#Parentaldeath: An inconvenient truth

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The majority of people who have children make an assumption that upon their death the children will take care of everything. For the most part, parental death is a family affair that comes with emotional baggage that more often than not outweighs common sense. In this article I will be opening up this topic to investigate the reality of the death-aftermath that children are faced with upon parental death.

“Having children” is a loaded topic that is predominately equated with the joy of procreation but the package has many more dimensions and many of them are not openly discussed. Consider that having children represented an old-age insurance. Once an individual could not work anymore,  there were younger bodies that could step up to the situation and support the ageing parent. For many in the world this is still a viable approach because there is no other option of survival, ensuring that a person’s basic needs are met when they are too old to work. In Western countries, this picture changed due to the changes that were brought on by the industrial revolution.

Robin Blackburn who reviews UK pension history writes: “The ability of offspring to take care of their parents in old age was limited by their own earning power and the family’s access to property. In the countryside owning land was the best insurance for old age but in the growing towns and cities of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries only a small minority had family businesses which could offer a similar cushion.”

So pension funds developed out of this necessity where workers would start paying into a fund at a younger age to guarantee a minimal coverage of their living expenses by the time they were too old to work. Early pensioners, as today, were skirting the poverty line, especially when there was no supplementary income available.

In a similar vein, it is understood by most parents that when they are gone their personal effects, property, finances and so forth are passed onto the children and the children will deal with it. Society sees this as an honorable act, it is part of the family lineage that creates history and preserves tradition – whether children like or not. Though the truth is that in our contemporary life children face a huge responsibility that engulfs time, money, and effort. Many of us are not prepared or equipped to deal with so many belongings, the financial burden and administrative aspects of bringing closure to a person’s  life time.

The topic of death is hardly ever discussed, let alone looked at in common sense or addressed in a practical manner that eschews all emotions and focuses on the facts. However, fact is that when the death of a parent comes around and that parent has made no preparations, the situation turns into a dramatic period in every child’s life. And there is no law to protect the child from an irresponsible parent.

It is entirely left up to the parent how much work, money and time a child will have to devote to a parent’s afterlife. If the parent was oblivious to inheritance laws, the child could face heavy financial burdens.  Obviously this will reveal the character and nature of the parent though at this stage it’s too late to make any changes.

There are many dimensions that could be laid out in respect to a parent’s death and what a child may be facing, but as an overall approach I would like to look at how we can conceptualise the death aftermath. Here I would like to suggest we make it part of the of the sustainable development agenda. The reason for this is that death/birth are a human development goal that needs to be attended to because birth as well as death converge into the greater system of resources of human consumption.

In the first instance this would require each person receiving education about death procedures and the laws surrounding inheritance, which would create awareness in two ways. For example, the child would be aware of the fact that taxation and debt is something they might have to be responsible for if the parent leaves behind property and unpaid bills. At the same time, a parent would have the same awareness and could pro-actively make arrangements that help ease the financial burden on the child (for example gifting the property to the child while still alive etc).

Secondly, in today’s contemporary society, values shift rapidly. Mom’s Sunday tableware does not captivate us nor do we have the space to house her extensive collection. Old world values seem to have longer shelf life and durability when compared to our electronic life style, where gadgets become obsolete in just a couple of years. (eBay’s collectible and antique market is fading). However, those objects – whether it’s mom’s Sunday tableware or dad’s antique bureau – are made up of valuable resources which could be easily recycled or upcycled. The options to dispose of large quantities of household articles and personal belongings are few with poor monetary compensation. A tax break for responsible household dissolution could be another way to kickstart this point in the sustainable dying agenda.

Thirdly, states could issue basic guidelines about personal belongings, property, finances etc where each person maps out a dissemination agenda, which could be updated at each stage of their life, to eliminate situations where a person dies without will or a inheritor receives something unwanted. Online testaments are already implemented but not enforced by the state – this could easily be done just like taxation has been enforced.

Fourthly, children should have a way to say what they are willing to take responsibility for while the parent is still alive so that the parent, if the child is not willing to take over a specific responsibility, finds an alternative solution. This could be done in a way that the parent is legally obliged to disclose their death preparations when the child has reached a certain age, say 16 years.  For example, imagine the child has a low functioning autistic sibling, who requires a lot of care and is a high financial commitment. Upon the parent’s death, there is an assumption that this responsibility now becomes the responsibility of the other sibling. The situation might be more than inconvenient – it may even be impossible. If this situation was already cleared in an official manner, for example via an online responsibility document visible to the parent and the child alike, the parent would have to take precautionary steps that would ensure that the autistic child is cared for upon the parent’s death.

These four steps serve to inspire ways in how we can improve an area in our lives that is overlooked and overvalued (in terms of how much we actually value what is being passed on to us). There is much room for expansion, where we can create a platform of equality when it comes to the responsibility that each of us has to take the consequences of our death seriously. One way of providing this platform is to make the communication between parents and children about the death aftermath much more transparent. Transparency about the death aftermath eliminates assumptions and stops passivity because many are hiding behind their fear of death.

References:
Banking on Death, Or, Investing in Life: The History and Future of Pensions (2002), Robin Blackburn

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World change through individual principled living

Like everyone else on planet earth, I have been educated from the perspective of the culture and society I grew up in. Generally speaking both, ‘culture and society’, constitute the socio-political underpinning of the overarching and worldwide distributed financial system, and regardless where we are located in the world ‘culture and society’ function by and through the role of money – our world system. The teachings I have received throughout my life, whether in school, at home or by religious institutions implicitly reference the prevalent traditions and conditions that serve this financial system, and they also mirror the disintegrated and fragmented manner of our existence. The outcome of this dilemma is that we are limited in developing an awareness towards the interconnectedness and interrelatedness of the various topics and their artefacts, and are paralysed by their large-scale negative impact that affects the world at large in form of pollution, various types of wars, inequality and enslavement. Relationship play outs that result from the failure of working out a system that holistically supports life are most pertinently perceived when they affect our personal existence, which typically alternates in polarisation between success and failure. Though for many, even this polarisation is limited to a life long manifestation of failure instrumented through deprivation and dispossession.

 

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In the process of creating a better world for the living fabric of earth, we require to change ourselves, to develop awareness that can lead to actions that are focussed on directing the system to a point where we can affect changes that build on the interrelatedness of all things; where we work from the consequences that we potentially create by our actions backwards to the solution. This reverses the current trend where consequences of our collective doing are accumulative and patched up with the sole purpose to keep the world system going. In this context our actions are guided by greed and fear of survival and are implemented, ever so surreptitiously, by principles hatched out by the corporate machine using clandestine methodologies that permeate advertising, entertainment and media in general.

The only way forward from here is to live a principled life that disconnects from the undeclared and disclaimed principles of the world system and for each individual to consciously and deliberately re-connect with the principle of the living.  The importance of this step is to learn to understand the contributions we make to the world from the moment we put a decision into motion, breath-by-breath. A principled living ‘life style’ moves us from the accepted limitations orchestrated by personal memories in form of education, parenting, and cultural traditions, which we justify daily in our personal lives to a new awareness of true choices. In this way, we reconstitute through our own life a daily trajectory where we step-by-step learn to see, understand and realise the significance of the role we play in keeping the status quo of a world in self-annihilation.

This approach to the world and living is not merely a re-focussing, it is a re-orientation of our commitments from the consumption culture, which we ‘naturally’ subscribe to and function within at various levels and are meagrely aware of how we have extended ourselves into it (think of your dreams, wishes and desires) to a holistic view point that includes the role of self –  through the becoming of a self-aware participant. The re-orientation of our commitments to the principle of the living from the staring point of life presents an opportunity of self-education that penetrates the circular limitations of self-reflection that can be seen in many of the system-critical voices of celebrity ‘thinkers’ operating on the forefront in promoting the necessity to change the world, and are evidenced by the static world trajectory plotting the same course in spite of all realisations for change.

The declaration of the principle of the living that I will follow and adhere to can be read in the link below.

http://forum.desteni.org/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=6833

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Assuming the role of leadership

In the past 6 months I have been spearheading a team of people who work in research, consulting, and the ICT sector. Our goal was to submit a project proposal to one of the largest research funding schemes worldwide. The team grew slowly at first we were only two people, myself and another researcher – my partner X. We did a lot of work to recruit other consortium members and to get money for consultants through an internal funding scheme at my university.  We gained partners and we lost partners. Other partners where difficult to find, such as our coordinator, who takes up a supporting role with a lot of organizational and administrative responsibility. These large-scale projects are a bureaucratic nightmare, and the coordination of such a project involves a lot of footwork that not many are willing to do. During the past 5 months we had to learn quickly about the field we were targeting; about the various EU policies involved; about the legal and administrative obligations, and we were constantly making decisions to assess our progress and to make changes if necessary.

Today we submitted our proposal; it was truly a collaborative effort. Most progress of proposal writing was made in the past two months and most intensely so in the past three weeks. I was in the center of it all and in constant communication with the other core members, working by email, on skype, and in telcos. With the exception of one person, I had no prior connection to the other partners, I had never met them, and only met partner X once at a busy conference last year.  It was remarkable to see this intense collaborative effort with total strangers. What drew us together was a combination of personal, institutional, but mostly economic reasons. Some were in the consortium because of their passion for the project idea, and the research and innovation it requires to materialize the project, others because of the potential funding of a 3 year project which will secure their job for that time, and others again because their institution has a policy to get on as many of these types of proposals as possible to increase chances of getting one funded.

In the past two weeks we worked feverishly all day until late into the night. All of us live in different countries spread all over Europe, as far as Greece in the East, Ireland in the North, and Spain in the South, and even all the way to Australia where one consortium member is staying for a while. We all communicated in English even with those who share the same mother tongue. We were functioning like an organism, emails being sent back and forth and skype chat pings were sometimes going off by the minute. Being in a leading position I was often answering three to four streams of email and skype pings at the same time, making decisions by the minute, giving input, and approving decisions made by others, often so extensively that the only time I had to work without interruption was either very late at night or very early in the morning. We all got used to each other’s availabilities because of the many time zones where people woke and slept at different times, and the time frames we could reach each other for immediate responses to urgent questions. We were all witnesses to our own potential as collaborative force that functioned united in the goal of producing a strong proposal that has a chance of being awarded the 2 million Euro funding.

The exception was one partner, who happened to be the one partner I started to develop the idea with when we first met at a conference last year. In hindsight, two months ago the first signs where showing but I was shrugging them off because I accepted the fact that in collaborations there is always someone who slacks, who does not carry their weight in contributing to the team effort. But then something started to happen within me, I got more and more concerned, I couldn’t sleep at night. I was still following my own process of releasing myself from backchat, but not much in writing mostly speaking and mostly while I was driving to work, at total of 90 minutes a day. The clock was ticking and every day the submission day moved close and we still had large pieces missing that were supposed be contributed by partner X. I tried to come up with solutions to the problem, because by now it was obvious that the proposal was not evolving properly and that partner X was not reasonable by claiming a large part of the budget for work that was not explained in detail. I noticed that there was a certain ‘stuckness’ on the side partner X sending out the same information times and again, even though we had specified that we needed more detail, more active participation, but the contributions remained underdeveloped and unexplained. Meanwhile, I was dealing with my emotional state, I felt cornered because I could clearly see that we were not in the position to write an adequate proposal, and more over, the other consortium members did not have the overview of the problem as much as I did with the exception of the consultants who were external to the consortium and only supporting a specific part of the writing process. Some consortium members did not have the technical background, others stayed out of it because their personal contribution was their main focus. The situation escalated within the consortium and within me where I experienced myself in anger and fear at the same time. It was as if a part of me was pushing me forward because I was in a situation of having to actively participate in what I experienced as a conflict. Habitually I stayed out of conflicts, I literally remove myself from the situation or I find another way to ‘balance’ the situation so that the conflict disappears. Such was my mind program. Here, I was too involved to give up on the project because by now I had too much responsibility towards the university and the people I/ we, had recruited. What to do?

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Since partner X was the original member of the consortium the other partners saw partner X and myself as those who are in charge of the evolution of the consortium and the proposal. The coordinator eventually told us to work out the problem between ourselves. It also did not help that partner X represented a prestigious, high quality research institution in Europe whereas I work in a rather unknown and young research university with a growing reputation. I spoke to those on the project who I felt had more experience than me and asked for advice on what to do. I also spoke to the research facilitators to get yet another view from the university. I noticed that there is an entire culture build up around these types of consortiums with a set of etiquettes on how to behave and proceed as a consortium member. Based on the advice I received I tried to come up with solutions, one of my better ones was to get an additional partner on board who could fill in the pieces that partner X was not providing. But of course, our budget was quite limited to accommodate the cost of yet another partner, which meant that in any way partner X had to reduce ‘person month’ costs as well as the cost for the hardware that they were bringing to the project. Because I actually believed in my solution, I proceeded to find another partner who I placed on stand-by. In a telco with the coordinator, the university’s research facilitator who I dragged into the situation as back-up, and my partner X, I proposed my idea but the result was the same as before, it was unacceptable to partner X. The underlying fear that I was experiencing was that if I were to tell partner X to leave the consortium the coordinator would stop participating at which point the whole consortium would fall apart. My fear was confirmed when one of the consultants mentioned that a potential leave by the coordinator was implied by one of the last emails that were sent out in relation to the conflict situation. The counter fear of that was if I were to proceed as is, I would knowingly submit a proposal that would not stand a chance of being successful in the reviews and all effort was wasted.

When partner X started to participate less and less in the proposal writing process, my personal communication also diminished because I felt powerless and feared being attacked by partner X if I were to voice my concerns directly. I was also angry and feared that my anger would come through in the conversation. So I managed all communication with partner X via group emails or telcos, avoiding conversations alone. All of this was deliberate because I saw that I did not want to take responsibility for the situation, I did not want to assume the role of a leader who makes decisions that may fail and could lead to me standing accused of the failed situation by all the other consortium members. I was afraid of their wrath.

This realization transpired three weeks ago during a weekend where I alternated work with sessions of self-forgiveness because I had to find out what was going on inside of me. I had to stop my self-limitations of believing that I had no way out. I had to make a decision, there was no one left to make a decision for me. I had to take the risk to let go and trust myself. The following Monday, I got up very early to be able to reach the Greek coordinator first thing in the morning, taking the 2 hour time difference into consideration. I had a calm word with her to find out where she was standing, I explained the beginning of the project, the evolution and my investment, and gave background she did not have before. The result of the conversation was that I was assured that the coordinator would not leave the consortium if partner X were no longer a consortium member. This bit of communication gave me the backbone to face partner X. Equally calm, I phoned to have a one to one conversation for the first time in weeks. While we were both calm, the conversation did not bring any new developments, partner X could not or would not see the problem. I had to make a decision, there and then. After another phone call to the new partner because I wanted to be absolutely sure that this partner was the right choice and could take over, I phoned partner X again and ended the collaboration. Within hours everything changed.

Three weeks before submission of a type of proposal that many institutions will prepare months and sometimes even years for, I kicked out a core partner and acquired a new one. The new partner immediately assumed his role and was a complete match to the project and to our way of working. Within less than a  week we had more information for the proposal than we had received from partner X in a month. My decision was right on, I actually made a decision that was best for all, overcoming my own fears of responsibility and leadership and by placing myself into a situation were I had no choice of running away but to move forward beyond the conception and patterns of how I saw myself.

There were many more valuable lessons in these past six months that I could write about. Just briefly, the breakthrough came with standing up to my abusive supervisor who used coercion and cognitive dissonance in his behaviour to staff members. Because I made this step and took the abuse to the top level of the university, I stepped out of the limited position I was in and could take the administrative route to become project lead and even get grant money to pay for the consultants. Now looking back on this time that was so densely packed with lessons, the main element that they all had in common is that I did not give up on myself. I stepped out of patterns of self-victimisation that I have previously used to limit myself and to conjure up feelings of self-pity, powerlessness, and inferiority.  I learned to trust that how I was assessing the situation was accurate which showed me that I actually have the skill of common sense where in the past I have used reason to find ways to diminish my ability to see things for what they are.

Another valuable lesson was that I saw the veil of emotion and how it forms an invisible wall that I have to step through with the only tool that I have which is self-forgiveness, to see what this ‘emotional wall’ consists off.  There are still many areas where I have to work on to move myself passed the veil of emotion. I have now seen an overview of what is it like when I so clearly emerge on the other side with my physical environment reflecting this self-movement.

Regardless of whether the project is funded or not, I will be able to benefit from the experience in the months to come to walk through related points and programs that were opened up in the course of the past six months, and this is what I look forward to.

 

“Assuming the role of leadership” – how did I get here:

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“The Decision” – Bernard, I got it

In my effort to move on and face the world that was left behind with Bernard’s passing, I continue to write on the topic, on that which I learned from the man who embodied the sum of all relationships that I could ever have with any human. (I referred to him elsewhere as self-complete).

In the beginning of this year, Bernard asked if me if I had made my decision, the decision of who I am. At the time, I found this question difficult to understand. I wrote several blogs on how I no longer wanted to cater to the picture, the idea, that I had of myself. The secret wishes that motivated me to pursue certain activities, and that shaped my interests and preferences in the world and patterned my relationship with others. Wishes that are build on lies, grandeur, arrogance and manipulation. Through the process of self-forgiveness, I shed the outer layer of these secrets yet I see that I am not free of self-judgements. Secretly wishing to be this or that is directly born from the inner mental eye that we cast upon ourselves not realising that this eye cannot see in physical reality and yet, it determines what we place into Pandora’s box, where we hide ourselves away.

A few pages of self-forgiveness later, I realised that all I wrote out was that which I no longer want to be and by doing so I worked on a process of elimination, which I grasped in hindsight has nothing to do with making a decision about who I am. Though, it was a necessary step because it created a clearance within me, and although I am still working on picture ‘elements’, they are no longer the fuzzy bunch but a few fist-size rocks that clearly shimmer through the water, as I chisel away at them.

With the accumulation of the insights that I had during my farm visit, I realised that to make a decision about who I am is the substrate of stopping my reactions. Especially fear and anxiety are at the root of a meandering, wavering Self that bends over backwards at each crossroad because it is spineless and brings no firmness to any situation. And this much was true, making decisions was one of my greatest “weaknesses” thus far. That’s not to say that I faltered at every step of the way, in some areas I have been more decisive than others but as a general approach to choice, I have developed a canon of tactics to deal with decision-making times. One of the ways I disguised indecisiveness for myself was to believe that I am a patient person – “I can wait, really” – until my environment makes a decision for me. This is what happened just recently when Bernard died. The decision to walk my process for real emerged from Bernard’s passing. I could no longer postpone the reality that I am walking this process for myself, that I must rely on my Self and not on Bernard. I must lead myself and probe, investigate and conduct this self-study, because now the decision has been made for me – Bernard is dead.

Making the decision – of who I am – is much simpler than I ever expected it to be but of course much harder to implement. The decision lies within that which I bring to each situation – the Self-relationship I bring to the world. A situation is a collection of moments with a distinct set of encircling stances – circumstances – that are formed through all entities that participate in a particular situation. The decision that answers the question “who am I”, is my position within those encircling stances. Position is an interesting word in this context, because it denotes primarily a location in space based on coordinates that are physically measurable. Strictly physically speaking, no body is ever without location in space.

The decision about who I am is therefore whether I chose to have a relationship with myself or not. This Self-relationship is actually a place within my being where I am whole and inseparable from myself, no matter what happens in my environment. When I chose to have no relationship with myself, in which case I am not the one directing my position, I will be directed by my memory in form of reactions such as fear, anxiety but also happiness and sentiment, which “move” me in every way, in the words I speak, in my gestures, in how I approach tasks, what I do and what I don’t, and how other’s manipulative faculties influence the way I live my life. By contrast when I am in a relationship with myself what moves me is the central point within me, it’s my internal pivot point of equality and oneness with myself. So, in essence the difference lies in whether I bring myself to the situation holistically, or whether the situation is ‘brought’ to me, where I receive the situation based on my database of memories and other people’s opinions and beliefs. These memories, beliefs and opinions act like wedges which I allow to exist between myself and the world, and as a consequence, I experience myself in separation.

What has happened since is that once I made the decision to walk the relationship of my Self, I enter situations differently. Sure, I am in the developmental stages of building a relationship with Self yet I am clear on the position that I take within myself. When I am one and equal with and to myself, then, losing my connection because of reactions is only a temporary occurrence and I drop the separation immediately and reconnect. It happens in the moment, my awareness shifts back to my body. The answer to the question “who am I ?” is therefore “I am ‘how’!” – I am connected to myself – which I see now is the gateway to all other relationships that I create in the world both physically and conceptually.

So, Bernard, if you were here, I’d say to you “I got it”.

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Bernard Poolman at the Desteni Farm

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Nothing has changed, everything has changed – a personal tribute to Bernard Poolman

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Bernard Poolman in the recent years before his death

It still seems unreal to me, when just weeks ago I was talking to Bernard Poolman at the farm where I was visiting for three weeks – and now Bernard is dead. He passed away on August 11th from the impact of a heart attack. I remember it was dark already, an early winter evening in South Africa, when I first met him in person, as he had just returned from a city trip dealing with some legal administration. He stepped onto the veranda and called my name making long rolling sounds with this mischievous twinkle in his eyes that I was to see more than once throughout my stay. It was as if he was saying to me “and so it is, we meet again”, but of course, this is just my interpretation. Bernard was like a mirror to each of us, he reflected our own perceptions back to us, and he understood very well what was happening inside of us in that moment, so that he tailored his words as a point of support, to help us see what we were doing to ourselves, the things we wanted to see in the world that weren’t there. Interactions with Bernard were a real-time opportunity for self-change.

He then proceeded to give me a hug and we sat down at the table and started talking. There were moments were he was visibly in pain because of the work that he had taken on using his physical body. He was preparing our world for a rebirth into equality and oneness but how many of us have an understanding of what that means on a physical level? Bernard did not care much about the pain, for him this was the byproduct of an extraordinary task that had to be done to sort out this world – a world that is in reverse.

A world in reverse starts with our pursuit for pleasure, for well-being, for fitness, beauty, comfort, and health. Bernard showed us by example of his life the difference between existing as a picture and existing as life. Becoming life is to stop catering to the picture, it is a process that requires us to step out from behind the smoke screen and become the real thing – passed the pain, passed the resistances – a self-willed entity, and to see the web of relations we have created within every aspect of this world.  ‘Fractalising’ our existence, ourselves, and every living thing on planet earth into an endless array of divisions, restrictions, and segmentations. This is what we do as a default, we are  “naturals” at this and call it “human nature”, we submit ourselves to our minds and we don’t stop ourselves from getting sucked up. With each ‘mind sucker’ a new concepts is created that enhances the divisions, restrictions, and segmentations. Fractals are infinite repetitions that create our world over, look at the branches of the tree or the tiny veins in your hand. We have copied these cycles of repetition only we allow ourselves to default into the separation instead of coalescing the world into equality, where the principle of equality repeats in all aspects of worldly affairs and LIFE succeeds SURVIVAL. Once and for all.

Piecing ourselves back together is accepting that the world must be straightened out without concessions. We must move from negligence and convenience to absolute and unlimited caring for the place called earth. First, however, we must understand how we, each for themselves, have actually reached our current point. Bernard was there to facilitate this understanding because he had taken a machete to the thickest of mind and emotions and cut himself loose – all by himself.

After this initial meeting, I spent whatever time was available visiting Bernard in the main room. Unlike any other stranger I have met before, there was this instant connection, a clear link of communication between us – it was so clear that there was no room for anything else, awkwardness, anxiety, insecurity or any other emotion that typically interferes with our communication signals. Bernard’s uncompromising stance was available to me in every moment of interaction, to centre myself within it. I saw the potential of communication, not in a SciFi “beam me up Scotty” kind of way – this was not about transmitting thoughts, or having a perfect understanding of what was being said between us. Rather a point of communication where I actually got to see myself, where the veil comes off, and where I see what lies behind the words I use, the way I use them, and how I have applied myself over the years in the same mind tracks, like a train forging groves on wheels of words in which I move myself along – struggling, stumbling – a layer so impervious to myself where only glimpses reach my awareness after an intense session of self-forgiveness. Through my conversations with Bernard I realised the true level of carelessness I bring to the world, practically, in every word I speak.

Whenever I entered the room and saw Bernard’s head peek out from behind the computer, he was approachable in the same way, today, as the day before, as tomorrow. There was never a shift or a change and within him that I experienced and because of his absolute stability, our conversations where always only about me. Bernard was self-complete. Let me clarify, selflessness is a “program”, it is what it says: a missing self. It feeds our urge to exist in the denial about who we really are by filling ourselves up with others, with tasks, objects, and services that are apparently needed in the world – selflessness is another escape mechanism. I say ‘apparent needs’, because unlike self-completeness, selflessness cannot respond to what is really needed which is what is best for all in each situation, in each moment, because the person is preoccupied by the reasons he/she wants to escape from. Because Bernard is complete as a self – as is – he was able to respond to what I needed to see and hear at the time. He no longer operated from desire, preference or judgement, the fluctuating emotions that move us like a puppet on a string and that make us blind to our acceptances and allowances in the world, so that we create a world dominated by suffering.  Because Bernard is self-complete (and he still is even when he is no longer in physical form) he could utilise his ‘self’ as a tool for support – for social engineering – one person at the time, to bring about a world that is best for all, beyond his own physical existence.

In Bernard’s presence I experienced myself like a child again. I am talking about a specific aspect of being a child, the innocence that children bring to the world, an unspoiled receptiveness that has not been caught up in all kinds of filters, the ulterior motives we usually place in front of ourselves when we come to speak with others, in how we attempt to protect our vulnerability. I was free of this pre-programmed prompter that supports my survival and I could relax into a part of me that was once my starting point to grasping the world around me. Only now I was grasping myself. Bernard’s self-complete being created an unflinching point of reference in which I could expand my awareness. A reversal of what we usually experience when interacting with others where we suppress and limit ourselves.

Answering my questions was only a part of our communication, he volunteered much of what he saw about me, even when he had to scream it into my ears. He could never scare me though, not for a moment I perceived his expressive way of talking, loud voice and beastly face, as scary. I realised what I had originally considered as scary in my online communications with him, when I first joined the group, was the purity and stableness of his interactions that cut through all the pretences. The fact was that Bernard, the man who died on August 11th, lived entirely without fear. We never encounter a being that does not exist on and in fear – with Bernard fear as a basis to each breath had become life at the basis of each breath. This cannot be easily grasped by the mind because there is no entry point to attach one’s programs – his words, his movements, his actions are not marked by fear, and the mind is at a loss for parity in pre-progammed settings that simply are not there. This can threaten the mind if we allow it.  The main points that Bernard told me about myself where wrapped up in questions inside of me, dinosaur questions, that I had actively pursued years ago. I had all the pieces to the puzzle but I was unable to put them together in the way that they would make sense to me and give me direction. Bernard resurrected these questions and put the puzzle pieces for me in order so that I could leave the farm with more of myself than when I came.

My encounter with Bernard has given my self-realisation process detailed direction, it has sharpened my focus. What I have seen and realised about myself cannot be undone. It has changed everything for me because the more we see about who we are and what we have created, the greater the stakes of responsibility to give everything all of the time, 100% of a no-return investment. Bernard’s death can only be understood from that perspective, he gave everything all of the time and each moment of giving he was aware of the no-return policy – he even told us so many times.

There is an uncanny parallel between Bernard and Jesus, which we can revisit 2000 years from now. It’s not the obvious one that both men lived the principles of equality and that both men gave up their lives as the living principle of responsibility. It’s the parallel that emphasises US – those who have committed themselves to equality as the principle of life. Jesus’s death brought no merit to this world, his words were distorted and his principles misinterpreted, 2000 years later we have a world of abuse, poverty, corruption and war. What the world will be in 4013 is entirely up to us. Jesus and Bernard opened the doors to a new world order using everything available to them, and once again we are left with an opportunity to step out from our pre-programmed designs and become living beings.

I cannot deny that I will miss the man, and that tears cannot do justice of the profound loss we have all witnessed these past few days. As Cerise said, the world is poorer for it, now that Bernard no longer walks the earth. It is however, not a question, that we will continue walking our process. Hearing of his death, much of the shock we experienced are the voices of selfishness –  entitlement to convenience in our processes –  regardless of what Bernard has done for all of us, how much he suffered through the physical pain, we insist on him being here for us, so that we can fall back on our crutches. I speak for myself here and all those who have relied on getting Bernard’s perspective, his encouragement, living vicariously through his commitment. As a group, it’s the moment of realisation that we are always alone in making the decision to stay here breathing and nail our awareness to the ground, or to drift into the illusion of the mind. In that sense, nothing has changed, though everything changes from now on – we walk for real. The time has come.

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Bernard Poolman in 2005 – picture by Rozelle de Lange

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My encounter with Desteni’s portal

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Zaque and Sunette – Photo by Anna Brix Thompsen

In this post I am writing about my personal experience with Sunette Spies in the moments and minutes when she is portalling the dimensions.  I am talking about the bio-technology of connecting to the dimensions by creating a pathway of communication via Sunette’s physical body.  Sunette utlises her body in that she makes it available to those who come through the portal to which we  have direct access to the other side – the un-embodied dimensions. Our bodies have no access because this gateway is realised without the mind. In other words, the mind, as it is, stands between and separates the physical dimension from the un-embodied dimensions. There are many reasons why that is the case but that is not my focus here.

So, we are looking at a technology which is the human body as interface for communication. Before I go on I want to point out that what I am reporting here is seen from my perspective which comes with my personal history, however I am committed to lay out what I have witnessed and comprehended with scrutiny to fully describe to you the added value that this experience has given to my life.

Briefly, my personal history is such that in the past I have been involved with forms of spirituality because I was on a quest to understand myself in this world that did not make sense to me, and where I was not ‘feeling alright’ with how I was experiencing myself. Those paths have included channelling, chanting, affirmations, yoga, mediation and so forth. I moved through a lot spiritual traditions and did not shy away from study and practice, which is why I learned to read and write Sanskrit. I took no shortcuts because I wanted to find the truth. Similarly, I have never suspended my doubts and given into blind belief which is why I am here as a member of the Desteni group. With this group, I have satisfied the ‘urge’ that has driven me most of my life because through Desteni I have learned the tools that enable me to find the answers myself.

Therefore, when I first learned about the portal I was skeptical but yet open-minded to investigate what is being said, and prior to meeting the portal in person this was done through listening to the interviews on Eqafe. These audio interviews are Sunette’s voice used by the various beings from the dimensions, who are recognisable when listening to because of subtle tonality and pitch shifts in her voice.  Once I met the portal, I realised that in my own unawareness I had built up an image of the setup or the environment of what it would have to be like to produce these interviews. When I saw the real deal, it was a humbling experience. There are no props, there is no fancy technology, just a dictaphone. Sunette sits modestly on a couch-bed seamlessly and effortlessly moving into the dimensions as she starts to speak.

I have seen many speakers throughout my professional career in labs and research environments rehearsing for public talks, even quite seasoned ones. These experiences have given me a grounded understanding of what is cognitively possible for most people, to produce comprehensible improv in front of an audience.

The first notable experience for me was that Sunette does not rehearse and that she does not speak from notes. If you know Eqafe, then you know how many parallel series are online which are constantly getting updated with new interviews, and which build in their content on the previous interviews conducted in that particular series. For someone in this line of work, giving interviews that are part of an ongoing process of multiple, parallel strands of topics, concepts, references, analogies, metaphors and so forth would be an overwhelming task. A task that would be unmanageable regarding our mental capacity of remembering data and information from days or months ago.  To create continuity in the delivery of the interviews, where each interview of a particular series was left off for example, would require extensive support, involving people and tools.

Here, with Sunette, there is none of such extensive support, as I said there is a very basic recording device and a woman sitting cross-legged on a couch-bed, speaking. Surrounding Sunette and sitting close by are other visitors who are staying on the farm and who are listening to what the dimensions have to say. Some fall asleep during the interviews, others are completely absorbed. I can’t say what it depends upon, I suppose on the various stages of one’s process or on the topic.

During the interviews Sunette’s body moves in fluent ways complimenting the words with large gestures. It is as if the body is speaking as whole ‘platform’ rather than a mind with a head and a body. I noticed that difference because whenever we see someone gesturing in a pronounced manner, the gesture is still only a secondary aspect to the face and the head, because we predominantly perceive a person talking. With Sunette as the portal, the body is perceived as the primary entity and that which is personal to her, simply fades away. In other words, I only perceive the impersonal and not the character or personality that is Sunette.

During my stay at the farm, there was a change made to the way the portal interacts with the visitors. Prior to the change of how Sunette is portalling, her gaze did not address anyone in specific. This, then, was changed and she looked at us visitors during the interviews. In my experience that only enhanced the perception of the body as body and less as the person that is called Sunette.

To give you an analogy, it’s similar to when you go to the zoo and you see for example a lowland Bongo, or some other animal to which you don’t react because you have absolutely no reference, because you have never seen the animal in reality, your reference points are vague and distant images from books and other media. By not reacting I mean that the animal has not been associated with either collective or personal emotions.  Hence, the experience we have is that the animal is mostly ‘another body’ in space. This ‘otherness’ we perceive is the absence of an emotional relationship but we still identify with the animal as a living being.

Every interview I listened to was a combination of subtle shifts in tonality and pitch depending on the beings that came through yet consistent to the previous interviews in meter and rhythm. And it was this consistency that also made my focus on the words very solid. It’s similar to how we design technological interfaces for human-computer interaction. When an interface is consistent in layout and in structural access points, the learning curve is not only low but the interface becomes transparent in the process of interacting with the information. We call the interface user-friendly.

Therefore, if Sunette, as the portal, would have displayed emotional shifts, it would have been just like listening to any other human. But she does not and this is why I had a clear connection to the words as they were spoken by the portal, and when I did pick up emotions, I realised they were my own.

The portal’s consistency goes beyond what I just described, it also pertains to the content of the interview itself. Whether it is a life review or a reference interview, like one of the quantum systemization interviews, the points that are being drawn out are focussed like a laser beam. It is through the beings’ direct way of seeing the reality that we live in without interpretation and emotional obstructions that we can have unencumbered access to what is shared, the relationships that are conveyed between ourselves and life we create in the world. This is what lead me to insights and realisations, time and again.

I recall that I sat in when the Altanteans came through the portal to talk about the emotion of worry. The Atlantean moved like a drill deeper and deeper into the various dimensions of the relationship we have created with ‘worry’. Let me describe it like this: All humans share the same emotions and our emotions move very fast. All we ever ‘get’ is the experience of the emotion, the intensity and the physical reactions. At this stage we have no access to all the different connecting points of emotions between ourselves and our reality. Psychology cannot say much about emotion beyond a description for the sole reason that psychologists are also walking around with their emotions and they cannot step out of that which has made them.

What the Atlantean did was slow down and stretch out the emotion of worry and then look at the individual relationship parts, in how they ‘fit’ together with our individual realities. Let’s take a visual metaphor. In popular Hollywood movies, you often see – well, as of late –  a fast movement of someone jumping or fighting in action slowed down, almost to the point of still stand. Perhaps, I saw this for the first time in the Matrix movie, was it Agent Smith? Normally we cannot see what an actor’s body actually looks like in these movements because they are too fast for our perception. However, when the movement is slowed down through technology we can see how the legs relate to the arms and the head to the feet, and we see the sequence of arms, head and feet as they twirl through the air.

Similarly, when the Atlantean talked about the emotion of worry, the being was able to communicate a 360 view of the relationships we create in real life when we worry. The moment the words are being said by the being, it is crystal-clear that this is how we experience it without being aware of it. There is a tangibility to what is being said that just stuck to me, and I could apply it to my own life, and see exactly how I create these ‘worry’ relationships.

Because the Atlantean can see directly what “worry” does in the relationship we form with it, the being can then point out solutions that we are able to apply ourselves, to change by disconnecting ourselves from the toxic relationships we create with worry. The week after I listened to that particular (2-part) interview, I have been in a situation where I have already utilised the insights gained from the realisation. I can see more about myself and how I can stop being completely addicted to emotions. It’s the kind of support that supports me to become autonomous in deconstructing myself because the work of walking my process is to be done by me – that is my responsibility.

In an nutshell, I consider these interviews my real education because what I learn here is real and directly linked  to how I can make a difference in my own life.  The learning has transformed me in a way that no conventional education, including my PhD, has ever done for me.

It is clear to me that the essence of our existence is relationships that we all share and that these relationships are the basis for how we have created the system, the culture and our individual lives. We are differently configured with various emphasises in our energy production that determines our emotions: the biochemical production with physical and behavioural reactions as output to the world  – that which we produce as end product in our relationships. At the same time, it is also clear to me that we are able to change the program (such as the ‘worry’ program) when we see what we have done. Currently we don’t see and this is why these interviews are an incredible resource. They are the library of the future through which we learn to see ourselves for real – for the first time. The future part is this: once you have seen what you have become, you can’t go back not having seen it. At that stage, it then becomes a matter of moving forward by learning the tools to change your relationships with the world. As we do so, we change the world to one that is best for all because it’s the obvious thing to do.  So, this is why I wrote this post, go on take chance with Eqafe and have a listen to the portal.

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Who would we be if we stopped comparing ourselves?

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As a child, when I experienced sadness, I often wondered how the world could be if it was not so harsh. Growing up was a tough job and with every year I grew older I saw the struggles in my world getting bigger. Today I realise that my struggles augmented as I perceived the need to compete with others.

We are raised to compete in a world of scarcity and individualism. Scarcity comes with the system we have created: there is not enough affordable education, not enough jobs, not enough food – and so forth. At the same time we have been brainwashed into thinking that we are true individuals, that we are unique by default and through this uniqueness we deserve to have all the things we desire and want, irrespective of everyone else’ needs.

The predisposition of a system of scarcity and the need and desire to stand out and fulfil one’s desires  requires us to compare ourselves and judge who we are in relation to others. In this way we limit our potential because the point of comparison is personal and seen from the perspective of ownership. “This person has something that I don’t have but want”.

However, there is another perspective to look at this scenario: We can learn from each other.

When we encounter others who have obtained a particular skill that interests us or that we struggle with to get better at, we must first recognise that we are reacting emotionally to what we are perceiving. This emotional charge becomes the driving force which leads us to self-judgements and self-limitations. Thoughts like, “I can never be like that” or “I am not good enough to do that” are the typical self-talk that keeps us locked in where we are – we defeat ourselves.

How do we empower ourselves?

We release our current perception of the situation by letting go of the emotional charges. We do that by taking a moment in self-honesty and writing out our experience from the point of self-forgiveness, followed by self-corrective statements. Self-forgiveness and self-corrective statements are self-help tools that can be learned online at no cost.

Once the emotions have been discharged and we are clear that we are expanding ourselves by learning from the other, we focus on the relationship the person has with the skill/action/object. By re-focussing on the relationship between the person and the skill/action/object, we defocus the personal parts which enables us to see into the essence of this relationship. Observing this essence is the learning point, which is where we get the take-home message that becomes useful for our personal expansion.

In a second step, once we have grasped the essence of the relationship the person has with an aspect of the world, e.g. a skill, or a way of going about something, we can use the take-home message and apply it in our own daily lives. This is an important step, because in the process of applying it to our own life and seeing how it can strengthen us, we are not coping or imitating but we are expanding on ourselves by adding a new perspective to our own life through a dedicated process of application.

When we have learned from others in this way, what remains is the our unique expression, which then in turn sparks someone else somewhere to learn from us. Hence, we stand united in our uniqueness and bring about a world where everyone can express who they are because they no longer limit themselves through self-judgement and no longer separate themselves from others through comparison and competition.

The FREE DIP LITE  Course is available to All, simply sign up and start.  This is a powerful free introduction to real self-exploration, and self realisation using the Desteni tools with online support. It’s an opportunity of a life time.

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