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.

About ann

When Bob and Ann Elliott purchased their sixty acre Murray Creek property in 1974 their purpose was to establish a retreat center for Inner Healing. This was the beginning of Creative Living Center and later the home of CLC Press which gradually evolved into an on-line means of sharing what they were learning and experiencing about the processes of becoming whole. Ann was born in 1929 in Holden, Missouri. Her parents were both journalists and co-published the local newspaper. They had met in Mexico City where her father was on assignment for a Washington DC newspaper and where her mother was doing advanced studies at the University of Mexico. When Ann was six they separated and she moved to Kansas City where her mother began a long career in radio and television. In high school Ann was sent east to Penn Hall in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. And that is where she met Bob who was attending Mercersburg Academy, the nearby boy's prep school. Bob was born in 1927 in Washington, DC. His mother had been a librarian in Hammond, Indiana before coming to Washington during World War I where she met his father, a young Marine who became an attorney when the war was over. Bob attended Sidwell Friends School in Washington through eighth grade and went on to Mercersburg, and from there, near the end of World War II, into the army. The war over, he began pre-law at Northwestern where Ann was studying journalism and doing secretarial work for her mother who was then Woman's Editor of American Broadcasting Co in Chicago. In the fall of 1947 Ann and Bob were married and the following spring left for Stanford University where Bob finished his undergraduate and went on to earn his law degree in 1952, by which time they were expecting the second of what would be their six children. During Bob's years at Stanford Ann studied and worked in the field of design. This led to her interest in symbolism, and the study of symbolism awakened her interest in spirituality, a combination that led to an interest in Jungian psychology at about the time Jung's writings were beginning to appear in English. It was through the writings of Christian Jungians such as John Sanford and Morton Kelsey that Ann became interested in the psycho-spiritual approaches to inner healing. Eventually she would connect with the three grand women founders of the San Francisco based Guild For Psychological Studies, all of whom had studied with Jung in Zurich. Together the three--Elizabeth Boynton Howes, Sheila Moon, and Luella Seibald--had established the Four Springs retreat center in Northern California where they conducted seminars based on "The Records of the Life of Jesus of Nazareth" according to a modified Socratic method. Ann participated in the Records and other related seminars at Four Springs during the 1980s. In the meantime, Bob was equally involved in pursuing his special interest in music as a means of furthering and deepening meditation. He was also studying shamanism with Michael Harner and the Institute for Shamanic Studies, and with Ira Progoff through his Intensive Journal Workshops. All this time, of course, he was carrying on a busy law practice in Lodi, California, some forty miles commute from Murray Creek. From 1984 until his retirement in 1998 Ann served as Bob's legal secretary. Ann, with both of her parents writers, had been writing off and on for a number of years, with numerous writings on symbolism published in magazines and journals, as well as two books on the use of symbolism in Christian education. In 1996-7 Parts I and II of Return to the Whole were published on the C G Jung Web Page, and this was the beginning of web publishing for Ann as a means of sharing the synthesis of ways to inner healing and wholeness she and Bob had experienced and been sharing throughout their years at Murray Creek. With their retirement in 1998 Ann began writing and editing full time, with her in progress "opus" being the series titled Return to the Whole, and including the full length book titled Higher Ground, offered here in its entirety. In 1992 Ann learned she was eligible to "test her vocation" as an Anglican Franciscans and after an inquiry and formation of some five years was, in 1997, professed. These are the TSSF initials that follow her name--The Society of Saint Francis--and for which order she now serves as a formation counselor. Additionally she is a Benedictine trained spiritual director and serves in this capacity also to whomever is willing to make the narrow, winding trip out Murray Creek Road.
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