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Haiti after the Earthquake (Buddhic Body)

AC 389: January 21, 2010 (Boston)

[Starting on December 8, 2009 and continuing for six weeks until the present account, I underwent a series of fourteen intensive adventures in consciousness that I call the initiation sequence. Some of these adventures required upwards of thirty single-spaced typewritten pages to recount. The purpose of this sequence was to challenge me with various tests in the process of mastering the causal body and establishing the focus of my consciousness in the next higher body, the buddhic. My primary guides in this process I call Athena and Mark.

Both Athena and Mark are students of the same higher nonphysical teacher that I am. Mark is a senior student of this teacher and Athena is somewhere between Mark’s level of development and my own. Neither of them are currently present in a body on the physical plane. I call them my nonphysical support team. Both have been with me practically since I was born, though I recall more frequent interactions with Athena than with Mark. I call her Athena because, like the Greek goddess of wisdom, she seems to know everything about me.

At some point, I hope to assemble the initiation sequence into a book. The project will require considerable editing because of the amount of material and its personal nature. The present adventure helps me understand some aspects of how the buddhic body functions and provides a test of my discernment abilities in connection with the January 12, 2010 earthquake in Haiti, in which more than 316,000 people died (estimate published on the one-year anniversary, January 12, 2011).]

I was in a café, sitting at a round table, with a warm drink in front of me, staring off into space. I was nodding a little. A woman came up to me and wished me happy birthday.

I wasn’t thinking too clearly. I didn’t recognize her, I couldn’t understand how she would know it was my birthday–and it wasn’t yet my birthday.

To make matters worse, there was a man she was trying to introduce me to, saying that we shared the same birthday. Though I didn’t recognize him either, he seemed familiar somehow.

I rather wished they would go away, I preferred just to be quiet, nursing my drink, not looking at or thinking about anything in particular. But the woman was annoyingly insistent.

“Don’t you know me, don’t you know me?,” she kept saying. I gave her face a careful perusal. “Let’s see,” I thought, “a noble profile, makes me think of Martha Washington or Betsy Ross, some painting I once saw. Patriotic.”

“This is the Dream Diner,” the woman said several times, as if I were deaf. “You know–where I work. You’ve visited me here before.”

Before, before. I tried to remember. Wait a minute. Patriotism, that noble profile–she was like that painting by Delacroix, Liberty Leads the People. I'd recently seen Athena in that form [AC 385B: January 9, 2010, unpublished]. It was her.

I became instantly alert. Yes, the Dream Diner. The last time I was there was years ago, sitting in a booth. I hadn’t noticed there were tables. [AC 237: August 15, 2004]. I looked up at Athena.

“Well, there you are, finally,” she said brightly. I wasn’t sure I would get through. You were rather low on the lucidity index.”

“You still work here?” I asked.

“What do you mean? It’s my job–serving up dreams to oddball dreamers who aren’t satisfied with the usual fare offered at the Dream Zone cinemas: relationship comedies for partners who have forgotten to laugh at each others’ foibles, office tragedies for those stuck in dead-end jobs who want to do away with their bosses, and horror films to help people unload their fears about the end of the world. I’m always trying to get my charges to wake up to the reality of the astral plane so they can start learning and growing here with some intelligence and purpose. An astral body is a horrible thing to waste.”

“What happened to that guy who was with you?” I said, looking around.

“That was you,” Athena said. “I wanted to congratulate you on successfully passing your initiation. But you and your buddhic body somehow got separated. Your focus of consciousness was in the astral body–and not very awake or aware. I was trying to get you to wake up into the buddhic body by reminding you of what it looks and feels like. Once you recognized me, you refocused your consciousness in the buddhic body, and there were no longer two of you.”

“You kept wishing me happy birthday, which confused me,” I said. “February 4 is still two weeks away.”

“On the contrary,” Athena replied, “I was congratulating you on taking up residence in the buddhic body. I suppose that could be perceived as the rebirth of your consciousness on the buddhic plane. But your astral body made quite a mess of the message.

“I was actually talking to your buddhic body, but no one was home. Your consciousness couldn’t rise higher than the astral plane. I don’t blame you after the rigors Mark and I, and the rest of your support team, put you through over the last six week to get you through the initiation. Mark told me that he just wanted you to rest for a while, and your interpretation of that seems to be hanging out half awake at the Astral Plane Dream Diner. I don’t blame you.”

“What do you mean, you were talking to my buddhic body?” I asked.

“It doesn’t go away just because you’re not focused in it, any more than do the other bodies,” Athena said. “They’re all stacked up around your core like nested dolls. We nonphysical Guides always go knocking on the door, as it were, of the highest body people have access to in order to see whether they’re awake and aware at that level. If nobody’s home, we go down to the next lower body, and so on.

“When we find the level where we can connect, we see whether we can get people to wake up again at the higher levels–hoping that we can get them lucid in the highest body they have access to. That body represents the leading edge of their growth. Our job is to prepare it for the next step in its evolution. The tasks to be accomplished usually require the inner senses of that body, or involve developing those senses–so providing instruction in any lower body would be a waste of time.

“You’ve had the experience of being aware in more than one energy body at a time. In this case, you were sufficiently connected to your buddhic body to know that I was trying to communicate with you at that level. You took in the gist of my message of congratulations. But because your focus of consciousness was on the astral plane, the message got garbled by the perceptual biases of that plane, which don’t include memories of developments in the higher bodies. You sought about at that level for an understanding of what I was saying, and the only information you had access to was that your physical plane birthday was coming up in a couple weeks.

“Unfortunately, even highly developed souls often garble memories of teaching sessions, adventures in consciousness– even initiations–because they’re unintentionally trying to interpret experiences in a higher body in terms of the perceptual biases of a lower body.”

“This is very humbling,” I replied. “I was under the impression that once your focus of consciousness was transferred to a higher body, that became your base of operations from then on, with a dependable level of lucidity in subsequent adventures.”

“So you might be led to believe by some of the theosophical teachings you’ve encountered. There’s truth in the idea. But there’s also truth in the theosophical teachings that say what’s experienced in the higher bodies is often garbled in the process of being translated from body to body before you wake up.

“Each body contributes something to that translation process before passing the experience on to the next lower body so that eventually it can be remembered in the physical body. You already know the schema, though you may not have thought about it in quite this way. The buddhic body contributes the energetic shape, the causal body the ideas or archetypes involved, the mental body the patterns of their relationships to one another, the astral body the events or plot most suitable for demonstrating these relationships, and the physical body the vocabulary for describing the adventure in words so that you’re able to remember it and pass it on to others.”

“It’s the stages of developing the perceptual sense, but in reverse,” I said, astonished. [See The Multidimensional Human, chapter 10.]

“That’s correct,” Athena replied. “Now let me address the notion of a reliable level of lucidity in later adventures. You know that as you moved from experiencing the focus of your consciousness in the astral body to the mental body, your general level of lucidity greatly increased, with occasional lapses. Sometimes your Guides could meet you on the astral plane if for some reason you could rise no higher on your own. They would then lift you back up to the mental body.

“A similar thing happened when the focus of your consciousness moved to the causal body–and you can expect that to be true of the buddhic body now that your focus of consciousness is there. You should also be aware that over time, as you master the inner senses of each new body, your level of lucidity within that body becomes more and more reliable, until you’re able to get around without needing our help to stabilize your consciousness on that plane.

“Certainly, your most recent adventures in the causal body have proved that to be true. Yet sometimes you may inadvertently choose the wrong body for a particular task, as you did when you recently tried to get to the mental plane in your astral body [AC 375: December 12, 2009, unpublished]. This is understandable because, even for a soul operating in one of the higher bodies, the astral body is still useful for picking up dream information about the affairs of everyday life.

“There’s still a lot of useful work to do in that body, in which the inner sense abilities of the higher bodies would be wasted. Going into an astral dream with the mental or causal body would be like taking a magnifying glass with you into a hotel room and examining every square inch of the carpet. The hotel room serves a temporary purpose, and the color of the carpet may contribute something to the ambiance of a dream, but it’s not the most important point.

“What happens in the hotel room is the thing you need to focus on: a dream event commenting on some aspect of your daily life. I liken an astral dream to a motel room because you’ll move along from the understanding of daily events provided by such a dream in a matter of days.

“I understand now,” I responded. “Because Mark said I should rest for a while, I just haven’t felt the need to rise to the highest level of awareness in nonphysical reality that I have access to, the buddhic body.”

“Yes, that’s true,” Athena agreed. “One of the reasons we’re together here is so that I can diminish the chances of your developing an inflated ego now that you’ve passed your initiation. I’m glad you realized what you called the ‘humbling’ nature of your relationship to the bodies.

“Everything you experience in nonphysical reality, especially when you gain access to a higher body such as the buddhic, needs to be understood within the context of the body that you’re in. When you only have access to the lower bodies, the possibility of distortion of what you experience is not only likely but inevitable. On the contrary, when you’re working from the causal body or higher, there’s always a chance that you’ll slip into a lower body without realizing it and what you experience will be reported in an unreliable or misleading fashion.

“The higher bodies are less related to time and space, as you know. Translating information received at those levels is also subject to distortion as it drops from body to body through the layers of the perceptual sense until you’re able to remember and report on it. You have well-developed translation skills, but you still need to be on the lookout for possible distortions.

“I understand,” I said.

“I have one further teaching to pass on to you,” Athena continued. “It’s about what’s expected of you now that you’re functioning in the buddhic body. Then you’ll get the much-needed rest that Mark promised [in AC 388: January 18, 2010, unpublished]–no further adventures in Otherwhere until you’ve had time to integrate all that you’ve learned in the recent series.

“Your beloved Annie Besant says that the purpose of initiations is to open you up to wider areas of service. There’s truth in that statement–although there are also two caveats.

“The first is that you’re no good to yourself or anyone else in a new body without developing the inner senses that allow you to make proper use of it. Annie Besant was cautioning people against wanting to develop the powers of the higher bodies for selfish purposes. As you know from all that you’ve learned about black magicians in recent adventures, pursuing power in this way is, to say the least, problematic for oneself and others. But without participating in a training phase intended to develop those powers, you can’t be usefully of service in the new body.

[Athena’s references to black and white magicians in this conversation have nothing to do with race. Black magicians follow an extreme version of the identity path back to the Source, ignoring the existence of other people (except as objects to be used to further their purposes)–and even of higher powers or spiritual teachers, such as the Overseers. They work by focusing their will intently on the reality they wish to create and bending the will of others to help them reach it, regardless of the karmic cost.

By contrast, white magicians follow an extreme version of the union path back to the Source, placing themselves so deeply in service of others that they often destroy themselves in the process. They work by attempting to obliterate the boundary between self and other through love, often becoming martyrs as a result of taking proper care of themselves personally, socially, politically–even spiritually.

There’s also a middle path that blends the best and avoids the worst extremes of the black and white magic path, resulting in a perfect balance of the forces of identity and union. [The Multidimensional Human is an attempt to lay out that path.]

“Imagine an infant who is intellectually and spiritually developed enough to realize the need to rescue people in a burning house and to come up with a plan of action. But there are problems: he doesn’t know how to walk yet or have the strength to lift adults onto his shoulders and carry them out. What would happen if he tried? He’d probably get burned up or trampled by people trying to get out of the house.

“Come with me and I’ll show you what I mean.” Instantly we were hovering over a devastated urban area in the tropics.

“Here you see the ruins of Haiti’s capital after the massive earthquake that occurred nine days ago. We're on the outskirts of the city. What do you notice?”

“I see two streams of people,” I said. “One is made up of people who are in shock. They seem to be strong in body, but their minds are unable to grasp the enormity of what happened. They feel a great restlessness, especially the men, which they work off by walking, walking.

“They’re heading up into the hills, they don’t know where. All they want to do is to get away from the devastation. They’re driven less by the fear of dying in another earthquake than by inability to live with the horror of what they went through: all the deaths they’ve seen, the loss of loved ones. In some cases, they’re so crazed that they’ve walked away from their homes without knowing what happened to their families. They believe that they’re in a dream from which they expect to wake up. Meanwhile, the aid crews pass them by as they hide in the jungles, thinking that there has been some kind of military coup as they watch the convoys pass.”

“These are the souls of the dead who sprang up immediately out of their bodies, obeying the impulse to flee,” Athena said. “They have no idea that they’re dead. They can’t even think about it. The notion of survival is their only thought. It drove them while they were alive, and it continues to drive them after death. They’ll walk until they’re weary, lie down and rest, and wake up in the Afterlife, a little disoriented at first, but ready to take up the new conditions, learn what’s required of them, and proceed with their healing and growth.

“They were realists in life, and they take a pragmatic attitude about everything, including death. When you say that they’re strong in body, you mean that they have a well-developed and highly adaptable will, capable of taking in, accepting, and living from what is, despite their present state of shock.

“Though some spiritual teachings call souls that exit suddenly and roam the earth for a while lost souls, the type you’re viewing is often extremely open to the new conditions of the Afterlife when they arrive, and can sometimes be put to work welcoming and caring for those whose transition is more challenging. Unfortunately, this type is relatively uncommon, not only in Haiti, but throughout the world. What else do you see?”

“In comparison, the other stream of people have no life in them at all. They seem to be clogging a river, as if they’d drowned and been swept away by the water, or their bodies had been thrown into a river for lack of any place else to put them. The odd thing is that the river flows upwards, away from the city and into the surrounding hills, and the bodies are moving in that direction. They all have looks of extreme displeasure on their faces, eyes tightly closed, mouths turned down in frowns, arms folded tightly against their chests. Some are dismembered or rotting.”

“Those are the souls of the tens of thousands who died in the earthquake and refuse to accept their fate,” Athena said. “From the vantage point of the buddhic body, you can see how much they suffer as they head toward the Afterlife. They’re also in shock. They do not want to believe that they’re dead.

“It’s difficult for them to accept that the God they worshiped throughout their lives could have allowed this horror to happen to them. They do not believe that their loved ones or any decent human being could have allowed them to go unburied for so long, or to be shoveled into mass graves with no concern for the welfare of their souls, as dictated by their Catholic beliefs.

“They do not understand why they died in such a hellish way. They fear that they’ve been condemned to hell–or that they’re on their way there, either because of their sins in life, (usually petty), or because they had no last rites or proper burial. Some of them think that this is a nightmare they’ll wake up from with everything restored to normal.

“Family life is extremely important to these people. The ones who appear to be dismembered are feeling acutely how they’ve been cut off from their family. They don’t want to think about never seeing the survivors again, or the pain the survivors will feel over their loss. They’re also not ready to greet lost family members on the Other Side. That would mean admitting not only that they’re dead, but also that a part or the whole of their precious family was wiped out–and how could God allow that, especially the deaths of innocent children?

“You can see that the aid crisis on the physical plane is only one part of the problem. There’s an aid crisis on the Other Side too.

“It’s not so much a problem of there being no mechanisms in place to help the survivors of such a massive natural disaster, or that there’s insufficient help on our side. It’s a matter of the people themselves being in a state of mind for which nothing they experienced on earth prepared them, so that they’re strongly reacting against it and are effectively unreachable.

“You’ve seen where they’ll go in a previous adventure [AC 244: March 9, 2005]. They’ll be established in an enormous barracks, on hospital beds, resting like the survivors of a war until they’re ready to wake up to their present condition and begin a more active and conscious healing process under the guidance of Facilitators acting as spiritual nurses.

“As they awaken, they’ll be reunited to their family units, if multiple members of nuclear and extended families should have perished simultaneously. They’ll be happy to have survived and to be reunited with loved ones–though they’ll not yet have to face the fact of having died. That comes later, with proper religious observances. They’ll be led gently to give up their resistance to the notion of having died. They’ll be healed from the trauma of believing what the church teaches them about having to face hell if they haven’t observed the proper rites, or their surviving families haven’t been able to do so on earth in a timely fashion, being overwhelmed by the spiritual, emotional, and physical hardships left in the wake of the earthquake.”

Athena turned to me. “What can you do about any of this?” she said intently.

“Nothing,” I said sadly. “I can see it. I can understand it. I could come up with a plan, like that infant you mentioned. I don’t have the slightest notion of how I would carry it out. There are so many souls in the same situation–it seems as if rescuing them one at a time would be overwhelming and inefficient. And if they’re as unreachable as you say, any effort on my part would have little direct effect on them. It wouldn’t be wasted, perhaps, but it would be more an expression of my acting like superman in the belief I can save the world than of what’s really needed here.”

“Exactly so,” said Athena.

“It’s hard to admit,” I continued, “but I realize that this is a process in which only those who are directly called to participate–whether as aid workers on this side or Facilitators on the Other Side–may properly be involved with. Ever since the earthquake, I’ve been wondered whether I should become involved in some way, maybe through helping guide lost souls into the Afterlife. Yet I was too deeply immersed in the initiation process and overwhelmed by trying to understand and record it to do anything but keep abreast of the news and send healing intentions toward Haiti. I felt a little guilty to be so preoccupied with my own growth during a disaster of such proportions.”

“The key thing in what you said,” Athena replied, “is that you did not feel called to help. You were called to go through the initiation process. A key aspect of the buddhic body is that you have more clarity about what you’re called to do, and what not.

“I wanted to make that point so you don’t get confused later with ego-based notions about how you should be more of service now that you’ve achieved this higher body. You’re being sufficiently of service at this point just by writing about your experiences so that others may benefit from them. This you are indeed called to do, and it honors the contract you made with the Overseers many years ago to map nonphysical reality and pass your maps on to other would-be explorers [See Otherwhere, 161-64 (AC 91: September 7, 1991)].

“In the buddhic body, you could feel the truth of all that I told you about those who died in the earthquake in Haiti. You could have arrived at the same knowledge had you visited Haiti without me. But the net result would have been the same–a realization that you have not been called.

“This is not arrogance or avoidance, as it could be interpreted by people who do not have access to this body. Rather, it’s obedience to a higher law. This law has ordained that those who are best suited to become involved in helping the surviving Haitian people and the souls of those who died would feel and respond to a call to be of service in such ways. You’re responding to a different call, to which you owe a similar allegiance, fulfilling the duties and providing the service it demands of you.

“The lesson I want to leave you with is how important it is to develop your buddhic body. Doing so involves expanding your sense of oneness with all humanity by looking at any aspect of human life that you feel drawn to, whether joyful or sorrowful, from your new perspective. But in the case of tragedy, always ask yourself whether there’s a call to do anything more than to understand its scope and to empathize with those who are caught up in it.

“It’s not unfeeling or neglectful to recognize the need and do nothing about it, provided only that you ask yourself whether there’s a real call to respond. At the buddhic level, such calls come with an urgency that you can’t mistake or dismiss, because you’re so much closer to the Source.

“You’re in training to be of service to humanity in a larger way than helping only the individuals immediately known to you. You’ll be summoned to such service as needed–just as you’ve been summoned time and again during this initiation process–according to a timing that your earth-based personality may sometimes resist or complain about, but which it can only acquiesce in. If no such call comes, even in the case of war or natural disaster, you must assume that you’re on another assignment.

“Calls will come, and they’ll demand everything you’ve learned–and much you have yet to learn–to respond to them properly. That is the law of growth at this level.

“In the meantime, don’t invent reasons to be of service that you’re not called to do. That creates bonds of imaginary obligation that may weaken you, without being genuinely helpful to others, so that when you’re called, you don’t have the energy to respond.”

“I understand,” I said. “I’ve made it a practice never to push these adventures to happen according to the expectations or timetable of my earth-based personality. I let them unfold organically, in their own time. I don’t have any trouble with the idea of continuing to do so, even now that the buddhic body is available to me.”

“All along, you’ve been training yourself to respond to the calls I’ve been talking about,” Athena replied. “That’s one of the first things we look for in a student. Pushiness sends people to the back of the class, though we understand their enthusiasm. Going with the flow sends you to the front of the class, body after body, plane after plane.

“And what, after all, is this flow but your path back to the Source as it opens up to your inner senses and invites you to respond? This is a growth process that involves your developing inner sense abilities and the powers of each body (identity) and learning how to direct those powers into service of others (union). This is how the middle path works, avoiding the extremes of white or black magic.

“White magic tries to do good where nothing is required. Think of all those spiritually sensitive people who are meditating now, trying to send the souls of dead Haitians into the light, with no understanding of what that means. Their hearts are in the right place, but there’s no call. If there had been a call, they would be given more sophisticated tools to work with than the notion of sending souls to the light.

“The so-called New Age is often rightly accused of inspiring a feel-good, do-gooder attitude that has no benefits on the physical plane–and often none on the higher planes as well. We haven’t said much about the undesirability of the white magic path, which we see in terms of good intentions without a call, and trying to invent calls to put those intentions into practice. At worst, it’s attempting to make yourself important by saving the world in a way that has no effect here or anywhere else but to wear you out. At best, it exercises your energy bodies and helps us see potential candidates for further training. But the critical thing is hearing and responding to a call.

“The black magicians ignore such calls through selfishness. The so-called white magicians take on calls that are too general, such as saving the world or being of benefit to all beings. They often become so overwhelmed with the service they expect of themselves (or that others demand of them) that they can’t hear a real call when it comes. By then they have no energy to develop the new skills that might be needed to respond appropriately.

“The middle way is all about flow. It doesn’t try to control the flow, as black magicians do. Nor does it observe the flow like beautiful scenery and do interpretive dances by its side, as white magicians do, to feel good (and show others how good you feel) about living in a universe of flow.

“I’m thinking of all those new-agers running around the world burying crystals to help the energy grid, which doesn’t need their help–or not in the way they imagine. At least they’re not interrupting the flow. They have too much respect for it for that. But neither are they enhancing it in any way.

“The Source doesn’t need buried crystals to help it realize its plans for the evolution of consciousness, human and otherwise–including that of crystals. The only effective use of white magic is learning how to invite devas [Sanskrit for “shining ones,” or “gods”–nonhuman nonphysical intelligences responsible for the creation, maintenance, and destruction of form at all levels of being, ranging from nature spirits (lowest), working on the etheric aspects of the physical plane, to angels and archangels (highest), working on the astral and higher planes] to link nonphysical reality and physical reality through physical objects. Such actions do indeed increase the flow of energy from the Source onto the physical plane. Yet few people who go around burying crystals know how to invite devas into such relationships. Or, if they do, they wave their hands around and sprinkle salt or tobacco to no effect. The crystal ends up being just another rock in the ground.

“The middle path has a different relationship to the flow: it tries neither to control it nor to remind it how to do its job. When you’re on this path, you dive right into the flow to see where it takes you–but only when the flow says ‘Come, there’s need!’ The rest of your time is spent in learning how to dive deeper and follow it farther when the next call comes. So my advice to you on the occasion of your birth into the buddhic body is: prepare, prepare, and respond only when called.”

By now Haiti had disappeared from view. It was as if we were high above the Earth in the clouds. We must have been on the buddhic plane itself. Though I could hear and understand Athena as she spoke, I couldn’t sense anything around us. I still had to develop the inner senses and chakras that would allow me to do so. That was my new task–what Athena meant by saying “prepare, prepare.” I awoke back in my physical body in my bedroom in Boston.