I have a pet peeve, something that seriously irks me, probably because I’ve done it myself. It’s when someone says they “get the energy” of something even though they haven’t bothered to actually experience it. This particularly bugs me when it comes to my favorite thing in the world – Crimson Circle material.

Now, I’m well aware that we can certainly feel the energies of gatherings, events, workshops and classes. The first time Geoff & Linda went to Israel, I felt more tuned in to that event than any other, before or after. Even though it was happening on the other side of the world, I felt as if I was listening in on the channels, seeing the people, hearing the music, and feeling the intense emotions and memories, almost as if I was right there in person. It was a very multidimensional experience. When I later listened to the actual messages given by Tobias, the feelings were still there, of course, but the actual information and experience was much deeper, more detailed and quite remarkable. Regardless of the potent energy I had tuned into, actually listening to the stirring call “Hear, oh Israel…,” the drama-laden story of Hapiru, the sweet messages from the angelic guests and Tobias’ emotional farewell... oh, it was an experience I won’t forget.

There is a chasm of reality between energy and experience, between concept and creation, between mental knowledge and visceral knowing. The work it takes to bridge that chasm can bring some of the most amazing gifts you may ever give yourself. To illustrate, I’d like to share a little more about my recent motorcycle adventures.

As I wrote last month, after wanting a motorcycle for decades, I finally let myself have one. Eager to get going, I listened (a bit impatiently) to my brother’s suggestions, then hopped on and rode around my neighborhood a couple of times. He encouraged me to sign up for a training course and, even though he admitted to being completely self-taught, I figured it was a good idea. A couple days later I took the bike out for another short ride, just tooling around the dirt road at my house when, trying to turn a corner… I crashed! Well, not crashed exactly, but “laid it down,” as they say. Fortunately, I was wearing my safety gear (“All the gear, all the time” is for a reason!) so only got some minor bruises, but it shook me up. Although my confidence wilted a bit, the trauma to my ego was by far the most painful, especially because a friendly fellow I’d never seen before (nor since, come to think of it) came running over, asked if I was okay and helped me pick up the bike.

Oh, did I forget to mention this little stunt last month? Must’ve still been nursing that bruised ego… Needless to say, it provided motivation to take the training. So, I signed up, learned a lot, and had a great story to share! Then I began to notice something. Even though this was what I’d always wanted, I kept finding Very Good Reasons to go for my first real ride “later.” It’s the wrong time of day; there’s too much traffic on the road for my first time; have to do shopping, can’t carry it all; feeling tired; needed at the studio today, can’t take any chances. You get the idea. When a month had passed since the training and my bike was still parked, I had to admit it: I’d gained the knowledge and learned the concepts well enough to pass the test, but found myself reluctant – okay, a wee bit scared – to actually put it into practice. The bumps and bruises, coupled with the intimidating ‘what if’ scenarios addressed at the training, had created a “Maybe-I-shouldn’t-do-this-I’ll-probably-just-hurt-myself” aspect, and it was getting a little more stuck every day. [sigh] If I don’t practice what I preach, what’s the point of all this? The only thing to do was take a deep breath and dive in to the experience.

With another production day calling, I decided it was time. The Crimson Circle studio is 25 miles away; that’s 25 miles on everything from dusty gravel roads to winding mountain highways with hairpin curves and aggressive pick-up trucks, then a long stretch of highway with cross winds, impatient drivers and huge 18-wheeler trucks, and finally the congestion of city traffic. What could go wrong? Nope, don’t think about that; just do it. Wishing all the other cars would disappear, I took off, repeating to myself all the little bits of instruction I could remember. The corners were scary, the intersections intimidating, the speed a little thrilling, and I got to the studio in one piece, albeit slightly rattled. I’d done it!

On the way home, struggling again with the corners, I finally remembered a very smart bit of advice: “Look where you want to go.” Duh! After all that – the training, the great story, the weeks to assimilate it – I was still looking at the pavement in front of me, trying to get around the corners without falling over, and completely forgetting the most important lesson! Laughing at my silly self, I looked as far ahead as possible – and the corners were immediately easier and a lot more fun. It was true! My body and bike automatically followed my attention, with exceedingly practical application. “Ack! Here comes a huge dump truck! Look where you want to go, dear self, not at the truck!” And instantly I veered away from the oncoming monster instead of toward it. It’s kind of freaky when you’re magnetically drawn toward exactly what you Do Not Want, and vice versa. It’s all about attention.

I got back home happy and a bit dazed. I’d learned the concepts well enough to pass the exam, but to actually experience their life-saving wisdom required literal practice and application. Which brings me back to “getting the energy” versus “having the experience.” There’s no doubt that we all feel the energies of a lot of things. The Sexual Energy School (SES), for example, has been around long enough that many Shaumbra have a pretty good idea of what it’s about. But until you actually go through the experience, enter the places within that have been hidden and desperately avoided, and accept responsibility for patterns you’ve camouflaged for a very long time, the deep benefits of this precious work remain conceptual rather than a real part of your life.

Same with, let’s say, Ancestral Freedom. One can “get the energy” of releasing the ancestors, descendants and spiritual family, but until you enter into that grand hall, experience their presence, their communication and the farewell, it mostly remains an idea. Or Master’s Life 6 – No More. Think you’re beyond anger? Nope, you’ve just learned how to bury it deeply and pretend it’s not there. I could go on and on, but the point is that the genuine and courageous experience of something is lightyears beyond “getting the energy” of it.

I’m not saying that transformation “on your own” is impossible. Not at all. Everyone innately knows their own path to freedom and will certainly arrive at its realization. I’m saying that pretending to “tune in” to something and saying you got it that way is just not true. In fact, I call makyo of the highest order. It’s like acquiring a shiny new tool, admiring how well it’s made, knowing what it can do, and then leaving it in the toolbox while saying you know it as well as the pro who uses it all the time.

Knowing is not the same as doing. All the motorcycle training in the world couldn’t help me until I got on the bike, risked everything, and put it into practice. I can “get the energy” and let the principle of something like “Look where you want to go” guide me conceptually, but it remains a nice, nebulous concept until I actually DO it.

What about freedom? Most of us long for freedom and chafe against the limitations we perceive. But do we really want freedom? Wanting it and talking about it are completely different than choosing the real thing. Gaining freedom always, always, always involves losing something, usually a lot of something, and probably something precious we don’t want to give up. Love relationships, family members, possessions, things we believe about ourselves – all will most likely be lost on the way to freedom, and that’s a tough thing to choose. The concept of freedom is tempting, but real freedom means real loss and real transformation. Are we ready for that?

I wanted the freedom of flying down the open road on two wheels, but it meant I had to go through some discomfort and self-honesty to get there. Was it worth it? Well, as of this writing, I’ve done three rides and each one has gotten easier and more fun. I’m better at coordinating my limbs in traffic, remembering to “look where I want to go,” and overall, I’m a lot more relaxed on the bike. This is a good thing, because being relaxed and in my body makes it much easier to deal with unexpected challenges. On my third ride, traffic was slowing down for a red light and I reached to shift into a lower gear, only to discover the shift lever was gone!! There was nothing but air under my foot where the pedal should be. Shock surged through my body, my thoughts raced – “How could this even happen? Who do I call to come help? The bike isn’t even operable!” I carefully slowed down, managed to get my bike out of traffic without getting run over, and got off to investigate. It turned out that a nut and bolt had worked themselves loose and the shift lever was now dangling by its cable under the bike. Reaching past the hot exhaust pipes, I fiddled with the bolt till it was somewhat functional again, got back on and rode to where I could buy a part and fix it properly. (I’m not sure what the object lesson in that little adventure was, other than there’s always a solution, to even the most incomprehensible problems, so never any need to panic. But it sure helped that I was more at ease on the bike itself!)

My point is that there’s no point to life now, other than to experience it. Why would I give myself only a hollow “idea” of something when the real thing is right there to be relished and lived? Oh, right – because the idea is safe, easy and inexpensive. The real thing, however, takes courage, commitment to self, and a willingness to let go – of things, ideas, preconceived notions, righteousness, identity, and everything else I might hold dear. But, through much experience, I know that what is gained is worth so much more than what is lost. After facing countless decision points – stay safe right where I was, risk it all and move forward – I’ve done plenty of both. But the deepest, truest transformations have ALWAYS come from making it real.

How could I settle for anything less?

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