Welcome to Rand's Spirit Blog Page!
Here you'll find a frequently updated collection of Rand's thoughts on all things metaphysical. From his own counseling and channeling experiences, to book reviews, contemplations on the tarot, and strategies for motivational interventions and more, Rand will share his inner most thoughts, his rants, and his wisdom regarding the human condition.
In the Tarot Deck...
...the cards entitled Death, the Lightning-Struck Tower, and the Devil represent the forces in spacetime experience over which we possess no conscious control, forces that we cannot stop or defeat or deny; forces that, once set in motion, always in the end overwhelm their targets; the forces, in short, of unstoppable transformation. Death represents unstoppable spiritual transformation; the Lightning-Struck Tower, unstoppable psychological transformation; the Devil, unstoppable physical transformation. I am not good at acceptance. As an incest survivor, acceptance has always seemed the equivalent of acquiescence. And as an addictive-compulsive, I hold an Olympic gold medal in denial. "Acceptance is the answer to all my problems today," says the book upon which all 12 Step programs are based. When it has fallen to my lot in a meeting to read this passage, I have usually done so with a snarl of fury, for it is the opposite of my inclination. "And of all the unstoppable transformations in this life, death is the hardest one of all for me to accept.
Case in point: the only human funeral I have ever attended as an adult was that of my father in 1971. I did not attend my lover's funeral (well, to be fair, I wasn't invited); I did not attend my brother Tony's or my brother Jeffrey's; I did not attend my mother's. I finally visited their graves some 5 or 6 years after Mom's death, and broke down into hopeless, helpless sobs. I felt so guilty: I had failed to save them; I had unjustly survived them; how could I dare to love and enjoy life when their lives had been so cruelly ended? I kept Kaz's ashes for years before I scattered them in my Lujan Street garden, with a pinch of Alex's that someone or other had sent me. And it took me 5 years, until 2008, for me to scatter Moon Pie's ashes in a Pecos arroyo.
It is possible to think one is cultivating acceptance of death when in fact one is resisting it. In Who Dies?, meditator Stephen Levine recounts how, as a young man, he would sit silently in the hospital rooms of the terminally ill in an attempt to ease the transition of the dying. One day he showed up at the hospital to take up his accustomed silent unobtrusive vigil in a room-corner of a man he had been visiting for some time. The man had never spoken a word to Levine, or shown any sign of knowing that Levine was in the room with him at all. So Levine was shocked when the nurse on duty said, "The patient has requested that you no longer visit him." "Why?" asked the young meditator. "He says," replied the nurse, "that you make too much noise." From this Levine realized that the dying man's heightened receptivity had picked up the unconscious terror of death that Levine had been hiding from himself beneath the calm ocean surface of his meditative practice. He had been using his meditation not to soften around his fear and pain, but to anesthetize himself against them.
So have I. Only I haven't used meditation as an anesthetic; I've used trancework; moving from Santa Fe; isolating myself from friendships and social opportunities; stuffing myself, little by little, with chocolate and sugar and fat; avoiding, whenever possible, art, music, puppies, children, the touch of men, joy. I must have felt deep down that if I refused to live, if I stayed in the shadows, on the borderland, half alive, Death would pass me by as not worth the effort. So I pursued this course (all unknowing, you understand, thinking I was striving mightily and hopelessly for wellness and prosperity and love, frustrated by my inability to find these Holy Grails) until I got to the point, last winter, when I realized that I felt like a ghost haunting my own life.
Two weeks ago I gave my first trance session since my heart attack last October. I had given Tarot readings since then, but no channeling sessions. I think I was afraid that, just as I had looked within that week in the hospital and found nothing but darkness, I would relax into trance and find nothing there, too; that I would be brought face to face with the horrific reality that the traumatized, embittered depressive within me is right, and that I am just an aging meat machine after all, and that "spirit" is just another word for "endorphin trigger." What I found instead surprised me. I heard my trance-self say to my querent, a dear friend who has helped me out financially when I was in desperate need, "Divine Love is real."And as I heard my trance self affirm Divine Love's existence, as I heard my trance self look into the darkness and take a firm stand of faith against the meat machine, I felt the cold and terror of the empty darkness melt away and the warmth and sureness of Love well up in me instead.
I have tried reproducing the experience since, on my own, with scant success. On my own, in isolation, I revert to the terrified wounded child, or to the self-anesthetizing addict. But today, when my grief and fear over my extreme poverty, possible homelessness, and ailing husky Blessing returned in force, I reconnected with another friend facing some of the same issues. She met me in my pain, shared with me her experience of Divine Love, and after I hung up the telephone, I felt strength, peace, and sureness flow into me again. — Copyright 2009, 2010 Rand
FAT LIKE ME
I've been fat off and on all my life. I've been fat for so long, and so often, that when I hear other people say, "God, I feel fat," and it turns out they gained five pounds of something, it freezes my blood. Imagine how horrible it must be to live your life between five pounds either way. One slip and you're doomed. What kind of life is that?
It's different for me. For me, it's 25 pounds either way. I am as of this writing (November 6, 2008) 95 pounds overweight if you take the medical height-weight scale as the norm. I stand five feet seven inches tall, so I should weigh 155. At 155, 180 is obese. I am 65 pounds over that now, with the beginning of high blood pressure, which three blood pressure tests ago I thought was an anomaly but which I fear now has become a trend. Like my arthritis, the first twinges of which I felt four or five years ago but which three years ago hit me like a Mack truck, so that now I walk with a cane and look sourly jolly, like a fat Santa between rooftop runs.
The worst of it is that the 65 extra pounds, were they to go away, would still leave me too ugly to bear. My abdomenal skin, stretched to 60 inches — back ten years ago, when I weighed over 360 — has never sprung back. So my flab cascades down my front, a hairy, jiggly, blob, trapping fungus, stray hairs, and sweat beneath it, so that the hidden skin is sticky, too, and smells. Left unwashed long enough, the skin trapped beneath my folds turns inflammation-red, the sign of a fungus colony spreading riotously.
I have hated my body all my life. The first time I heard the word "obese" applied to me was in high school, when Doctor George, the family physician, solemnly pronounced it my condition and prescribed no eating between meals as the cure. That worked for a while. When I graduated from high school I weighed 180. At five feet ten and a half inches tall, my height back then, I was plump but really not fat, unless you compared me to my brother Man, who had muscles and smoked and was in the Marines. As a plump child I had suffered his scorn (touching me, he would pretend to wipe his hand on his clothing and exclaim, "Ugh! Grease!"), and my protests had been met with mocking laughter. I hear that laughter every time I discover I've outgrown another trouser size.
Before my arthritis, I kept my weight down with exercise. I worked at a nursery, where I hefted big sacks of compost and tray after tray of potted plants; and from March to October I stayed between 180 and 200, 225. Then the spondalysis and osteo hit, and I could not stand, walk, or sit without such pain I would scream in agony. I couldn't walk my dog any more either, so had guilt piled on top of my pain.
Now, a year later, I am doing better, but I am the second fattest I have ever been in my life, and I feel so humiliated I would gladly crawl into bed and stay there, except that I have to get up and go to my very part time job in order to keep my dog and cat and self fed and housed. I feel once again that I am at the bottom of a hole, a dead end; kaput, finished. I felt this way in 1971 when they called me at college and told me my father had died of a heart attack the previous evening in our family's upstairs Connecticut dressing room. I felt this way in 1988, when I found my lover's dead body on his bed in the house we shared in Santa Fe. And I felt this way in 1990, when my sister Anya called me from Ireland to tell me my brother Jeff had died comatose in an ambulance on the way to Cork City Hospital. "God, I feel fat" doesn't even begin to cover it. •
Note: Eleven months after I wrote the bulk of this confession, I was hospitalized with a heart attack. I survived with the help of a stent in my medial artery; lost some weight; and now (August 2010) more or less hover between 230 and 235.
ASK "THE FAMILY"
Rand's non-hierarchical information source gives their take on questions from you. Names of querents are withheld in keeping with Rand's total confidentiality pledge to his clients, but he promises, word of honor, that he isn't making any of these questions up. "The Family" identifies themselves as an aspect of Rand's subpersonality with access to information from his spiritual guidance to which he is not privy in his full waking state. As with all "channeled" information, take what feels right to you and leave the rest. And remember: intellect and intuition are partners in understanding, not enemies. If you're in the Santa Fe, New Mexico area and would like to schedule a reading with Rand and "The Family," or to learn more about Rand's "Tarot Essence Path" system of personality analysis and life-challenge amelioration, email him c/o firstname.lastname@example.org. Charges are on a sliding scale, from $2 per minute down to $1 per minute of session, audiocassette tape of reading included; current available reading days are Fridays through Sundays.