(Channeled from Shepherd’s Essence)
Feel your breath.
Feel it massage the insides of your lungs.
Hear the breath bringing joy to your lungs.
What is that joy like?
What are its sensations?
As you breathe in joy, feel it moving throughout your body.
As you exhale, feel joy filling the room.
Notice your joy playing with the joy emanating from others.
Feel the collective joy.
Feel the joy expanding.
Feel your capacity for joy becoming greater.
Feel this great joy traveling through your overleaves … and becoming happiness.
Since your body is connected to all other people and to the earth itself, this is joy to the world. We can choose to demonstrate through our lives an alternative to insanity, to growing through pain.
Bring to mind one situation that is uncomfortable for you.
Feel the feeling.
Imagine yourself in this situation allowing joy to flow through your personality as happiness and through your body as pleasure, while radiating joy to others.
Joy doesn’t have to do anything. Its mere presence is a gift. Whether others in that situation consciously realize joy today or in this lifetime, your emanation of joy shifts the energy.
Think of another situation that could use the blessing of joy. It could be a personal situation or even a worldwide situation.
Put yourself in that situation joyfully.
Observe the healing power of joy healing you and healing the situation.
When you feel ready you can open your eyes and marinate in the joy you are helping to generate.
Let your breathing be just the way it wants to be. So often we hold our breath. Be with your free and easy breathing, and see what happens.
The realization that the universe is made from the building blocks of love, truth, and beauty has extraordinary ramifications no matter what a person’s religious beliefs are. It implies that it is possible to do things in an easier manner, that one can learn to live in true personality, that there can be much more joy in life, even under difficult circumstances.
In Christianity there is the idea of the holy trinity. Love, truth, and beauty is the holy trinity. Love is the Tao expressing itself via the inspiration axis — emotionally, you might say, although it is more than that. Its highest manifestation is unconditional love or agape. Truth is the Tao expressing itself through the expression axis, intellectually. And beauty is the Tao manifesting through the action axis, physically or energetically.
It appears to the naked eye that love, truth, and beauty are in short supply in human affairs. The discord that is everywhere apparent, the ugliness rather than beauty, the hate rather than love, the falsity rather than truth, could be seen as love, truth, and beauty in training. They just need development and fine-tuning. The definition of what some call a lightworker — and all of you are that —includes the ability to recognize the love, truth, and beauty that is struggling to blossom through the hate, falsity, and ugliness.
Doing so helps you experience joy, whereas when you temporarily forget what you are seeing, and think that it is only falsity, ugliness, and hate, it is easy to feel despair. If you are ever in despair, a good approach is to recognize that despair is joy in training — you just need to look deeper at what you are seeing.
We speak of growing through joy. Why is it important to grow?
Because we’re the Tao playing.
Consider the alternative: Nothing would change. That doesn’t seem as interesting, productive, fulfilling, or good.
Yes, you would become disinterested if there were no growth. Things could change without growing, and that would be more interesting than stasis, but growing implies an increase in capacity, both in terms of quantity and quality, for love, truth, and beauty.
When you are cast as a spark of the Tao, you probably had a lot of other experiences behind you. But when you chose to come to a particular planet and inhabit a particular life form, such as the human life form on planet Earth, you took on a new soul. And that soul, at that point, had no experience. Therefore, on that level, it was a blank slate. To become something, it had to grow, just as a fertilized egg in the womb has to start taking on nutrition to become something more than a fertilized egg.
The nutrition for the soul is experience. It draws from the raw material of pure potential and through experience converts it into soul substance. And that conversion is growth.
Let’s make an analogy: A coal deposit can be compared to raw material. Through the pressure (of experience), it is possible for a diamond to be generated. There is nothing wrong with coal — it can be used as fuel, both literally and figuratively (as in this analogy). But what a joyful thing it is to create a diamond.
As the soul moves through the cycles, it generates more and more substance. It is not necessarily beautiful yet. It is not necessarily characterized by love and truth. It is no longer purely raw material but it is not yet consistently a diamond, something that transmits glorious light, love, truth, and beauty in their purest, highest forms. There is not only the matter of having the experience but of refining it so that a step at a time, it can become closer to its highest potential.
Let’s say that an infant soul kills a lot of people out of fear. That is a big experience, but it is not a beautiful one. It is at the first stage of development. It has taken black coal and created some substance around the soul that is dark grey — lighter than it was, but a long way from being a diamond. Let’s say that in the infant soul’s next lifetime, he is killed in repayment of one of those karmic debts. What happens to that substance depends a lot on how the soul understands, interprets, and frames that experience. He will probably not consciously associate it with the time he had killed that person. If he also unconsciously (on a surface soul level) refuses to take responsibility for it, he may see himself as a victim. Maybe he will feel angry and vow to take revenge. In that case, his substance is expanding — he has had more experience now — but it hasn’t gotten much more refined. It could go in various ways from there. The ideal scenario would be if the soul finally puts two and two together and realizes that “This is what I did to that other soul. Now I’m getting it back and it doesn’t feel good. Maybe I will think twice before I kill someone again.” That would be the beginning of compassion.
What often happens, though, is that it may take several rounds of similar killing-and-being-killed before there is this realization. This is a clear-cut example of growing through pain. There’s going to be a lot of pain on both sides until that realization kicks in.
There are a few souls in whom that realization never kicks in. They become calcified in hate and blaming others; they never take responsibility for their part in their exchanges, and so they contract. They are referred to as being “evil.”
You might think that, eventually, everyone would wake up, but since all is choice, one can choose to move through the physical plane without taking responsibility. There are fewer such souls than one might think, based on the things that go on in the world. Most souls are a mixed bag: they’ve gotten clarity in some areas but not in others.
Those who have contracted, more or less permanently, do not experience joy. They do not really, in fact, take much pleasure from controlling others or in getting their way. They do not find happiness. They are driven.
At any time, as long as a soul is still incarnating, it is possible to change course. No one is written off on the physical plane.
Do evil people ever cycle off?
Those who do not choose to take advantage of the opportunity to break the pattern at least to some degree eventually are disassembled on the astral plane: they cannot cycle off. That is very rare.
Embodying joy is the greatest service to humanity that you can offer because it demonstrates that there is another way to be. On the other hand, those who have chosen the path of evil are serving humanity in their own way because in interacting with them, others are clarifying their own choices. If they finally do break the pattern, they can bring rich insights. Nothing is wasted. We like the saying “It’s all good.”
Sometimes people wonder why they even bothered to come to this difficult planet from the Tao, where everything was in perfection already — from your point of view, indescribable bliss. The reason is that the Tao itself does not wish to be static; it also wants to expand. Those who choose to be sentient souls, such as humans and cetaceans, are leading this expansion for the Tao.
On the physical plane, you are making your light conscious. You make things conscious by comparing and contrasting them to what it is not. In the Tao there is only light and so it is useful to construct a playground where you can contrast light and dark.
A newborn baby is a good analogy. Babies are full of light. They are a joy to be with, especially when they are happy. They radiate light but it is unconscious. They have not yet owned their experience; they are not capable of doing so. Therefore, they easily lose their joy. They can go from great happiness to a screaming fit in the blink of an eye. As they grow up they can gain skills for remaining happy no matter what is going on outside them. They become conscious of their happiness and have more control over it. That is what you are doing on a soul level.
Many early infant souls are quite happy, especially if they have incarnated into a circumstance in which the weather is nice, they have enough to eat, and they can play. But eventually they feel called to have more challenging experiences so that they can build their capabilities. One way they do this is like what toddlers start doing when they refuse to share their toys and kick other toddlers in the sandbox — they create karma.
This is not the only way that souls can grow. It is theoretically possible that a soul could grow only through joy. There is no law that one must grow through negative karma. However, because this is an aggressive, difficult planet, we know of no soul who has grown entirely through joy. We don’t think any of you have managed to get to where you are without having lived through several wars, for instance. But now that you have some skills, you can make conscious choices that minimize growing through pain and maximize growing through joy.
One of the ways is through being alert, noticing when trouble is coming and finding ways to finesse that, either removing yourself from the situation or diffusing it.
We are fond of saying that all is choice. One way of describing the journey of your soul through the physical plane is that you are learning to choose consciously. You are always choosing unconsciously: you choose to breathe and how you breathe, but most of the time you allow that to be an automatic process. You can control it when you want to but you usually let it stay the way it normally is.
The way it normally is may not be the best it could be for you. You may be in the habit of breathing in a shallow way. So occasionally taking it out and looking at it — noticing how you’ve been breathing and establishing a new pattern — can be a smart choice. This is a good analogy for all your unconscious patterns.
You need unconscious patterns. You cannot be conscious of everything you are doing all the time; your brains are not sophisticated enough to allow for full conscious control of self. (There are species that are equipped for that.) In your case, you get to examine your unconscious patterns now and then, a little at a time, especially when they are triggered. If something upsets you, something you hadn’t been thinking about before, that is your opportunity to bring it out into the light and to refine it, to take that murky substance that you had developed through a past experience and make it more refined, bringing love, truth, and beauty to it.
If you have been through something traumatic, you may do that many times. Each time, you will refine that substance further — you will bring more love, more truth and more beauty into it. Each time you do that, you grow. You know more. You understand better. And you bring more refinement to your overall substance. When you finally refine a piece of experience as much as it can be, you have made it into something truly beautiful. As you integrate that, it goes more deeply into your soul and becomes part of who you are. It is growth you have earned, and your soul becomes more substantial. The light can shine through that experience, which is no longer trauma — it is deep knowledge. Then you move on to something else; something else is triggered.
Because all is choice, you are not required to refine every experience to its ultimate possible form before you cycle off (finish with the physical plane). You may decide that some or maybe all these various experiences are good enough. They may not shine like diamonds but you are okay with what you did with them. It is comparable to those who graduate with a C average. They decided that what they learned in that school was good enough or they did the best they could and that was fine. Someone else may want to work very hard and have a higher grade point average.
So people can get to be seventh-level old and not have diamond-like substance. They went through all the stages in the way they chose to do so. They completed the course as they saw fit. There are even people who are fairly dark in their energy field who get to be seventh old and finish up. We would not characterize such people as fully evil; you cannot get to seventh old if you are totally shut down. But you could if you were somewhat shut down. So it is incorrect to assume that everyone who is an old soul — especially seventh-old — has it together: All is choice.
By “all is choice” we are not saying that you’ve chosen everything that happened to you outside yourself. Others have free will and they are making choices as well that affect you. But you have a choice about everything, including about your evolution.
There are those who work on themselves constantly. Although this is mostly admirable, it can be out of balance. There is, for everything, a sweet spot where you find the just right amount. Those who work on themselves more than is valuable for them are usually driven in part by low self-esteem. To believe and know that you are beautiful just the way you are is a better starting point for working on yourself because you can do so with equanimity. You can observe correctly that, “Yes, I have some dark spots here — some blind spots — that I need to work on,” because everyone does. And you can have a joyous experience doing so.
When you first face your shadows — your shadows are the dark spots, the places in you that you’ve not yet brought fully into light — it can be a terrifying experience. Many are afraid to look within because they fear that they will find out that they are a terrible person. If you start to work with a therapist and discover that you have a lot of anger, for example, you may be afraid of the power of that anger. You may fear that you will hurt someone or yourself with it. However, if your therapist is good, you will quickly discover that it is not anything to be afraid of. You can bring it into the light and release the energy from the past so that you have more energy to live in joy now. You gain skills for dealing with anger when it comes up so that you start storing less of it. Therefore, your backlog of unresolved anger starts to go down. This is an example of how one learns to increasingly grow through joy.
There is nothing wrong with anger or any other negative emotion. Anger is simply your life force arising in a concentrated way to push something away that you perceive as being harmful to you. You may be mistaken — it may not actually be harmful to you. But the anger itself is not a bad thing.
When it is stored from the past, it tends to go bad. Some of you probably have food in the back of your refrigerator that originally was a healthy good thing to have but now it is covered with mold. You might want to toss it out. Old anger can go bad, too; it can become toxic, but the energy inside it can be recycled and used for something good.
Much of the positive thinking movement, although it is better than the alternative, can lead to suppression of negative emotions, which can lead to worse outcomes. People tend to repress emotions when they don’t know what else to do with them. When you were a child, you did not have the sophistication to deal with negative emotions. You probably either forced them down or let them out out in an inappropriate way. All of you are gaining skills to find other alternatives for dealing with negative emotions.
Fear is the most common negative emotion. Its purpose is to keep bodies alive. However, if you are a conscious being, you don’t need to be afraid of being hit by a car, for instance, to not step in front of one. You use your eyes and ears, you see and hear, and then choose not to step out. Little children have to learn that; in the meantime, fear may be useful to them.
Because the body is connected to the mind, and the mind can form abstractions, it creates fears about abstractions, events that are not directly related to the body’s immediate physical safety. For example, “I’m afraid I’ll get fired from my job.” The underlying assumption is that that might eventually lead to a physical event such as “I will starve to death.” Making it conscious obviates the need to have fear. If you look at it with clear eyes, you can develop a strategy. “This is what I’m going to do to see if I can preserve my job. And if I lose the job, this is what I will do.” When there is consciousness, you can relax. You can thank your fear for alerting you to the fact that there is a problem to solve, then dismiss it.
The growth of your capacity to live in love, truth, and beauty is a wonderful thing. When you experience the diamond, you naturally want more of that kind of experience. It is available. It does take work, but it need not be a struggle. The more skill you have in this, the more the skills build on each other — there is an acceleration. You get the hang of it. You get a sense of what it is like to grow through joy.
Living a joyful life is the greatest service anyone can give to humanity. If you feed the poor but are not joyful, you have limited your gift. If you change a political situation but are not joyful, the impact is relatively minor. If you model what it is for love, truth, and beauty to manifest through you, you have completed your life task, whatever that may be. It would be impossible to align with essence and manifest your version of love, truth, and beauty and not complete your life task. So you don’t necessarily need to worry too much about it. This is the core of all spiritual practice. If you align with love, truth, and beauty, you will live in essence and you will gracefully do what you came on earth to do.
What’s so difficult about this planet? There’s so much abundance here.
The abundance of the planet means that there are more opportunities, and therefore more opportunities for things to go wrong. Also, the human life form is hardwired to be relatively aggressive compared to some other incarnational opportunities. Those two things combine to make a volatile situation.
That said, all is choice, and part of the reason there has been so much destruction in your history in relatively recent times is that people have chosen to grow through pain rather than joy. Even with this life form and all the complexities of life on earth, it would have been possible to have a different history, one with more peace and reasonableness. However, it is all good, because if you really harvest the lessons of what you have been through, you will have achieved powerful insights, and your ability to be love, truth, and beauty will be all the greater.
The key is to embrace things as they are and as they have been, and see what can be learned from them — to embrace it all. A lot of you have had traumatic experiences in your past. On one level, you probably would have preferred not to have gone through them, but if you embrace them and harvest all the insight out of them that you can, it will polish your diamond in great ways. And after all, you only have what you have. You have the history you have. You cannot do anything about what is. You can only do something about your choices regarding what will come down the line. So you may as well be in love with what is and what was, because that is what you’ve got — you don’t have anything else. You didn’t have the idyllic childhood you may have fantasized about (probably no one else did, either). So use what you’ve got.
You go to a hard university because you know you will learn more. You go to a party school if you are not interested in learning that much. Earth is like one of the top Ivy League schools. After going through a cycle here, you can come out of it with some real skills.
There’s been a lot of talk lately about earth having just moved into fourth density.
Planets move through different cosmic climates. Some climates are stormy. You have moved through some harsh weather, which is partly why humans have tended to choose to grow through pain, although again, it need not have been that way. Now the weather is clearing up, so it should be easier to grow through joy in this coming time, and to grow more quickly and efficiently. However, it will still always be your choice: you can still resist or you can embrace.
Close your eyes.
Look for opportunities to allow the pure energies of love, truth, and beauty to manifest through you. Send these unifying energies into the earth and to all humanity so that there is a greater awareness that one can, in fact, grow through joy. It has always been a choice, but let it now be more apparent.
October 12, 2013
Transcribed by Lauren Jensen