One of the persistent tropes in New Age and religion-based spirituality is about “forgiveness.”  People are told they must “forgive” in order to heal from abuse and reclaim their lives, but in my experience, this approach simply does not work.
Forgiveness is actually a result of healing, not the way to healing, at least for the overwhelming majority of people.
Stipulating “forgiveness” as an abuse survivor’s/abuse-target’s first step to healing  puts them into a position of trauma-bond with their abuser — and removes the abuser from accountability.
It also relieves onlookers’ discomfort at witnessing abuse and suffering — which is often the motivation behind friends’ or a spiritual preceptor’s (or wannabe-guru’s) prescribing “forgiveness.”
And inability to forgive abuse often results in the person feeling shamed or less-than — but some wounds are just so overwhelming that the person feels robbed of their essential humanity or integrity and simply cannot access the generosity-of-heart that is the portal to healing through forgiveness.
Healing and forgiveness come when the abused person can begin to access their inherent wholeness, which severs the trauma bond.  The right psychotherapy (and the right spiritual practice) help immensely.
Forgiveness is not a tool to heal trauma. Trauma work is a tool to heal trauma, and forgiveness might be a result.


So many “empaths” are really hypervigilant people traumatized from growing up in emotionally-dysregulated and emotionally-unsafe families, continuing to live as though still living in that family — and even choosing other dysregulated people as friends and partners because that’s what’s familiar.

I am not casting shade on what someone had to do to survive — far from it — but I am stating that what once kept is safe can turn into a straightjacket.

If you don’t do the work of healing your trauma instead of just compensating for it, you will eventually become one of your parents — and marry the other one.

I see so many people trying to manage their trauma — through affirmation, meditation, ritual, archetype study, dance and movement … and while these things are excellent in the right place, all they really do for trauma is take enough of the “edge” off that the person can continue to get by. The do not actually uproot the trauma and file the traumatic event in the past where it belongs.

While I have seen and experienced that trauma can be released through deep, authentic spiritual practice, I must also say that this approach requires a very fierce discipline and is unreliable for actual trauma release, generally becoming “bypass” that

So be the one in your family who breaks the cycle.

Conspiracy Theories

As I’m proceeding in my training in Somatic Experiencing, I’m more-and-more convinced that a lot of subscription to conspiracy narratives is actually a trauma response.

Our culture teaches *dysregulation*, the better to control us and sell us stuff.

*Most* people are living at a level of nervous-system hyper-arousal that has become an identity, and is thus deemed “normal.”

In many people, this hyper-arousal has the effect of creating hypervigilance and apophenia. For people habituated to this, a state of actual regulation and inner quiet is uninteresting or even anxiety-provoking.

It does not matter whether the “conspiracy” is real. That’s a red herring. The real issue is what’s happening in your nervous system and whether you’ll let go of the “conspiracy” long-enough to find your own deep substance.

And that won’t happen as long as you’re cathecting an identity around conspiracy narratives — or any narrative. That’s the teaching of all the authentic spiritual paths.


Not all the spiritual paths are actually saying the same thing or pointing-to the same “result” of training in their methods.  That is a bit of a heresy in pop-spirituality circles, but it’s true.

The basic distinctions are between “dualistic,” e.g., classical yoga à la Patānjali or Sant Mat, and “non-dual,” e.g., Advaita Vedanta.

There is also the difference between paths that emphasize transcendence (e.g., Theravada, Patānjali’s yoga, and Advaita Vedanta) and paths that emphasize embodiment (e.g., Sufism, Shingon Buddhism, classical Tantra, and Vajrayana).

How these different modes handle the mechanics of consciousness and how they run energy are actually quite different.

The paths of transcendence hold that we’re “done” when we “reach” the Absolute and regard all the intervening planes and all manifestation as illusory or just leela, Divine Play.

The reason for this is in the “ascent” — which is not an ascent the way one climbs a ladder, but an aperture into perceiving each successively-finer vibrational plane. As one proceeds, the laws  of each plane become fewer but more profound and one understands how the finer planes are more fundamental to the structure of existence than the grosser ones … until the only law is Unity.

But when you retrace your incarnation from the Unmanifest into life, following the living thread of the Divine Impulse that eventually becomes yourself (and there are practices for this), a bunch of things show up that were imperceptible on the “ascent” — one of them being the purpose of incarnation and of existence-in-general.

And you see that all the planes are real, according to the appertaining laws of each plane — and because they all arise inside The One Being, they are as real as Oneness is real.

And you see how dualistic the intellectual “non-dualists” actually are.  They understand neither unity nor duality.

On a path of embodiment, becomes our task to live the realization of Oneness, in all of its contradictions, incongruities, and ambiguities, as fully as we can. Even when it’s janky, even when we don’t understand it.

The “Law of Attraction”

I’ve posted my objections to the “Law of Attraction” in a few places, but thought I’d summarize them here.

  1. Most people’s minds are simply not powerful or focused-enough to “attract” (or repel) things.
  2. The Law of Attraction a modern New-Age/Western-occultist concoction, not an ancient teaching. The ancient sages & masters did not teach acquiring things through mind-control. They taught perfecting oneself, not acquiring things, as the path to authentic and lasting happiness.
  3. The proposition that your “manifesting” isn’t working because you have (unconscious) “limiting beliefs” is a slick way to keep selling books & programs when people’s “manifesting” fails.
    Corollary: There is probably great potential for material prosperity in the Law of Attraction — but mostly only for its promoters.
  4. The notion of managing life through mind-control is very plausible and attractive to people who are ungrounded and incompletely-embodied, who haven’t fully incarnated into this human life. These often find the complexities of human incarnation bewildering if not frightening, and long for the simplicity and purity of the angelic realm, of which they have a dim memory but little present-time access.
    So the LoA promoters are taking unfair and unethical advantage of such people, offering the LoA as a spiritual solution to people who really need a different kind of spiritual practice to take that next step into becoming fully embodied, and fully human, instead of quasi-angelic. They need to manifest themselves first…In other words: “Find the right person” by first becoming the right person.
  5. A lot of LoA teachings are from “channeled” entities… and therein lies an issue. The realm where these entities abide is one of “mind-substance” rather than physical atoms, and you do “manifest” things by mind-control, because that’s how that plane works; there is no physical mass or inertia, and time itself works differently. In that realm, it’s easy to shove stuff around by mental effort (rather the way Heaven is depicted in the film What Dreams May Come). So these entities are advising us from a perspective that simply doesn’t work on the earth-plane where time and mass/inertia are real things.
    Corollary: Just because an entity doesn’t have a body doesn’t mean that it’s wiser than you — so don’t ask about your human incarnation of a being that’s not living one itself. And some of these entities hover close to the earth plane to try to experience human life vicariously through their “channel,” and they keep their channel and his/her audience “on the string” by doling-out (mostly intellectual) “teachings” to the aforementioned ungrounded people … and I can’t help but see that as a bit dark…

So the secret of “The Secret” is that it doesn’t work.

It’s noteworthy that “The Secret” and the LoA in-general only have much traction in the U.S.; most other parts of the world are not as materialistic as the U.S. and LoA/mind-control programs are just not as popular or visible.

And that brings me to another point… From the perspective of awakening, the soul does not want stuff. It does not even want its “twin flame.” It wants a return to the absolute freedom and intimacy of its own True Nature. So the Law of Attraction is not really “spiritual” at all — it’s just further enmeshment in an inherently-frustrating striving for acquisition that does not help the soul fulfill its purpose, that of illumination.


Painter & Paints

I am living the life painted by the One Being;
I co-create by being the palette & paints,
not by controlling the brushstrokes.

To think that any of us do otherwise is just
egoic grandiosity.

Intuition & Trauma

I’ve been taken-to-task recently, in social-media covid convos, for seeming to diss “intuition” or even having abandoned spirituality for scientific materialism.

So I thought I’d clarify where I’m coming-from.

An authentic spiritual path is about inner freedom. It’s not subscription to concepts or theories about spirituality from some book or created by any group or subculture — certainly not concepts created by those who are not-yet-free, which is most of occult and New Age “spirituality.”

Any authentic spiritual path, and especially the Sufi “way,” is not a spiritual Homeowner’s Association where everyone has to keep their vibe neatly-trimmed and have their aura painted in an approved color.

I am not obligated to conform to anyone’s concepts of spirituality or what a “Sufi” is spozed to look like, and that includes what my mentors & teachers think — which is why they are my teachers.

I am not-obligated to anyone’s attempt to shame me for not being a kosher Sufi — especially those who “fake-it-till-you-make-it” … coz y’all still be fakin’ it, OK?

Inner freedom is not some identity-improvement project. It is not about adopting new beliefs that just get recruited into an existing identity structure with no real challenge or change to that structure.  Spiritual practice is to uproot that identity and its subsidiary trauma, not to make it feel better — and still remain sane while something authentic emerges from the depth.

That’s what actually happens in an authentic practice, and a truly functional ego is built on top of that.

And until that happens, intuition is unreliable because ego structure and trauma are much noisier & denser than actual intuition.

It is from that perspective that I keep saying, if you think the issues around masking & vaccination are about your “freedom,” you do not understand freedom nor how controlled you really are — not by some nefarious external force but by the hall-of-mirrors that is your own mind.

And escaping that hall-of-mirrors is not in getting better facts.

It’s from that perspective that I see how much people’s antivaxx views are really the products of their own trauma as well as their abysmal  lack of science education.

And I see how skillfully our individual & collective trauma is being manipulated by agencies working different angles that do not benefit us.

When you believe your intuition has more validity than actual facts and data for communal decisions and other people’s well-being, that can be deadly.  We evolved-as and are hard-wired as inter-dependent, collaborative social animals. The hyper-individuality of Western culture is a destructive aberration, and when someone asserts that their freedom is impinged by caring-about others, that’s a pathology in a social animal.