I don’t believe in hocus pocus and I do (Jury’s out). It’s a constant struggle with me. Wounded and distorted by the New Age movement or what my dear friend Jeff Brown calls “New Cage”. I have grown skeptical and even quite cynical of anything that suggests hocus pocus. I feel perhaps I dove in too deep, desperately searching for my tribe of weirdos, for truth, for a path through my pain only to realize that no one, or no one theology had that answer.
And as I stepped away from it I began to realize I was being caged in (my choice) by yet another limited ideology and began to awaken to my own, not my own ideology, but to the presence of the inner voice that always knew the way. I did perhaps get a little angry, disappointed in those who’d made grand promises that if I followed their path, bought their program or signed up to their retreat I would be freed. At a point I even convinced myself that I had the power to create a program that would do the same. I “drank the Kool Aide”. Perhaps because it was easier to buy or sell someone else’s promise than it was to look in the mirror and face the pain.
And like a razor I began to cut them all out of my life one by one. Some intentionally and some unintentionally but after it all, after I looked back at the story that had unfolded for me. I realized I was living somewhat of utopian fantasy. It all began to look like a circus, every teacher like a magician performing wonder in front of your eyes while their team picked your pocket as you left. Except I/we, if this is resonating with you, chose to hand our wallet, or our power over.
Please don’t mistake my personal experience for shaming a movement that at the heart of it, at least I hope, had/has good intentions. Regardless of my experience I met many a good hearted human on that path and as Ram Dass has said “we are only ever being walked home”
And it seems it was exactly what I needed to get where I am today. Working with a more grounded perspective, while exploring the possibility of a master puppeteer who orchestrates it all. But for now as my husband always says “I don’t know what I don’t know” and I’ll let that be a mystery. People have spent thousands of years trying to uncover “the truth” behind this cosmic experience and all have come up empty handed only to find what has been left behind by others searching for the same answer. And then we spar over who holds the monopoly on truth. And quite frankly I’m tired of sparing. Aren’t you?
But what I do know for sure is what I am directly experiencing and what rings true for me. And for the last couple of months an old “New Age” thought has arisen (at least one I learned through that movement), “Is everything coming up to be healed?” cause it seems like the majority of what I am experiencing has picked at old wounds. Old wounds of being bullied, ostracized and beaten into silence. And the fear that if I push back, or stand up, there will be consequences that my soft heart might not be able to bear.
But like the spiritual warrior I am. I feel the fear, sometimes for a while, a very long while. Sometimes falling into a temporary depression, spending days even weeks inside, feeling the feels, processing the pain through my emotions, and then taking it all to self-inquiry, and staying still long enough to listen to what “the self” has to say. I deeply feel that unless we face, or surrender to our pain, unless we allow our emotions the space to do their thing. We will always carry a heaviness with us which adds up experience after experience, eventually causing us to break down mentally and physically, sometimes spiraling into a psychological abyss from which we may not be able to return from.
And from my experience there is no teacher, theology, pill or hocus pocus that can usher us home but ourselves. Every experience giving us the opportunity to look deeper, to listen with more intensity, and to draw from it the light we need to find our way.