On the subject of upbringing

Chandra Mohan Jain was born in 1931 in the small Indian village Kuchwada. During a part of his childhood his parents could not take care of him, so he was shipped off to his grandparents.

They thought a while about how to raise and educate young Chandra.
– We raised our daughter to the best of our ability and see how that worked out. She can’t even take care of their own children, they reasoned.
– What if we do the exact opposite this time…

That is how it came to be that the grandparents sternly instructed the entire village not to raise the boy. No one was to tell him what to do or tell him off for anything. The villagers were told only to share their knowledge with the boy when he himself expressed an interest and wanted to find out more.

The untraditional upbringing left a deep impression on the boy. He grew up and eventually became one of today’s most interesting gurus – Osho.

That about upbringing. If possible – refrain.

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Liv and the clouds

The party had slowed down to become a soft mingling in the living room. Old and new friends had found each other and were talking in small circles, but Liv found it a little hard to join the conversation.
– Liv is a weather expert, I said in an attempt to invite her in and arouse the interests of the others. Can’t you tell us a little about the weather today, Liv?

And yes, she could. Liv was in fact an extremely knowledgeable expert, since a large part of her life revolved around the weather. She was a trained meteorologist with a special interest for the interaction between ocean and atmosphere, she spent much of her spare time watching clouds, and in addition to that she was responsible for an internet discussion forum where meteorologists worldwide shared and discussed observations. There was probably nothing worth knowing about the weather that Liv did not know, so she started telling us about the weather earlier that day.

The people at the party were all very impressed. She told us about the clouds we have seen that afternoon and when someone asked a question she caught it and unfolded it for us. She talked about how clouds came to be, where best to watch them and what they could tell us. After ten minutes she took a breath and in that brief silence everyone figured that the lecture was over. But then she continued to tell us about unusual weather phenomena that she had seen in that area, about different kinds of rainbows and how they came to be.

After another five minutes she took another breath and someone tried to change the subject. He just barely made it through the first sentence before Liv took the opportunity to tell us about rain cycles. The other guests began to squirm and giggle a little sheepishly. They wanted to keep talking among themselves, but Liv could not stop talking about the weather. At the next pause one of the other guests thanked her for the lecture and led the conversation on to music.

Liv however only waited for the next second long pause to continue about the weather. The other guests began to laugh uncomfortably, others shook their heads at her and someone exclaimed “Give up!”. But Liv did not give up. She did not understand even the most obvious hints, so she continued her lecture on the weather. It was only when she was drowned out by laughter that she stopped. It made her feel uneasy and out of place.

● ● ●

A few weeks later Liv invited me along for a weather safari. It was she and I and two minibuses filled with some of Sweden’s most knowledgeable meteorologists. They were weather researchers from the universities, airport meteorologists and enthusiasts like Liv. But of all these people, one really stood out. It was Liv.

We stood in a field and watched a stunningly beautiful storm roll in. All the weather experts were flocked around Liv, intently listening to her analysis of it and asking her how she thought it would evolve. And every word she said was confirmed shortly after that. Out there in the field nobody dreamt of interrupting her, because there she was truly extraordinary.

● ● ●

Sometimes we only see people when they’re not in their element and we form an opinion about them based on that. And sometimes people do not have a special talent as Liv, which really shines if you just look. But all people are magical in themselves. Every single one is the universe expressing itself as a life. And even if someone seems to be completely out of place, there is a place where they are the sun that shines brighter than anything else.

Photo: storm top by David DeHetre on Flickr

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Five levels of listening

There are many different ways of listening. Listening is simply so much more than being quiet and how good we are at it is very much a reflection of how well we manage to move our focus outside ourselves. I know of five levels of listening.

1. What do I want to say?

At the first level I mostly listen to myself. I am looking for keywords which link in to what I want to say. All thoughts lead back to me, which of course means that I am not really listening at all. I am just looking for the opening to talk about myself. A typical thing a listener at this first level would say is “that’s exactly like when I…”, which is often followed by something only vaguely related to what the other person was trying to say.

2. What is the other person saying?

On the second level, I listen to the words that the other person says and I try to understand them. The focus is on hearing the words and understanding their literal meaning, which can be quite tricky.

3. What is the other person really saying?

As we all know, the words we say are only a fraction of our communication. We say far more with our body language, tone of voice and such. At the third level of listening, I listen to the entire communication and also take into account that which is communicated in other ways than with words.

4. What is the other person trying to say?

It isn’t always easy to say what you want to say. You might not find the right words, your gestures are out of line and your brain just isn’t cooperating. At the fourth level of listening, I go beyond what is actually communicated, and listen to what the person is trying to say. This listening is sympathetic and helpful.

5. What is the highest truth behind what the other person is saying?

Our stories conceal deeper truths, which we often aren’t aware of ourselves. We are an expression of the highest divine and it expresses itself through us. When I listen at the fifth level, I can see the divine in you, and hear the deeper truth that exists between the lines.

Photo: Listening by Eugene Kim on Flickr

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A letter to the politicians of Sweden

Today I sent a Swedish version of this e-mail to all politicians in the Swedish parliament and government, as well as some party board members, MEPs, party secretariat staff and the political youth party organizations.

● ● ●

Hello!

My name is Daniel Wilby and nine years ago I was literally about to drink myself to death. I was on the run from life and I accused everyone else for my pain. Around that time I began smoking cannabis, and at one point my pusher offered me some LSD. I bought it thinking that it would offer yet another escape from life.

Something happened during that first LSD trip. I was able to move outside of my body and from that perspective I could see that all the pain in my life, all the sorrow, all the hurt that I wanted to escape from was my own creation. When I saw that, I realized that the power over my life originated from myself, and just as I had chosen to feel bad and hurt myself, I could choose the opposite – to heal and fill my life with joy and love.

I came back to my body and decided to take responsibility for my life. My 13 year long and deep alcohol abuse ended abruptly that night. It took me another three months of intensive work, with the help of LSD, to heal a four year long very severe depression.

Since then I have worked hard to heal myself and sometimes also guided others. At first I thought that my recovery was unique. Gradually, I realized that it was not. Such stories are very common among people who work with psychedelics.

Meanwhile I naturally followed the Swedish drug debate, and I am frankly quite angry and deeply disappointed at the low level of it. Today’s drug laws harm a great many people and those that debate and legislate are obviously deeply ignorant. Science is replaced by a very damaging dogmatism, while healing and spiritual exploration is persecuted and stigmatized. The laws that should protect the individual’s right to health and spiritual freedom, are instead curtailing these rights in today’s simplistic and offensive drug policy.

Here are five blog posts that I wrote last week. I would be grateful if you took the time to read them, to nuance the picture given in the drugs debate. You are most welcome to get in contact with me if you have thoughts, concerns or questions.

People’s stories of having used illegal substances to heal and grow.

The consequences of today’s drug laws.

The problems with today’s drug laws from a spiritual perspective.

How we can get out of the dead end that today’s drug laws are.

Addiction treatment after the paradigm shift in drug policy.

Finally, I want to say that I hope that you and your political party in the future works for:
● a real change in how we treat the most vulnerable among our fellow humans.
● broadening the way society looks at and works with healing.
● people’s right to their own spirituality.
● correcting the image of different substances that are currently illegal and that many of them, if not all, are promptly legalized.

Sincerely

Daniel Wilby

Photo: Party leader debate between Stefan Löfven (S) and Annie Lööf (C) by Melker Dahlstrand.

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Save the humans!

Mother Earth does not need to be saved by us. She has been here long before humans showed up, and she will continue to exist when all that is left of humans are fossils. Humans cannot kill Mother Earth. Even if we continue as we do and cut down all the trees, exterminate all animals, drop every single nuclear bomb we have, let all ice melt and let the temperatures rise – Mother Earth will prevail.

Humans on the other hand will not. We are a very frail species. We are at the very top of the food chain. Now while that might sound encouraging, what it really means is that we are very vulnerable to change.

That is why I continue to be an environmental activist. I want to save this precious species called humans.

Photo: Ser Horizonte by jeronimo sanz on Flickr

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Healing that infected black hole

– It has felt like I have a black hole in my chest that is about to devour me. I have not been accustomed to physical closeness in any way. I’m not used to people touching me. But with Erik I have not had much choice but to let him in. He insists on holding my hand, sometimes he suddenly caresses my back or gives me a kiss.

– But especially all the times we’ve had long foreplay, when he caresses me until I beg him to come into me. Then I have been able to open up that hole, drain it out and slowly begin to heal. It’s like cleaning a wound from pus.

– I have almost never felt that someone is protecting me and I often find it difficult to feel safe, but when I lie there with him on top of me, I feel incredibly safe and it gives me the opportunity to heal.

– This fall I have been worried that I would fall back into my depression, but I realized that I have healed so much that it is no longer possible. I began to think about why and I realized it had to do with Erik, both in terms of sex and heart. By being so tender and gentle with me, by silently loving me and letting me love him, he has healed my wound of the heart.

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