Level Three – Further Beyond the ‘Personal’ :
Intermediate B : Clearing Shadow Consciousness
William Faulkner again
No man can cause more grief,
than one clinging blindly to the vices
of his ancestors.
When you dig into your ancestry, individuals and groups will be bound to pop up displaying attitudes and behaviours which you are very likely now to regard as totally unacceptable – attitudes to race, for example, or to class, gender, disability, land rights, voting rights, access to education at different levels, to freedom of speech or belief – Human Rights of all kinds in fact – which have had to be fought for and have been very hard-won over the centuries – but nevertheless, there continue to be many injustices perpetuated around the world by systems of control having been put in place to ensure that historical ‘winners’ continued to win.
Money and Wealth
Money, for example, needs to be seen as just a human invention, not intrinsically of value in itself, though purportedly a symbol of real value. Its position of supremacy in the world – of such critical power over so many lives – could do with being toppled – so that it is more possible to see whether all people’s basic needs can be met before anyone enjoys even a modest superfluity, let alone the monstrously excessive individual wealth that present systems can generate. Coercive control is not exerted only through violence!
Only after the last tree has been cut down,
Only after the last river has been poisoned,
Only after the last fish has been caught,
Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten.
(Cree Indian Prophecy)
A high order of perception and discrimination will be required to help ancestors still possessed of ‘ancient fires’ to move on, as they are likely to be unaware of changes of thinking in the world since they were in incarnation. Part of the counselling of them will necessitate waking them up to evolving notions of what is acceptable.
'The Nigger Quartet'
A simple but striking example may jolt you into awareness of what I mean. In the early 20th century, even perfectly ‘civilised’ people were innocently happy to refer to a very beautiful string quartet by Dvorak – now known as ‘The American Quartet’ - as ‘The Nigger’! OK or NOT?!
And comparable examples can proliferate to illustrate the point over and over again in history.............
In the 18th century, church as well as state in all those proudly Christian countries, whether Catholic or Protestant – Portugal, Spain and England – generated vast wealth for themselves by developing the triangular slave trade between Africa, Europe and the Americas......were your ancestors part of it? Whichever side they were on, isn’t it time to release them now?
Empire builders ?
If you are ethnically white but living in Australia, Africa, Asia or the Americas, by what ancestral journey did you establish yourself there? What was the story? Are you proud of it, ashamed of it, or a mixture? Sink into it and reflect on your past now – is there anything that you can do to clear negative residues at any level? Can you find out what path would enable you to release both ‘sides’.............
For those with a military background, look back on your ‘proud and heroic’ history – is that what it was, or would you now have qualms about what you then thought were perfectly legitimate ways to behave?
If your ancestors were part of a great displacement of people from one country to another, or from one continent to another, was your migration voluntary or involuntary? Were they victims or perpetrators? What were the losses and what were the gains? Is there anything that might be done now to redress old karma?
If your ancestors were victims of persecution for any reason – ethnic, religious, or social (in which case you might have been targeted because of class, gender or disability) - is it now possible to heal those legacies?
And what if they were actually supremely self-righteous perpetrators of misguided persecution? With the benefit of hindsight, might you now like to counsel them - patiently but challengingly - to re-consider some of their certainties?
Divinely ordained destitution ?
One of the most popular of Anglican hymns with young and old is ‘All Things Bright and Beautiful’ – but there are few now who would endorse one of its original verses, which extols, as something ‘the Lord God made’–
The rich man in his castle,
The poor man at his gate,
God made them high and lowly,
And ordered their estate.
Even in the most reactionary of churches this is never now sung!
If anyone is inclined to smile indulgently at such quaint and old-fashioned notions, however, they might do well to tune into the radically passionate questioning now being directed at the rich and powerful in Kensington and Chelsea, following the Towering Inferno disaster at Grenfell Tower. Neglect of or indifference to the poor, by those who are comfortably off is not at all a light matter. Shakespeare’s magnificent contribution to this ‘debate’ is the profound transformation of King Lear – from an abusively self-entitled patriarch, just because he is king – to compassionate human being. No-one of insight and wisdom ever said the transformation would be easy!
Where did your ancestors sit in this complicated web of possible attitudes? Did they harden their hearts in indifference or exert themselves to do good? Did they take privileges for granted as a matter of entitlement, even looking down their noses at those less well off, or did they struggle for generations of lifetimes in lowly positions where their voices were not heard? Did they inhabit workhouses or palaces – and with what attitudes? Would you regard these attitudes as acceptable now?
And if one scans the multiplicity of ways in which misogyny has determined the course of many women’s lives – from genital mutilation, to bound feet, to being treated as goods and chattels, to being regarded as unworthy of education or of having a voice etc etc – there are likely to be a multitude of issues historically to grieve and protest about. Allow them expression now and put to rest many of the injustices of the past. It really doesn’t have to be like that!
Waifs and Paupers
As a final example – for the moment! – in the very week that I am writing, the British enquiry into Historical Sexual Abuse has begun to sit – after three very troubled years of trying to get going. They are focusing on the wonderful solution to getting rid of perceived nuisances from the ‘Waif and Pauper Class’ in Northern British cities after World War 2 – by offering ‘inducements’ to send children to a ‘better life’ in Australia.
An articulate champion and survivor of this scheme, David Hill, is now – at last – being listened to as he exposes the reality – that for the majority of these thousands of children, the ‘better life’ was actually one of exploitation and hardship, sexual abuse and paedophilia – leading to a lifetime of rock-bottom self-esteem and shame. Many attempts over the years to get the situation investigated truthfully have been blocked by institutions trying to protect their reputations. Sexual woundings are amongst the deepest, and the most hidden and denied of humanity’s wounds. Isn’t it incumbent on us all to play our part in their healing if we possibly can?
Once these stories are located and given freedom to speak through those who are still carrying the unfinished business of these lives, they can be helped to unburden themselves and move on.
Truth Breaking Through
Mercifully, Truth is at last breaking through – many cover-ups are in the process of being un-covered - so there is a possibility of some kind of Justice being done – for the victims.
But what of the perpetrators? Are they not in quite as much need of a compassionate healing process as their victims? Although they may well have benefited in terms of ‘short-term’ (i.e. a single lifetime!) advantage, if they behaved with ‘unkindness’ in any form, they will ultimately have something to regret. Compassionate enquiry may well have to dig down through many layers to establish why this was so, but this may well be necessary in order to free the very unloved, the callous, the driven-to-be-in-control-at-all-costs, the determined to ‘win’ whatever horrors they have to perpetrate, in person or by proxy, in their attempts to do so.
We are all implicated in intimate ways in the holographic evolution of humanity, but if we enter with commitment into the detective work of ancestral healing, willing now to be honest and take responsibility for what our ancestors contributed – whether positive or complicatedly negative – then the ‘ancient fires’, which may still be holding descendants in thrall, may lose their grip. By co-creating a better future, free of such influences, our awake souls do have the potential to (in Charles Eisenstein’s words) create ‘the More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible’.
The practical techniques will be the same as for Level 1 work – with Facilitator and Descendant co-operating together to channel and process the ancestral material, but with such a heightened degree of awareness and responsibility for promoting a soulful way forward, that it almost becomes work of a different order.
A quotation from ‘King Lear’
Come, let’s away to prison;
We two will sing like birds i’ th’ cage:
When thou dost ask me blessing, I’ll kneel down,
And ask of thee forgiveness: so we’ll live
And pray, and sing, and tell old tales, and laugh
At gilded butterflies, and hear poor rogues
Talk of court news; and we’ll talk with them too,
Who loses and who wins, who’s in, who’s out;
And take upon’s the mystery if things,
As if we were God’s spies: and we’ll wear out,
In a walled prison, packs and sects of great ones
That ebb and flow by the moon
It seems essential that this contribution towards all Life on Earth is made soon because time is not on our side. The Shift that needs to be made must happen soon if the world and all life on it is not to be lost in destructive violence. But I believe that every single piece of work of the kind I am recommending can help serve to redress lost balance. It would be so good to make a humble but significant difference.
There seem to me to be two essential strands to this work, seemingly distinct, but actually closely related. One is the evolutionary search for Human Rights for all – which I have focused on above – and the other is the search for Right Relations with the Natural World which is our home and on which we wholly depend on this planet.
Traditional peoples – indigenous communities and peasants the world over – have always known that they must live in respect and harmony with their natural surroundings for their lives to be sustainable. While this was the case, although lives could still be challenging, communal mores of sharing and mutual help, and deep attachment to and knowledge of deeply loved ancestral lands, on every continent, allowed many to develop ways of life that were sacredly meaningful. This is not ‘romantic nonsense’ – it could – CAN – really work! BUT...............
Inequality and Prejudice
To repeat what I said earlier in this website.......... Instead of learning from the example of indigenous people – often living in sustainable harmony with their natural surroundings as well as performing rituals of connection with those in Spirit - Westerners embarked on a relationship of violent conquest, displacement and dispossession that lasted for centuries. The ‘nightmare of history’ has involved devastating wars and genocide, imperialism, colonialism and slavery, forced migrations and exiles, persecutions and victimisation – in fact unbridled abuse of many kinds, with the voices of Love and Wisdom that spiritual teachings might have provided being drowned out by those of Power and Control. ‘Injustice, inequality and prejudice’ seem to have won the day...so that the Anima Mundi, The World Soul, is deeply and complicatedly sick.
Since indigenous peoples have somehow found the wisdom and resilience to survive in the face of all that Europeans could throw at them over the centuries, and are now making their voices heard – to help us! – the very least we can do is to listen to them with respect and try to learn from them. See the book list for much wise guidance, both ecological and in how to treat one another.
As a taster, typical of such teachings, here are some words of White Cloud,
chief of the Native American Iowa tribe in Missouri -
The Circle of Life
Man has a poor understanding of Life. He mistakes knowledge for wisdom
He tries to unveil the Holy secrets of our Father, the Great Spirit.
He attempts to impose his laws and ways on Mother Earth
Even though he himself is part of Nature he chooses to disregard and ignore it
For the sake of his own immediate gain.
But the laws of Nature are far stronger than those of Mankind.
Man must awake at last, and learn to understand
How little time there remains
Before he will become the cause of his own downfall.
He has so much to learn. To learn to see with the heart.
He must learn to respect Mother Earth – she who has given life to everything
To our Brothers and Sisters, the Animals and Plants
To the Rivers, the Lakes, the Oceans and the Winds
He must learn that this planet does not belong to him.
But that he has to care for and maintain the delicate balance of Nature
For the sake of the well-being of our children and of all future generations.
It is the duty of Man to preserve the Earth and the creation of the Great Spirit
Man being but a grain of sand in the Holy Circle which encloses all of Life.
Even the Catholic Church has now moved towards this perspective, with the publication of Pope Frances’ second encyclical letter, Laudato Si’, which was released by the Vatican in 2015. It is available as a free download at cafod.org.uk/Pray/Encyclical but here are a few key excerpts – the numbers referring to the paragraph in the letter from which each quotation is taken.
Humanity is called to recognise the need for changes of lifestyle,
production and consumption.
All it takes is one good person to restore hope.
We can finally leave behind the modern myth of unlimited material progress.
The natural environment is a collective good, the patrimony of all humanity
and the responsibility of everyone.
When human beings fail to find their true place in this world,
they misunderstand themselves and end up acting against themselves.
It cannot be emphasised enough how everything is interconnected.
We are faced not with two separate crises, one environmental and the other social, but rather with one complex crisis which is both social and environmental.
Once we start to think of the world we are leaving to future generations,
we look at things differently; we realise that the world is a gift,
which we have freely received and must share with others.
The time has come to accept decreased growth in some parts of the world,
in order to provide resources for other places to experience healthy growth.
The emptier a person’s heart is, the more he or she needs to buy, own and consume.
Purchasing is always a moral and not simply an
| Social love is the key to authentic development.
All of the above in this section is designed to alert you to attitudes that you might well encounter in ancestors who now come forward for healing. They may actually be crammed full of attitudes and behaviours that you may seriously want to question, even although they may have been regarded as perfectly acceptable when they were alive. Real cruelty, callousness, sublime indifference or thorough-going abuse may have been the consequence. Enter into this counselling dialogue with vigour to encourage greater enlightenment and taking of responsibility in a way uncontaminated by Ancient Fires........
Of the Facilitator at this level, serious demands will be made -
S/he will have to have an inclusive sense that everyone is ultimately redeemable
S/he will have to have a wide capacity to deal with those who seem to have done ‘unforgiveable’ things
S/he will have to have a deep understanding of the behavioural consequences of trauma, to be able to challenge defences successfully
S/he will have to be skilled in Socratic questioning so that many levels of causes and effects can be unearthed in the quest for the healthy core at the centre – the ultimate ‘Wildwood’
And of the Descendant, two contrasting capacities will be required -
S/he will have to have sufficient imaginative and bodily empathy to identify sufficiently for her/his whole being to be used for processing
And also s/he will then have to be sufficiently familiar with processes of release, to dis-identify, so that the ancestor worked with can move on into the Light – healed, and therefore leaving the earth plain clearer, so that radically new – and loving – ways forward are no longer impeded by their influence.
A Prayer for the Dark Ones
Here's a prayer that I use to help me release any resentment or judgement of the dark ones and to extend love and light to them in the hope that they will join us as we move forward in creating a wonderful new era of humanity.
To all those on Earth that have been playing the domination game, I say Bravo! You have played your game with skill and cunning. You nearly controlled our entire world. You have demonstrated your prowess at deception, manipulation, and control, and I salute you!
But now your game is over, and it is time to play a new game — the "cooperation" game. This game is far more challenging and rewarding than your domination game, and its goal is not to create wealth and power for a few but to create abundance, prosperity, and happiness for all.
We invite you to come play this new game with us. All we ask is that you open your hearts and embrace all the love and light that we are sending you. It is in this spirit that we welcome you with open arms to join us in the challenge and the rewards of creating "Heaven on Earth" — a world where EVERYONE is prosperous and happy.
And to those that have played this domination game so deftly I say "thank you." Thank you for teaching us a great lesson that we will never forget. An invaluable lesson about trusting ourselves, about being discerning, and about not giving away our power.
And perhaps the greatest gift that this experience has provided us is the complete clarity that we now have about what we want to be, and the kind of world we want to live in and intend to create.
(I have mislaid my source for this prayer – if anyone can remind me of it.
I shall include a proper attribution and acknowledgement) Author.