Ira Progoff and began incorporating his intensive method of journal dialoguing into our lives.

Dr Progoff’s method included tracing, as stepping-stones, persons who had influenced our lives—ones we had actually known—but also including persons known through their writings or, in the case of ancestors, through hearing their stories.

Looking back, it seems a bit strange that as a child of around eight I had been attracted to and even memorized the poetry of several of the English Transcendentalists, William Wordsworth for one, and all the more on learning we shared the same birthday. Some years later in a high school American Literature class I was drawn to the essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson, especially his “Compensation” which had made sense to me of some of the more mystifying why’s of life.  In my thirties I read pretty much everything Tolstoy and Gandhi had written and whose works and lives had reflected Transcendentalism values. In turn their writings had inspired Martin Luther King in America and Nelson Mandela in South Africa. Taken all together the Transcendentalists on both sides of the Atlantic have had far-reaching impact in the area of human rights.

As the Transcendentalists had held early sway in my life, the Quakers in ways and of similar persuasion had inspired Bob’s life. As circumstances would have it, from the first through eighth grade he had attended Sidwill Friends School in Washington, D C, an influence I would credit with reinforcing his naturally gentle and peace-loving nature. In any event, in spite of serving in the army as a medic at the end of World War II, he was a lifelong philosophic pacifist and, until a major life crisis in his mid thirties, had considered himself a secular humanist. About this “U”-turn in his life and our subsequent involvement in the inner healing movement more is written elsewhere.

Connecting the Dots
Over the past five years these near-daily journal dialogues have been the way my life “here” and Bob’s on the other side of this reality have remained in close contact. One day recently he invited me to see through his eyes all that had been accomplished in the restoration of the landscape and buildings on the sixty acres here whose history dates back 160 years to the California Gold Rush, and before that to the lives of the peace-loving Miwoks whose tribal lands had included the Murray Creek valley. The Miwoks, rather than considering the land theirs saw themselves as caretakers.

Still seeing through Bob’s eyes, he reminded me of the Land Trust that just this past year had been established:

For the preservation and care of “Murray Creek” as a place of natural beauty and quiet; as a sanctuary for its wildlife; and, as a gift to be shared with others.

With all this unfolding in my mind’s eye a flood of joy washed over my soul, and with this a sense of resolve that it was now time to begin mining the journals for the gold they contain.

In the dialogues there are many seemingly unrelated and randomly scattered “dots,” but in reviewing them a definite pattern of interconnectivity also emerges and urges they be “cast upon the waters” for whatever bread of truth they may contain.

March 29, 2006—Day One of the Bob and Ann Journal Dialogues
With Bob’s transition on March 21st, I was aware that our six children’s lives had been on hold for the past six weeks and needed to get back on track. For several years I had been putting off much needed knee-replacement surgery. Spur of the moment, I asked Anna (our nurse daughter) if I could go home with her to have this done. To do so struck me as both a physical and symbolic way to begin my new life, and that the physical pain of the surgery itself and its healing process would be for me a distraction from the emotional toll of so great a loss as Bob’s physical presence.

With the Memorial service over, Anna loaded me with fifteen boxes of my stuff into her van. On March 28th we headed the 200 miles south to her home in Paso Robles. One of the boxes contained research books, including Gordon Strachan’s Jesus, the Master Builder. For no reason I was conscious of, this is the book I selected to open on awakening my first morning at Anna’s. It took me back to the trip Bob and I had made Glastonbury, England in 1988. This had been where the Murray Creek Labyrinth had been conceived and, for Bob, it was the place where, on a previous visit, he had experienced what he described as a sense of “coming home.”

In this first journal entry (not yet a dialogue) I had written:

Today I received my first inkling of a connection and collaboration with Bob.
My excitement came this morning as I realized Bob’s voice in my mind affirming that we would be working together—he helping me from his greater connection and larger perspective on “post, postmodernism.”

The words “post, postmodernism” referred to a theological quest Bob had been on over the last year or so of his life here. Although his parents had sent him to a Quaker school, religion had not been part of the life of his family. And even though at age 39 he had joined the Episcopal Church, there had been creedal things about which he confessed to having “crossed his fingers.” He also had a problem, pretty much across the board, with hierarchical authority, holding instead to the “Inner Light” of the Quakers. What he had valued and found meaningful in the Episcopal Church had been its liturgy and ritual. He would also come to appreciate its “thinking allowed” freedom as to scriptural interpretation.

For some years we had been part of a “Cutting Edge” book study. Most of the books read and discussed had been written by members of a somewhat unorthodox group known as the Jesus Seminars. These biblical scholars were definitely “postmodern” and the discussions very definitely intellectually appealing to both Bob and myself. However, his faith and what he held to be true had been born of a very personal encounter with Jesus and what he described as an immersion in his Love.

Gradually Bob would come to an awareness that in the overly scholarly approach to scripture there was a disconnect between head and heart. He wondered if this a case of “throwing out the baby with the bath water?” For Bob the “baby” had been the validation of the personal and experiential way of knowing God’s love for him in the person of Jesus. Subsequently, the disciples’ Gospel accounts of their experiences of the resurrected or still-living Jesus became perfectly believable.

As Bob’s disillusion with secular humanism had led him away from modernism, so failure to validate the experiential way of knowing had led to his discontent with the postmodern approach, and this to his search for a “post postmodern” solution. With modernism as the thesis; postmodernism was the antithesis; and post postmodernism became the synthesis about which he had an intuitive hunch.

As to the nature of a collaboration between Bob and myself, this first had come up around the subject of the “conjoining of two souls”  related in Part II. I had questioned my logic of not beginning with the chronologically first of the journal entries and concluded this had been due to my slowness to connect “post postmodernism” with the “grand conjunction” language that had led to an 18th Century Swedish mystic. Only on focusing on the mystic first and post postmodernism second did the very large section of the invisible puzzle I had been working on fall in place.

As it turns out, Transcendentalists on both sides of the Atlantic were among Emanuel Swedenborg’s confirmed followers. Others, spanning several centuries, form a very long list and include well-known persons in the fields of art, literature, philosophy and psychology who credit the importance of Swedenborg’s influence on their lives. One of these is Ralph Waldo Emerson who wrote:

The most remarkable step in the religious history of recent ages is that made by the genius of Swedenborg.

A colossal soul, he lies vast abroad of his times, uncomprehended by them, and requires a long focal distance to be seen.

When I began these journals on the eighth day after Bob’s transition it was with the assumption that the reference to collaboration between us would pick up where Bob had left off in his pursuit of a “post postmodern” resolve. Through early journal dialogues and in spite of the fact that previous to Bob’s transition I never had heard him mention Swedenborg, early dialogues repeatedly encouraged me to pursue this 18th Century scientist-turned-mystic’s writings. Although not directed to his theological writings these, when I would encounter them, appeared both progressive and universal–as were Bob’s—and pretty much where he had been in the last few years of his life. Going with this I could easily imagine Bob’s delight, upon his transition, to discover Swedenborg’s transcendent on what had become Bob’s quest to know the truth of what Jesus really had come to teach and accomplish. Nor is it surprising—that immersed in the excitement of what on the other side of this reality he was discovering—that he would have been anxious to share his discoveries with me, just as he had done in regard to his spiritual journey while still here in bodily form.

Bob, all his life, had been an avid reader of science fiction. His first quest to understand the spiritual life had been C S Lewis’ “Space Trilogy”. Had Swedenborg been a more creative writer than a scientist, and had he not written in Latin, and in so scholarly a style, Bob would surely have been captivated with the descriptive tales of other worlds he recorded. He would also have recognized Swedenborg as a fellow shaman and traveler to alternate realities. Is it possible, in a strange convoluted way, that in picking up on the Other Side where he had left off here, his intuitive hunch about a heart and mind synthesis was being realized?

Considering the time line of Swedenborg’s life (1688 – 1772), this was just before the scientific revolution. It was a time when there was still a consensus of hope in an Afterlife. For the majority of people—those referred to as “the common man”—life was difficult, uncertain and even harsh. The hope of an Afterlife for which the faithful would be compensated for the miseries of their present lives made it endurable. However, with the advent of the scientific viewpoint, hope was transferred from heaven to earth. Two centuries later, by the end of the 1900s, far from hope in humanity saving itself, it had become more likely that human beings had become more and more bent not only on self-destruction but on destroying much of life on planet earth as well. Now, more than a decade into the 21st Century, eyes again appear to be turning heavenward—that is to say inward. The Kingdom of God and the spiritual journey are under re-appraisement and now as an inner-dimensional pursuit. Leading edge physicists are delving seriously into the prospect of parallel universes and even, building on the shoulders of Einstein, possibilities of time travel.

Who Was Emanuel Swedenborg?

In notes taken from Ernst Benz’s Visionary Savant in the Age of Reason, Emanuel Swedenborg is portrayed as a product of his own age and cultural niche. His father was a Lutheran bishop, said to be

Imbued with the spirit of Pietism, meaning that rather than of the school of Lutheran orthodoxy his religious life was of the warmer clime of devotion, love, and good works.

After graduation from the University of Uppsala, Emanuel had lived for a time in England.

[There] he had come under the influence of a theology espousing a scientific understanding of the universe side by side a comprehension of the divine world and the necessity of the two developing together. Gradually he would shift from the mechanistic views of his English and French mentors to the organic and vitalist approach then permeating the German scientific world.

[Benz describes the above as his] “metaphysics of life” [wherein] the universe with all its forms is the organism in which the divine life incarnates itself through descent.

This suggests to me that Swedenborg as a mystic/scientist/theologian was of a lineage similar to the French Jesuit Teilhard de Chardin and also India’s Sri Aurobindo, both of whose lives spanned the late 19th to mid 20th centuries and about whom I have written in Higher Ground.

For the first 56 years of Swedenborg’s life he had worked, studied and written, prolifically, as a scientist. Then, at the height of his scientific career and as a member of the Swedish Parliament, one day he found himself transported to a different world. From that day and for the last 28 years of his life he faithfully recorded his daily visitations to the realms of spiritual beings.

As a visionary Swedenborg’s hope was not to reinvent Christianity but to revitalize the earlier, pure teachings lost from early Christianity. Swedenborg, according to Benz, envisioned a new humanity, reunited at last with divinity and thus leading to the foretold Millennium—“not suddenly and literally but gradually and spiritually.”

In the next chapter the theme of Eternal Love comes into full focus with Swedenborg’s views on the difference between secular and sacred vows, the one declaring a union “until death do us part” and the other “for all eternity.” Surprisingly, the dots that connect on the theme of the sacred union are between Emanuel Swedenborg, and the Depth Psychology of Dr Carl Jung.

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From the Bob & Ann Journal Dialogues

Chapter II
Love is Eternal

With angels as one of the earliest subjects of the Journal Dialogues, another prominent theme weaving in and out is the true or eternal nature of love. The entry below bears the heading “Grand Conjunction,” dated May 24, 2006, just a few days over two months from Bob’s transition.

I was at my daughter Anna’s in Paso Robles, still recovering from knee replacement surgery, and out for a walk up 17th Street when I began hearing an Inner Voice. The voice was one familiar to me for as far back as I could remember, and known to me as “Jesus”. It would be a diversion to here tell how as a child I came to know Jesus, but suffice it to say he was a constant, invisible companion all through my childhood, only gradually fading into the background of my life as adolescence approached.

The Inner Voice was now assuring me that I was to receive “my soul’s sincere desire.” I knew this referred to the continuation of my relationship with Bob. The assurance concerned the eternality of our love. The voice was explaining that a “grand conjunction” was to take place, beginning that day and over the next nine months. I counted ahead to February 24th/25th, 2007. And then, for a reason I still cannot explain, I asked: “Jesus, are you to be my initiator?” And immediately the words:

Yes, and as already has been given, you with Bob’s help, will write about this “rebirth”. It could not take place without his agreement to go ahead and safeguard your passage. Your souls will never again know separation. Had you been able—applying everything you knew from human knowledge—to succeed in holding him back, this grand conjunction by which two souls are made one could not take place.

The Inner Voice continued

Let there be no more vain regrets. Instead, giving thanks, call upon me with your every breath, for when you do I am here with you, and where I am your beloved is also.

You will learn to live in two dimensions, two vibratory frequencies at once. This will be gradual and over the next nine months.

I then asked how important it was for me to be at Murray Creek? And the answer came:

You only need be there as you are physically able to, and as guided you will visit and help wherever needed. Have no fear about loneliness. My presence and Bob’s increasingly will be realized. You will not be alone.

I finished my walk and, on returning to my room at Anna’s, recorded the above dialogue with the Inner Voice I had identified as Jesus.

Next I searched my laptop computer for the words “grand conjunction.” But what came up was limited to astrological references. I next expanded my search to include “two souls” and “conjoined”. It was then that numerous references came up to Emanuel Swedenborg, about whom up to this point I knew next to nothing. nor had I ever heard Bob refer to him. A Wikipedia link offered that one aspect of Swedenborg’s writings were on the subject of “Conjugial Love” which, although he had never married, was his last great work, written near the end of his life.

At the time, this recalled for me and from my over forty years of Jungian studies, that Jung’s last great work was titled Mysterium Coniunctionis. Both “last works” were undertaken during their authors’ last seven years of their eighty-four-year lives.

From time to time the subject of Swedenborg would come up in the Journal Dialogues with Bob. Time and again Bob would seem to be urging me to see what else Emanual Swedenborg had written on the subject of eternal love and, coincidentally, on the subject of angels, the two themes seeming very much to go hand-in-hand. A example is this oft quoted passage:

And lo! Instantly there appeared a chariot descending from the highest or third heaven, in which I saw one angel; but as it approached I saw therein two . . . And lo! It was a husband and wife; who said, “We are a conjugial pair.” (C L 42)

It was in this way I learned that Swedenborg, an Eighteenth Century scientist who, around his fifty-sixth year, had became a consummate mystic and one of the most gifted seers the world has known, and who was firmly convinced that the depth of the relationship between a husband and a wife carried over into the Afterlife “in whatever state it was at their death in this world. Thus a couple in true spiritual love remain together in that state in heaven for eternity.” (C L)

I chose to believe the Inner Voice that had promised our two souls were undergoing a process described as a “grand conjunction” by which we were being “conjoined”—made one—never to be separated again. Because I received this from the Inner Voice before ever reading Swedenborg, his writings only confirmed that to which my heart had already borne witness.

And yes, I have questioned whether or not I am delusional, nor do I fault anyone for concluding such. From my earliest memories of myself as an only, lonely child I did hear inner voices and see into worlds no doubt invisible to eyes of my elders. Nor would it surprise me to learn that many or even all children, when they are very young, are natural seers. Wordsworth, as in his Ode to Immortality, clearly believed so.

I suspect the difference between someone who is delusional, or is mystically inclined, or simply intuitionally gifted is not always clearly discernible. All three are more perfectly at home in inner than in the outer worlds. And yet, in my own way, I am a child of the Age of Reason, and easily swayed by what my five outer senses tell me. But I believe also in what my inner senses tell me. For instance, I cannot ever remember not believing that Jesus was an ever-available inner presence. And then, when I was twenty-eight years old, I did experience what I can only describe as a vision—the only genuine, full-blown visionary experience I have ever had. But for me, as I imagine for most, one is enough to last a lifetime.

Obviously, these Journal Dialogues that I am persuaded it is time to begin sharing from will have a limited field of interest, to say nothing about credibility. Still I do so in what I believe to be obedience to the Inner Voice that assures in doing so I have Bob’s help as well as his higher perspective on such matters as “the rebirth of soul” and the present human need for a higher perspective on life here and beyond.

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From the Bob & Ann Journal Dialogue

Chapter I

The Angels

Looking back from the fifth anniversary of Bob’s transition on the first day of Spring 2006, these years for me have been an opening onto a new vista—one peopled by angels and where loved ones are eternally reunited and undergoing transformation, ongoingly, from one degree of glory to another.

By “opening” I mean in the sense used by Quaker mystic George Fox—a direct and personally experienced revelation. This rather than something read or heard about indirectly or as reflecting someone else’s experience or belief. In this sense, the subject of angels first came up in my Dialogues with Bob in an entry dated July 18, 2006, and bearing the title “Angel Status”

This date marked the pouring of the new foundation of the broken house that had been our Murray Creek guest house, but now was where I had chosen to live out the remaining years of my life. From now on the Log House, which Bob and I had called home since 1974, and which was the larger of the two houses, would become the new Guest House.

Obviously, the pouring of the new foundation was symbolic—even synchronistic—of the new circumstances of my life.

This particular morning, I was preparing breakfast in the part of the house left intact when a rare and “un-seasonal” snowstorm had uprooted the very large oak and with it the front portion of the house from off its foundation. A single honeybee had found its way into the kitchen and exploring the inside of an open and screened window above the sink where I was working. I easily could have swatted it and was about to do so when my impulse had been checked by an inner voice—very distinctly Bob’s—saying “Let’s do it my way.” That would have been to coax the bee to the screen door and a safe exit. However, in my attempt to do so, two bumblebees and a wasp had found their way in. While I was contemplating my next move the bumblebees, of their own volition, went to the screen door, which I simply opened and out they flew. In the meantime, the wasp had disappeared from sight and the honeybee from mind. I felt sure Bob was behind what had just played out in an ongoing effort to persuade me to adapt his non-violent method of dealing with flies, bees, and even the bats which from time to time would find their way into the two old houses, both of which had grown from nineteenth century one room cabins.

Up to this point what had been passing between Bob and myself was the kind of telepathic dialogue that had been occurring daily since his transition and that I had been recording as journal dialogues. But now something seemed to have shifted, and I was feeling/sensing his presence in an exterior way as notably had happened only once before, that on my 77th birthday and as I was being prepared for knee replacement surgery. Now, however, we seemed to be telepathically conversing about this difference I was observing. By way of an explanation and to my quandary I heard him say, “I have been given ‘angel status.’” Hmmm, I thought what could that mean?

Just then the phone rang and it was our daughter Louisa. She was calling to report a dream she had had that morning around 5 a m. It had been about her dad and “bees”. I told her about what had just been happening here around bees, and also her dad’s cryptic reference to having been given “angel status.” Synchronistic she agreed, but the concept didn’t strike her as strangely as it had to me. She was able to relate it to something she only recently had read in a book a stranger had given her sister Anna in the waiting room of a clinic and who, in turn, had passed it along to her.

After Louisa’s call, I remained puzzled, or perhaps the word is “challenged” by the concept of “angel status”. It left me wondering about the difference between “being” an angel and having “angel status”. Somehow I had been under the impression that angels were a separate species; that there were human beings and there were angels. I’m not sure that previously I had even taken angels all that seriously or thought of them as other than symbolic of a messenger from God. But from this point on they would become a subject of utmost interest to me, and weave a particular thread throughout the Journal Dialogues.

Ten Thousand Angels

Angels, in a less personal and more meditative way had been the subject of a Journal entry eleven days previous to the one referred to above. It had been about a huge number of angels, and had occurred in a drumming circle I had attended in Santa Cruz with our longtime dear friend Helene. About mid point through the first session I became aware of Bob’s presence and participation in the circle. I had invited him to drum through my hands and he had countered offering to take me on a shamanic journey while doing so.

Dated: July 7, 2006
The journey began at the entrance to an old mine near the labyrinth. We entered and follow its underground passage that opened into an underground space. I wondered if this could be what is known as “middle earth.” When we emerged back into daylight, it was on top of the highest point in our valley known to us as “Mt Zion”.

With the background intensity of so large a drumming circle, Bob pointed to the view overlooking the entire of Murray Creek Valley and to the myriad angels filling, extending, and moving circularly throughout the valley. It was an awesome inner sight and sound experience. Four archangels took places at each of the four corners of our sixty acres but extending beyond so as to fill the entire valley. Bob informed me that they were here to restore and rebalance the valley in its entirety and to eliminate any residual traces of the negative forces that had effected the valley dating back to gold mining times in the extermination of the native peoples from their home here. During this journey I was also recalling the music we had played during Bob’s actual hours of transition: “Calling All Angels”.

Finally, I observed Bob as he walked and then danced—his feet not touching the ground but bouncing above it, and pausing at each of the property’s four corners.

As a postscript to this entry I had added: “Little by little I am coming to accept the wisdom of his soul’s knowing when the best time for his departure had been.

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Eternality and The Field of the Present Moment

I’ve been listening to Eckhart Tolle on cds titled Living a Life of Inner Peace (New World Library). On Disc One he is addressing the sense of “I” that he holds exists deep within each of us.

Where,” he asks, “does this very deep sense of ‘I am,’ come from?”

In reverential tones he speaks of this “I” as “something so precious that we don’t want to loose it. In fact to him it is unimaginable that the world could ever be without this sense of ‘I am,’ of ‘being-ness,’ of ‘presence.’”

Tolle sees the problem as that our sense of ongoing-ness gets mixed up with memories, and with mental images accompanied by our “stories.” If, though, we can distill the deeper sense of being from what we tell others and ourselves about our lives, then, from underneath we are supported by the deeper sense of an unchanging, ongoing eternal being.

On Disc Two Tolle guides the listener into a second, equally deep mystery:

“What other thing, apart from your deepest sense of “I am,” is there that never changes in your life, that has always been there?”

His answer is “the present moment.” Listening carefully I hear him repeatedly refer to “the present moment” and to “the now” interchangeably as a  “field”—the field of the present moment. Obviously he is not talking about time in the ordinary sense of a flowing sequence of events. A “field” ordinarily, or at least it used to be, thought of as occupying space. Is he talking about the concept of space-time as a fourth dimension?

As my mind is about to go off in the direction of reducing the mystery about which he speaks to something I think I know something about, I am cautioned by his very next words that he is moving into an area where words and even language are inadequate. He warns that when entering the territory of the deep mysteries of life the logical rational mind in its service to egoic thinking will attempt to rationalize away the mystery the words are merely pointing to.

In any event, I am grateful for having been pulled back from the brink. And as soon as I am the idea of the present moment being a Field seems as strangely familiar territory, and where over the nearly five years since Bob’s transition I have become increasingly comfortable in accepting this as where my Beloved and I continue our life and our work together.

In this state of awareness of being eternally one, I think of my beloved as my own Higher Mind. And I recall a friend’s signature quote:

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field, I’ll meet you there. Rumi

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(Revisions to Introductory remarks made Dec 19 & 20, 2008)

In the fall of 1983 Bob attended a Ghost or Dream Dance Workshop led by Michael Harner under whom, for several years, he had been a student of the “generic” shamanism the Dartmouth anthropologist was dedicated to reviving. Bob, when he first had read Harner’s Way of the Shaman, had recognized the “way” as one he had spontaneously experienced, not knowing it was the path of shamans the world over, perhaps even of his own druidic ancestors.

Recently I had been sensing Bob’s urging to find and transcribe his notes from the Ghost Dance workshop, particularly the part concerning possible futures. These impressions had begun and persisted since the September (I believe 30th) stock market plunge of 777.7 points. At the time I had read the symbolism as the “handwriting on the wall” of major collective synchronistic importance. And I had pulled up a writing project set aside nearly ten years ago when I had gotten bogged down by the immensity of the subject: a study of numbers and synchronicity Jung had initiated and Marie-Louise von Franz had carried on.

My understanding of seven in its single digit form is as the completion of the stages of a creative process. In its quadruple or four-fold expression it seemed to me to portend, in the very least, a major historic and cultural paradigm shift. The “handwriting on the wall” of the Book of Daniel had signaled the end of the reign of one ruling kingdom and the beginning of another. But in terms of today’s world, what way of life or belief system is running out of time? and where and by whom is the nature of reality now being redefined? In other words, what possible futures are presently being determined?

In any event, contemplating the subject of numbers, synchronicity and Bob’s journey to possible futures, a strange thing happened. While looking for something else I came across Bob’ shamanic journals, including his 1983 Ghost Dance experiences. The transcripts of these are below.

The Ghost Dance Workshop

This workshop had consisted of three sessions on two successive days. The first had been a ceremonial religious enactment known as the “Standing Dance.” The second and third had been based on another version, known as the “Sioux Dance.” These rituals had first appeared in the Missouri basin and spread to and beyond the Rockies in the mid to late 1800s. Their movement west in a very few years had swept through Nevada, and from there into Northern California, even to Jamestown, not far from Murray Creek. The rationale for regaining lost knowledge from the ancestors seemed to have been two-fold: to seek help of a personal, healing nature; and to obtain guidance concerning ceremonial, even sacramental rituals by which, according to native peoples understanding, the physical world is sustained and supported by spiritual energies and principles, and by interactivity between the two worlds. Most essentially, the Ghost Dances were trance-inducing rituals whereby the participants were transported to the alternate reality of their ancestors for the purpose of seeking help, healing and guidance for their communal lives. It was a time of radical changes in their entire way of life. The times could easily have been described as catastrophic, and even apocalyptic, in that their tribal ways had been forever disrupted. In these circumstances they sought the wisdom and help of their ancestors in order for their survival as a people, including the time-honored ways that had sustained their communal lives.

I believe that since Bob’s transition to the realm of his ancestors that his communications, to the degree I have been able to receive them with a semblance of clarity and purity, have been towards an end similar to those of the original Ghost Dancers: to avert extreme hardship, and if not, then to aid and assist the demise of our cultural milieu in its initial and subsequent de-structuring phases.

The Standing Dance

This Standing Dance begins on the toes with four beats followed by a pause. With a feather (or handkerchief) held in the right hand and moving clockwise without pausing, the left hand is placed over the heart. Around a fire or candle in the center, the dance is carried on until the participants fall down in an altered state of consciousness.

In describing his experience Bob recorded:

I went up in a whirlwind through a nondescript intermediate world to a barren land I took to be in the South Western United States. From there I followed a rocky trail over a rise into a hollow. There I observed a hut with smoke coming out. It was next to a long cave which opened into a hill. I sat before the opening to wait for a sign that I was to enter. Very soon an old man came part way out of the cave and motioned for me to come that way. I entered what was a very large, high ceiling cavern. A large fire was in the center with torches set around the walls. I sat on the earth near the fire. Men and some women and children came in and sat around the fire. At first all seemed to be Native Americans, but then I noticed a sprinkling of white people, including some in old time U S Cavalry uniforms. A large peace pipe was lit and began the rounds.

My preliminary intention had been to ask for guidance in healing techniques for my wife, family, and circle of friends. A secondary question had been in reference to the earth and to its healing.

I watched as a young US Cavalry soldier took the pipe and, on drawing in the smoke, burst into tears. As the pipe was passed on several Indians gathered around to comfort the soldier. When the pipe came to me I reluctantly drew in the smoke. As an ex-smoker I was fearful of getting re-hooked. Without inhaling I filled my mouth and then expelled the smoke and passed the pipe along.

I noticed some present in the room were not Americans but Russians and Russian soldiers, all of whom were participating. As the room became more and more crowded, and we squeezed together, the feeling was good.

Then an Elder got up and began speaking. I did not recognize him. In fact his features were quite fluid—first appearing to be Indian, then Anglo, and his features altering once again into another ethnicity. This Elder was gray-haired and with a look of wisdom. I was not able to make out his words but strained to understand from his gestures, expressions, and what I could read of his thoughts, what the gist of his message was. The clearest I was able to make out was that times of great trouble were coming to certain peoples of the world and that only by helping our “enemies” or being helped by them, and this done without rancor, could we survive.

Workshop Day Two: The Sioux Dream Dance

Again, the following is transcribed from Bob’s journal notes:

In this ceremonial dance there was no fire or candle in the center of the circle and no drumming.

We gathered in a round circle holding hands. In a clockwise direction we moved our left foot and dragged the right up to it. As we moved we sang the Circle or Ghost Dance song. Swinging our arms way up and then down, with Michael in the center as guide, we waved a feather or handkerchief. As we began to stagger we were told to make “Whoo!!” sounds, and when overcome to allow ourselves to fall into the center of the circle. As one after another fell into the center, others closed the circle and continued singing and moving. No one was to touch the fallen (dreaming) dancers. After a time those who remained standing stopped moving and sat down, forming an outer circle.

Having fallen into trance, Bob’s journal describes what he experienced:

I struggled to rise to the upper worlds. Very soon a group of “elders” came down to help lift me and with their help I went very rapidly to the second upper world and into a small cave about size of a living room but with a lower ceiling. I dropped in a heap in the center of a sandy area, curled up in an almost fetal position. I actually was on the floor at the workshop and was gasping for breath. When this quieted I became aware of about six to eight Elders sitting about in a semi circle studying me. The leader told me curtly to stand up. When I did he told me to strip naked. I did. Then he told me to turn slowly in a circle. I became acutely aware as to how I looked in their eyes with a heavy flabby middle of 25 to 30 extra pounds–mostly in the area of the belly, but with added weight spread over my torso. I knew this was slowing me down and robbing my energies. The knowledge came over me that I was to get in “shape” to resume and extend my Friday fasts, and to seriously diet and exercise. I told the Elders I understood what they were advising me and asked what I should do after following a regime of bodily renewal. But I was told, again very curtly, to wait until I was in shape and then come back and ask. Again I asked for further instruction. This time I received a somewhat kinder response that I should continue what I was doing but not to expect new instructions until I was in shape.

The Future Ones

After a break, a second Sioux Dance commenced. Again with left hand on right shoulder and shuffling clockwise, Michael again in the center, the participants bobbed down, then back up, chanting as we did:

Future Ones, Future Ones show us what you know. [Bob notes he was uncertain of the exactness of these words.] We continued in this until falling into the center as in the previous Sioux Dance.

I knew right away that I would have to go through and above the first and second upper worlds. I shot up as if I had a booster rocket attached in the back to my belt. I went right through the first and then the second world. The third world seemed to be all glaring white. The fourth world was dark or very dim. I was moving very fast and may have flashed by other worlds. The upward passage at times appeared blurred.

Then, slowing down, I entered a very strange, surreal, science fiction type world of discharging bolts of energy, and a strange pulsating red light as if from a volcano. There was no sign of life. I came to rest at the top of a very tall steep mountain-like object. I soon began to feel it was alive, that it was one of the Future Ones, but a non human life form. I asked to be shown the future and was answered, a bit sarcastically,

“Which one? The future is not fixed”

I was told to look up at the horizon. It was a huge world with a horizon much farther in the distance than on earth. I seemed to be swerving as I was shown hundreds of contrasting areas, and as they came into view–not clearly but dimly ”the scene was like a huge pie cut in radiating wedges from the point where I was standing.

I then asked to see the most likely futures.

The first I was shown was a Narnia type Golden Age world. Here there were large talking animals in what appeared to be a rich fascinating paradise.

“Is this the best or most likely?” I asked.

“Both.” I was told.

The Second world was a super crowded, super technical world.

The Third was the aftermath of a nuclear holocaust

And the Fourth was a Dark Ages.

I asked what I was to do. In answer I was told to continue opening doors into shamanic worlds.

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Generational Healing

Generational Healing Through Deep Memory Release

The dream that had led me to Scotland (see entry June 26, 2007) had occurred several days before I had scheduled a “Deep Memory Process” session with Kathy Bornino, a counselor who lived in a community near Anna. I had contacted her on discovering she had been trained by Roger Woolger, a Jungian with whose writings and methods I was familiar.

The dream had not come up during the “deep memory” part of the “process” but later on. My discussion with her concerning the dream, together with what had played out in the session, would form my first clear understanding of how Bob and I would be working together in ways not too different than we had been used to.

The primary focus of my session had related to my knee surgery. The inquiry had been about the possibility of a genetic memory or pattern manifesting in this knee. Kathy suggested I focus on the knee and observe if someone in my family line came to mind. Right away I heard: “Great Aunt Helene.” At the same time I experienced a physical “witness,” or what is sometimes described as “a hit.” As instructed, I followed back through this ancestral line to a great (x4) grandfather. My maternal grandmother’s mother’s father had owned a brewery in Munich. Beyond that I knew nothing of my Munich ancestors. The ancestor in question would have been my grandmother’s great grandfather, at least as far as I can figure out.

Take what follows as you will, I will simply tell it as I experienced it:

On the screen of my mind I saw a battlefield. I identified the field as involving the Bavarian army in which my ancestor was serving. The time I guessed to be the early 1800s. However, none of this seemed important. What was central was my sense, my inner perception that this grandfather, as a youth, had here sustained a leg injury. But more crucial was that this scene was where an emotionally crippling trauma had unfolded with an impact sufficient to have affected future generations.

Among bodies, horses, blood and weapons, my ancestor knelt before a fallen friend who was a close and beloved comrade. He could have been a brother. I couldn’t be sure. But what was apparent was that someone he deeply loved lay mortally wounded before him. And onto my ancestor, so young himself, was falling the responsibility of putting his friend (or brother) out of his excruciating agony. So unbearably heartrending was this necessity that in carrying it out a fragmentation of my ancestor’s soul occurred. In an act of sheer survival, it was here that his capacity to feel shut down. Here his heart of flesh had turned to stone. And it was this emotional as well as physical crippling that had colored the psychic atmosphere in which my mother’s mother’s mother’s father had been raised.

Sitting in Kathy’s consulting room, I attempted to restrain my body from shaking as I was caught up in empathetic connection to this ancestor. For how long the shaking continued I’m not sure, but gradually my sense of calm returned. As it did the scene on the screen of my mind shifted. What had been more of a statuesque or “frozen in time” quality gave way to a reanimation of the figures. I saw the two—my ancestor and his friend—as having been set free and now both were trying to talk at once. My ancestor was begging forgiveness for what he had done. Attempting to interrupt him, his comrade was explaining that he had never considered the deed other than an act of compassion and love.

This, for my ancestor, was a startling revelation, and a re-perception that took a few moments to sink in. I then observed them embracing, with tears of profound release flowing freely, and from my eyes as well.

With this the matter seemed finished, nevertheless I wondered if there was something else I needed to do. But before I could think what that might be, Bob appeared on the scene and motioned to them to follow him. This they did with me observing as the three disappeared.

When I opened my eyes I was back in the ordinary reality of Kathy’s room. “You were really shaking,” she observed, and asked what at that point I had been experiencing. In other circumstances I likely would have given unrestrained expression to the intensity of the emotions that my ancestor had found it necessary to repress in order to survive. Actually, in a stifled interior way I had been giving expression to this. Simultaneously, I had been understanding that the crippling injury to his leg and a subsequent rigidity of this leg was matched by that to his soul. Was it possible that this psychic atmosphere in which my mother’s mother’s father as a child had been raised had something to do with the undiagnosed crippling of my great aunt Helene? or with the deterioration of my right knee? If so, does this suggest that an ancestral trauma of sufficient emotional impact can effect the DNA of an hereditary line, thereby passing onto future generations a particular physical tendency or vulnerability? Or who is to say but what in a hereditary line one person will bear the mark of a crippling trauma in the physical and another in the emotional body?

This was my first experience after Bob’s transition of doing “soul releasement” in partnership with him. Yet it was something that closely resembled work we previously had done together, but never so compellingly.

Kathy explained what she understood from personal experience of the advantage of the team work she saw Bob and I now able to undertake. What she explained was that the one who is in the spirit realm (Bob) has the greater advantage in seeing and knowing what needs to be accomplished. But this one no longer has access to the expression of emotion, whereas the one still in a physical body (me), is able to pick up on the emotion and, more importantly, able to give expression to it for the soul or souls of those held captive by the trauma.

A further insight for me is that negative and misperceived emotions can be as binding to the emotional body as strong ropes are to a physical body, and their removal as equally dependent on the empathetic compassion of a third party.

As my two-hour session with Kathy was concluding, I related to her my Scottish Regalia dream of several days before, (see previous entry). Out loud I wondered if its possible relevance was to my son Robert’s move to Scotland. The discussion then turned to Kathy’s interest in Scotland, particularly Edinburgh, as a place where more “witches” had been put to death than in Salem.

Besides visiting Robert and Diane in their new home base, I was wondering if there was something else on my Glasgow agenda. The answer would be “Yes,” but the nature of this would not come to light until my next Deep Memory Process session which would be shortly prior to leaving for Scotland. It would involve a visit to the Special Collections Library at the University of Glasgow where I would have the rare opportunity of pouring over a number of 16th and 17th century alchemical manuscripts, in particular a group of twenty images in the Rosarium collection. How or even if Generational Healing and Alchemical Symbolism are related I have yet to find out.

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A Life and a House to Rebuild

In mid March 2006, our normally below-the-snowline valley had been visited by a rare and un-seasonal storm. And although awesomely beautiful it was equally devastating.

Seventeen trees had been brought down by the weight of snow on early leaves and weakened limbs, blocking the only road in. Numerous other trees had toppled within our acreage. The most consequential had been an immense oak with roots extending beneath the front portion of one of the two houses serving family and guests. Standing at the kitchen window in the lower house I had watched, as in slow motion, the mighty oak had fallen forward and downward, and in so doing lifted the foundation and the entire front section of the upper house, pulling it away from the rest of the house and leaving it suspended in mid air.

Some days later Bob would tell me that when the oak went down he knew it signaled his own impending departure. I think we all did.

Bob’s Surprise Visit

For several years I had been putting off knee surgery, waiting for a more convenient time. Once Bob’s memorial service was over, I knew what I needed to do and asked Anna to take me home with her for knee surgery. A nurse and well-connected to the medical community where she lived, I knew this was the ideal and best possible choice for the new beginning of my life. Each of the children had tirelessly been on hand to help since the onset of Bob’s health crises the previous July. Similarly, each would now under gird my physical healing and lend their emotional support as I met the challenges ahead. I knew surgery and recovery would be painful, but necessary if I wanted to regain mobility and step back into an active life. I also reasoned that the physical pain would help me bear and even offset some of the emotional pain. I understood, or perhaps intuited, this as having something to do with a transfer or a sacrifice of energy on one level for that of another. And so, a few days later I headed with Anna for what would be my home away from home for the coming year, culminating with our trip to Scotland.

Arrangement for my surgery fell into place in a remarkable way and on April 7th, my 77th birthday I found myself in a hospital bed behind a partially drawn curtain in the surgery staging area. Of a sudden and taking me totally by surprise, Bob was there; his presence palpable and unmistakable. I expressed or thought appreciation for the effort I assumed it would have taken for him to be so tangibly present. To this he telepathically replied that of course he would be with me. Not only for my surgery, but wasn’t it also my birthday? I was overwhelmed with gratitude at his presence, and I felt deeply at peace and confident all would be well. Again, in the operating room and just before going under the anesthetic, he was again there and just as palpable as before. With this I lost consciousness, but the memory sustained me throughout my stay in the hospital and the coming weeks.

Back at Murray Creek

In the meantime, back at Murray Creek a friend in need of a place to live moved into the lower house “to hold the space and honor the vision of the sacredness of the place.” While three hundred miles away, with Anna and her husband Jim, a building contractor, plans began to take shape for using the storm-damage insurance to rebuild the front portion of the upper house. Before Bob’s transition I could not have imagined my life at Murray Creek without him. But now I began to embrace an image of myself living out the remaining years of my life in this house on a hill overlooking creek and valley. And in my journal dialogues with Bob he insisted this was where I needed to be for what lie ahead.

Jim, with lots of help from sons, grandsons, and even neighbors, began the project of rebuilding the broken house. Moreover, with the demise of the great oak, a magnificent view of the valley and mountains opened up.


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rosarium 1

Looking Back / Looking Ahead

With Bob’s transition on the vernal equinox of 2006, my outer as well as inner journey took its most decisive turn since the wintry eve sixty-two years previously when first our eyes had met. I had been fifteen and he seventeen. The above illustration from a 16th – 17th alchemical work titled Rosarium Philosophorum is a picture worth a 1000 words of what the future held for us.

But before delving into the archetypal under girding of the forces of attraction by which two lives who are so destined become conjoined, let me bring you up to date.

In moving into year two of my life after Bob’s transition, I am persuaded to begin a more personal level of sharing from the somewhat voluminous journal dialogues that have transpired between us. Also, with the passage of a full year’s cycles, my vision of what lies ahead is beginning to take shape, this occurring incrementally as we have moved to a surprising new level of our souls’ eternal connection.

My first year after Bob’s transition was spent mostly away from Murray Creek, and culminated with a trip to Scotland accompanied by Anna, our oldest daughter. The trip was to visit our eldest son Robert Jr and was prompted by a dream in which Bob had appeared in full Scottish regalia. In working with this dream and in subsequent journal dialogues, the indication was that an aspect of healing work we had been doing for many years was to continue, but on a new level with him en spiritu and me still physically here. The dream was on July 21st, exactly four months after his transition.

Bob is in full–really full–“Scottish regalia.” Masses of people are congregating. The setting is a combination of an outdoor area with a nearby large parking area. We decide that I should go get our car and bring it to a place where we agree to meet. I am not concerned about getting separated from Bob, although normally I would have been. It is as though we have built-in homing devices. The sense is of some culminating collective occurrence. Most of those gathered don’t seem to understand what is happening, but have been drawn en mass by what I assume to be instinct. Bob, because of the way he is dressed, stands out against the background of the crowd. The outfit he is wearing somehow identifies or relates to his role.

When son Robert was home for Christmas we made plans for me to spend the last two weeks of February in Scotland. This would include a trip to the Elliott clan territory in the Borders region. At that point I had no further specific instructions concerning what Bob referred to as the “assignment.” But I did understand it to be along the lines of the same “generational” healing work we had been doing for a number of years whenever such need had been discerned. By now I also understood that once this “assignmen” was completed I would return to Murray Creek where, as Bob had repeatedly emphasized, our work together could best be carried out.

In preparation for our trip Anna sent for maps of Scotland. We also researched the Borders area and particularly the Elliott clan lands. In studying a map of the area the most significantly Elliott territory seemed centered around Heritage Castle, traditionally where the head of the clan had resided. Further instructions came concerning marking a triangular area on the map. This was in order to limit the scope of the healing work to be done. With Heritage as one point, to find the second point of the triangle I dowsed an enlargement of our map of the area with the indication pointing to Hawick, some twenty miles to the north of Heritage. The third point was then a simple matter of triangular geometry and turned out to be at the edge of the Wauchope Forest, close to but not exactly on a spot where a particularly bloody border battle between the Scotch and English had taken place in 1575. A fourth and the most significant point was given as the exact center of the triangle. Our map indicated this as being on Wyndborough Hill, the site of an ancient burial cairn.

The remaining instructions for our visit to this particular triangle of the Elliott clan territory included some sort of “witness” to be left at each of the four points. For this Anna made laminated facsimiles of a Murray Creek Labyrinth coin designed and minted some years ago by Jim Naylor. We also chose four crystals from Bob’s shamanic bag to leave at each point.

Once in Scotland I asked for a liturgy suitable for the work and which would put it within the context of a sacramental and transpersonal empowerment. The following was given:

Prayer of Divine Mercy for the Repair of the Breech

Eternal Father, Divine Mother, we offer you the Body and Blood, the soul and the divinity of your dearly beloved son, our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.

For the sake of his most sorrowful passion

Have mercy on us and on the whole world.

Pour out your mercy on this place, and on this land.

We pray for all souls harmed here in any way so as to have lost their way on their eternal journeys.

Pour out your mercy on both the perpetrators and the victims of violence here and in adjoining vicinities.

We petition in behalf of and for the release of any souls or fragments of souls held here.

We deliver any souls so desiring into the care of the Beings of Light and your assisting Angels here to guide their return to pathways of light.

We join with all of heaven in rejoicing at their reunion with loved ones from whom they have been separated, even the lost parts of their own eternal souls.

Gracious Father, Loving Mother, Beings of Light and assisting Angels, we give thanks for the privilege of having a part in this work of reparation.

Return to Murray Creek

On my first attempt to come home  I lasted a week before, from lack of restraint, I suffered a mid-back compression fracture. So back to nurse Annaâ’s I went to have this repaired. The very day after the procedure I was again determined to make the trip back from Paso Robles to Murray Creek in time for the Easter arrival of Conal and Holly with their u-haul trailer of their drastically pared down earthly possessions. They were coming to live in the house Conal had purchased some three years previously on the 20 acres just to the east of our family 60 acres. But my back, instead of quickly restoring me to a pain free life, worsened. And back to Anna’s I went once more for another round of medical treatment and a month of physical therapy. With significant gradual improvement and with the expectation this would continue, Joseph and Ebru came down to bring me home. This third attempt to settle in at Murray Creek seems to be working with proof being that each morning with my trekking poles in hand I walk to and through the Labyrinth and back home.

And so with this entry I once again take up the task of writing about the ups and downs, the twists and turns of this journey called life.

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The Triple Spiral Symbol of the Triple Goddess

This spiral is a replica of the one found in the main chamber of the megalithic tomb-sanctuary at Newgrange, Ireland. It is dated around 3000 BC, and part of the Stone Age Irish “grave-passage” culture. A similar triple spiral also appears on the Newgrange entrance stone.

The triple role of the ancient goddess was to preside over birth, life and death. As triune as nature’s birth/death/rebirth cycle, she was maiden, bride and crone. when Christianized the ancient Celtic goddess became the new Brigid, the “saint” of hearth and home in whose name the fires were re-lighted each year on her February 1st saint’s day.

My son Robert who this year moved to Scotland wrote a very interesting blog about St Brigid who in Scotland is known as St Bride. I realized I had almost missed an opportunity to write about the spiral symbol of this Celtic goddess turned Christian saint, and to add some of my present thoughts about her influences and the present Celtic renaissance in its many emerging forms.

When Bob and I went to England in 1988 we headed for Glastonbury where he had visited a couple years before. He had said that when he got to the Tor for him this had felt like “coming home.” In other words, it was there that he had experienced a deep soul recognition and connection. At the time he had been surprised, as he had just come from the Borders region in Scotland and an Elliott clan gathering there. There was where he would have expected to have felt some connection with the land. But strangely he hadn’t.

While in the Glastonbury area we visited a number of the megalithic remnants of the ancient goddess cultures. Now I am wondering, were the Celts captive to the presence of the past in the land they now occupied? And was their influence something quickened, awakened, and that we brought back to Murray Creek with us?

There seemed to be reminders everywhere we were drawn to of the ancient ones’ beliefs that death is a passage to another world. That was not something either of us would have been personally conscious of at the time, but now eighteen years later and with Bob this past year having made this passage it is of the utmost relevance to me, and how and to what purpose I am called to live out the rest of my life. Moreover, with my ongoing experiences of him as still very much a continuing presence in this life as well, I find myself re-examining and reconsidering what I now believe about the nature of reality.

Through the megalithic monuments to the mother-goddess of old, she continued to teach that all of existence is cyclic in nature, and that there is a direct continuity between the material world and the other-world. The pre-Christian tradition of the Druids also recognized the unseen world as interpenetrating and effecting the visible world. And considering the credibility quantum physics is lending to similar ideas, is it any wonder that Celtic spirituality is experiencing a renaissance?

All through the lands of Bob’s and my ancestors–“the Isles to the North”– the stones bearing the message of the connection between this world and the after life are massive. The symbolic language of the carvings on these reminders is laboriously intricate. The underground burial sites are comparable in calculated human labor to the great pyramids, and thought to be as much as five hundred years older.

The standing stones and the underground passages we visited spoke to us, as did the Glastonbury Tor as a three dimension labyrinth, so much so that on returning home we created a labyrinth at Murray Creek after the pattern of the one that ascends to the top of the Tor.

As a sequence of events, it was in connection with last year’s November cross-quarter days (All Hallows Eve, All Saints and All Souls Days) that it came to my attention the early inhabitants of the Tor region had held annually on these cross-quarter days a ritual honoring those among them who had died during the previous year and that these peoples had accompanied the souls of their loved ones to the top of the Tor which they held to be a passage or “portal” into the after life.

There is so much more to life than we in this life are able to consciously comprehend. Could the transformation I have been experiencing since Bob’s transition be this realization?

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