I was sitting in the main building, reading a book, when the boys who were renting the Cedar Building walked in. The Tree of Life is a Sustainable Development Spiritual Retreat Center and the main building is the central focus of the space. It is where we eat and where we cook and where the president and one half of the genius behind this space lives. Built on the concept of sustainable building and designed around sacred geometry of the Kabbalah, the main building is an attraction to those who spend time at Tree of Life. it contains a certain energy that awakens and inspires everyone who enters it. These young men were no exception as they began to speak while they waited for Kip to take them on a tour.  Kip spent the stormy winter of “snowmaggedon” at the Tree of Life and has been there almost a year. He has taken up residence in a tent at the outskirts in what he calls no man’s land.

As he began the tour in his modest way, he told them: “I’ll do my best, you really want Ian to show you this as he created it.” After Kip showed them around, I added my insight from my own studies of the Kabbalah. My studies focus more the relationship of the angels and the lessons related to each sefirot and to the paths between them, than on the geometry itself.  I believe they add important insight to the understanding of the design and the power contained within it. I was, at the time, on a pathworking journey between two of the sefirot. I am always grateful when the synchronicities of the path occur to give me an opportunity to share what is being brought forth to me through the journey. As with any of these situations, there is always more to be gained in the sharing. I recognized that right away when the younger looking of the two musicians asked me if I was familiar with the theory of spiral dynamics. Eager to add inspiration to my own contemplation and my spiritual understanding of this universe I was happy to say that I was not.

They young men reflected my own thinking and loneliness that I often feel on this journey as they began to explain the theory and to share their insights. They told identified themselves as artists, musicians who had found themselves on this spiritual quest after surviving trauma. One lamented that, while they had each other, it was quite challenging to find others who related to the conversations they wanted to have.


I learned about spiral dynamics and the theory that uses colours to reflect the growth within the collective and I learned that there are more who are awakening through trauma than I am aware of. Upon finding that these young artists were travelling home the next day I offered them a lift. These chance encounters can give us much to work with in our spiritual journeys when we embrace who we are without fear and open to them. In the past I would have judged myself for not being able to include Kip in the conversation as he went outside to take care of some of the business of running the Tree of Life. I would have tried to dumb down my insights judging the boys as not ready to receive them and I would have missed a valuable opportunity to learn. I can take this. I was blessed to gain a great deal more insight as I listened to them talk and as I spoke with them. The young man who opened the conversation with, “I don’t talk much these days had the most to say.” I recognize myself in him and I realize it is those who say the least that have the most value to contribute when we really choose to listen. I also saw him as the response from the universe to my our collective desire to have these conversations. Many times, I have lamented to my guides I need someone with whom I can share this path. These artists and musicians who are created and who are creating from the trauma that they have suffered should not be ignored. No longer can we cry, “the follies of youth”. They are far wiser souls than many of those who chose to ignore the cry of their own souls and are now awakening in their mid life crisis.

The taller of the two men called it the black vial, which immediately created a vision of a black stain swirling through clear liquid in my mind’s eye. It also reminded me of my own quest as he continued to describe the music and the musicians who had “The Black Vial”.  “Kurt Kobain”, I interjected noting the catch that still hits my throat as I remember his young widow screaming into the crowds of mourners. “I told him I am going to use that one.” I told him thinking of my own work to end the loss and suffering of artists to suicide. Artists do not concern themselves with someone stealing their vision the same way that those who are in big business do. They recognize that the creation comes from within and that the vision is empowered when it is shared. Suffering shared is what can end the tragedy that brought forth by the needless deaths of so many young artists.

This brings me to what I do. I empower others to embrace the superpowers that come from these traumatic awakenings. I gained new insight into the dangers of the drug culture of today’s youth as their parents embrace the legalized drugs the youth are left to explore something different. For some that will mean more dangerous drugs and activities but for many it is the opposite. The pendulum swings and they are challenging their parents to wake up. These young men inspired me to challenge my own decisions to continue to eat fish as a source of protein. I had already given up meat and as they described the conditions of the chickens being raised to provide us with food, I reaffirmed my gratitude for this choice. After I dropped them off, I took a wrong turn, that is for someone who was headed to her stuffy house in the city. The turn was directed by my soul and I recognized the value of having the opportunity to allow my soul to lead me through my life right away. I embraced the “wrong” turn that day and wound up at Topsail Beach. The water was frigid, and I had most of the ocean playground to myself. One little girl scowled at me as she attempted to follow me into the water and realized just how cold it was. Her grandmother laughed and said, “I told you it was cold.” I smiled an amused apology in her direction and spoke to the grandmother as I said, “I made it look easy.”

As I write I acknowledge this as the theme of my awakening journey. I hid much of the trauma and the pain that I suffered through as I stumbled along in the dark wishing for like-minded people to share this conversation with. Much grew from my suffering, but the strength that grew from sharing it is beyond compare. Today I have compassion for those who come behind me as I recognize: “I made it look easy.” I also gain admiration for those who went before me, making it look possible. If I could carry one message to my own peers, the parents of the traumatized children of the traumatized children, for that is who we are. I would tell them to wake up and listen to their children.  If we do not do so now, we are in danger of encouraging them to go back into the addiction and trauma of the unconscious just as we did.


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