Tag Archives: lesson

As many chances as you need

The general rule is that you get however many chances you need to complete your lesson. You always get a second chance. And a third, a fourth, a fifth and however many you need.

That doesn’t necessarily mean that you will be given a second chance by the same person or even in the same life, but in fact you won’t be able to move forward before you get it right.

Now some pessimists might think that there is no incentive to complete the lesson and move on. That the rule of having all the chances in the world will make slackers. Well, there are at least two things that push people to move on. The first is that the lesson becomes harsher each time it comes around in order to motivate us to move forward. Life wants us to evolve. The second is that it becomes outright boring to work on the same lesson over and over.

Let’s take the example of addiction. Life will give you as many chances that you need to overcome an addiction. If that is part of your life lesson you will have every chance. Now that doesn’t mean that the same person will give you unlimited chances. There will certainly be people and institutions that get fed up with you after a while and let go of you, but there will always be new doors opening for you to end your addiction, all the way up until your death bed. And if you aren’t able to solve it in this life you will bring the lesson along to the next, so even if you manage to end it five minutes before your death it is a victory, because you won’t have to go through the same painful journey all over again.

The first times that you get into contact with your lesson the effort needed to break the addiction will be quite small, but it might at the same time not feel very pressing. You might not have felt enough harm and pain to fully understand the importance of dealing with it, so you stay in it. But with time and with each door you close the lesson will become harsher. The harm will increase and so will the pain. What was once a soft and barely distinguishable alarm will grow to a siren right next to you until you simply cannot ignore it anymore. And you will be fed up with your lesson, with yourself and perhaps even with this life because you are just hurting yourself in the same way over and over again. You will be frustrated and bored and longing for change until one day you finally learn the lesson.

Then there will be a great release.

And after that another lesson. That lesson will be all new and might even be quite intriguing. In the beginning you might not even notice the opportunities you are being given to learn the lesson. Perhaps you can’t see the need of learning it at all so you pass up the opportunities. But don’t worry. You will have all the chances you will ever need to learn the lesson. That is simply how it works.

Photo: drink up, its summer by Jeff Ruane on Flickr

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What is the question?

When we get stuck, because we most certainly will get stuck, the question is not ”How do I get un-stuck?”. The question is not “How do I get out of this?”. Questions like those focus on not wanting to be where we are. They do not handle the situation, because they are an escape response. If we get un-stuck by escaping, we will soon find us stuck in the exact same way again.

We need to remember not to try to escape that which is un-pleasant, which we can do by finding better questions. So the real question is “What is the question?”. When we ask ourselves that, other questions begin to emerge. Questions like “How did I get here?”, “What is this stuck-ness?” or “What can I learn from this?”. These questions will help us find a greater understanding of ourselves and how we came to be stuck. When we learn the lesson and resolve the issues that got us stuck in the first place, we get un-stuck and will move on without trouble.

Photo: An ocean of forget-me-nots by LMAP on Flickr

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The choices we make

We choose just about everything in life.

Before we are born, we choose our parents and our context. Together with our soul friends we agree upon what relationships to explore, what challenges we want to face and what life lessons we must deal with. We choose our illnesses, character, limitations and talents.

When we are born, we then grow in the soil we have chosen and find the people that we are to grow with. Some of them will inspire us and others will hurt us. Some make brief guest appearances, while others are with us throughout life – just as we agreed.

The choices we make in life then give life its direction. This does not mean that our choices are always conscious. On the contrary, they are often unconscious, at least until we become aware of them. Before we become aware of the choices we made that led us to a certain place, situation or relationship, we sometimes imagine that it just happened. Sometimes we imagine ourselves as victims, because we don’t want to see our own responsibility.

When we refuse to see our own choices and instead choose the safe victimhood, we say no to responsibility and power over our own lives. It is convenient to blame others, but doing so also means that all solutions lie outside us, which is a troubling illusion. When we realize that everything is a result of our own choices, it means that the power to learn and grow in the situation is within ourselves.

Note that this does not mean that we need to think that all we experience is okay. We seem fairly agreed that rape is not okay, for example. If I knowingly or unknowingly made choices that led me to be raped it does not mean that I should blame myself and let those that raped me off the hook. It simply means that there is something in the experience that is a reflection of my choices and that there is something for me to learn from it. If I’m only focusing on the faults of others, I will miss my own lesson. If I want to grow I need to focus inward, not outward.

Once again – it does not mean that one should let others do what they want. It is that person’s choice to have their experience of life and that experience may very well include such things as punishment, feelings of guilt and exclusion.

Let me clarify one other thing. We humans are very good at dividing up the world in good and bad. That division is a very human phenomenon. At the soul level there are only different kinds of experiences. The soul wants to experience happiness, love and harmony. But it also wants to experience utter misery, despair, sadness, anger and chaos. In some lives we are the jailer, in others we are the prisoner. In some lives we are the whore, in others the pimp, in others yet the sex buyer and in other still we are the priest who curses it all. That’s why we continue to be reincarnated – we want to experience the full spectrum and thus draw all the lessons from life.

Photo: Everything’s just fine by Nathan Jones on Flickr

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Psychedelic therapy to treat depression

Hi Daniel,

I am suffering from depression for 3 years now, and I saw your blog. Do you have any suggestions about using psychedelics to treat depression? I am from Israel and I am 27 years old.

Thanks a lot!

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Psychedelics are generally absolutely fantastic for working with depression. One reason is that depression usually has your negative thoughts going around in circles. It is hard to see anything else, because you are caught in a negative thought pattern.

It has been explained to me that the way the brain works is that the more times you think a thought, the easier it is to think that though. If one thinks of this as roads in the brain, then a new thought is like walking through a wild forest. After a while that walk becomes a path and when you have thought the same thought many more times that path becomes a road.

Bokeh Experiment 2 by Rachel Elaine on Flickr
Bokeh Experiment 2 by Rachel Elaine on Flickr

After three years of depression those negative thought patterns have become highways in your brain. What psychedelics do is to, at least for a brief moment, open up for totally new connections in the brain. Your thoughts get to walk off into the woods, explore new paths and create other roads.

What is important to remember while working with psychedelics, and I would say that this goes for any serious medicine or therapy, is that you will have to do the work yourself. You don’t take psychedelics and just get better. I can’t rule it out as impossible, since the miraculous impossible always seems to be happening with psychedelics, but I still want to say that you need to be ready to continue working with yourself intensely.

Psychedelics can help you find new paths to explore, but you need to make the effort to keep walking on them until they become the new highways in your brain. That is what you do when you take all the insights, lessons and challenges that you get during the session and apply them in your day to day life.

In my case I needed several doses of LSD over a period of time, and conscious work with reprogramming myself between sessions, to finally get rid of my four year long depression. The LSD showed me new paths and after the first session I managed to stay on that new path for a week before my thoughts fell back into their old patterns. After the second session I managed to walk that new path for two weeks. It took me approximately three months of dedicated work to cure myself completely.

Here are a few links to earlier blog posts that I think might also be helpful:

Reprogramming yourself to become happy

A model for working with personal and spiritual growth

An exercise to examine negative thoughts

Some thoughts for someone that wants to try psychedelics

Photo: bokeh forest by Asher Isbrucker on Flickr

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