Posts Tagged memories

His lingering scent

We howled when they came and took Al for a walk, and not us. Later we heard their car returning but Al was not back from his walk. They came to pat and stroke us, and we felt a great sadness in their stroke, which made us feel uncomfortable. I felt wet drops of rain on my coat even though there was no rain. Where was Al?

Later at supper time, as I eagerly awaited my bowl, and ate quickly in case Al made a charge for my food, I noticed that Al was still not back. That night I curled up with mum without having to fight for my place. During the night mum became restless and started to bark at every shadow. Al was always the one who would go and see if everything was alright. They kept coming out to stroke us with the same sadness in their stroke and their words. Where was Al?

We sniffed his trial of scent to find him but each time it led to the gate. We kept picking up his scent for many days as it grew fainter. As long as his scent remained, we wondered when he would return. Where was he? Any time now he will come storming and jumping in wild abandon. In time the last trails of his lingering scent disappeared too. All that remained of his scent were my memories. In the dark of the nights I often caught a familiar scent and I moved to make a space for him.


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The Keeper of the Keys XI

About The Keeper of the Key

Previously …

The Keeper of the Key 1
The Keeper of the Key II
Keeper of the Key III
Keeper of the Key IV
The Keeper of the Key V
Prelude to Keeper of the Key VI
The Keeper of the Key VI
The Keeper of the Keys VII
The Keeper of the Keys VIII
The Keeper of the Keys IX
The Keeper of the Keys X

It was as if I was surrounded by the light of the full moon in a crystal-clear sky and I felt completely calm, all feelings of failure, anger and fear seem to dissolve into the clear light. Incredible warmth filled my being and the light changed into that of brilliant sun light. I felt all desire dissolve into the brilliance of the light and I drifted in sheer bliss, and then it was dark and I felt no more.

I became aware of the warmth of the sun on my skin and a minty herbaceous scent drifted into my consciousness. The scent stirred hazy memories and feelings inside me but they were too indistinct to take any form. I was lying on what felt like straw, or perhaps dry grass, but I felt strangely reluctant to open my eyes. I took a deep breath and inhaled the scent of earth. Still I did not want to open my eyes and tentatively reached out to feel what surrounded me. I could feel the dry hard powderyness of unturned soil the rough coolness of stones and as I reached out further, I could feel the smooth slenderness of dry grass. I knew that I was somewhere in a wild veldt. With conscious effort I opened my eyes. The brightness of the light dazzled my eyes and I closed them again. I felt surprised that I could see and I slowly opened my eyes again. At first all I could see was bright light and the slowly vague shapes started to take form and for brief moments I could see what appeared to be small sparks jump from the surrounding vegetation.

I waited until my eyes became accustomed to light before I ventured to stand up. I found myself standing in a field of tall dry winter grass that stretched beyond the horizon with a few clumps of umbrella shaped thorny trees scattered amongst the swaying grass. I had no idea where I was, neither did I know who or what I was or what I should do. I part of me wanted to sink back down to the earth and another part of me felt a desire stirring. The longer I stood in the warm sunlight, the more distinct the desire grew. I must go somewhere; I must be somewhere.

But in which direction shall I go? I turned to look at all the directions and they all appeared much the same to me with nothing in particular beckoning me. I closed my eyes again and could feel a soft breeze tugging on my hair caressing my skin with its breath. I could near buzzing insects and birds twittering in the distant trees and the air smelled sweet to me. I could feel the warmth of the sun on my back becoming warmer and warmer the longer I stood there without moving and suddenly I clearly knew which direction to go. I will follow the path of the sun.

As I was about to take my first step, I felt a warning stab of fear. I could feel the presence of a snake and in the long grass I will not be able to see a snake on my path and there was a great likelihood that I will step on it. I was barefoot and had no protection with me but I also could not just remain where I was. Suddenly, a man with white robes and with a long white beard and hair appeared in front of me. “Fear not the snake, for he is as much part of nature as you are, become one with nature and he will not harm you. Close you eyes and receive the spirit of the snake into your being.”

I closed my eyes and breathed in what felt like warm air which tingled all the way down into my lungs. “The snake knows you, it will not harm you; it will slide away. You must not be afraid if the lightning strikes in front of you. You must just go through and say, ‘I am your child, one of you’. ”

I felt a warm breeze on my skin, and in its caress I felt my fear drain away. I could walk fearlessly through the grass, experiencing freedom in the touch of the grass, the warmth of the sun, and the breath of the wind. On my way through the grass I saw a black snake slithered away to find a comfortable spot on a sun-warmed rock.

To be continued …

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At my mother’s funeral service the Dominee ( a priest ) said: ‘ What can you leave behind? …Memories are all you can leave behind…”

My mother did leave us with very rich memories, enriching my being. Through the sweetness of my memories, I can taste the delights of life.

A man once asked a group of San why they eat themselves into a stupor? Are they not afraid they could burst? He was answered with these words: “I haven’t heard a story of a Heikum bursting from too much meat…There is always a piece of raw skin to wrap around the full stomach.

But why do you want to eat everything so fast?

It is the law of life among us…What is in the stomach, cannot be stolen by a jackal or a wolf…or other rogues…And when the big hunger comes, we will ask each other; ‘Remember that day when we were so full we had to crawl on our hands and knees?’

Does it take away the hunger?

The heart that remembers beautiful things on the road behind, has power to go ahead.” Jagters Van Die Woestynland – P.J. Schoeman

It is known that those with happy childhood memories survive trauma better than those without. If you can look back on your life and it was sweetened with love, then it was a life was worth living. It truly is better to have loved and lost, than not to have loved.

“And like seeds dreaming beneath the snow your Heart dreams of spring. Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden the gate of eternity.” Kahlil Gibran How can your winter days be brightened by the dream of spring if you do not know its meaning?

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Past Lives, Memories and Dreams


When you accept that your “here and now” is forever shaped by what went before, why resist those memories and insights of what went before as a part of your process of transformation in a life lived here and now, even if, as you say, all the worlds and realms of the inner planes exist in the same space at the same time, here and now? “

I agree, what we were very much influence us in the here and now. I do not resist my memories of the past lives, any more than I resist memories of this life, or my dreams. When they come I let them rise, and learn from them what they reveal. I see them very much like dreams, sometimes a present experience spark a memory, vision or a dream of a past time. Indeed if you are open to them they reveal much about the present. I have found that one remembers the ones that reveal your present wounds, in other words that which has direct relevance to your present conditions. The ones I remember in most detail clearly shows me where my present resistances, and blockages comes from. It is also reflects directly why I find myself in my present situation, what it is I must go beyond and transmute. Some say we could have lived thousands of lives, just like we have thousands of memories, not all are directly relevant to the present, neither can we remember them all. Thus when the student is ready, the master will be there. When we are ready to deal with lessons we have to learn, what you need to know is revealed. Sometimes our egos are not mature or balanced enough to deal with past traumatic events. I therefore find it vitally important to cultivate the right conditions in the present so that I may move beyond old karmic conditions and gravity.

Tau Malachi said the following on dreams;

 According to the Zohar dreams are very important – from them we are meant to take guidance in life, for they reveal the influence of spiritual forces within and behind what transpires. Likewise, it is said that dreams are 1/60th the power of death and are a direct reflection of the nature of the afterlife experience.

Every night, the Zohar says, our soul goes on a journey apart from the body and only a vital link of soul-energy remains in the body. Potentially, the soul can ascend to commune in its Source, the Light, though often times souls become distracted along the way and bound to lower and less luminous realms. What our dreams reveal is what is going on in our consciousness on a psychic and spiritual level, and thus our dreams empower us to a conscious response. If our dreams are bright and luminous and uplifting, it is an indication we are on the right track and connecting with positive influences. If our dreams are dim or dark, then it is an indication of a need for correction and self-purification. In other words, based on watching our dreams we can consciously direct our spiritual practice as necessary, responding to what is happening outwardly in our lives as well as in our interior lives.

The Zohar teaches that regardless of whether or not we experience a luminous and uplifting dream or one that is dark and dreadful, nevertheless we should always interpret dreams in a postitive light. Essentially, the influence of a dream will depend upon our interpretation of it, and when we speak our dreams, or even think of them, it is a very powerful act, akin to self-prophecy. Thus, even an inauspicious dream interpreted in an auspicious way can become a positive invocation.

Here we may give an example. Suppose you dream a very dark and frightening dream. When you awaken and remember your dream you could interpret it as a call of the Holy Spirit to engage in self-purification and banishing, not only for yourself alone, but for the sake of the people and the land; hence an invocation of the action of a spiritual warrior. Acting accordingly, what otherwise would be an ill-omen becomes completely positive.

This reflects the very nature of the spiritual life – consciously responding to whatever transpires in a positive, creative and uplifting way. In all things this is the choice we have and the choices we make will determine our experience and the outcome of things.

The Zohar also tells us to be careful to whom we speak our dreams, that they should only be spoken consciously, and only to those who are our real friends and have our best interest in mind. In other words, dreams should be dealt with as very intimate and personal and, moreover, as sacred and holy. They are private and not public, and should be guarded against ill-will and negativity.

This view on dreams reflects the two most important points of spiritual practice in our day – morning and evening. Morning practice is the exit of dream and evening practice is the entrance, and how we shift between dream and sleep, and waking consciousness, is considered very important, especially at the point we are working with Transference of Consciousness practices.

It is good to pay attention to what one does before going to bed. It is best to clear the mind and bring ressolution to the issues of one’s day – clearing oneself of all links formed (especially those that are negative). What one does in the evening before going to sleep is a large influence on one’s dreams. Therefore, if one seeks vision in dream or more luminous dreams directing one’s mind to spiritual and luminous things is a good practice. In the tradition, once one is well established in spiritual life and practice, there are even practices that can be done while one is shifting into sleep and dream to become conscious in one’s dreams.

The idea that dreams are “less real” than waking consciousness is a serious misconception according to the Kabbalah. In truth, this world is akin to a collective dream, versus our apparently individual dreams, and both are equally “real” in their own dimension and context. According to the Zohar, consciously working with our dreams we can bring about positive and powerful changes in our lives in the waking consciousness and be better prepared for a conscious transition through the experience we call “death”; hence be empowered to experience the Risen Savior and the Ascension in the afterlife states. 

In refection of this,  I was contemplating the relationship between dreams and physical life experiences, and how awareness in one affects the other, when it dawned upon me … The relationship between dream re-telling and memories. Just as I must be careful in how I re-tell my dreams, I must be careful how I view my memories of my life experiences, and past-life memories. Just as I could look at my nightmare dreams from a positive learning angle, so I can view my nightmarish experiences in life. I presented my insight Tau Malachi, and this is the reply I received:

In the teachings the past is often called “dream-like” and looking into the nature of memories we find this to be true – yesterday’s experience is like last night’s dream, both now existing as memories. I believe your insight is right on the mark, for whether dreams or experiences of the past there is “prophetic” power in how we speak of them, whether for good or for ill – instead of living in reaction we want to live in conscious response, exercising our co-creative capacity to draw out the sparks of blessings from all our experiences, even from those that may seem “inauspicious” or “dark and hostile.” While we may not be able to avoid certain circumstances, situations or events, and may not be able to go back and change the past, nevertheless we can choose how we relate with it and, as you have said, we can choose how we think of it and speak of it. Truly there is great power in our view of things and how we think and speak of them, as we see in the practice of affirmation and creative visualization and the manifesting power that comes into play.

In teachings on “Perfect Success,” as given in Living Gnosis, when we speak of remaining completely positive, it includes the past, as well as the present and future – all “three times” as the Buddhist would say.

At the outset of such a practice we may find that it is not exactly easy, first because of our own habitual patterns of negative thought, speech and action, our own karmic continuum; however, we will also encounter a greater downward and backward pull of karmic gravity in this world – a dampening field of psychic and spiritual energy, as it were, that attempts to keep us bound up in fear and anger, and various forms of negativity. In fact, when we speak of “liberation” on the most basic level we are speaking of breaking free of the karmic gravity of this world, or the karmic gravity of the realms, worlds and universes of the Entirety. As much as the steps of Perfect Success may be applied to any endeavor, within and behind those teachings we are actually speaking about the ultimate perfection and success, the enlightenment and liberation of the mind or soul-stream.

This “little thing” of remaining completely positive is no little thing – it is everything, really. Quite naturally it requires the cultivation of the presence of awareness, for on account the dampening field of psychic and spiritual energy we can easily fall into forgetfulness, becoming bound up in negativity. Along with the cultivation of the presence of awareness, letting go of attachment and aversion becomes essential, for as long we are attached or averse we are bound to reaction and cannot enact a conscious response. In this we see the virtue of the practice of the silent witness and primordial meditation and how it may serve to empower other practices in our spiritual life.

Of the struggle to stay completely positive, however, we can say that it is a truly noble and worthwhile effort, for if there is to be a change in the world we must first bring about that change in ourselves; to the extend that we are able to be completely positive we become a force for the greater good in the world.

Having been a Gnostic practitioner for thirty six years or so what strikes me most is the struggle to ground and integrate our spirituality in the mundane sphere of daily living. It is relatively easy to have peak spiritual and mystical experiences, the real work is embodying the truth and light in our thoughts, speech and actions. It is so easy to speak of our peak experiences in consciousness, but then find our thoughts, speech and actions contradicting the truth and light revealed in our experiences.

Quite naturally, how I view and relate with my past, how I view and relate with the present and how I envision the future must change as I undergo the spiritual death and rebirth and enter into the path of conscious evolution – for it is the womb of Sophia giving birth to Christ in me. If there has been tumult and suffering, surely it is as the labor pains of the Divine Mother giving birth to us as the Risen Christ.

 I believe the idea of a positive view and relationship with our past, regardless of what darkness and tumult may lay in it, is an integral part of the wisdom in the Sophian Gnostic legends of the Holy Bride in Babylon. How did she emerge from such darkness to embody so great a Light-presence and Light-power? While it may well be a play in myth and legend, nevertheless it speaks a truth in our own experience; however deeply we may have become entangled in the ignorance and darkness, there is always the potential for our enlightenment and liberation – and, of course, the experience of our past is transformed by the enlightenment experience.

It is not always possible to know all the sources for our present negative reactions in our conscious minds. There is a wonderful practice suggested by Serge Kahili King in dealing with such negative reactions, it is called Blanket Forgiveness. Forgiveness is basically a process of deciding that whatever happened is no longer important or it doesn’t matter anymore.

First you assume that in any current condition of pain or discomfort there is some anger involved, even if you don’t know what it is all about. Then you touch the area of your body that is in pain or discomfort with the fingers of either hand and say, “Whatever this is related to, I forgive it completely and it doesn’t matter anymore.” Most of the time you will experience at least some instant relief, and often complete relief, but if not keep doing it for one full minute with the full focus of your attention.

Often with the relief memories might surface which relates to the pain or discomfort.

One may awake in a dream, but not from the greater dream.

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