…life is the dance between the two.

The other day I was listening to a lecture from Ram Dass where he was talking about the integration of different planes of consciousness. I had heard this particular talk several times and he often uses the metaphor of either a TV set and being stuck on one channel or of having a radio-like dial on the side of our eyes and staying on the same frequency. 
He then begins to lead the audience through the experiences when one tunes into other channels of consciousness. I can only recommend his audiobook “Experiments in truth” in which the whole lecture is present.

What is important to look at is that there are three planes that need integration. The application and benefit of that integration will follow in the next section.

The first plane or channel where most human beings reside is the individual (ego-based) plane where we see things and people apart from us and different. Even our loved ones, children, parents, partners, and friends as much as we love them are different from ourselves.

On this plane we’re often asking:

“what can I get out of it?”

“what is in it for me?”

There is also the need to attack or defend depending on the circumstance. Very simplified there is sadness or anger when something enjoyed or loved ceases to exist. Short-term happiness and contentment are experienced when things stay the way we want them to or turn out to be “better”, in an anticipated manner.

The second plane is the soul plane where we see our connection with all that is, yet are still living out the karma connected to our current incarnation.

The third plane is the one where we merge into the one. On this plane, there is the final change from being the experiencer to simply being. 

When we look at the Title of this article, life is not about being high or low. By letting go of our individual desires and needs we experience that life unfolds as a dance. Up and Down, Left and Right, Fast and Slow. Things come and go and through it all there is an awareness that every moment is unique, yet always offers the chance to see the great mystery behind everything.

The last sentence is pretty much the antithesis of our ego experience. We can also imagine a roller coaster ride that is so often used in symbols speaking of life. 

Life is not about the high and low

When we identify with the outer experiences and form itself it can be likened to the sensations we go through in a coaster cart that is changing its trajectory on the tracks. There is the potential to feel uneasy with every change along the ride. Interestingly enough this applies to all changes during the ride.

When we are being pulled up the hill there is great potential to be anxious about the increase in height or when the cart is released and gravity slowly begins to draw the cart down.

When we “drop” we either scream out of exultation or sheer panic. 
Whereas those of us who oppose the feeling want to get out of the ride…but can’t, those who enjoy or seek that feeling want it to never end, with a potential to get hooked or addicted to the rush.

When the drop lessens, turning at some point into yet another hill we feel compressed and gravity gripping us, which in itself creates a wide range of sensations.

Finally, the ride comes to an end where the brakes of the coaster slow the carts down in order to bring them safely into the station. Sometimes there are turns and some kind of “entertainment” like photo sections on the way to the station, yet to me, it felt often like a drag.

These are to me the basic components of a life identified with thoughts or the ego.
Even though it is often said that change is the only constant in life, we still hope for only “good” things to happen.

We have a saying in German: “Mit angezogener Handbremse fahren which means so much as to drive your car with the handbrake pulled. Nowadays it might be difficult to grasp but when cars had been less automated it was actually possible to pull a lever between the front seats. It didn’t do much to change the speed or halt the car except when it stood still and kept the car from moving down hills.

What the saying is aiming at is to lose vital energy by creating unnecessary resistance through actions that are powerless to affect what is happening. That at least is my interpretation.  

Life is not about the high and low II

Coming back to the lead question of this article. How can we learn to enjoy life and its unpredictability rather than seeing it as a danger that must conform to our individual needs?

It is the integration that I mentioned in the beginning. It is important to realize that we are more than just our thoughts “stuck” on the individual channel. We are more than just individual beings sitting in a cart we have no control over. 

Way are also the architects who designed the ride as well as the operators and eventually come to the realization that we are in essence the entire park. It is up to us what kind of rides we would like to experience and since we are a part of it all we simply need to choose.

Some people enjoy the lazy river rides and others like to stop at a booth and shoot some cans. Others enjoy the train ride around the park premises. 
The beautiful thing to me is that through my inner work and also my work with clients I see that as different as people are, in essence, we are all intent on having a wonderful day in the park. 

In my favorite film of Ram Dass with the title “Going Home” he says in the end, “We are all just walking each other home.” This is him talking on the second channel or soul plane.


The mind-boggling questions are: 

”How can we learn to choose the rides that exhilarate and excite us? 

Where is the exit or emergency stop, and how to proceed when we are in a way stuck in the same ride?

Unfortunately depending on the degree of identification with the ego in combination with the external experiences for some people it is more like a house of horrors.

In order to keep it real, I will refer to my experience because I can not speak for everyone. What I can do is say that shamanic journeys and the teachings from my spiritual teachers helped me to understand that the horror show I felt trapped in, was not only equipped with an exit I had overlooked all the years but also that most of the horrors had been created by my mind.

The reason why I have become a spiritual coach working with shamanic journeys is that for me it was the only thing that gave me the opportunity to kind of turn the lights on and sees the things that frightened me in a different way. It is through this work I believe others can find a similar light switch and begin to decide what kind of ride they would like to experience.

These tools opened the door for me to let go of my expectations when they weren’t met and to become ever more appreciative of what is. 
This is the in-between step because even though there might not be boundless joy in all experiences, the resistance (handbrake) is gone. 

Ram Dass

Considering the different planes Ram Dass talked about I am aware that my mode of operation is mind/ego based and that hours go by without me realizing I ran on autopilot. Using old conditioned beliefs, reaction patterns and creating arguments and judgments in my head. 

The positive thing I can say is that as much as these things still happen in my head, my outer reality has changed in such a drastic way, that drama has become a rare teacher. 

When this stuff actually turns up with so much energy that it is in front of me and in me, I can see it as a blessing because it helps me to realize where I am stuck. Ram Dass calls it “grist for the mill”. 

I know that it is difficult to see these blessings when we are in the midst of such experiences but over time we can learn to snap out of it quicker and to work with rather than against the energy. 

If you are interested to get a glimpse into my work and how it can help you to change or accept certain elements and to let go of resistance to others,

I invite you to my free webinar about totem animals. 

You can sign up for a 90-minute online workshop here.