As the big question in life so often is, what do I do next?
It is wonderful beyond words to see great beauty and feel love, and then be called to some action by that love. Action might be defined as an exercise of power in adoration of the beauty that has been shown to us. When we do the right actions, we discover our belonging, as the love pours out from our souls to greet the love made manifest in external forms. The inside becomes the outside when the divine recognizes the divine, and another dance of transformation is begun to be shared and enjoyed. When the potentials for more beauty are successfully made actual, the circle of Heaven grows, and more companions of the Light step forward to expand our understanding of the bliss eternal.
What this means for daily living is so often lost in the details of what we call karma. Karma is the continuing opportunities that our souls arrange for us to make the best of every situation. Yes, energetic patterns continue across lifetimes just as they do from day to day, and who is the one person who has been everywhere we go but ourselves!? Unfortunately karma has gotten a bad reputation and become a scary thing, because people have been so hurt that they must keep re-approaching all the healing they need to enjoy their lives again. People have forgotten what it means to be an eternal soul in love, so much so that eternity can seem more like a curse than a blessing. This is of course very sad. But hey, better times are ahead as well as behind!
Karma most emphatically does not mean that we must let everyone who has ever done us wrong back into our lives so they get another chance to hurt or help us, oh no! That would be masochistic, and arrogant if we think we offer that to others. Let the wrongdoer learn to love on someone whose feelings they would really care for. Thatís part of the problem you see, that too many people are around those with whom they donít belong, so itís easy for them to not feel and care about what they think, do, and say. When you dare to find the ones with whom you belong for the lessons of this life, then you become inherently more tender and confused, because you both open up yourselves to the depths of love that change everything forever. Your souls become exposed, so that deep wounds may be healed or worsened depending on how you treat each other.
Karma offers the work that makes a difference. Your most important study partners in the school of life may have become withdrawn and defensive in their old injuries, but perhaps you have as well. It is generally not a good idea to hope to change and rescue someone, but then you may find yourself obligated to work it through to the highest good with someone very challenging. Finding the right healing relationship with such a person can and will rescue you. God and Goddess know that we each want to attain our personal heavens, and our souls have set up certain tasks to transform us into getting there for each and every lifetime. As Tolstoy said, ďEveryone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing themselves.Ē
I say this to acknowledge that as much as I like to look to the brightest futures possible, each of us can be already very busy with a daily life that we'd like to trust is good for us, but we don't really know. Much becomes revealed only through our participation. I think most of us are struggling somewhere between the extremes of defending a personal vision against a world that seems out to break us, and surrendering to doing whatever we are told. The problem and opportunity is that our souls are so very big Ė infinitely huge in fact Ė and our worlds are very small. Weíre unbelievably limited in what we can do, far less limited in what we can imagine, and Spirit has a tendency to blow open the doors and give us views of eternity that are not ready to be manifested or maybe even talked about.
So what do we do, give up on heaven, become depressed, fight or compromise? No, we just have to align the present with that future vision, and keep pouring more of our infinite souls into limited realities that can stretch like balloons to accommodate us if we give them the chance to be purely magical, loving, and created by God. Plant those seeds and watch them grow.
One way of expanding reality to make more room for our infinite souls is to allow for the possibilities of reincarnation, but that is not the only view to be aware of. We may say oh, this person acts like such a little tyrant complete with petty putdowns, I wonder if in another lifetime they would make me their slave if I let them, and that may be exactly what happened. Or maybe we just get a feeling of repression in their presence, or notice how their timing is really off, or glimpse a mythic view of them as serving evil, or have a dream of them as a monster, or realize in our journaling how much they really did upset us. There are many more levels to reality than science yet knows how to measure, but which deeply affect our moods and abilities.
One way or another, we can tap into a much bigger universe than meets the eye, and act accordingly to respect, protect, and love ourselves. No I donít mean a big confrontation, because itís all the better if in this life our offender isnít the master or dictator they were in another time or space. Just turn quietly away, and give our attention to someone or something who for us is much brighter and better. Visualize and sense vividly, because your thoughts and feelings matter. Seek out the art, beauty, and love of the kindred spirits to whom you are most sensitive. Go to the highest most truly offered, for life is too short, why settle for less? Embrace the synchronicities, use gratefully that which works ethically for you to both survive and thrive, and thereby validate your own path for yourself. You can and will stretch your reality to become more free, learn your life lesson, and enter the personal heaven while still in the body. I know, because this is the human destiny, and I speak from great experience.
We all need to open up to our own sources of inspiration and creation, for they are the avenues by which we bring more of the infinite energy of our souls from beyond the human worlds into the energetic spiritual body that we have here to work within. Then we can look for the opportunities to express that expanded spirit form into the visible reality, thus stretching the world and making room for more of what is meant to be. Dare to live a dream of love that was given you by God. It may take some time to find the right skill and will that you require to be most effective, but we can all hope to fit in more somewhere.
Clearly Iím some kind of inspired writer, hoping to inspire you and fit in more somewhere too. It has been a huge step, many years in the making, to offer this website with so much clarity and honesty for who I am and what Iím here to do. But when the time was right it all came together very smoothly, suddenly and guided by Spirit. So I continue to trust and say yes, thank you God, I will step up to the next level of my soulís being on this beautiful garden planet, for the love of a humanity yet awakening that I wish to befriend and guide, in my own turn and in my own way. As Kahlil Gibran said, ďIt was in me to help a little, because I was helped so much.Ē
Thus in this spirit, here are some tips I can suggest for you to consider as you re-assemble the true life of your own angelic soul and dear kindred ones. God speed and Goddess bless you All on your own sacred paths!
GET THE HELP FROM THE SPECIALISTS YOU NEED...
I know that Hildegard was famous for offering a remarkable range of beneficial public services, including healing with herbs and minerals, psychic advice, and soothing music. Please understand that because human beings are eternal and multidimensional, therefore Hildegard's consciousness continues to act independently of her other lifetimes. So you absolutely can continue to connect with Hildegard directly in Spirit, while I apologize if I donít do all the things that she did in my turn. The world is more specialized now, full of so many wonderful healers and guides, and no one should be camping out waiting for miracles from me in present form. Hildegard was offered a unique place in history by Spirit, to be a renaissance person with the tremendous honor of showing how very much a woman can and should be allowed to do. At a time when many people openly considered women to be failed men without souls of their own, this was no easy assignment. Hildegard had to fight strategically for many basic rights, and she was anxious and angry more often than most men can imagine (but women will understand).
Which reminds me, I'm not a woman now either! This fact may well upset Hildegard fans who would like to believe in reincarnation someday, but we must trust that Spirit knows where the rebalancing of polarities is needed. I've been very emotionally sensitive to the wrongs of chauvanism and male domination since I was a child, and I cry a lot. For example, I treasure my memories of weeping in the backyard as a young teen in the late seventies with my boombox playing Harry Chapin's wrenching anthem "Why do the little girls?". I'm sure more than a few women will find such sentiments coming from men refreshing. Our brothers need to feel more healing tears, our sisters need to feel more compassionate anger, and all for the love of a most beautiful world that was thought to be lost and is returning now.
My name is Carl, and I'm here to be a spiritual community builder who is sensitive to the fair interplay of the feminine and masculine energies, even as I improve the writing style that was from Hildegard at times defensively righteous and judgmental. She has many wonderful quotes to be sure, but if you ever feel stung by a disconnect between her feminine nurturing side and harsher preaching moments, rest assured that those edges are being softened and karma works. Writing for and from Spirit can give people the authority they need to vent, and some of my earlier essays in this life can be cranky and step on toes too. I'm sorry, I didn't mean to hurt anyone, I felt like no one was listening to me (I was not yet fully understanding my self).
Find what works for you, let go what does not. We are all responsible in this life for treasuring what takes us higher, so that we can witness the rest with a compassionately BIG grain of salt.
... SUPPORT YOUR FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD HEALER / PSYCHIC !
Now is the flowering of humanity, with endless miracles becoming possible (inevitable!) as people let go and let God. As you learn to enjoy your own path and be drawn to the new ideas and assistance that you require to transform your own life, you will meet so many more beautiful souls to reflect and uplift your own. While we each think globally and act locally, words like local and neighborhood also take on new meaning, because the internet and telecommunications mirror our own telepathic abilities to connect us with kindred spirits near and far. Using search engines and web portals you can find the classes and healers and spiritual friends that you need to be who you are. Many individuals are deeply dedicated to serving the ascension of the planet, so while we should always be fair to pay what we can, opportunities exist for trades and free advice so that no one need feel left behind in hard times. Of course the abundance of paths today means that we all need to reasonably test what works for us as we go, so feel encouraged to be healthy skeptics with kind hearts, inquiring minds, and open souls. Grow to love and love to grow!
I will make no effort to offer complete lists - others do that - so just for example here are some resources Iíve used in my own neighborhood: Spirit of Change and Earth Star magazines list many resources for New England and beyond, while interviews on web radio shows like Planetary Spirit and The Spirit Connection give great samples of teachers and healers near and far to help you develop your path.
DONíT WORRY (ABOUT REINCARNATION) BE HAPPY
A great slogan for the New Age is that you are not a human being having a spiritual experience, you are a spiritual being having a human experience. The age of disconnected identities is coming to an end, and this new time of peace and joy begins within you, as you become more of the many sides of your infinite soul in harmony with your existence here now, richly filling the hours of your daily life. Find the hidden blessings, call them out. Learn to bridge worlds and receive your true multidimensional nature, step by wondrous step. You have past lives, you have future lives, you have lifetimes on other planets and in other realities. You have levels of your greater self that work with nature and fairies, that talk with ascended masters and angels, that do blessed services in the afterlife and on the energetic planes, that travel when you dream and meditate, that arrange synchronicities and opportunities with God, that live in eternal love with the most significant others you could ever thank the Universe for. You will spend the rest of eternity exploring the pleasures and joys of who you really are, and many beyond measure are the fellow travelers on the infinite way who will come to you for assistance, to assist, or just to share.
In order to be my authentic self in this life, I needed to say who I was in past lives. Thatís just what I was given to do this time around; it must be the right time in the world. Iím blessed to be a wayshower, a mapmaker, a teller of truths, just as I have always wanted to be. You too have great talents and gifts to discover and share with us all, and they may or may not take you much into past lives. Donít worry, be happy with what comes to you, for it will be amazing, and you will be amazing. Truly you already are amazing, but you just may not know how to act it consistently, what to do. Relax, let God find a way to reach and guide you. You have to get a lot of pieces of the greatest puzzle of all Ė You! Ė before you can fit together enough to see the whole picture clearly. There will indeed come a point of self-realization when you will know what to do and your new life will be ready for you, but until then things could look scary and be touch and go. Act cautiously, take precious care of your human form, and give yourself sacred space to safely express, experiment, love, live and learn. Youíll thank yourself later for the patience you give yourself now.
If past lives and other aspects of your eternal self become important for you to understand more fully, there are different approaches to try to find what works for you. Look for patterns in life, see what information comes to you, talk to trusted friends. Imagine parallel stories about what you do and see what sticks and rings true. I got a lot of answers from my night dreams, because they are so fully immersive, and dreams of past lives have a real quality of another time and space that makes history forever personal. Many healing modalities will often release glimpses of past lives, such as bodywork that relaxes a muscle tension in a burst of flashback and forgiveness. Meditation, hypnosis and regression therapy (authors include Brian Weiss and Michael Newton), shamanic journeying, and more can give plenty of clues and ideas, just keep in mind that the mythic realm often will overlap with the historical to maximize healing, so please remain willing to treasure and sort the puzzle pieces over time. What matters to Spirit and your own Soul is that you grow to evolve and learn to love, thatís why channelers and psychics may disappoint you with less past life detail than present life guidance, at least until you have a place to put it all.
Life brings to us what we focus upon. Some people take this to mean they should never think about or look at negative things, and they live in the effects of fear and ignorance as a result, which is very sad. Of course focussing doesn't mean hiding from the truth, because our intentions will make all the difference in how we use what we notice, and where we end up from where we must start. If you focus on negative things for the purpose of understanding and healing them, then you'll get the help and the answers you need to move beyond negative effects into a universe which is totally positive. This won't mean that negativity will disappear from your view, but it will disappear from its impact on you and your life. You will still have to respect and allow all beings to have their own life choices, but you won't be stuck with their choices that are in conflict with you becoming your higher deeper more loving self. Even in the polarized worlds, the real eternal You knows how to live and love beyond conflict, so you can always make some joyful permanent progress at some level that matters, and effectively never be frustrated and stuck in pain again.
There is only one truth in the universe, it is good and we do not have to fear. Negativity cannot hide the truth, it can only hide you from the truth which would set you free. Negativity can only oppose what is true and real by mindlessly and compulsively portraying the opposite, thereby further highlighting the place and the need for what is true and real. This is because negativity has no generative or creative force of its own, it can only react to and invert a little piece of the truth before running away again as it tries to live on that bit of truth despite itself. Therefore the higher selves of all beings - even the higher selves of negative people, who have not yet mastered self-control for their own wellness much less that of others - must always arrange for negativity to negate itself and depart around you, whenever you are ready to be totally positive in living the truth that is You. You'll know you are there when you can always feel free inside, live anonymously well where anonymity is called for, and hold compassion for the suffering of others who choose to function outside of your own growing sphere of love which would include them when they are ready to change as you have. ďBe the change you want to see in the world," said Mahatma Ghandi.
Thus, you do not need to hide from past life information, even as it will bring to you some truths that are joyful and some truths that are painful to face, mosty about your relationships and potentials with others. Truths wil appear for who is safe to love you, who makes the mistakes they just need help to fix, and who betrays everyone even themselves. Some people and activities you will need to let go of, appreciating that they were stepping stones to the greater vistas that WILL come into view when you close and turn from old doors.
Ideally in the future, all people will celebrate and support anytime anyone discovers more of their truth and is ready to move forward, but that comes when everyone has focussed on their own path of belonging. Until then there may be people who will cling to you, not wishing to see you go, wanting you to want them when they don't want themselves. Be very cautious to give out of pity or thinking they will change just for you, because the drowning man will pull you down too. Hold firm, be consistent, be fair, do not overly react. Answer the needs of others as much as you are in position to give without losing your own central view, and the universe will provide a way to release all the old karmic connections for the highest shared good. If highest good is not good enough fast enough for your liking, you must look at why you want to skip the steps that you need to heal in order to best reach your goals. There is only one truth after all, one Way.
So! When you are ready to focus more on the fascinating world of reincarnation that is emerging now, I can't recommend highly enough the work of Dr. Walter Semkiw. He is my hero! He's a lot of people's heroes in fact, whether they know it or not, since he was John Adams, the second president of the United States who's been getting more respect in recent years as arguably the most competent, honest, and principled of the founding fathers, albeit with some patience to learn. Walter's vision for the new global nation is impeccable, as the strong central government that John Adams believed in is now raised to ideal of the strong central governance of the soul. Lifetimes, like states, need to communicate and cooperate for the greater good of the people in the God given pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness. Like Philip Mazzei, the Italian who befriended Thomas Jefferson and gave him the famous phrase "all men are created equal" (he meant humans of course), Walter is a virtually unknown patriot of the new age of global enlightenment who will be so dearly recognized and thanked in the future. So if you want to get with the program, keep an open heartmind and check out Walter's books and websites IISIS.net and the older JohnAdams.net (which has a lot of great material that will be transferred to the new site sooner or later).
Another book that I'm endorsing as mentioned in my autobiographical article is sociologist Courtney Bender's The New Metaphysicals: Spirituality and the American Religious Imagination. This is a wonderfully readable academic study of mystics in Cambridge, MA, and their beliefs as they inherit from the lineage of 19th century American metaphysical traditions which influenced William James for his 1902 classic The Varieties of Religious Experience. Reincarnation figures highly in Courtney's book, along with many sincere life-affirming testimonials of mystical experience from good local people, under aliases with some details changed for privacy. (Incidentally, Walter has identified William James as the consciousness and society researcher Jeffrey Mishlove, who has agreed that the parallels are compelling but attributes the reincarnation match to impersonal archetypes in deference to his admiration for James. That's cool; it's not ego to appreciate the lives that God gives to us, but ego is worth stepping around.)
When you absolutely need to verify a past life beyond all the energetic possibilities, you might schedule with a channeler who has an especially good track record for accessing details, such as Kevin Ryerson who helped me a lot. Thereís nothing wrong with outside validation of course, and there can come a time when you really need it. I think of validation like a house. As human beings we all need shelter, and a good house doesnít make us who we are, but without a home we cannot go forward in life. Bad shelter keeps us looking for a better place to live, while good shelter enables us to relax and recharge and plan for what to do next. The right validation and support gives us the strength to develop and share our potentials, which remain always in who we are.
The unmanifest energies of your soul become the manifest forms of your spirit when your are able to discover your functions in the communities where you belong. The gear that is just a gear in isolation, becomes a specific part of the clock or the car when it is home in that whole; so too your immortal identity becomes revealed and clarified only in the groups that welcome you Home. Validation will go hand in hand with finding more love, and receiving that love will mean acting on the opportunities to exercise more of who you truly are. Love in action will bring Heaven home.
If the right professionals are not affordable or available to you, there are also powerful techniques you can do alone or with friends to convincingly access the akashic records, which is the library-like place in the higher realms where all the facts of your lifetimes are stored, along with whatever up-to-the-minute balancing guidance you need to heal and blossom your soul in the world. Linda Howe for example is teaching a very wise and effective method that Spirit says the world is now ready for, feel free to check it out!
Regarding theology... It's sad when some people will get very bent out of shape in their fears that reincarnation is antithetical to their salvation, as per their leaders' readings of their religion's scriptures. It is my understanding that reincarnation is very compatible with all holy teachings, because each lifetime can be treated separately, on its own track including an afterlife that is raised when purified into the highest of heavens. I think many mystics and spiritual founders were guided to leave out the details of reincarnation for reasons having to do with humanity not being ready to think for a multiple focus within the current lifetime's responsibilities to do and be good.
If we hope to become more divine, we must consider that God is able to think and care about everyone and everything simultaneously. Thus humanity keeps evolving, and now faces the challenge of integrating many new technical devices in a healthy balanced way. Of course there is a point at which multi-tasking becomes dangerous, but we are also blessed with abilities to coordinate so many more resources simultaneously that we can plan to do unprecedented virtues like feeding everyone on the planet. That will be a quality of Heaven on Earth. So too internally, people are ready to think more from their soul's point of view, which sees with the experience and value of multiple lives for the unprecedented attainments of wisdom and love.
Today we can instantly access on the internet endless instructions for how to read scripture to come out either for or against reincarnation. In my opinion such arguments are usually just proving the abuse of metaphor and losing the spirit of an ethical commentary. Shakespeare warned wisely "The devil can cite scripture for his purpose." If a reading of the Bible or similar makes you afraid and defensive to the point of wanting to hurt someone, including yourself or others, then you need to take a rest. Get a hug, smell the roses, rediscover the love.
Enough said, because I'm not a Bible scholar in this life, and I've always been a mystic devoted to God in my heart.
ENJOY THE WORKS OF MY SOUL IF THAT WORKS FOR YOU
So here I am as Carl, writing another book for my soul that echoes across time more than I have time to know. Other people are better experts in what my other lifetimes have accomplished, and I thank them so much for treasuring and supporting me in this way, whether they knew that effect they had or not. My task, as it is for us all, is to be the expert in what God put me here to do now, since no one else can do that. Thus, I have been pretty well positioned to do many projects for years, and I will continue to do what I can in the time and support allowed. I have a day job; appropriately enough after years of working in linguistic software I help to write the code for a site search engine, thus continuing my soulís tradition of helping people find what they're looking for within themselves (Hildegard loved linguistics and invented a language as well). I am surrounded by friends and doing well, even as Iíd love to have the time to write more. So if and when the opportunities and good advice come to assist me do more of my full mission full time, I will be most grateful. In addition to writing, Iím getting ideas for workshops, lectures, and a spiritual retreat center with my partner, all in good time.
As a guide to my immediate past, hereís a rundown of recent projects:
from July 4, 2010 my New Earth Light blog grew nicely, and then in the beginning of 2013 I switched over to an inspirational facebook page at HowToMakeHeavenOnEarth.org to fully encompass and augment what I do now, so please check that out and tell your friends!
in mid February 2011, I got the burst of focus and clarity to write the autobiographical article that forms the center of this website. This was required by Spirit to jumpstart the process of my new public life, so that people who will find themselves needing the guidance that my soul can offer in words won't have to wait for the book that I'm working on (it took 10 years for Hildegard to complete her first one, I promise to not take that long!) I'd love grassroots help to spread the word about ReturnOfHildegard.com, and I'll be looking to network about lots of things including translators for the site (sorry my German isn't that good) and publishing contacts. Thanks!
from about 2002 to 2008, I actively built a spiritual movies database called the MysticalMovieGuide.com, which I try to keep running though I apologize for lack of time to develop it further despite the many fine films being made in the world. If the site is down, check out my new page of top recommended films. If the site is up, please enjoy it as a limited guide to open your eyes, nothing less nothing more, with some very detailed reviews to illustrate a style of filmic deconstruction from a spiritual perspective. If a favorite of yours got a cranky review, I again sincerely apologize. I really felt blessed to see all the films that I saw, and to have some opportunity to work with Stephen Simonís recommendable Spiritual Cinema Circle, which gives unique access to feel-good films that can be quite mystical. Iím not the last word in anything, and critical reviews may simply reveal that I was defensive and despairing at times because I thought I might fit in as a film essayist and moviemaker, but that was on the way to what I do now.
since 2001 I have been running the Mystical Art and Talent Show at the Cambridge Swedenborg Chapel with accompanying website at SoulStirring.org. If all goes well, I hope to keep this going and even expand it someday. I am so grateful to so many dear friends and spiritual artists who have helped me on this part of my journey, so no matter what happens as fame and fortunes evolve, please accept my humble and eternal appreciations for sharing those precious glimpses of who you truly are.
from 2000 to 2006, I grew a website called AstralResearch.org, which I need to rehost at a different location since I let the domain expire. I got the name from a dream in synchronicity with the recommendable Australian author Robert Bruce who was starting a similarly named site. Mine is a bit of a hodge podge of inspiration and growth steps, with some beautiful graphics and personal sharing that can be out of date now. I wonít apologize or go back to fix anything now, just let it be what it is, including the collection of short stories I called Consciousness Fiction that I last worked on there and still hope to publish with more I wrote someday. Vladimir Solovievís story ďA Short Tale of the AntichristĒ might be enjoyed in parallel.
As a guide to the works of my past lives, hereís a little advice:
Vladimir Soloviev: (Russian, 1853-1900, also spelled Solovyov) was a remarkable lifetime for developing our soul's writing style into the modern philosophical age. Many thanks to his friends and family, his books continue to be read and explored posthumously (or should I say post-humorously, as heís happier now!) I am in such indebted awe and respect for his nation and lineage, including the great Russian enlightenment leader Plato II (and we wonder why he called himself that :-) As guides to Vladimirís life, a great pair would be Judith Deutsch Kornblatt with her incredibly soulful hearfelt book Divine Sophia and Oliver Smith with his astounding new study Vladimir Soloviev and the Spiritualization of Matter.
As for the works of the poet philosopher himself, of course I could recommend starting with The Meaning of Love, for which Amazon and the publisher wonderfully sum: "According to Solovyov, love between men and women has a key role to play in the mystical transfiguration of the world. Love, which allows one person to find unconditional completion in another, becomes an evolutionary strategy for overcoming cosmic disintegration." Let me just clarify that "men and women" does indeed imply consenting adult sexuality, and I am not homophobic if ever I was so misinformed in a past life. Please distribute the preposition to read as "between men and between women", if that is just what you need now. I am enormously proud of my state of Massachusetts and its historic capital of Boston for being the first to legalize gay marriage, which of course has not destroyed the holy sanctity of marriage love but rather elevated it above undignified historical prejudices, as many more citizens of the world can understand now.
Other books like Vladimir's Lectures on Godmanhood aka Lectures on Divine Humanity give plenty of clues and ideas toward the ascension of humanity in progress today (finally, hurray!), along with deep exposures of the social and political conflicts which remain painfully relevant. A sweeping view of the spiritual evolution of humanity is presented that was highly regarded by his contemporaries. Theorists, activists, and uniters alike will want to check this one out. I just have to share this product description from Amazon; it makes us weep now.
These lectures, given by Solovyov in St. Petersburg in 1878, mark a seminal moment not only in Russian but also in world philosophy. Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, and other luminaries were in the audience. It was recognized by everyone that something astonishing had occurred.The young philosopher, mystic, and visionary, Solovyov, had given unexpectedly concise, intellectual expression to the reality of the evolution of consciousness and religion. He had spoken movingly of the actualization of Divine Humanity in eternity and time, of the divine world and the fall of spiritual beings into sin, of the origin and meaning of the natural world, and the incarnation of Christ, leading to the redemption of the visible and invisible worlds in the full revelation of Divine Humanity. Sophia, whom Solovyov experienced three times in his life, inspires this great work. He conceives Sophia in a variety of ways: as the eternal ideal prototype of humanity, as the world soul actively engaged in actualizing this idea, and as the fully developed divine-human being. This Sophia is both the active principle in the process of creation and its realized goal: the kingdom of God.
Oh dearest world, if I as Carl fail to live up to being a worthy successor of Hildegard, please do not overlook the vision and need of my kin Vladimir! He lived and died for the hope of the opportunity that we enjoy today in this New Age for which countless good souls have labored so long. We must transform! We must do our ancestors the honor of becoming the Children of the God that they could only dream of touching one day in the Heaven that is so close to Earth now.
Gregory of Nazianzus (approx. 329-390) I'm no expert (ironic, isn't it) but I was really charmed and moved by some of his writings, especially the poetic allegorical efforts to illustrate the workings of Spirit. His era tends to draw one into contentious theological debates of the kind that Hildegard only partially succeeded in transcending with her own direct visionary connection to the divine, so cool-headed academics may be the most inclined and able to parse what he says. When I start reading now about the different trinitarian views that Gregory wrestled with, I get excited at the variety of flavors, then lost and depressed. The basic problem is that so many people are not interested in celebrating the natural diversity of Spirit but rather punishing variety as heresy, with disasterous results for human evolution. A good man like Sergei Bulgakov, who in the tradition of Vladimir further divined the feminine Wisdom of God, got endlessly attacked for his soul's unique view of Sophiology. Worse, to this day the crusades of Hildegard's time echo in the bloodlust between unforgiving Christians and Muslims. The tragedies are needless excuses for not returning to God by comparable and gloriously inidividuated paths.
Heaven is not characterized by the frightful and ignorant forces of conformity and judgment, but rather by the eternally blossoming joys of wonder and sharing. I like Rudolf Steiner's explanation that in centuries back the consciousness was different, so that subtle distinctions in theories on the nature of God had immediate impacts that could be felt as concerns for where the future would lead. Steiner says that basically Gregory and others hoped to ensure by the right theological constructs that the path to human ascension would remain always open, and that people would not equate themselves already with God and thereby justify whatever impulses they had. I know that this possibility is what scared Hildegard about the Cathars, whose gnostic rejections of the physical body and worldly authorities did raise alarms in theory for a sect that might teach insufficient distinction between good and evil.
The Cathars would say God created evil so evil is of God and required and potentially good, yet too evil created the world which is bad, neither of which I believe so I still can't relate or predict what they'll do. History teaches that in practice Cathars were often very good people who embraced loving community, mystical experience, and even reincarnation. And it was the church soldiers who brutally exterminated the Cathars and other heretics for centuries that were the very manifestation of the evil that theologians like Hildegard feared. Thus the experiment in using language to unmistakably define the way to God failed. What part of "thou shalt not kill" did they not understand? Ah, but if people think they are not themselves but already God, then any action is God's, and human evils are not only forgiven but forgotten - at best ignored and at worst invited.
So here we are today, the inheritors of a stone-throwing social order populated by those who have sinned on all sides and like to think otherwise. Who among us has not fetishistically adored our technologies at the expense of realizing that without feeling the love of Spirit we have no real power? Let sins be the well-meaning mistakes we can take the heed of, not causes for punishment and further loss. Let's help each other rise up wherever we can, as we round-robin see who's got the next piece of the puzzle for us all to go Home. New Agers for example have a big piece, in the "you create your own reality" mantra. But when they use it to sit on their throne and be cold to the human suffering to which they could respond - hey, you created yours, I created mine - then they too are lost, in the inheritance of the hubris that our material age has manifested so visibly. The fuller truth is that we are becoming the beings who know how they already created their own reality, and we must make Earth Heaven together to be that divine.
When Hildegard got on her high horse to condemn varieties of sexual expression whose loving forms were alien to her, including lesbianism and masturbation, she liked to think she was speaking for God. But God doesn't punish and God doesn't judge, God only keeps open the way Home to God's Light and Love. If you want to hold an opinion of what's good for your own path, fine, but you're losing your way if you lean over to beat up someone else to whom you can't even relate. "Judge not lest ye be judged" is not just for someone else's benefit, it is for your own. Be selfish if you want, but be selfish for your own return to God, and then you'll come out fine.
So, as with Hildegard, there is much to enjoy in the writings of Gregory of Nazianzus. Cultivate discernment, to joyfully receive what opens your own heart and mind, and offer compassion for what does not. In the Heaven that we all can practice right now, there are countless ways to be grateful and share. Don't stress to enjoy the beautiful sights of a blooming garden! Theology can be fun if everyone is quick to celebrate and slow to condemn; call upon Spirit to protect you in your concerns for the future that is really here now.
For the record, the trinity that I'm working with today looks like this: feminine Soul (pure Source), masculine Spirit (manifesting energy), and Human form (the incarnation). Our consciousness is forever expanding to observe from above our current working snapshot of this truly infinite triune, thus we can each have a positively or negatively functioning set defined within limits that we are individually responsible for evolving to encompass ever more of the eternal. My view is meant to be purely empowering and tolerant to all other views, so I'm not in the business of theological contest, only inspired sharing.
Hildegard of Bingen (German, 1098-1179, also spelled Hildegard von Bingen) is, of course, one of my very best closest friends. And shouldn't we all be best friends to ourselves? I never understood all those maladjusted sci-fi nightmares that say if you meet yourself then you'll explode, go crazy, turn homicidal or whatever. Only masochists think opposites attract. The fact that you routinely meet sides of yourself in dreams is the real future of humanity, so the sooner you can look forward to shaking hands with your own soul's actual twins the sooner you can make everything right in your life.
Now, if you're looking for historical information on a popular saint's life, well, there are plenty of books and websites out there, including speculations on her personal life, about which she said little until toward the end when biographers demanded to know (past lives of tabloid reporters perhaps... no only kidding, they were friends). See, what's interesting is that in her time, it was a part of Hildegard's office to write many letters of advice, so while there are books of her personal correspondance, they're not actually very personal and mostly interpret Bible quotes. So I'll admit to one detail now, Hildegard was no saint! LOL, I just mean that literally because she was never canonized despite several attempts, perhaps due to all the controversies she raised. And at the rate we're going, what with New Age appropriation and the upcoming reincarnation debate, she may never become official. Which is fine by me, because a saint of the people not Rome is what our soul would seek.
Thus I can happily recommend a heartfelt however debatable dramatization like Joan O'Hanneson'sScarlet Music, which has been criticized by experts who don't know much more either and weren't even there. Please be more interested in the truth of your growth than mine, and I dare say things will turn out okay. For example, I've heard that some viewers of the wonderful film Vision - From the Life of Hildegard von Bingen have had their greatest cathartic reaction, complete with past life flashbacks, in the scene of the nun who becomes pregnant from a monk who denies the tryst. The poor girl kills herself, thus compelling Hildegard to demand a new bigger facility far from the men (Abbot Kuno took all the resources he could). The suicide is one of the film's few deliberate fictions (another was Richardis being around to perform in the Ordo Virtutum as Hildegard would've desired). The unbearable romantic abandonment was inserted by the director to portray an all too common fact of abbey life. There is so much healing that needs to take place between the lines of a history that was mostly written by men.
Of course, I encourage you to enjoy the perfectly readable studies by the academics as well, because many such as Barbara Newman and Sabina Flanagan are positively brilliant and help my soul more than they'll ever know. I'm sure they'll be quite mortified when they hear about me. On the other hand, someone like Matthew Fox gets criticized for combining lifelong research with his interpretive love of creation spirituality. Sure enough, he layers his own words on the historical view, and God love him for it. His Illuminations of Hildegard paperback makes some intense mystical art highly accessible, affordable, and comprehensible for a wide audience. Same pattern goes for the music, herbalism, and other fields to which Hildegard had the pleasure of contributing: there are the historical purists, there are the those who extend the tradition, and there are those who just make up additional stuff.
Hildegard herself subscribed to some unbelievable stuff; do we really think there were 11,000 Christian virgins martyred in Cologne, as a popular story held that she wrote music for, or are we ready to bring inspiration in line with what researchers have found, that a transcription error inflated the truth from perhaps just 11 who died? An 11 who held the energy of 11,000 perhaps, and we can feel it more now! Now that we can begin to remember six million who actually died... The hearts of eternity are watching us now, and if good intentions are held, we will go every time to where we are called to know more the wisdom of love. The facts will be revealed sooner or later, for the wounds of time to be cleaned and healed before God.
It's not that I support confabulation; quite the opposite, I support the convergence on reality. It's just that inspiration and truth have to speak for themselves, and sometimes they do a little dance around each other in the halls of time in order to help us understand what really happened, for what we need to care about. You know how they say that the devil is in the details? Well that's because the devil is in our reactions to facts as they reveal themselves. God really is waiting for us, where the external world meets internal expectations, or so the veils have been called. It's okay to need our hands held as we tremble like feathers upon the breath of God, this is really big stuff that we're onto now. We don't have to worry that Heaven might not fit upon the Earth, or that our souls might not fit in our bodies. They do, they are in fact one in the same in the sight of God, and the revelation is so vast that we've invented time in order to learn how to live eternity now. In time we will see as God saw.
So now if Hildegard doesn't mind too much, it must be my turn to have some interpretive fun.
Art: It's a big debate as to how much Hildegard illustrated her own visions, or if those bizarre stylistic asymmetric illuminations are "in the school of" works by her nuns. I vote for the latter. I'm an okay artist, but I've repeatedly turned down opportunities to develop my skills in drawing and music to any commercial extent in order to stay close to the mystical fount to which I am indebted and trained, and anyway I really want to do things together. My friend Carla Mattioli was in awe of Hildegard's graphic versatility, until I pointed out that she didn't do all those pictures. Oh, that's why they're in so many different styles! Now she can take credit for some that we can be sure that she did (we've got all the synchronicities of reincarnated friends) although the energies of the images can still feel a bit foreign. That's because the originals were bombed in Dresden and what we see today are fortuitous 1930's copies by more artistic nuns (what a great bunch!).
My priority is to sketch out spiritual concepts and experiential truths, so to show you what I mean here's a link to some pages I made for a 2008 lecture on Theosophy and Dreams by the Cosmic Docent (one of my alter egos). And here's a link to a series of fun graphics I made for a 1998 website about being Hildegard, now retired (the website, not Hildegard! :-) When I had the pleasure of attending a workshop by Alex and Allyson Grey in 2000, I posted some of the drawings on my artistically inclined Astral Research website. Just follow the links to the 3rd chakra Projects and scroll to the section on Spirit Depiction Art. I was setting the groundwork for getting the artshows going back then, so there's a lot of potential inspiration for artists, only because I was drawing more than thinking back then I can't guarantee what the images mean!
Music: Hildegard's music has become so big in the world that it eclipses what she has to say, which may be the lesson for me. I've been told by Ahtun Re that my soul is on a journey of developing a writing style that expresses my inner experience in language that reaches more people, but as well that is the exercise I have chosen toward the ultimate skill of offering shaktipat, which is the direct transmission of divine energy into the human world. This explanation makes perfect sense to me, as Hildegard's writings are, like those of Jacob Boehme, difficult to read however valued for something original and vital depicted within (the gifts of the infinite soul in the world, oh thank you dear friends for helping me see!)
The immediate ecstatic impact of music, especially self-made music (try it and see!), has always for me initiated new levels of revelatory articulation. Yes, I really do feel what I say, else I would not do my soul the disservice of saying it. But music is pure energy, and more and more I can literally see that all the world is here now as pure energy (hence the significance of ritual, synchronicity, beauty and grace). From the infinite and living light of the Source, each of us is given a divine spark that differentiates itself outward on the glorious path of identifying forms and narratives for our distinctly contributing gift back to God known as our individuation; it is our creative task to make this journey be about eternal love and thus welcome the joyful opportunities to belong to the Heaven on Earth. The world is already God more than we will ever fully know, but have the needs to know, and thus we are compelled to grow in the direction we call evolution. Historically speaking, we could certainly stand to experience the good news of these truths a lot more than we have. We can learn to consciously craft using our unconscious symbols praises to that infinite love which infuses our eternal existence to make all things both possible and meaningful. Like God we can forever more love.
In 1981 Christopher Page made an essential barebones recording of Hildegard's chant called "A Feather on the Breath of God", which shot to the top of the charts and ushered in a new era for her fame and reach. Dozens of recordings selling millions of copies have been made since, many over-embellished to my ears but then that's just me, enjoy what reminds you of your origins. An exception to my homesick preference for the austere approach might be Vox's Diadema, which astounded and spooked me with frame drums and synthesizers. Recordings by Sequentia, Anonymous 4, and many other academically based groups are outstanding, with tasteful period instrumentation that may not be what we did but pleases modern ears. Norma Gentile is a shaman who sings Hildegard without instruments and with a fully energetic intent, so I admire her work (although even with her metaphysical outlook I don't think she admires mine, so don't say I sent you).
But for understanding the spirit of music in Hildegard's life, I go back to Christopher Page. He seemed to get it like no one else (who *are* you dear friend?) Just read this great interview he gave to Bernard Sherman in 1998. Some may find Page a bit fanatic/dogmatic but I loved his insights and totally agree, including for the humbling opinions such as we were highly influenced as well as original, so distinctive as to be imitable or wearing, and not always convincing (as I said I do feel what I say, I just don't know to make others feel what I feel). The music of my soul's journey is a transformative personal prayer that I imperfectly record and share when called to do so. Thus I invite you now to check out my new music page. I have no idea what people will think, only that there are souls out there (inside) who are asking for me to touch them with this.
all original materials including writings copyright 2011 Carl Johann Schroeder, all rights reserved. Hildegard era illuminations and historical paintings/photographs from public domain.