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Author Topic: Ellen's Ea state practice thread  (Read 8231 times)
Deva
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« on: Jul 27, 2010, 04:37 PM »

Hi. I want to apologize to all that were working on Ellen's chart because I accidentally deleted it from the board as I was editing my work.
Thanks for understanding and I apologize for the inconvenience.
God Bless
Deva
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Linda
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« Reply #1 on: Jul 27, 2010, 06:02 PM »

Hi Deva,

We do understand it was just a mistake.  Luckily, I was able to "Go back one page"  on my browser to retrieve the last page of Ellen's thread.  Ellen has also been able to retrieve a significant number of older posts.
« Last Edit: Jul 27, 2010, 10:00 PM by Linda » Logged
Elen
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« Reply #2 on: Jul 27, 2010, 08:59 PM »

Hi Deva,

Thanks for the post.  I was wondering where it went...

Linda,
 
Thanks for recapturing the last page.  I think I have some of the posts saved as drafts in my email account, so I'll check and post what's there...

Peace,
Ellen

 
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« Reply #3 on: Jul 27, 2010, 09:01 PM »

Here's my bio:

Bio:  I'm 46yo, the 6th of 7 children.  Raised in a primarily white, redlining suburb of Boston.  Parents worked their way up from working class to middle class.  All of my material needs were always met.  Raised relatively conservative Catholic.  Parents Consensus.  Nothing talked about.  Emotions repressed.  I adored my family as a kid; we laughed a lot but mostly we were mean to one another (I only know this in hindsight).  By high school I desperately wanted to get out.  I ended up at a very liberal liberal arts college in far from home where my eyes opened to a much larger world and an entirely different set of values.  I went through a period of tremendous loneliness and isolation, feeling totally abandoned by God.  Eventually I realized I was gay.  Throughout childhood I kept this hidden from myself.  I lived my early life in great fear, though, terrified of being found out (even though I didn't really know what that was).  I never dated boys/men and felt in a state of constant terror about this expectation and pressure.  After I came out (I realized I was gay in my junior year of college), I pretty much raged through life, recognizing that all the people I thought loved me would have rejected me had they known I was gay.  I became largely estranged from my family and hung out strictly with lesbians.  I did NOT own my emotions and treated my body very poorly.
 
After college I suddenly realized I had to find a job.  I'd really never had a clue about what I wanted to do for a living.  As a kid I was invested in sports.  In college I was invested in learning. It never occurred to me to think about a career.  Primarily I sought out nonprofits, but quickly became disillusioned.  For the past 17 years I worked as a nursing assistant and medical secretary.  The work kept me there (I enjoyed tremendously "being of service" to people in need) but also the people I worked with and the university atmosphere.  People talked about everything, and everything, in terms of emotions, was accepted.  This was totally new to me.  Recently, I left my job, primarily because it was no longer possible to do the kind of work that mattered to me due to the change in  health care models that has been affecting the business for years now.  Also, I have been sick for the past decade or so and the stress of the job was impeding my healing process.
 
Sometime in the 90's I saw an add for an astrology class.  It was to start that night.  I called and left a message, saying that I was coming.  I showed up and began learning astrology.  I've studied astrology off and on since, frequently abandoning it (selling all my books, etc.) out of my frustrations that it was shallow (personality-based astrology) and too "out there".  Around 2000, a newly hired co-worker at work got me back into it.  We would talk very openly about it at work, amidst all the MD's, kind of daring them to openly judge us.  I was aware of JWG's work and had read through his Pluto I book, but unaware of any schools, abandoned it in frustration.  I continued to go back and forth about astrology in general.  But now, having gone through what I think is my last crisis about it, feel quite committed to it.
 
 A little over a decade ago I became extremely sick.  No diagnosis was every made, so I had to seek out alternative medical practitioners for help.  Once again, I was faced with an entirely new world view, and my whole perspective slowly changed.  During this time, I checked out a lot of the Buddhist centers around town, never committing to a center or to a practice.  Also during this time I went back to my Catholic roots, feeling that there was something there I had to face and reconcile.  Mostly, what I discovered is that I needed to learn that not all Catholics were narrow.  Once I saw that, I seemed able to release it, though I can still be driven to rage thinking about the hubris of the Catholic hierarchy. 
 
Some years back I came across Yogananda's book, Autobiography of a Yogi.  I read through part of it and got rid of it, thinking he was nothing but egotistical and arrogant.  That pretty much describes how I responded to any teacher of any kind.  Hearing JWG talk about Yogananda a few months back, I reread his autobiography and fell in love.  I feel now that I have made a genuine commitment to spiritual learning and practice.  However, I continue to feel unclear about my life path and am uncertain that I will have the inner strength to resist the pressures to conform to expectations once I return to my home state and family.  Currently, I am experiencing episodes of huge fear that seem to be about "claiming my power" in the face of conditioning that demands that I cede my power to whatever human authority wants to keep me under wraps.  However, I seem to be aware of this in a way I have never been (I've lived my life in fear) and so feel that I am working with it more constructively.
 
I would just end by saying that I would say that I have lived most of my life in complete ignorance of my own emotional dynamics and definitely not owning any of it.  As a kid I acted out my anger in harmful ways and I would say that this continued, in different form, through early adulthood.  Since then my life has been largely about understanding these dynamics.  I would also say that, until recently, I have lived my life in complete ignorance of the reality of the need to take care of myself and indeed resentful of this need.  Outwardly, I did what I had to, but inwardly, the understanding really wasn't there.
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Elen
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« Reply #4 on: Jul 27, 2010, 09:04 PM »

This is from Ari with responses from me, all in same text (sorry about that)...


Hi Ellen, community

How about we post the chart now? Unless there is an interest in exploring the recent perspectives more.

One thing I observe Ellen is a general ambiguity when it comes to fitting yourself in ANYWHERE. I don't see that as being an issue with consensus reality itself, rather about trusting and knowing yourself on a more intimate level.

Your values do seems spiritual- going back to the first couple pages of this thread. You seem to have an actual desire to know Source, and to devote yourself to a way of life that will lead to that direct knowledge. I know my understanding of ea states is very limited- however I just can't understand such a desire as that manifesting in transition from second to third stage individuated. Am I wrong in saying that this is a desire of yours?

I feel there is a deep existential fear of loosing yourself, of getting sucked in to the unknown (note a month ago the fear of death you expressed). It seems to me that you are moving towards a path to the truth- to surrender, and service based on that surrender. Yet at the same time, reclaiming your individuality- knowing who to let in and not let in, being around a nurturing community of people is also really important for you. If you didn't express the self awareness that implied the desire to forgive, to understand- to devote yourself to a path, then I could easily interpret your stage to be second individuated going to third.

Hearing of your Jupiter in the 7th in Aries squaring the Cap Cancer nodes seems to provide a lot of clarity on this- and you spoke of repression, judgement from family. Hearing your own needs is clearly an important step for you in this life. If you are in transition to first stage spiritual- does that mean you would not have sought to live with exclusive groups of people with whom you felt safe and comfortable? Would you not have the desire to find a group of like minded people? I feel that is totally possible in any state... and especially if there are hiding signatures going on, as you have indicated, you won't necessarily be spending your time with the group of people who actually reflect your actual ea stage.

I don't have any PLANETS squaring my nodes- however I did grow up in a consensus environment. Around the time of my nodal return- I began to realize who I was (in contrast to everyone else at least), however I was far far far from knowing or understanding which people in this world are just like me (and I'm not saying I understand this now). So for a while I spent a lot of time in anarchist communities- second stage individuated folk- and third stage individuated communities doing cool environmental education things. I felt more "myself" around these people because there was less of a projection coming from them as to who I am or who I should be.

However I have come to realize that in the end, I desire something else entirely. I still feel connected to these communities- they are my family, yet I SEE that there is something very different between me and them. For me this is very much associated with hiding signatures in my own chart- both nodal rulers conj Neptune in my 4th. So I've been seeking home everywhere but within- and in a Neptunian way, finding myself literally ANYWHERE in all different kinds of "homes". But where is home really?

I share this because I feel that in some ways this is something you may be able to relate to, in your own way.

With Love,
Ari Moshe
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Elen
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« Reply #5 on: Jul 27, 2010, 09:07 PM »

I'm not 100% sure that this is from this thread, but here's a post/response btw me/Steve re: anger, which I think is relevant to this discussion....

Quote
I was wanting to understand, specifically, what a "positive manifestation" of 2nd stage ind might look like to see if I resonated with that.

Ellen -

These tags, positive and negative, are very subjective and really come down to judgments, personal judgments based on one's values and sense of meaning and what is important.

We already know that 2nd stag indiv needs to rebel and withdraw from the mainstream.  Therefore, any actions reflecting that are positive actions, no matter what they look like from the outside, unless they are intentionally planned to hurt or take advantage of another.  Remember that natural law is giving, sharing, inclusion.  Therefore anything that FROM WITHIN reflects those principles is positive.  Acting for self-interest would be the definition of negative actions.

Thanks for this description of 2nd Ind.  It's EXTREMELY helpful.  Sorry that it's taking so long for these things to sink in.  It seems I have to keep coming at it and then hear the responses from the new perspective I'm approaching from.  I hope you will continue to be patient.... Smiley

Again, one may self-judge that anger is bad or negative.  But what is the cause of that anger?  If it is a rage against repeatedly witnessing and being affected by self-interest (i.e. negative), violations of natural law, is that anger appropriate or inappropriate?  What are you supposed to do when you witness things that are inherently wrong - smile and feel love for all beings, peering below the illusion of negativity and separation?  That is a bunch of new age foo foo.  When things are so wrong that they make your blood boil, anger is an appropriate response  The issue is not that anger appears, its what is an appropriate expression of that anger?

I agree with this statement, but only to a degree.  Where I am coming from re: my framing anger as " negative" is from my experiences with anger.  What I am understanding about that - what is becoming really clear to me of late - is that anger, ultimately, is harmful to me.  It gets me nowhere, takes a toll on my body and does nothing in terms of helping others or whatever situation I am in.  I understand that there are good reasons to be angry, but what I'm wanting to figure out is how can I respond wth light - how can I see the areas in me that resonate with what is wrong, ie, the dark places in me that are triggered by these things (because there ARE dark places in me), and bring light to those places (both in me and in the situation) and bring me also greater understanding of the situation and the people involved.  I don't know if this makes sense, but actually, in writing it, I am beginning to understand more what you are saying...  That anger in 2nd Ind is part of the developmental process of the Soul.  Plain and simple.  But in terms of my own stage, trying to figure that out, it seems to me that the fact that I am wanting and beginning to cultivate a different kind of relationship with my own intrnisic anger responses seems to be suggestive of a move away from 2nd ind.  So, then, perhaps in thinking about these things in the future, rather than talking in terms like "avant garde" and "change agents", it might make more sense to talk in terms of anger and how one is relating to their anger in addition to the nature of their sense of alienation from society.... 

In a sense that is what 2nd stage indiv is angry about, all it witnesses that is wrong. 
This statement is extremely helpful in helping me better understand what 2nd Ind is about...
One way to look at this is, a small child sees these things and just rages.  As that child matures it realizes that raging, while it may be appropriate, is not really accomplishing much in terms of addressing the causes of, and possible solutions to, that which is producing the rage.


So in a sense the transition into 3rd stage indiv is sort of like emotionally growing up.  Its not like the anger in 2nd stage indiv was wrong or negative.  Just that one gradually realizes that just getting angry is not really helping - its not even serving the person who is getting angry, thus is not really a sustainable survival strategy.

Steve, I understand what you are saying about "negative" and I agree with you.  I would just say that I don't believe it has been my intent to make a value judgement about people who are expressing anger/resonating to it.  It is simply a realization on my part that anger is harmful to me.  And I'm not talking here about suppressing anger because it's bad for me.  I'm just saying that I'm understanding something new about it and wanting to relate to it differently and even try to work towards the spiritual ideal of truly loving my enemies.  For me, I don't see any other way forward.  And, at the same time, I recognize that I'm human and that I'm going to be expressing some anger as I go along, probably a lot at first...

People who are "changing the world" (3rd stage indiv) realize how difficult what they are attempting to do is.  And they would often feel anger.  But they have learned that succumbing to that anger does not serve them, and only feeds the case of those they are angry about.  So they would CHANNEL that anger into something that, no matter how small a difference it may be, has some chance of making SOME difference, vs just getting mad.  They are not perfect, and at times they WILL get angry, frustrated, depressed, whatever.   This does not mean they are reverting back to 2nd stage indiv.  It means they are a human being, and we are not perfect and consistent.  They are evolving and learning and experimenting.  And we learn from our mistakes and shortcomings.

That is why I am sensitive to your trying to characterize manifestations as "positive" or "negative", because a behavior can be both, or neither.  It can be someone's best effort, the best they can do at this time, as imperfect as that may be.  They may not do it very well (what you might call negative) yet they would learn something from that experience, which would lead them on to purify their efforts towards something more aligned with what you might call positive.  It has to be that way. They have done the best they knew how to do, however inadequate they might later judge their earlier efforts.  They were necessary to get them to where they are now.
Steve
Steve,

I think we agree...?  The only thing more I would say is that another thing that I am really trying to learn right now is the difference between, for me, constructive ("positive")and destructive ("negative")responses to what is wrong.  This is important because it totally determines who I hook up with and how.  However, I don't think it would be correct to say that just because I am determining something to be "negative" (destructive) for me based on where I am right now and what I'm wanting to do, that I am condemning those who are orienting differently.  I completely understand what you are saying about there being just and justified anger and developmentally appropriate anger and that that is completely different from unrighteous and unjust anger.  Well, now I've just looked back at your first couple sentences about subjective labels...  All I can say is, when I'm learning something, I don't think I know any other way to proceed but from the subjective....
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Elen
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« Reply #6 on: Jul 27, 2010, 09:09 PM »

This is a continuation of the exchange (Steve/me)...

Quote
I was wanting to understand, specifically, what a "positive manifestation" of 2nd stage ind might look like to see if I resonated with that.

Ellen -

These tags, positive and negative, are very subjective and really come down to judgments, personal judgments based on one's values and sense of meaning and what is important.

We already know that 2nd stag indiv needs to rebel and withdraw from the mainstream.  Therefore, any actions reflecting that are positive actions, no matter what they look like from the outside, unless they are intentionally planned to hurt or take advantage of another.  Remember that natural law is giving, sharing, inclusion.  Therefore anything that FROM WITHIN reflects those principles is positive.  Acting for self-interest would be the definition of negative actions.

Thanks for this description of 2nd Ind.  It's EXTREMELY helpful.  Sorry that it's taking so long for these things to sink in.  It seems I have to keep coming at it and then hear the responses from the new perspective I'm approaching from.  I hope you will continue to be patient.... Smiley

Again, one may self-judge that anger is bad or negative.  But what is the cause of that anger?  If it is a rage against repeatedly witnessing and being affected by self-interest (i.e. negative), violations of natural law, is that anger appropriate or inappropriate?  What are you supposed to do when you witness things that are inherently wrong - smile and feel love for all beings, peering below the illusion of negativity and separation?  That is a bunch of new age foo foo.  When things are so wrong that they make your blood boil, anger is an appropriate response  The issue is not that anger appears, its what is an appropriate expression of that anger?

I agree with this statement, but only to a degree.  Where I am coming from re: my framing anger as " negative" is from my experiences with anger.  What I am understanding about that - what is becoming really clear to me of late - is that anger, ultimately, is harmful to me.  It gets me nowhere, takes a toll on my body and does nothing in terms of helping others or whatever situation I am in.  I understand that there are good reasons to be angry, but what I'm wanting to figure out is how can I respond wth light - how can I see the areas in me that resonate with what is wrong, ie, the dark places in me that are triggered by these things (because there ARE dark places in me), and bring light to those places (both in me and in the situation) and bring me also greater understanding of the situation and the people involved.  I don't know if this makes sense, but actually, in writing it, I am beginning to understand more what you are saying...  That anger in 2nd Ind is part of the developmental process of the Soul.  Plain and simple.  But in terms of my own stage, trying to figure that out, it seems to me that the fact that I am wanting and beginning to cultivate a different kind of relationship with my own intrnisic anger responses seems to be suggestive of a move away from 2nd ind.  So, then, perhaps in thinking about these things in the future, rather than talking in terms like "avant garde" and "change agents", it might make more sense to talk in terms of anger and how one is relating to their anger in addition to the nature of their sense of alienation from society.... 

In a sense that is what 2nd stage indiv is angry about, all it witnesses that is wrong. 
This statement is extremely helpful in helping me better understand what 2nd Ind is about...
One way to look at this is, a small child sees these things and just rages.  As that child matures it realizes that raging, while it may be appropriate, is not really accomplishing much in terms of addressing the causes of, and possible solutions to, that which is producing the rage.


So in a sense the transition into 3rd stage indiv is sort of like emotionally growing up.  Its not like the anger in 2nd stage indiv was wrong or negative.  Just that one gradually realizes that just getting angry is not really helping - its not even serving the person who is getting angry, thus is not really a sustainable survival strategy.

Steve, I understand what you are saying about "negative" and I agree with you.  I would just say that I don't believe it has been my intent to make a value judgement about people who are expressing anger/resonating to it.  It is simply a realization on my part that anger is harmful to me.  And I'm not talking here about suppressing anger because it's bad for me.  I'm just saying that I'm understanding something new about it and wanting to relate to it differently and even try to work towards the spiritual ideal of truly loving your enemies.  For me, I don't see any other way forward.  And, at the same time, I recognize that I'm human and that I'm going to be expressing some anger as I go along, probably a lot at first...

People who are "changing the world" (3rd stage indiv) realize how difficult what they are attempting to do is.  And they would often feel anger.  But they have learned that succumbing to that anger does not serve them, and only feeds the case of those they are angry about.  So they would CHANNEL that anger into something that, no matter how small a difference it may be, has some chance of making SOME difference, vs just getting mad.  They are not perfect, and at times they WILL get angry, frustrated, depressed, whatever.   This does not mean they are reverting back to 2nd stage indiv.  It means they are a human being, and we are not perfect and consistent.  They are evolving and learning and experimenting.  And we learn from our mistakes and shortcomings.

That is why I am sensitive to your trying to characterize manifestations as "positive" or "negative", because a behavior can be both, or neither.  It can be someone's best effort, the best they can do at this time, as imperfect as that may be.  They may not do it very well (what you might call negative) yet they would learn something from that experience, which would lead them on to purify their efforts towards something more aligned with what you might call positive.  It has to be that way. They have done the best they knew how to do, however inadequate they might later judge their earlier efforts.  They were necessary to get them to where they are now.
Steve
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Elen
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« Reply #7 on: Jul 27, 2010, 09:11 PM »

Again, a continuation...  (I haven't reread these thoroughly so it's possible they're out of order)

Hi

The idea that 2nd stage indiv is avant garde and 3rd stage indiv has evolved beyond a need to be avant garde and is now more serious in doing its work is too limited.

Off the top of my head, 2nd stage indiv can include outlaw motorcycle gangs, not especially avant garde.   While Bob Dylan is 3rd stage indiv.  Most would consider him, especially when young, as quite avant garde.

Again, one has to be careful to not take one possible FORM that an evolutionary stage can manifest in and apply that form as a generalization to an entire stage, then assessing whether someone is in that stage based on whether they seem to fit the single form one is calling representative of that stage.

2nd stage indiv is about complete alienation from consensus.   There are many ways that can manifest. Some are not going to look at all avant garde. 

While many in 3rd stage indiv will look and act quite outside the mainstream's idea of proper dress, appearance, lifestyle.

You can not determine evolutionary stage by looking at externals.

I agree with Adina.  Most people in 3rd stage indiv are not well known or necessarily driven with their intended direction of work in the world.  They are simply people who see new improved better ways to do things.  As Jeffrey said, the welder who finds a new way to weld, the banker who finds new innovations in banking.  Or the poet who finds new ways to reach and inspire others.  Or the teacher who helps kids see that its about more than just memorizing information, teaches them how to think.  They can be operating on a very small scale local level, or operating in ways that affect large numbers of people - the nature of the work and its scale is related to that Soul's present-life purpose.  The Soul will have desires to help advance things.
Steve

Hi Steve,
Thanks so much for your post.  I appreciate your reminding me and others that it's about the inner essence, not the externals.  I didn't reread my post just now, but I did want to clarify that my intention in that post wasn't to try to say 2nd stage is this one thing and 3rd is this other one thing.  What I was trying to do was understand possible positive manifestations that I could relate to to try to help me get a handle on if either made sense to me and how.  My reference point was myself and from there I was looking out to try to grasp what positive manifestations might look like.  Since I'm feeling done with negativity - really, truly wanting to completely reorient myself internally - I was wanting to understand, specifically, what a "positive manifestation" of 2nd stage ind might look like to see if I resonated with that.  The crux of what I'm trying to understand is what a positive manifestation of "complete alienation from society" might look like, in whatever form.  Is that something you could try to articulate?  Avant garde was the one form I was sure of.  I hope this makes sense.  As with most of my posts, my post here was meant as a way of throwing something out there to get a conversation started and from that learn more.

Peace,
Ellen
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« Reply #8 on: Jul 27, 2010, 09:12 PM »

A post from Upasika and my response:

Hi Ellen and all,

Seems we have all ruled out 1st spiritual, and are focussing on early 3rd individuated.

For myself, I do not have an absolute certainty yet. I feel Linda has explored Ellen's spiritual world very thoroughly and that has been very revealing. And I accept early 3rd indiv as a definite possibility. My knowledge of the EA stages is not huge though, so I'm very much learning here as we go.

The skipped step may be a complicating factor in the mix. However I still feel that Ellen has traces of 2nd indiv somehow. For instance her comment "I think because I was raised by Consensus parents and surrounded by Consensus growing up, I have a very difficult time understanding how I'm different from it.  I'm not sure if that makes any logical sense, but it seems to be true for me." My feeling is that by the time of 3rd individ proper there is not this degree of difficulty in knowing how one is different to consensus.

There still seems to be a flavour of defining yourself Ellen based on what you are not, which is perhaps more a 2nd individ thing rather than a 3rd indiv thing. And I would imagine that the underlying defiance and anger of 2nd indiv would be down to embers by the very end of 2nd indiv, which could correlate to your life experience. And you yourself also clearly relate to 2nd indiv just as you do to early 3rd indiv.

Adina pointed out that there can be a fair bit of flip-flopping when at the beginning or end of a substage or on the cusp of stages or substages, and I do get a definite feeling about that with you Ellen - flip flopping, and the uncertainty that would naturally accompany that.

If it's true, as you suggest, that your being gay and getting sick, were "devices", life situations, that you used to help you individuate once and for all from the patriarchy and consenus, in essence this is a 2nd individated kind of response to life challenges. And even though as Linda feels, you are pulling away from all this now, it is in fact what your life has largely been about, and I don't feel inclined to try and see too many layers of meaning in it, rather just take it as is stands.

I'm not definite about Ellen's stage, I think she could be from very late 2nd indiv through to very early 3rd indiv, but I'm going to say she is transitioning into 3rd individ, i.e on the cusp of 2nd individ to 3rd individ. I'm open to that not being right, it's just how I feel at the moment. I can also follow the reasons for Ellen being 3rd indiv too, and don't really have absolute reasons why that also couldn't be so.

However, I don't think it matters too much if others think she's 3rd indiv itself, we're all narrowed down to the same area, so for purposes of looking at the chart I'm ready for that when everyone else is.

Upasika     

Hi Upasika,

You bring up some really good points.  The gyst, for me, at this time, is really in understanding just what that cusp is about.  The flip-flopping makes a ton of sense.  I hope others with more knowledge and experience will offer their insights. For me, in terms of pinning it down, it would be extrememly helpful to understand the POSITIVE manifestations of end of 2nd stage ind vs the positive manifestations of early 3rd ind.  This would help me in determining which feels right to me in terms of the changes that are occurring in me.
 
2nd ind, as I understand it, can be the avant gard of society, and this of course, can be negative or positive.  3rd ind isn't going to be avant gard (trendy), but they are going to be the social change agents in a different sense - they're going to get down to the business of getting the work done that they are here to do and that has the effect of changing society.  That's different.  2nd Ind is going to be making a statement.  3rd ind is simply going to be contributing in ways that move society along.  If I have this nuance right, then I would say that 2nd ind doesn't feel right to me and really hasn't - I've sort of ended up there but it never really worked.  Yet at the same time, I haven't had the sense of direction and self-worth that 3rd ind has.  Thus that would peg me as cusp transitioning to 3rd.  But you also make the good point about the unclear sense of identity I have as separate from the consensus.  That to me is quite significant.  Like you, I don't know enough at this time.  However, I am wondering if both hiding signatures and skipped steps, along with significant repression signatures and strong water house representation, could account for these things.
 
Some thoughts,
Ellen
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« Reply #9 on: Jul 27, 2010, 09:13 PM »

Linda asked me to answer some questions.  Unfortunately I only have the response to the last one:

Hi Linda,
I missed a question.

Question:
15.  Describe any states of cosmic consciousness that you've experienced, eg 3rd eye, oneness.
I don't think I've had any 3rd eye experiences, except, possibly, the flashes of blue out of the corner of my eyes.  In terms of cosmic consciousness, I can only say that I have had a few experiences where I have felt at one with everything around me in the sense of at complete inner peace with all and that these experiences have occurred spontaneously.
 
Peace,
Ellen
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« Reply #10 on: Jul 27, 2010, 09:14 PM »

Correction, I seem to have saved the answers to all of Linda's questions:

"Hi Linda,
 
Thanks for your questions.  I think these are quite challenging, which, in and of itself, I'd say is an indicator of my stage.  My answers are in quotes.  Sorry not to make them stand out more with color or bold, but I'm doing this from my email and I have found that color and bold choices don't carry over..."
 
Hi Ellen,

I'd like to now further explore the emotional/spiritual aspect by asking you a few more questions:

1.  Have you had experiences of the wave within the ocean, and the ocean within the wave?  If so, do you have these experiences always, sometimes, rarely or never. 
 
"Recently I have begun to understand that I am the wave through which the water works through.  However, I suspect that this has not been a very deep experience.  It is definitely a shift in understanding - recognizing that God is the doer, and that my role is to be inservice to God.  The whole realization I have been having about the need to truly develop a talent is a result of this shift in understanding.  I think Heather (who posted after you) and Upasika have insightfully recognized the individuated-evolutionary-stage nature of this realization/ unfolding orientation."

2.  Do you have a strong awareness of your eternal Soul identity? 
"No, I do not.
 
How would you describe your Soul identity? 
"No idea."
 
 
Do any of these Soul types attract you or resonate with you:  body (hatha yoga), sexuality (daemon/tantra), warrior (leadership), devotional (Cancer), prayerful/chanting (karma yoga), wisdom (teacher-type), avatar (guru)?
 
"I think devotional more than any of the others.  But to some degree all but body (hatha yoga) and avatar (guru).  To me, this answer suggests the still searching nature of my spiritual journey and the unrealized, in terms of spiritual evolutionary stage, of my Soul identity."

3.  Do you feel that you've been extraordinarily traumatized, tortured, or alienated in past lives? 
 
"I have been told that I have and this revelation makes a lot of sense to me in terms of unexplained marks on my body and unexplained fears and anxieties.  Also, I relate tremendously to experiences of abuse/torture.  I have a friend who in this lifetime who was abused and tortured and at one point - this was many years ago - she commented, quite emphatically, that I was the only one who got what she was saying.  A history of past-life abuse makes sense of this.  However, there are HUGE repression signatures in my chart, so it's also quite possible that there has been abuse in this lifetime that I have suppressed."

4.  Since beginning this Evolutionary Stage thread, can you describe some of your dreams?  Has there been a repeating theme, eg being chased, traveling, feeling good, feeling embarrassed, guilty, or other?  Please state anything at all that you can remember.
 
"I have not been keeping track of my dreams, although I did have one last night, the details of which I have forgotten, with my mother (who is deceased) in it.  I did not wake up with a a ball of anxiety in my stomach, as I do most mornings.  Keeping track of my dreams is a practice I am constantly wanting to incorporate into my daily practice as I have found it extremely helpful in the past when I have done this.  For whatever reasons, I continue to not make a practice of it..."

5.  Do you strongly identify with your subjective ego in this lifetime, or do you identify more with your eternal self? 
 
"This is shifting.  I would say that I have identified with my subjective ego quite tenaciously, and that that has been the cause of most of my difficulties, ie, part of the lesson I have been having to learn in this lifetime.  I do feel that this identification is beginning to shift, especially as of late."

6.  Are you aware that your Soul has created a subjective ego for its ongoing evolutionary reasons? 
 
"Yes, since I first read JWG's book a few years ago.  But I would say that that level of understanding has been pretty superficial and is only now starting to deepen."
 
Do you clearly understand what these evolutionary reasons or issues are in this current life?
"I am gaining clarity.  My feeling is that I am having to learn 1) to care for myself (to stand on my own 2 feet) - which means in part clearly understanding who I am as distinct from others; 2) to learn the lesson and art of receiving from others; 3) to learn to work in service to God rather than in service to myself or my extended idea of myself (ie, my extended family/community that I identify as "mine"; 4) to learn (genuine) humility.  I think these are the main ones.  One more thing... I also feel that in past lives as a man, I accepted the conventional ideas and practices of male superiority and entitlement.  And I think a HUGE part of my learning in this life is the very experientially based learning that that idea and the practice of oppression that comes from it is completely wrong.  I have spent a lot of this life berating myself for this and feeling that I had no right to "succeed".  What I am beginning to feel is that I made a mistake in the past.  And now that I understand it, I can do differently."
 
7.  Do you have a good understanding of natural laws, or how these laws have been violated by humankind in the patriarchy?
 
"Hmm.  Not sure how to answer this one.  I seem to have a sense of "right" and "wrong" and, while my family was far from perfect, I would say that a lot of this sense comes from them."

8.  Do you understand the difference between natural or learned (man-made) guilt?
 
"This I think I am totally starting to get.  The trick is understanding the seed of the guilt so that you can make the correct determination."

9.  Are you able to consciously align your will with a Higher Will?  If so, does this happen often and easily, with difficulty, or never?
 
"This is precisely what I am beginning to understand and wanting to develop at this time, yet at the same time resisting..."

10.  When you look up at the stars at night, do you feel a sense of awe, humility, or fear?
"Awe!"
 
 Does this experience make you feel really "small" and insignificant, or do you feel consciously united with the universe?
"I would say that it does not make me feel small or insignificant.  But I am not sure that it makes me feel consciously united with the universe, either.  Viscerally, maybe yes, it does.  But intellectually, I'm not sure.  This is an important distinction, because I'm not sure my intellect will let me feel the full extent of the visceral connection."

11.  Are you deeply naturally humble?
 
"I would say that I am not, but that I would like to be and greatly admire those who are."

12.  You spoke of the desire to be of service to the larger whole by helping others.  Are you ready to make this commitment now, regardless of what service that may be?  Have you always lived your life like this?  Or is this a fairly new desire?
 
"This is an interesting question.  For me, looking back on my life, what has always mattered to me was contributing to the effort and that the effort was geared toward a meaningful outcome.  In high school and college, that meant contributing as a member of a sports team, and the outcome was a unified group effort and a sense of comraderie.  After college, it meant contributing as a member of a work community and the outcome was the same.  But in all cases, the end result was exploitation due to major changes in circumstances - in high school the coaching staff changed; at work the ownership changed.  The key is that I was always referring to other human beings for my sense of worth.  Through the repeated experiences of exploitation, I have begun to understand that I have been looking to the wrong sources for my sense of worth and meaning.  These experiences seem to be turning into an awareness of the need to identify my talents and develop them - at least pick one or 2 and develop those.  This is hard to explain, but it is as though by focusing on those talents and developing them, I am focusing on my relationship to God.  I am trying, at this time, to not focus on the outcome, but to simply allow this process to follow its course.  I also want to be sure, in terms of "helping others" that if this is what proceeds, that it is a genuine outgrowth of this direction and not a compulsion with regard to the conditioning of girls and women to "help".  To me, this is a tricky line."

13.  Have you experienced the Source through healing/helping work?
 
"Yes.  I believe I have.  And it is what I love about doing that kind of work.  It feels absolutely right."

14.  Are you aware of the need for purification within yourself? 
"Yes.  Definitely."
 
Are you highly critical of your imperfections?
"In the past I have been brutally critical of my imperfections.  But I have been learning the futility of this approach and very actively retraining myself towards compassion towards myself (and others!)."
15.  Describe any states of cosmic consciousness that you've experienced, eg 3rd eye, oneness.

Hope I'm not wearing you out!
 
"No problem.  I truly appreciate them, and all the effort you are going through to think of them and pose them to me.  They are quite a challenge, though!  But they are very helpful for me in terms of processing through all of this, so thank you.  My own feeling with regard to my stage is leaning pretty heavily towards 2nd Individuated.  What Upasika wrote made a ton of sense to me.  And Heather's comments also made sense.  The question for me is exactly where in 2nd Ind (ie, beginning, middle or end, or transitioning from beginning to middle or middle to end.  I don't think I'm 3rd Ind or Spiritual.  I think my answers to the spiritual questions show a lack of depth to them, thus indicating a lack of genuine experience.)
 
Many thanks,
Linda
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« Reply #11 on: Jul 27, 2010, 09:16 PM »

The 1st set of questions from Linda (and my responses).  PS: sorry, I seem to be posting all of these in reverse order. 

Questions for Ellen - from Linda

1.  What is your relationship to "life?"
"I'm not sure how to answer this one..."
 
2.  Do you feel a sense of devotion to the universal spirit all of the time?
"Not all the time, but definitely a desire to feel it all the time.  A thought came to me recently, out of the blue, when I was trying to figure out what I was going to do with my life.  The thought was: "I want my life to be a prayer".  Well, I'm definitely not there.  But I think it is a good goal."

3.  Do you feel that compassion is the most valuable spiritual quality?
 
"I think that compassion is extremely important.  And ultimately, I do think the "goal" of spiritual development is to be of benefit to others - to realize one's relationship to God and then from there to benefit others.  But I'd say that discrimination, devotion, humility and dedication are also pretty important.  Probably some other qualities I'm not thinking of at the moment."

4.  What other spiritual masters have you been attracted to?
 
"Well, this is all kind of new to me.  But recently, I've felt attracted to St. John of the Cross and also some of the Hindu pantheon - Lord Vishnu especially.  Also, Lord Shiva.  I have felt very attracted to the Kriya Yoga lineage.  When I was exploring Buddhism, I felt attracted to Milarepa, and probably the Kagyu tradition more than others, but also the Dalai Lama.  And then I also feel great affection and appreciation of Thich Nhat Hanh.  In the Catholic tradition, in addition to St. John of the Cross, I feel a kindredness to St. Francis of Assissi (but for the life of me I can't for a second imagine that St. Francis cares much about me....).  One of the things I am struggling with right now is the reality that my heart has been so closed down for so long and this is something that I am actively working to correct and feel is a primary part of my spiritual development at this time.  One of the many reasons I feel attracted to Yogananda is that I simply feel LOVE pouring forth from him.  I have a photocopy of a picture of him hanging on my wall and for weeks before receiving the SRF instructions, my meditation would be to simply sit in front of his picture, allowing myself to feel the love that he is exuding.
 
I actually have a story and was wanting to know if these kinds of things are indicative of stage.  The story is that a month or 2 ago, when I was feeling really down and out, just absolutely trudging through my days, I suddenly felt Yogananda carrying me.  Of course, I was still walking on my own, but there was the sense of being carried.  It was all I could do not to shut that feeling off, to dismiss it as a figment of my imagination.  I let myself accept that it was happening.  And it just really helped me a lot at that particular moment - let me know I wasn't alone when I was really needing to know that.  It was really a precious moment for me.  But can these types of experiences occur to anyone no matter what stage they're in? "
 
5.  What is the most important:  (a) developing your talents;  (b) being someone special;  (c) spirituality?
 
"Well, I would say that what I am understanding at this time is that developing my talents is a key part of my spiritual development at this time.  What I am realizing is that, in order to be of any use to God, I need to develop the gifts I've been given.  There is also the realization arising in me that my NOT developing my gifts in the past (of this life) has been the result of self-loathing."

6.  Does your sense of alienation and frustration relate to the patriarchy?
 
"It definitely relates to the business and relationship and community structures/norms that are prevalent today.  So that probably means it's related to the patriarchy."

7.  In a typical day, what are your main activities:  (a) helping others, (b) meditation, (c) study, (d) other?
"a, b & c, ideally.  Currently, my life is a little topsy turvy/in limbo.  I am curious to see how I organize my life in my new environment."
 
8.  Do you have a daily routine in your spiritual practice?
 
"Yes, I have recently begun following the SRF lessons, though I do not meditate for as long as they recommend.  I feel that, for me, it is important that I allow myself to slowly build up to it - to not force myself to live up to a standard, but to allow my practice to naturally evolve.  I would add that in the past I have found that if I started out meditating for too long initially, I would abandon the practice.  So I feel it is best to go with what my limits seem to be and then take it from there."

9.  What does spirituality mean to you?
 
"Knowing God, the practices that foster this, and, I think also, the service that arises from this."

10. What is most important to you:  (a) creative expression;  (b) helping others;  (c) teaching others.
 
"b) helping others"

11. What do you think is your evolutionary condition?  What do you lean toward?
 
"Well, depends on the moment.  Answering the questions I've answered today makes me wonder if I'm not actually spiritual (but I'm open to other alternatives).  The question that is arising for me through all of this is, how much do you factor in the past vs what is actually happening for the person in the present?"
 
Thanks for your questions.  Hope my answers help.
 
Peace,
Ellen
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« Reply #12 on: Jul 27, 2010, 09:19 PM »

From Steve - providing some clarity re: some of the evolutionary stages.


The 3rd stage individuated person who is "leading the world into better ways" - if they have a need to be attached to the results of what they are doing, as if they created it on their own, from their own personality strength and determination - seeking the recognition and respect and appreciation for what they are doing - the need to "feel special" by being recognized for their hard work and achievements.

vs. 3rd stage consensus - they are one of the chosen - they are special and above all others.  The Divine Right of Kings, in the old days.  The specialness manifests in completely different ways than 3rd stage indiv, with different expectations. 

3rd stage consensus more or less expects to be worshiped - 3rd stage indiv would not expect to be understood - would even pride itself on being different.   The key word there being "pride", which is a form of feeling special.

2nd stage spiritual - specialness there is so obvious it needs no explanation.

But even in 1st stage spiritual.  As Adina explained, one way it can show up there is as a ghost memory/imprint from the 3rd stage individuated.   Another could be the masochistic type of personality who has tried to do the right thing for so long and has simply been misunderstood, stomped on, watched glory hogs get all the credit (that this person never sought) for doing even less than what they have done, etc etc.  At certain points they can simply desire to be seen, noticed, recognized, acknowledged for all the effort they have put in.  (This actually could be an example of compensation.)  Those are just the first two possible causes of specialness in 1st stage spiritual that popped into my head. Undoubtedly there are twenty others.

We must learn to listen more deeply, starting within our own self.  As we learn to hear with new ears what is going on within Self, we will be able to peer more deeply into what is going on within others.
Steve
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« Reply #13 on: Jul 27, 2010, 09:21 PM »

Adina's post with my reply:

Adina's quote:
Last for tonight (oh, gosh, there’s just SOOO much more than this, but….. – You said: “Hearing JWG talk about Yogananda a few months back, I reread his autobiography and fell in love.  I feel now that I have made a genuine commitment to spiritual learning and practice.  However, I continue to feel unclear about my life path and am uncertain that I will have the inner strength to resist the pressures to conform to expectations once I return to my home state and family.  Currently, I am experiencing episodes of huge fear that seem to be about "claiming my power" in the face of conditioning that demands that I cede my power to whatever human authority wants to keep me under wraps.  However, I seem to be aware of this in a way I have never been (I've lived my life in fear) and so feel that I am working with it more constructively.”   We’d really have to go back to your chart to look at some of that “fear” about “claiming your power,”  in the face of “conditioning……”  It’s good you are aware of this now, Ellen, but dollars to donuts you’ve experienced some pretty traumatic prior life events that are now generating that fear.  In your case, it’s definitely tied to your Jupiter in Aries in 12 square your nodal axis….. but that alone, as you know, doesn’t INDICATE your evolutionary stage, it simply backs it up and expands on it, shows you how to move forward, once your evolutionary stage is determined.


 
My reply:
Hi Adina,
 
Yes.  I have been told by an EA astrologer that there is trauma in my past life history.  And with regard to this I will just say that it is interesting to me, knowing this information, that I was born in Salem, MA.  I am not saying that I was told I'd been persecuted there, but I mention this simply to say that I really resonated to the aura of persecution that was there.  (I didn't grow up in Salem, but a town over.)  Until, recently, I have always felt instinctual fear of the police, certain they were going to arrest/harm me when our paths crossed.  Just an example.  Also, however, I was raised in an authoritarian-type structure.
 
One correction:  My Jupiter in Aries is square the nodes, but from the 7th house, not the 12th.
 
I will also say that over the last few days, as I've allowed myself to really tune into the fear, I am noticing that it seems to be very much related to my efforts to establish a spiritual practice.  I have also noticed, over the years, that I experience trememdous fear in response to my desires to be kind to people - that somehow I will be harmed as a result.  This has been really quite inhibiting.
 
All for now,
Ellen
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« Reply #14 on: Jul 27, 2010, 09:22 PM »

More of Adina's comments/ my response:

Adina's quote:
Another thought you expressed that led me to the early 3rd stage individuated with remnants of 2nd stage is:  “I would say that I have NOT felt that I have any power to change things. And I would say that is because I have been egocentrically oriented and that just isn’t going to work for me in this life.” First, I think this is a good, honest observation of yourself, Ellen, and second, the language itself (especially when linked with all your other thoughts, etc.) indicates (to me) individuated rather than spiritual.



My reply:
Yes, this has been a conundrum for me in terms of trying to fit me into spiritual.  I do feel that people in my life have seen me to be bigger than I feel myself to be, see me as having more potential, etc, than I feel myself to have.  But I have felt baffled by this.  I have felt stymied in terms of understanding 1) what exactly my talents are and 2) how those fit into the world.  Mostly, I just want to be of service - to do good in some way - and I'm not really invested in the status or how.  I felt that the job I had as an NA/med. sec. was really perfect while it lasted, ie, before the industry changed to profit bottom line above all else.  But at the same time, due to my own health experiences, the truth is I was becoming disillusioned by the western medical model (actually, I was quite angry early on but have since become simply reflective).  Right now what I'm feeling is that my whole orientatin has been wrong - that my focus has been on pleasing others in some way, rather than understanding my connection to God and "who I am" and "what my purpose is" within that context.

I have slowly begun meditating.  I mentioned in my response to Stephen that over the years I had meditated off & on (mostly off).  I thought explaining the "mostly off" might also help in terms of assessing stage.  I began looking into meditation after I became ill.  There are a lot of Buddhist centers in the area and they are the most visible (also, I was most familiar with Buddhism from my studies in college), so that is where I began my search, in addition to the Catholic Church some years into my illness.  I was interested in meditation, but my physical fatigue often prevented me from pursuing it.  For a number of years, when I wasn't doing what I needed to do to survive (go to work to get my paycheck, go to the grocery store to get my food, make my food and eat it), I was lying down.  I didn't have a car, and also I had a dog who needed my attention and care, so I ended up relying on my bike to get me around (buses would have taken too long in terms of my dog's needs, and I was a good athlete, so I could manage, despite the exhaustion).  However, whatever little bit of gain I made in healing was quickly depleted by the energy expended in biking.  Sleep and rest became even more essential.  And I simply didn't have the energy to hold myself up for "nonessentials".  Also, part of the illness manifested as tremendous brain slog.  Buddhist meditation techniques (the ones I encountered) do not focus on the 3rd eye, only on the breath.  What I found (and I can explain this only in hindsight), was that, when I was able to meditate, the only thing that I was doing was getting caught up in the negative habit patterns of my brain.  My inner sense told me that this was not a good thing for me.  (Alzheimers runs majorly in my family and I really felt all that I was doing was ensuring the future onset of the disease.)  Eventually, I came across the Tibetan "Loving Kindness Meditation" as taught by Sharon Salzburg (sp?).  I was EXTREMELY happy to find this meditation and this teaching.  I practiced, lying down (as that was all I could muster), for a year or 2 (I think).  But (and again, I understand this only in hindsight), there was something missing from this technique - something I seemed to intuit that I needed but couldn't put my finger on.  Once I reread Yogananda's autobiography, I slowly began to understand that what was missing was the explicit understanding of God.  It is interesting to me to reflect that I gravitated to the Tibetan Buddhist traditions, those that are more devotional in nature, but that it just wasn't quite right.  Also, upon reflection, I can see why I revisited the Catholic Church, as there is the explicit worship of God and at the same time a deep tradition of mysticism.  What I am discovering is that everything that I seem to be wanting - that I resonate to - can be found in Yogananda's teachings and lineage.  I really feel a strong desire to know God.  Yet at the same time, I am aware of my mind still looking towards the world of distractions.  Also, I am aware of the reality that I will need to find work at some point.  I am praying, as best as I am able (which is not so great), to proceed from an awareness of God - to trust that the Source will guide me if I allow it.  But my trust, frankly, is shaky, so there's some work to be done there - some habits to be broken.  I also don't know how I'll respond surrounded by people whose lives are not fundamentally oriented towards God and spiritual practice.  That is an unknown for me.  Finally, given that my health is still not outstanding, though a million times better than it was 10 years ago, I am uncertain if I will be able to hold down a job and still have energy for spiritual practice.  Combine this with the potential pulls I will have away from such practice, all is unknown to me at this time.  So, for me, I am thinking that even these doubts are potentially indicative of my stage.  And for sure, I am thinking, that if I am easily swayed, that would say something.  However, I do feel certain that if I am initially swayed, my health will seriously deteriorate and I will be forced to reorient....
 
So, some thoughts about all this.
 
Peace,
Ellen
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