Cross Over, Cross Over, Cross Over

An old kundalini yoga video by Gurumukh (yes, I had it in VHS form, so that tells you something!), features a lot of exercises touching left fingers to right toes and vice versa, or alternately kicking the legs in the air so that they cross the middle line. I know from my days of visual therapy, that such “crossovers” help to balance the right and left sides of our brain. Whenever we make efforts to work both left and right, we encourage exponentially greater awareness.

If our right and left sides don’t balance, then things stop making sense, and the brain begins to shut down the visual field. We take in about 80% of our information about the world through our eyes. Even closed eyes help to regulate balance and tell us about the levels of light in our surroundings. If one eye tells a radically different story than the other eye, a situation called “binocular dysfunction” occurs, and it confuses the brain. Initially, we might get a headache or vertigo, but eventually the brain adapts, usually by shutting out as much confusing information as possible. “Just the facts, ma’am, just the facts, and never mind if they don’t make sense. We’ll just eliminate everything that doesn’t fit.”

This deletion of information that doesn’t “fit” happens physically, but it also happens metaphysically. Social psychologists call it “cognitive dissonance,” and would-be intuitives call it: “I would love to be intuitive, but my intuition’s bunk! I either get it totally wrong, or it’s just — blank.” In all of these cases, neglecting to activate, balance, and exercise both sides together results in major blind spots.

By contrast, repeatedly crossing over opens both intuition and logic, allowing both to flow more freely. Kundalini yoga practitioners reap huge benefits from the many crossover exercises and also from meditations in which the closed eyes roll slightly upwards and inwards, focusing towards the mysterious “Third Eye.” Whenever we awaken and stimulate the Third Eye, our powers of visualization, intuition, clairvoyance and manifestation increase. Synchronicities and synergies reveal themselves as Life in a state of harmony and creative flow. We learn to live in a world of paradox, because we no longer rely strictly on intuition or logic, left or right. Instead, we transcend duality — but not by ignoring it. No! We transcend duality by recognizing it and playing with it until it births something new.

Sometimes people wonder why someone who lives as intuitively and spiritually as I do bothers to dig around in the mucky muck of politics, the body, or the nitty gritty harshness of ignorance and poverty. Why don’t I just float “away with the faeries” as they say? Well, I can and I do quite often float away with the faeries, or bliss out in meditation, have late night giggle fests, and get embarrassingly excited about the silliest little things. But I am herenow — too. I didn’t bother to don this sometimes inconvenient physical form just so I could spend all my time checking out of it. Been there, done that. It’s fun. But it’s not why I’m here.

I have loads of reasons for being here, but one reason I feel strongly about involves modeling how to be “in this world but not of it.” We don’t transmute the world by shutting down our visual fields (on all levels) so that we can no longer see what’s “wrong” with it. Doing that can offer a valid spiritual path — one of cloistering or detachment — but that’s not my path. Again, been there, done that. Nor does total cloistering allow for the alchemy of transmutation. Zoning out through drugs, games and brainwashing offers another way of dealing with this unreal world, but again, not my path. I came here to help this planet transmute and thus transcend the rigid left/right, light/dark, high/low, fight/flight paradigms. We are creators, whether or not we choose to accept that challenge.

In the Thoth Tarot deck, the Princess of Disks is both the lowest of the low and the highest of the high. She’s so low, she’s high. Physical form, Shadow Work, the UnderWorld … all that nitty, gritty STUFF … forms the basis for our Creations.

Because we are Creators, whether we use 10% of our capacity or 100% of our capacity, the more “stuff” we allow into our Awareness, the more choices we have in how and what we can create. Just because we see it doesn’t mean we need to include it, but blanket deletion of “unpleasant” or “uncomfortable” things eliminates access to raw materials. Plus, how many of our most favorite, treasured things, people and ideas now, scared the bejeesus out of us when we first encountered them?

In creating with an eye towards transmutation and transcendence, I personally don’t want to ignore stuff. I want the opportunity to assess what I can do with it. Maybe nothing; but maybe I can make something really, really cool. Maybe I can combine this “ugly” thing with that “putrid” color and this “horrid, forbidden” thought and that “lowest of the low” will reveal itself as something beyond inspirational. I. Don’t. Know.

But I’m curious.

“Sometimes questions are more important than answers.” ~Nancy Willard

“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity.” ~Albert Einstein

Perhaps liberation doesn’t interest some people. It interests me. It engages me, and for those whom it also interests and engages, I offer the observation that crossing over — physically, in ideas, in experiences — crossing over, coupled with a timely turn inside, encourages transmutation and transcendence, which lead to liberation. That’s why I sometimes go on about this or that, and, more importantly: this-AND-that. In the spirit of crossing over, I’ll share an email that came through yesterday:

“you seem so busy, one hesitates to add one more thing, but I like your new initiative to dialogue with ‘the other side’ (i.e. people who don’t focus on fairies, or grow organic food, or vote Tea Party, or whatever). The video abt Common Core was very good. I knew of a Notre Dame faculty effort to block CC in Catholic schools, but not all the other efforts, except for the pro-big business effort to block it just because ‘it’s being imposed by those liberal elites’ (Indiana Legislature type thinking).

“but here’s my two cents – there is a movement in some traditional Catholic circles called ‘distributism,‘ which is for local control, local food, etc. It’s actually quite old – the writer GK Chesterton was a backer. It operates under the idea that private property ownership should be as widespread as possible, and a lot of other principles. But because ‘traditionalists’ and ‘New Agers’ tend to label each other, the two don’t always realize their common concerns. Distributists also support seed sovereignty and get why, etc etc. If you already know this, great, but just had to mention it. Time banks come to mind as solution for under/unemployed people – I live in a big ‘entitled’ community, partly because of the scarcity thinking of the leadership – both sides need to open up their thinking!”

And here … a link to an article on The Transition Network blog, “How to Discuss Transition with Conservatives/Republicans.” The article focuses on Transition Laguna Beach and how — unlike most Transition Towns — they aimed to include conservatives right from the start.

Whether you agree with the Transition article or the emailer’s comments, I urge you to consider not only their words, but also the spirit behind their words. It takes courage to try to build bridges where none or few exist. Sometimes we get the exact words or phrasing wrong, and it blows up in our faces. But we can learn from that goof instead of cowering inside our wounded egos.

We live on a beautiful planet overrun by a troubled and often highly destructive species (humanity) that nevertheless holds unfathomable potential to heal and to create new worlds. I’ve invested a lot in humanity and this planet, because I believe those investments can make a difference. I believe we can co-create something that both harmonizes with Nature and quantum leaps us to what today seems “supernatural.”

I’ll end with a quote from that same Gurumukh video (now available on DVD):

“We must start wherever we are. Because if you don’t start somewhere, you’ll be nowhere. … If you fall over, say, ‘So what?’ You get up and you try again. Who cares if it looks good? Start wherever you are and … KEEP GOING.”

4 responses to this post.

  1. Reblogged this on Illuminations Now!!.

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  2. Posted by Kieron on January 26, 2014 at 4:31 pm

    Much food for thought here. I keep bumping up against being inclusive of differences while not compromising my hard-won sense of self. In my comment in regard to your post about entitlement, I alluded to finding almost as much rejection and rigidity of thought in the crowd populating Zen’s site as I might in a Republican/Tea Party political blog. Frequently I run across a comment lumping my small social group in with the destructive forces currently in ascendance. It’s tiresome, it’s hurtful, *and* it’s an opportunity to provide education and awareness. I guess this is what is referred to as starting where you are. But when faced with dismissive, derisive attitudes, it’s all I can do not to mirror it, but rather quietly and consistently reiterate that we are up against a common enemy that loves to distort everything you see, and stop equating me with it just because I am living differently than you. I have to guard against doing that very same thing, because that drains energy that could/should go toward educating others.

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  3. “The Middle Way” is rarely recognized, much less traveled! I hear you. Believe me, I do. As Yeats said, “The best lack all conviction while the worst are filled with passionate intensity.” … What he neglected to say is that the “best,” those who do care … are often brainwashed only to see one side of things, a situation that results in convenient blind spots for the “worst,” who continue to manipulate and distort.

    “None are more enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.” ~Goethe

    Despite what the “liberating” programming of the Matrix films would lead people to believe, removing one layer of enslavement does not a free person make. Red pill, blue pill … they’re both still pills, and Zion is not MY chosen “Paradise.”

    The Middle Way can feel lonely, but you meet some amazing guides and allies! And … contrary to even uncommon “wisdom,” there ARE (some) valid shortcuts that do lead where you want to go. That path runs neither right nor left but reveals itself when the mind can allow for paradox.

    My two coppers. 🙂

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