Not the television show, “Raising Hope”, although it is some good slapstick comedy. No, I'm talking about that other hope – hope. Hope is something that is ingrained in a person as part of their emotional development. That is to say, we give each other hope. When a person reaches a state of hopelessness where they feel like they have no reason to adhere to a sense of integrity then they will become controllable by anyone who can project the illusion of power over that person.
A tribal people who are taken into captivity and suppressed to the point where they become completely controlled by their captors will do whatever those in control demand of them. Often it will be at the threat of death to refuse to co-operate. That is the ultimate control of a People, to enslave them with no hope of freedom. When the People or individuals within that tribe maintain a sense of hope that freedom is possible, they will become at risk of escaping and will seek out any opportunity to skip out, even risking their life to do so.
A successful escape from one's captors is called an Exodus. My favorite example of a successful escape from captivity is that of my ancestors who left the confines of their captors, The United States government, and after walking from what is now referred to as the State of North Carolina over the Great Smoky Mountains range into East Tennessee, assimilated into the local society of both settlers from Europe (and their entourage of slaves and indentured servants) and the indigenous population.
A holocaust is a situation where a people are taken captive and never escape through their own efforts. History has many examples of how a People were completely destroyed or assimilated into the dominate culture, as well as a few examples of how a People were rescued from captivity before they were destroyed.
Today I live in a society that has been taken hostage by a captor that offers no hope. It is called drug addiction. The only way those caught up in the throes of addiction can escape is through the hope that is provided them through one of several avenues. The most successful path to a productive and responsible life is through the fellowship of other recovering addicts who embrace a spiritual discipline that includes sharing hope with each other. An important part of the hope a person is instilled with is a sense of being valued. As they follow the spiritual path into recovery they are introduced with a sense of purpose that can only be embraced by remaining drug-free. Having a sense of purpose is the greatest antidote over hopelessness.
Often times a person loses hope through rejection from their family. When a person has a sense of purpose that doesn't fit into the family dynamic, they will need to seek out a peer group of people that accept them for whom they are in order to overcome this rejection. Familial ties are very strong in a person's sense of well-being, so rejection can feel like a death sentence. The greatest challenge of all is for a person to feel like they have nothing in common with anyone and their purpose in life is not valued by society. In order to endure this experience one must have a strong spiritual discipline that allows them to see past the immediate situation into the greater aspect of reality. There are many Paths that will guide a person through this discipline, and mine has come through my indigenous culture.
Within the tribal spirituality of Turtle Island (North America) there are two models by which one can gain a sense of well-being that transcends person ego and social ego. One is modeled from the symbol of the Spiral. This motif is common throughout tribal culture globally and represents the Warrior's journey into nothingness. In order to “tap out” at the center of the spiral, the Warrior must let go of all illusions of self until he becomes nothing. At that point in the journey the norm is for the person to be restored to their full sense of self and be identified within their community as a person who has traversed the Spiral. In my own journey I was given the additional task of walking the Spiral back to the point of beginning while functioning in the society of my immediate environment.
The second model is referred to as the Maze of Liberation from Self. While there are many overlapping aspects of these two spiritual models, the second is not gender-specific. This discipline is present in every human being throughout their existence upon this planet. The teachings are ingrained in the spirituality of every tribal culture globally. It has also been presented as a “School of Spiritual Discipline” under many names. Buddhism is one of these paths and offers a person guidance through instructions on how to achieve liberation from ego as represented in their desires and expectations. A person arrives at this level of functionality, identified as one with the Buddha-mind, after having arrived at the other side of the Maze of Liberation from Self.
As documented elsewhere, there is an additional discipline within my indigenous tribal culture referred to as “The Seven Challenges of a Cherokee Medicine Man”. The instructions regarding this discipline were imparted to me by the Cherokee Medicine Man, Rolling Thunder, in Carlin, Nevada, in April, 1991. As events started to transpire in 2003 I recognized that I was entering into the Seventh Challenge, which is to lose all support from my community and Spirit Helpers, and function in this reality for an undetermined amount of time until I have proven myself to be capable of adhering to the spiritual teachings without attempting to alleviate any duress throughout this time period. The best example of this is The Book of Job, where Job never lost his sense of connectedness to his purpose or the Universe as he observed all material aspects of his reality dissolve around him. The difference between Job and myself is that Job got to remain in his home throughout his challenge. I lost my physical place through foreclosure in 2007 and was evicted into homelessness.
In January, 2010, I completed all three models of spiritual discipline simultaneously. According to the feedback given to me through that intuitive relationship with the Ancient Ones whom I dialogue with during deep meditation and/or dream time, I am the first human being to complete all three disciplines at the same time. I am also the first person to complete the Seven Challenges in over 120 years. I really had no interest in doing any of this. I was invested with a sense of purpose and was willing to risk my life if need be, but I wanted to hold on to who I was as an entity no matter what. Rather than be reintroduced back into society at that level of achievement, I must continue to do a reversal of the Warrior's Spiral back to the point of beginning. This left me hanging out there without support of any kind for brief periods of time, including the absence of Spirit Helpers.
Signs would appear along the way that indicated that these Spirit Helpers were returning to be present throughout my daily life. One of those was the sudden intense odor of what smelled like the seasoned hide of a buffalo one day while staying with a friend in Seymour, Tennessee. I had all my belongings of the time in my car and was sleeping on their floor in a sleeping bag. One day I went out to get clean clothes before taking a shower. The odor was familiar but it took me a few days to figure out what it was. I refer to it as “my clean clothes smell like a buffalo wallow”. The odor is the sign that the White Buffalo Calf Woman has given me a blessing. I joked with a friend back in 1989 about getting fired from a job because I smelled like a buffalo. (I never did get paid the $2000 I was supposed to earn based upon a contract with those folks. I blew it off as part of my support of the wife of the couple who had hired me, as she had recently lost a child during miscarriage and went off the deep end for a little while.) Now I really do smell like a buffalo sometimes, which is hard to do in this society that is ignorant of such blessings.
Throughout my life there have been challenges that were difficult to work past, other than what has been discussed so far. Life goes on in spite of one's living a disciplined life. One of those challenges has been the presence of an energy that has been identified as a jin. There are a number of schools of thought that offer models by which we identify challenges in our lives. Some are better than others at this process but none are perfect in the naming of reality with respect to spiritual challenges. When using the model of “Demons” to identify adversity, all some schools of thought suggest that one's reality is an external representation of one's spiritual self, serving as a mirror of where one is at. Others suggest that the effort to achieve greatness in the face of adversity is responded to with enough adversity to make sure the person really wants to get there. Sometimes adversity is there to show the person that they really are who they have become when they have completed a spiritual journey.
I don't remember the exact date when I first encountered a jin. I remember waking up one night while sleeping next to my wife of that time and sensing that someone was in the room with us. I struggled to wake up and protect my family from this invader. I felt like I was trapped in deep sleep and couldn't wake up. Finally I was able to open one eye and look at the foot of the bed, even though I couldn't move any other muscle in my body. I saw this man sitting there who looked like the ugliest man I had ever seen. His body looked like it was made out of a sponge or something very porous like that. As soon as he sensed that I was looking at me he looked directly into my eyes for a second, then blinked and dissolved into smoke. He moved to my wife's face and she inhaled the smoke flowed into her nostrils and was gone. I knew then that she was hosting a demon. I didn't know that it was a demon until many years later when a friend who followed the Islamic Way told me the kind of demon I had seen based upon my description. She also related that according to the historical information, a person would go insane if they looked a jin in the eyes like that.
I think the person hosting a jin goes insane whether they ever see it or not. It is not a healthy energy to host. We were divorced a few years later and it stayed crazy anyway. She always projected this sense of having domination over me no matter what the circumstances were. I intuited that she was deriving this false sense of security and control from the jin. As things transpired I was cut off from any relationship with our two sons. I would send letters as they grew up but I was told that they would not read them or keep any presents I sent out of fear of reprisal from their mother.
As I entered into the next marriage in this timeline, I became aware that things weren't as they appeared on the surface. I could tell that there was a similar dynamic going on. As the marriage ran its course and was terminated via divorce, I found myself talking to yet another “former spouse”. As we sat talking about the financial needs of our daughter I observed her skin being transformed into a sponge-like texture and this very ugly man projected an image of his self over her skin. I blinked a few times and it was still there. I didn't know what was going on in the moment, but remained calm and completed the conversation. Later, during meditation, I realized that the jin that this person was hosting had become so emboldened in its sense of control that it allowed itself to be seen by me, perhaps anticipating that I would go crazy when I looked into it's eyes. It should have known already that I had already been field tested. I was riddled with anxiety, which was an understandable response to the situation I was in, but I didn't go crazy.
I love the ending to this story about the jin, and I think it is important to include this information in a narrative about raising hope. While attempting to reconnect with anyone who was willing to do so following the completion of the Seven Challenges, I sent a few e-mails to an old friend, Donna Schoolfield. In the fall of 2012 she brought it to my attention that she had been following the activities of a person who had been in active duty but went rogue from his military station in his respective country. As she related his profile I started to intuit that he was hosting a jin. Her request was that I neutralize the demon he was hosting. Her expectation might have been that once the demon was exorcised that he would realign himself with goodness and come in out of the cold. That wasn't the case, and I realized it as I worked through this challenge. I started having dreams of this man. I started identifying news stories of unusual events to be associated with his activities. He was not a good person at all.
The person has free will and how things work out in that regard wasn't part of my participation. I had only been asked to address the negative energy the person was hosting. As I surmised that this was a jin and started to figure out how to engage the jin in some manner that would cause it to exit the premises I discovered what set the jins apart from the rest of the lot of demons. Jesus was able to dialogue with the demons that “Legions” was hosting and arrive at an agreement with them to exit the premises in that situation, but it was no help in this case. Anytime a jin was in duress it would send out a distress call and all the other jins in the Universe would stop what they were doing and arrive to assist the threatened jin. That culmination of a host of jins was why it was impossible to use the more common methods of neutralization with them. I had no idea of what to do, really, but I knew it was time and at some point, documented in e-mail messages to Donna Schoolfield, I waved a red flag in that jin's face like it was a charging bull in a bull fight and off we went.
Since nothing else would work and I knew that any demon would feel at home in hell, I dove into hell. As we went deeper and deeper into the nine levels of hell, the jin started to experience a bit of duress and sent out a distress call to it's kind. Suddenly I was being chased through hell but all the jins in the Universe. There was only one place to go and that was to the deepest depths of Hell. When I got there I was in a sea of nothingness. I knew that the deepest levels of hell would dissolve all aspects of “self” and I didn't have much time to do something. The jins were moving in unaware of their situation, intent only upon engaging in conflict with me. I had been into the nothingness through the spiritual disciplines and noted that this level of nothingness wasn't that much different from that of liberation for self. I sensed that the highest peaks of “heaven” were just on the other side of a very thin membrane and in order to pass through that membrane I would have to become “nothing”, if only for a nanosecond. The aspects of not doing this looked about the same, but for a much longer indeterminate time. I did the exercise of “nothingness” and moved towards that membrane. I felt myself passing through it. As I got to the other side I sensed that a Thunder Being was waiting for me. As soon as I was fully through the Old Man threw a spark in my direction and I became self again. The entire body of jins were left on the other side to bounce off that membrane for a very long time. When they change the direction they are going in and head back to the greater good of all things in this Universe, they will become better entities for having gone through this experience. The video, Voices (a desert song) was inspired by this experience.
Meanwhile, I knew that I had done something that had never occurred before in the history of the Universe. It was completely unknown before that moment that it was possible to pass through the membrane separating heaven and hell. I had to make an appearance before what I refer to as The Council, a body of ascended entities who have some voice in how things are going in this Universe. I made an appearance during a dream. They related that they appreciated my efforts to occupy the jins with the challenge of liberation from the depths of hell, and they said they would overlook how I managed to escape, but they also asked that I never did that again. Whew! Some mornings I wake up from dreams that are better than any science fiction that I've ever read.
Anyway, I was given a task and experience that helped me to identify the validity of my spiritual condition. I had lived and survived in what appeared to be a hopeless situation as I traversed the Maze of Liberation from Self while also muttering along through the Spiral and Seventh Challenge. I don't think it takes near as long to do one as it does to do all three, as they all have to line up just right for me to progress to the next dissolvement of any illusions I might have about self. Liberating myself from all those jins who had been making my life as difficult as possible from as long as I can remember was the icing on the cake.
I have an opportunity to convey this narrative of hope to the Universe in order to let others know that it is possible to transcend all challenges that would appear to hinder one from achieving liberation from selfish desires and expectations. That doesn't eliminate the pain of interacting with others who are still hell-bent upon achieving their selfish desires and expectations. We are like the jins in some respect. We are all related and we are all in this together until ever human spirit has achieved liberation from self. Jins may be highly damaged human spirits who are starting all over again from the bottom of the heap, so we keep them in our prayers as we seek to have all our relations find this Sacred Path into Freedom.
In my efforts to continue the work of passing on my experiences, I have the opportunity to instill hope for all those who seek freedom from bondage of selfish intentions. While every breath that I take exhales into a spirit of freedom that spreads throughout the atmosphere for as long as I am alive, I have other ways of sharing this hope as well. A touch, a song, a voicing of hope in any manner, visual art, poetry, video works, and music are all vehicles by which I am able to imbed the spirit of freedom into the mind's of others. It is my intention to honor my purpose in the Universe. I will embrace every opportunity to do so. I am able to share these milestones of where the Path leads and mark the Path with these signs of hope, that it is humanly possible to achieve this goal of total freedom from all illusions. I achieved this status in this life-time as per the instructions that were given to me in 1977 during my first effort to seek an audience with Rolling Thunder in Carlin, Nevada. On the morning I was to meet with him I heard a voice telling me something right before I woke up. “You don't get a teacher this life time. The entire Universe is your teacher this time.” From this experience I can relate that it is humanly possible to achieve liberation and freedom without a teacher or instructor of these spiritual disciplines, but I don't recommend it. Be grateful for those teachers that put up with you. I know I am grateful for all those who guided me up to that point where I was able to take that leap of faith and do it without the presence of an on-going, hands-on guide. They did a damn good job of it.
© Oliver Loveday June 4, 2014 2:40pm EDT
“The Lizard King”
w/inscription – “glazed flow of tripping when Max Ernst was the Lizard King”
Watercolor, oil pastel and pencil
9 x 12 inches | 30 x 22.8 cm 50 lb
June 3, 2014
Collection of Eric DeVos