Being, Human Being

How are you choosing to experience being a Human Being in this life?

There are many ways to experience life as a human. You might decide to follow your own path and passions which may go against the grain of family or society. I’ll call these people Mavericks. Or, you may choose to observe and completely follow the queues of society, friends or family in hopes of being non-confrontational and pleasing. I’ll call these people Pleasers. I’ve met people at both ends of this spectrum, but for the most part, people are usually somewhere in between with a higher percentage trending toward being Pleasers. For the purposes of this essay, I’m going to look at the Pleasers and to a greater extent, the ones that not only look for the approval of other people, but also look for meaning or purpose outside the realm of humanity.

I would consider myself to be a “Transformational Pleaser”. This is someone who once was fully embedded in being an unconscious Pleaser (or someone who does not know they are a Pleaser); to someone who is consciously transforming the skills I’ve learned as a Pleaser to my own advantage. I am now leveraging these skills and adopting more Maverick attributes as I grow and mature as a human. I would like to dive deeper into this concept in order to more fully understand it for myself and hopefully to give you insights into your own life.

Being raised the youngest of five siblings I found myself observing my siblings, how they interacted with each other and my parents. I was much younger than my next oldest sibling which limited my interactions with them in having shared growing experiences. In my observations of them, I found it useful to figure out how I should behave based on what they did. I observed the conflicts they had and tried to make adjustments in how I behaved to avoid those same conflicts. Finding that this was a good strategy, I began using these same methods with my classmates and teachers in school. I became a master at blending in and being able to have good relationships with most anyone older or younger than myself. I honed an already natural ability to intuit the mood of a person, what actions they were taking and then morph my own actions to coincide or match theirs. I believe this ability allowed me to gain favor in many people’s eyes as I did everything I could to make their life easier and to please them. I continued to use this ability throughout my younger years and on into adulthood.

The major downside to being a Pleaser is that I didn’t fully connect to who I was as my own person. I had little self confidence in my own abilities, nor did I even realize the enormous amount of knowledge I was gaining through my experiences as a Pleaser. I did not realize that I had an innate sensitivity to almost everything that I encountered. It hasn’t been until the last five or ten years that I’m becoming shockingly aware of how sensitive I really am. Recently, I took an online test based on Dr. Elaine Aron’s book The Highly Sensitive Person (HSP). The HSP test asks a series of questions to determine your level of sensitivity to not only emotional attributes, but also physical ones as well. I scored a 27 out of 27 being the highest level of sensitivity possible. This test was a real eye opener and confirmed even more that I need to pay attention to the information I’m getting from all my senses and to trust it as being important to who I am. This test, along with the experiences I’ve had over my years, are allowing me to gain more and more confidence in who I am as a unique human being.

Nearly fifteen years ago, around 2003, I purchased the book Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsch. This was the time of my life I would consider myself to be on a seeker’s journey. I’d never really felt connected to or comfortable with the dogma and teachings of the church and I was looking for something to make sense of how I felt. I consider this book the first solid connection to something that made sense to me and aligned with how I’d felt for years about religion. This got me very excited that I was not the only one who felt the way I did. The concepts and experiences that Neale was writing about seemed to be taken directly from my own thoughts and ideas. I was intrigued to think that if someone else could have these same thoughts, that maybe I wasn’t so weird after all.

I became more and more excited with feeling like the answers to my questions might be found in other sources. I began to experiment with other traditions and rituals including Wicca, Paganism, Modern Mystery School teachings, and even with the ancient traditions of the Shaman in the Peruvian Amazon jungle. Each of these experiences seem to open up an even deeper hunger for more answers. I became a regular at psychic events to get readings, learning about Numerology, Astrology and Tarot; participating in various events all aimed at folding back the reality I saw myself in. This was all in hopes of revealing a deeper meaning under it all and hopefully a better understanding of who, or better yet, what I really am. I became trained as a Reconnective Healing practitioner, Reiki Healer, and as a Breathwork practitioner. I found I had a natural ability for all of these modalities and experienced sessions with clients that I have no scientific explanation for what I witnessed.

In all of these experiences I discovered that I am much more than what I was lead to believe. I’ve discovered that I am more than human. I know and believe that I am a Being of energy and light that is so immense and powerful, that I cannot even wrap my own human mind around the concept. I believe that I am part of the All there is, and I have no fear of ever losing that. I believe that I am a spiritual being having a human experience, as the saying goes. Knowing this is amazing and thought provoking, but ultimately it has taken me to a dead end. I’m still a human being, so now what?

With all that I feel that I’ve learned and know, it became clear to me that the seeker’s journey is worthy and even necessary for those who feel lost or unsettled such as I did. I believe that each of us that feel disconnected from life need to find a way to connect to our purpose, who we are and even more importantly, what we really are. I believe that for some, until we have clarity around this, we may live a life unfulfilled and disjointed. Everyone’s seeker journey is as unique as they are, but it’s important to say that some of us get stuck in the process of being a seeker. For some, the seeker process can be like an addiction to discover more and more about the answers “out there”. Like I did for a time, some continue to rely on answers from external sources such as spirit guides, Angels, psychics, etc in order to understand their life, why things are happening and what the hidden meanings are behind things. There isn’t anything wrong with these sources but for some people, they cannot make any decision for themselves without first consulting these sources.

As my seeker journey progressed, one of the repeating themes that I discovered was to trust myself, my own wisdom and my natural gifts. Without having my journey, I recognize that I would have never known what my gifts are (or at least the ones I know of now) or what I really am in the grand scheme of existence. I never would have known how to trust myself or even known how to interpret the information I receive. I also, would have never known how to stay open to what will likely continue to be revealed to me in the future.

With all of this said and done, I now turn back to me as a human being and need to decide, what do I do now? What do I need to do to fully experience my human life on this planet, in this time in history, in this body, with this family, with these people around me, with the limitations, boundaries and abilities that I have? I get to decide how deep do I dive into each event and if it’s really worth the effort. Is it really necessary to attribute every mood or feeling to planetary movements or alignments? Do I need to look up the meaning behind the time on the clock when I woke up at 2:34 am? Do I need to confirm with a psychic if I should stay in a relationship or not? Maybe I just need to decide to get more sleep. Maybe I need to eat a better diet so I don’t wake up in the middle of the night. Maybe I should just trust myself and say yes to the relationship and find out where it takes me.

I now have the power to respond to life instead of react. I can choose to observe life from a perspective of trusting the process and doing what I can to be a responsible human. I can choose to be compassionate and loving to others. I can choose to honor the process that others have chosen for their life. I can choose to be a model and mentor when necessary. And, I can choose to encourage others to see their own power. Choosing to live my life fully in the human experience is really why I’m here, but sometimes it takes knowing more, before you can settle into that role.

Through my journey, I now know that nothing will change where I’ll end up, when all of this is done. I will go back to the All There Is once again. The question is, what experiences as a Human Being will I take back with me?

Dwight Jon Raatz
July 25th, 2018
Essay, Non-Fiction

All Reality is but a Stage

All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages.
~ Shakespeare – As You Like It, Act 2, scene 7

I’ve been thinking a lot about what I believe with regard to religion and spirituality. I’ve come to realize that I need to be clear on my beliefs so I have a better understanding of how to explain them to others. With that, I’m going to spend some time here to give a more thorough examination of my current beliefs and I will utilize some real life experiences and analogies in order to explain them. It’s important to know that as I learn and grow, so do my beliefs. I take time to re-analyze my beliefs against any new awareness and decide if it needs to be updated, added or removed.

Recently I was invited for lunch with my friend Joshua because we had been dialoging via email on various topics surrounding religion and we thought that we could really make some ground on our conversation by meeting in person. Upon arrival at our meeting, I was surprised at how quickly he wanted to dig into the topic at hand and dispense with too much small talk, but in a way I was glad of it. (As a side-note, Joshua is Christian who is part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church and I’m not – even though it is the church of my birth) I decided to back up a bit and give an overview of my personal position on why I’m not a Christian. After doing so, Joshua continued into a line of questioning that was mainly asked in order to obtain a better understanding of my beliefs. While the conversation was quite lively and interesting, I became concerned about the kinds of questions he was asking as they did not seem to be in line with what I thought I had explained as my beliefs. Even in subsequent emails over the following day or two after our lunch, I was still confused on why the conversation went down the path of being more of an offense/defense around religion. He even recommended that I read the book “Letters from a Skeptic”, in order for me to have a resource to answer my objections to Christianity. This book is about a son (the Christian) who invites his father (the Agnostic) into a letter dialog to enable his father to pose all his objections and questions around Christianity and the son would answer these letters in hopes of “saving” his father.

I took Joshua’s advice and downloaded the unabridged audio version of the book and I listened to it over the next couple days. What I found in listening to this book is a range of emotions. First I was angry at what I felt were not only ludicrous and ignorant questions (from the father in the story), but also I was angry at the answers being given by the son as I felt they lacked any real motivation to “convert”. My emotions then moved into boredom as the book when on and on with questions like, “… well if God is love and he loves his creation, then why are their natural disasters and pestilence in the world?” to answers like, “… there are bad people in the world because of a great cosmic war between good and evil that we are caught in and cannot save ourselves.” I was tired of the story and seeing that I had about half the book left, I thought more than once to abandon it and move on. I decided that there must be some reason why this particular book was recommended to me so I trudged on and what I found is that once I gave up my emotions around listening to the book, I began to really hear the conversation. I also was able to see a different perspective on the stories of the Bible including those of Jesus. I also came to the realization (based on the questions Joshua was asking) that I’m doing a really bad job at being clear as to what my beliefs are. I realized that how I approached the reasons around no longer being a Christian (or any religion for that matter) not only challenged Joshua’s beliefs (which would naturally put him on the defensive), but it also clouded what I really wanted to share about me.

With the new awareness in place, I decided to outline my personal current beliefs in writing and here is how it came together (in no particular order):

  • I believe in an intelligent, universal energy that is All, it binds all and is pure love and pure creation (e.g. The Universe, The Divine, God, Yahweh, Ein Sof, Allah, etc).
  • I believe my Higher Self (HS) is but an extension of God and is not in any way separated. My HS is not my humanity. The HS knows all and is completely enlightened within its connection to The Divine.
  • I believe my Soul is my consciousness in and around my human body. It is my HS’s representation of itself as I am in human form, but the soul has chosen to “forget” who he really is as the HS.
  • I believe God can only truly know herself through experiencing all facets of creation through a virtual separation or dis-memberment from herself. The dis-memberment is a veil of “forgetting”.
  • I believe the dis-memberment I create from God is only an illusion that I agree to before becoming human.
  • I believe that everything returns to God because nothing is truly separated from Him.
  • I believe free will enables us to create a vast number of experiences and opportunities for The Divine to know Herself.
  • I believe that when we die from the human form, our Soul goes back to be part of All – Always
  • If we do bad or “evil” things during our lives, or we experience evil, this is an experience we have chosen.
  • I believe that if we put (create) enough negative or “evil” energy out, it will manifest into its own force with apparent intelligence. I believe this force can cause problems, death and destruction but has no power over The Universe. I believe this force can be transmuted by (not only God) but easily by a direct focused intention of any human commanding it with Love.
  • I believe hell is only a part of our human reality and is a deliberate denial of being connected to The Divinity within us. It only exists individually for a person’s lifetime as a human. Hell can also be conditions brought upon by an energetic imbalance from society. Hell is also a chosen experience.
  • Whether the bible or any religious text is real and/or actually happened is irrelevant to my beliefs.
  • I believe we can choose to be incarnate in human form multiple times.
  • I believe religion came about because of a natural evolution of Man discovering and remembering it’s truth. Religion is not right or wrong, it’s simply a tool used as we become more enlightened as humans.
  • I believe the human ego is a purposeful way to experience our humanity. Once we understand this, each experience can be reviewed, considered, and then released.
  • I believe our reactive emotions (anger, fear, depression, happiness, etc) are the domain of the ego – they are conditional. It’s when you can allow the emotion to pass through and out (release) and observe it for what it is, then you can truly be the master of your ego.
  • I believe that there are many roads Home and it’s our choice which path to take (free will). But no matter the path, we all go Home.
  • I am no religion. Nor do I claim to fit into any category of organized spirituality.
  • I am not a Christian because I do not need to be saved by having Christ die for my sins.
  • “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.” – John 14:12
    – Even if everything taught to me about the stories of Jesus are true, I believe the actions by Jesus were primarily a guide to living life and showing us that we just need to let go and believe in our connection to The All that Is. Jesus was another example given to us over human history (also like Horus and Osiris) .
    – I believe I am just as much a part of God as Jesus. I believe Jesus was just more naturally (by intention and design) aware and humanly conscious of this connection to The Universe than most. He was this way on purpose to help us evolve our awareness and our collective consciousness.
  • I believe we have had many Masters come to earth over time to teach us the same truths that was taught by our ascended Masters. I believe that over time we have become more enlightened as humans, that we now have access to more “connected” humans giving us more guidance and truths.
  • What I see is that the illusion of daily life as an experience that we can truly see and re-member the Divinity within ourselves.
  • I do not believe that God has the emotions of humans and that She is pure Love. Love is not an emotion, it is a way of being that is all accepting.

I have an analogy that helps me to explain our existence as it relates to our humanity, the ego, the soul, and our Higher Self (Godself). The example that I am giving is to compare these things to a stage play. The primary aspects of a play include; the set (or stage), the actors, the characters, the audience and the script. Each of these components I will relate to how I see myself as a spiritual being having a human experience.

  • The set or stage represents the earth as well as the visible known universe. This is where I “exist” in my reality.
  • The actor represents our soul which is veiled in its full knowledge of God and is more closely related to our physical human experience, but takes guidance from the Higher Self.
  • The character is our humanity or our day to day facade that we portray during our life including the effects of our ego
  • The script is our overall plan for our experience that we designed before coming to earth as a human
  • The audience is our Higher Self and God, witnessing and experiencing the interactions between all aspects of the play.

As we live our lives as characters in a play, we play out using our free will and some guidance from the script. The actor or soul is the connection to spirit or our Higher Self and it experiences the interplay among the self, other characters and the set. If we choose (using free will) to ignore our guidance and take a different path, this is acceptable and is honored, but we find our lives to be incomplete and we struggle.

Before we are born unto humans, we have already decided the main experiences we want in our lifetime. Some people refer to these as lessons, but that is not my view. I believe we already “know” everything conceptually, but not experientially. It is our wish to truly know via experience. The problem we face as humans is that we deny the truth of our existence as it has been shown to us many times (including by Jesus). We do not know how to manage our experiences of life as just that, an experience – then it should be released. Upon human physical death, the experiences of the life is re-membered All the consequence of the life are no longer relevant, but yet does create a Karmic resonance that can continue to be felt and can seek resolution within the next life. If we haven’t been able to release our experience, we will never really know it completely. Therefore, if we choose to re-incarnate, some of these experiences may be played again in the next life.

As I look back onto my lunch with Joshua, the book I listened to and the validation of my belief systems, things became clearer about life and my existence. I am slowly becoming even more aware of each interaction I have with everyone in my life, no matter how seemingly insignificant. I can step outside of the experience and see it for what it really is. I am more cognizant of what I’m being shown in the experience and how it is teaching me more about myself and re-membering who I really am. This awareness has brought me peace and fulfillment to my life. I believe it is in the awareness of the re-membering where I fulfill the script or “plan” of my life. It is the whole point of my existence.

What I Believe Changes as I grow and become more attuned to my true self.
 

Dwight Raatz