Saturday, December 31, 2011

The First Day: A Story of 2012

I wrote the following short story after what I can only describe as a vivid dream state experience I had in 2002 (a significant part of my own spiritual awakening). You can tell this short story was written around 2002 due to the assumption there would be major terrorist attacks in the years that followed 2001, plus the lack of references to modern social networking tools.

This was at a time when my writing voice was only just beginning to re-emerge, after many years of slumber, but the dream state experience was so powerful, I felt the need to bring the fear and confusion that it surfaced to resolution through my writing. I also was acquainted with many skeptics at the time in the engineering/scientific community, something you can see reflected in the story.

I attempted to publish the story around 2006 (and that is the version given here), but I was a novice short story writer, and it was rejected. In fact, I recently came across one of the rejection letters from "Asimov Science Fiction Magazine". Even so, I did receive encouraging feedback from at least one editor (not at Asimov) on what really was my first attempt as an adult at any sort of fiction.

I thought it was oddly coincidental that the 2012 movie included a relationship between co-workers in India and the U.S., even though quite different in nature. The relationship in my own story was actually based on my supervising an engineer in India around the time frame when I wrote it.

~~~~~~

The First Day
Copyright © 2002-2012, Susan Larison Danz. All Rights Reserved.

On the last day, I awakened to what seemed like a normal sunny morning. But it wasn't a normal day at all. It was the last day. The last day. Although we had known this day would come, the reality of the moment was almost impossible to comprehend. In fact, I was astonished I had slept at all.

On the news last night I'd heard millions were planning to revel until dawn. “Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow...” and so it went. I wasn't much into reveling, being a more contemplative and reserved individual myself. In fact, I was relieved things hadn't gotten too far out of hand. I had earlier entertained notions that society would break down in the streets below right before my eyes. But it seems that in the end, the human race was turning out to be more dignified than anyone would have dreamed.

And then of course the news had said millions more would be spending the evening in church, and no doubt the churches would see even the most recalcitrant of souls today. As for me, I had no plans to be among them. Despite a solid Catholic upbringing, I had abandoned that path long ago. We would collectively discover “all that is” or “all that isn't” soon enough, no church required.

For some masochistic reason, I decided to turn on the news once again. I had always been addicted to the news, not really sure why. After the first major terrorist attacks in 2001, I must have watched the news for days. And the sporadic attacks over the years since hadn't helped my addiction any. But the ultimate reality of 2012 had finally stopped even the terrorists in their tracks. No doubt they were reveling in their own way today, delighted that their God was going to do their work for them. Even the governments they loathed had failed in all attempts to circumvent what had now become our inevitable fate.

As I turned on the television, my curiosity was met with “This is the emergency broadcast network. Please stay in your homes...” It didn't look like there would be much news on today, which was quite a disappointment to me.

I walked out on my balcony and gazed up at the sky, but everything looked perfectly normal. On the other side of the world, I would suspect the sight was quite something to behold. But I would see it again soon enough, for a final few hours. After that, nobody really knew what was going to happen. Theories had been popping up like wildflowers, many of them not really new, just repackaged for a curious populace.

Perhaps the most fascinating theory suggested we were all about to be burned alive as a super-heated atmosphere rapidly incinerated the planet. Proponents of that theory pointed to a layer of ash in the worldwide fossil record dating back to about the time the dinosaurs disappeared.

An oceanic event was no longer predicted, but mesmerized by the various movies over the years depicting such a scenario, I actually had a secret fascination regarding the prospect of getting a final glimpse at a monolithic tidal wave breaking over the city.

And then of course there was the prospect that perhaps I feared the most, the notion that this really wasn't the last day, but just the first of a slow, horrific demise, somewhat similar to a nuclear winter. As amazingly stoic as society had proven to be to date, I knew it wouldn't be able to preserve itself in that eventuality. And of course plenty of newly converted survivalists were hunkered down, prepared for exactly that possibility. As if prolonging the agony was really a fate to be desired.

I turned on my computer in hopes that I might actually be able to get on-line. It was hooked up to my satellite phone, so I figured I had a chance at a connection. Sure enough, it looked like I still had internet access. I tried jumping to my favorite news sites, but as usual in these final days, they were basically inaccessible due to the millions of others with the same idea. I tried to check email, but not surprisingly, the server was down.

Communication was indeed a challenge these days. Phones based on land lines or cell towers were virtually unusable as well due to the heavy traffic. And not too many people had satellite phones, which I was fortunate enough to have as part of my work. Besides logging in, there really was no one I needed to call today. An only child, I had lost my parents years ago. And as for relationships and friends, it seems I was mostly a loner these days, except for a few acquaintances at work.

My closest friend had chosen an easier path some weeks ago, a fate shared by many in the past year. But as for me, I was curious enough to stick around for the final show. Hopefully, I would not live to regret that decision. Of course, nobody was going to live to regret much of anything much longer.

My reverie was broken by the sudden alarm of the computer. A co-worker in India wanted to chat with me via our work conference link, although nobody was working today. This would no doubt be interesting...

~~~~~~

Naresh: Chris, what's happening there?


Chris: Nothing interesting to report. So far, it's like a normal day, which I must say is amazing! You would think there would have been absolute chaos in the streets, something like that old “Star Trek” festival episode, but nothing like that has materialized yet.


Naresh: You should have seen the sky out here a couple of hours ago. It reminded me of that scene in “Close Encounters” where the drunk man talks about the sun coming out at night.

~~~~~~

Naresh and I loved chatting about sci fi trivia. Of course, it wasn't a UFO Naresh had seen. I chuckled about all the wildly hopeful theories people had entertained in recent months. One group was intent on the hope of being rescued by intervening saviors from an alien parental race. That's one outcome I too would have found fascinating, but not so surprisingly, intervening spaceships had yet to appear. Alien beings may well exist, but like my favorite old “Star Trek” series, perhaps they had rules about intervening with the primitives, even in the most extreme of circumstances.

Yet another alarm sounded on the computer. An old friend and co-worker in England wanted to join our conversation.

~~~~~~

Lauren: I'm on to something. I just know it. It's key, key. How do I begin to explain it.


Chris: I sure hope you're not going to start with that broken record regarding the Mayan predictions because you know how I feel about that. Yes, 2012 was the end of their calendar, that's old news now.


Lauren: Chris, I'm telling you. Did you even read any of that stuff I gave you on the Mayans? You have it all wrong. It's not supposed to be the end, but the beginning.


Naresh: It sounds like a bunch of superstition to me. And I can tell you, I've had my fill of that out here. It's bad enough on a good day in India. You can only imagine what it's like tonight.


Lauren: Please listen to me, guys. It's really, really important, and I promise you, this has nothing to do with superstition or religion. This is key, key, but I'm not sure how to get you in on it.


Chris: In on what?


Lauren: Did you ever read anything by Richard Bach? Maybe that would give you a clue.


Chris: You know I don't like that metaphysical nonsense, trying to masquerade as science fiction.


Naresh: Well, it may not be traditional science fiction, but I kind of liked “Illusions” myself.


Chris: I read it a long time ago, but I could never figure out what people saw in it.


Lauren: Would you please just listen. This is absolutely key. And so very simple. All you need to do is believe.


Chris: Believe what?


Lauren: Just believe it's going to be ok, no matter how far-fetched that may seem. That's all. It's the key.


Chris: Right, and that's really going to help? Just how the hell do you expect anyone to “believe”, on today of all days?


Lauren: I knew this was probably a waste of time. It's actually a lot easier convincing my religious friends who already believe in prayer. But prayer isn't the only answer, it's the belief itself that's key.


Naresh: I understand what you're getting at Lauren, but it just seems a bit too late. Too much fear is on the loose now, and that makes it tough for people to believe anything.


Lauren: Well, my hope is that it won't take a lot of people. For all I know, maybe it will just take one, one person with a belief strong and pure enough to exercise mind over


Connection terminated.

~~~~~~

So much for chatting with the outside world. I knew I was being somewhat intolerant of Lauren, but I simply wasn't in the mood for such a wildly optimistic approach to life, especially today. We had known each other for years, but we had never been quite on the same page. I hadn't really read the article on the Mayans she had given me; I'd seen enough of that in the news. But since there was nothing else better to do, I decided to take another look at it.

~~~~~~

Mayan Misconceptions?

Much has been said about the ancient Mayan calendar ending in 2012 and their remarkable ability to predict astronomical events. But with the catastrophic approach of asteroid Nemesis, very little has been said about Mayan beliefs in precessional ages, according to renowned Mayan scholar Dr. David Sherwood.

According to Dr. Sherwood, "the Mayans did not believe 2012 was to be the final end to humanity. In fact, their true beliefs were incredibly hopeful. They believed the events of 2012 were to signal the coming of a new precessional age based on their astronomical calendar. In this new age, the Mayans expected a dramatic shift in the consciousness of the planet, as humanity became what they called 'beings of light'."

Dr. Sherwood and an ever-increasing group of followers believe there is no reason to despair as the asteroid approaches. They believe instead that humanity is on the verge of an evolutionary quantum leap, and the asteroid will somehow become immaterial to this reality.

"We don't know yet just how the Mayans envisioned the earth surviving an asteroid this massive. But we have hope that we'll find a way. We must remember that not only did the Mayans foresee the asteroid. They apparently saw much, much more for 2012. So we must find a way to trust that all of their predictions will indeed become true."

~~~~~~

This was indeed a hopeful article, but now that the last day was upon us, the article itself seemed immaterial to the reality at hand. In some ways, I was happy that hope was still alive for Lauren even today. Although I had never understood Lauren, I would have wished nothing less.

I decided to wander out to my balcony again just to sit and try to relax for a while. Reflecting back on my own life seemed somewhat meaningless today, although of course there were things I wish I had pursued before the reality of 2012 became so painfully apparent. It seemed somewhat self-absorbing to be focusing only on my own life right now. Rather it seemed more appropriate to reflect on the whole of humanity and what dreams the human race itself would never live to realize. Perhaps some future race would spring up from the ashes and scrutinize the artifacts we would leave behind. Visions of the shattered Statue of Liberty in “Planet of the Apes” came to mind, although in the end it seems the human race was not the master of its own demise, as so many had expected would be our fate.

I closed my eyes and listened to what seemed to be the much quieter than usual noises of the city. It would be only hours now, yet the city remained amazingly calm. I wondered if this would change once we glimpsed the asteroid again on the horizon. As I allowed my mind to drift, I realized that I was actually feeling rather odd, even somewhat dizzy. Although contemplative, I was never one to truly meditate, yet this was beginning to feel somewhat like what I had heard others report of meditative experiences. How odd to be experiencing this on today of all days.

As I settled deeper into contemplation, I felt my awareness expand out over the city. I felt the fear so very palpable in so many hearts today. And surprisingly, I also sensed a glimmer of hope here and there. Perhaps Lauren wasn't the only one.

“Chris, Chris, can you hear me? Chris? We did it, Chris. It's going to be ok. Can you feel the change?”

I emerged from my reverie with a start. Surely I had now sunk into a state of hallucination since I thought it highly unlikely that I would suddenly be hearing Lauren's voice inside my head. Or else I was simply dreaming. I heard the alarm on the computer once again. It was Lauren.

~~~~~~

Lauren: Did you get my message?


Chris: No, I've been off-line sitting on my balcony.


Lauren: No, silly, I mean my other message. I told you it's going to be ok, and I asked if you felt the change. Do you want me to send you another?

~~~~~~

“Chris, the Mayans were right. They really were. Surely you can begin to see now.”

Sure enough, as unbelievable as it might seem, I really was hearing Lauren's voice in my head. Either this was a very complex delusion, or something truly remarkable was indeed happening here.

~~~~~~

Lauren: How about that one? This is really so cool!!! Or do we go about it the old-fashioned way?

~~~~~~

And what was even more remarkable is that somehow I understood where Lauren was coming from. I understood her optimism for the very first time. And although my own point of view remained for the most part intact, I could view the world from her perspective.

And what was more amazing still was that somehow in my heart, I just knew that the asteroid wasn't a threat anymore, as preposterous a notion as that might seem, I just knew...And I didn't even feel the need to turn on the news to confirm it, even more amazing still. Somehow I just knew...

~~~~~~

Chris: What's going on, Lauren? I feel so very odd.


Lauren: It's the change, Chris, it's the change. It's the miracle so many people were hoping for, except it's so much more than that. So much more than even I expected.


Chris: What on earth happened?


Lauren: It was our hope and belief. We did it! We pushed the asteroid away, just enough, but we did it, I'm sure of it! Don't you feel it? I know not everyone believed, not by a long shot, and maybe it just took a few. I just can't believe it all happened so fast!


Chris: What I can't believe is that this is suddenly making sense to me. Somehow I'm still myself, but I understand you now. And I sure as hell never understood you before! ;-)


Lauren: That understanding is just the beginning, Chris. If you could only feel what I'm experiencing. I mean...what about the telepathy, Chris? Isn't that amazing? You'll be able to do it too soon, I'll wager. Well, I should go now. So many people to talk to!

~~~~~~

After logging off, I sat in a daze for what seemed like hours. I really could feel a change. If I tried, I could begin to reach out to the city surrounding me. I felt the pain of poverty, of living with prejudice, of never being given a chance. This went beyond experiencing the fear of the asteroid, which was dissipating rapidly now as the reality of the miracle was sinking in. Never a metaphysical person by nature, yet I truly did begin to feel a remarkable oneness with the humanity surrounding me. And with that sense of oneness came an understanding that surpassed anything I had ever experienced. I was still an individual, no doubt about that, but now I was so much more than I ever realized I could be. And somehow I just knew this astonishing reality was now true for all of us.

I decided to try an experiment of my own. I settled my mind as much as I could, and I focused my attention on Naresh in India.

“Naresh, Naresh, can you hear me?”

Nothing. No response. I shifted my awareness slightly, almost like trying to change the frequency on a radio, not really knowing how I was doing this at all, and I centered all my focus on the person I knew as Naresh.

“Naresh, am I reaching you? It's Chris. Can you hear me?”

“Chris, I hear you! This is Naresh. Yes, you're getting through! So what do you think of this new reality, my friend? It's really taken hold quickly out here in India.”

“It's astonishing, Naresh, I must admit. It makes one wonder just what's in store for us tomorrow!”

“A new day, my friend, a new day! And a wondrous one at that...”

How could any of us have known when we woke up that morning? Or perhaps I should say that the key was that just enough people did know, just enough to make a difference. The Mayans had indeed been right, as had so many metaphysical and religious thinkers. Not to mention the quantum physicists and evolutionists, as they too had been right. It wasn't to be the last day at all. It was the first. The first day of a new age of humanity.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Grinch: A True Story of The Shift

The Grinch classic cartoon was on network television tonight. I found it ironic that a cross-generational story which on one level has something to say about transcending materialistic impulses was so poorly chopped and truncated to fit the commercial breaks. Classics like The Grinch should be shown unaltered.

But with that aside, I chose to keep watching because as we experience the eve of 2012, The Grinch has been on my mind for days, a story many of us have loved since childhood. The Grinch is the perfect personification of The Shift, the kind of Shift I choose to believe in, the kind that leaves no one behind.

There is a reason why we love The Grinch...and it's the very same reason why we love all stories of darkness transformed into Light, whether it be the Grinch, Darth Vader or the Prodigal Son. It is the story of Planet Earth, and its contrasts and ultimate lessons are symbolic in every possible way, far transcending the message of Christmas or any particular spiritual or religious path.

In every society on Earth today, even a repentant Grinch would be scorned and jailed for years, maybe even executed.

Let's ponder the crimes of the Grinch. He is not only a vandal and thief of toys, Christmas trees and candy (not to mention an abuser of little dogs), perhaps the parts that enthralled us as children.

No, the Grinch takes every last bit of food, every last log from the fireplaces, tantamount to a genocidal act in that cold, wintry place at the base of Mt. Crumpit. He does it just because he can, for the sheer delight of it, to relish the suffering of others, especially children. Joy is painful to the Grinch, so he chooses to extinguish it entirely. We all know the story well.

But how well DO we know the story??? And how much have we truly allowed the story to expand our own hearts? Yes, there's the part about how Christmas happens even without the toys, that's the lesson about materialism we were supposed to focus upon as kids. As a kid, besides missing out on a Christmas feast, I'm sure I didn't really comprehend the dire severity of the Whos down in Whoville having no food or firewood at the coldest time of year.

So what makes this A True Story of The Shift? First, there is the Light, the Light that rises up the mountain, a Light generated miraculously, solely through the Conscious harmony of an entire people, young and old, singing in Joy hand in hand in a circle. By transcending the illusion of hardship, the Whos have shifted, and they are ready to share. The Light of The Shift is contagious, critical mass attained.

It's far easier to believe in a version of The Shift in which only those who "qualify" make the cut, a version of The Shift which is at its worst, yet another fear-based, non-inclusive version of "left behind" that we've heard so many times before. "You better watch out...The Shift is coming to town..." sums it up quite nicely.

But a REAL Shift, a REAL quantum leap, is not just about shifting the choir - it's about shifting The Grinch, including whatever remnants of The Grinch remain in each of us. It's about dramatic change, not incremental progress. It's about darkness transformed into Light.

No doubt we all remember The Grinch's heart growing three sizes that day, his smile radiating with that same Light which encompasses his heart. But how many of us have really pondered what comes next?

When the Grinch comes barreling triumphantly into town, what does he find there? Does he find fear? Does he find judgment? Does he find scorn? Does he find punishment? No, he finds Forgiveness. A Quantum Forgiveness so very vast that just like the Prodigal Son returned, The Grinch is the guest of honor at the feast, trusted and accepted so very completely, he is placed next to the sweetest, most precious child in town, a guest so very honored that he gets the highest privilege of carving the Roast Beast.

Could you give your worst enemy (no matter how transformed) the keys to your city? Would you honor him or her with a parade? Would you trust him or her with your children?

A lower consciousness society would cling to the past. A lower consciousness society would indeed jail The Grinch. A lower consciousness society wouldn't believe he has shifted and wouldn't really care (or those few who might notice wouldn't care enough to do anything substantial about it). They wouldn't trust. They wouldn't love. They wouldn't accept.

A lower consciousness society bases "justice" on punishment for the past, not on healing and rehabilitation in the moment. A lower consciousness society is focused on vengeance and fear, not on Unconditional Love. What would we do to The Grinch in OUR society now? What would YOU choose to do?

Until we can all understand what it truly means to completely accept, forgive and honor a "Grinch", we don't really understand the Higher Consciousness of the Shift at all. And that includes unconditionally accepting the transformation of the darkest possible soul you can imagine on Earth. And that includes unconditionally accepting the transformation of the darkest part you can find within yourself.

We already know how. Our stories have shown us the way. We don't jeer The Grinch or Darth Vader. We cheer. And the Prodigal Son story has been with us a very long time. Many Christians claim to believe in spontaneous transformation, yet they have made little effort to create a society to match - much like the bitter brother in the Prodigal Son, they still feel the need to punish even repentant wrongdoers and call that "justice". And many of them speak of a "narrow path", the most rigid form of exclusivity, with the other paths leading straight to hell.

At its most profound, challenging level, the in-progress Story of the Shift even includes forgiveness BEFORE apparent Transformation...because it is forgiveness itself which creates Transformation. Did the Whos know the Grinch had shifted when they began to sing?

Some day all of us will understand. The Shift will be so radically transformational, it will transcend our every expectation. I firmly believe The Shift is NOT about "qualifying" for the ascension in any possible way, no matter how many teachers I have admired insist that this is so. When the Light begins to radiate irresistibly on this planet, when it encompasses and shifts each and every heart, nobody will need to tell you to shift - you will simply Know - nobody will need to tell you to forgive - you will simply Know. And that's when the REAL celebration begins...



Image notes:

Grinch drawing obtained from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ted_Geisel_NYWTS.jpg and is part of a collection donated to the U.S. Library of Congress as a gift, with no known restrictions on the usage of this photograph (see Wikimedia entry for more information).

Radiating star image obtained from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:PGC_39058.jpg and can be shared under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.

Holding hands image obtained from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hold_my_hand.jpg and can be shared under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license

Friday, November 18, 2011

Occupying the Shift

As I observe the various images, accounts and contrasting opinions arising from the Occupy events worldwide, I cannot help but ponder that what we are actually witnessing is the tumultuous process of occupying the Shift.

There are many ways to take up residence in the Shift. For some, the streets beckon. For others, it is enough to meditate quietly at home. Still others speak or write in ways that may not mention occupying anything at all, yet the Shift remains.

In a world of true compassion, what many of us are called to occupy each and every day is a path of "We", not just a path of "me" (keeping in mind that the "We" must now honor each and every "me").

Some say we are going the other direction, the direction of chaos, and indeed it may seem that way for a time, as those things that no longer serve pass away, a reality that has been manifesting all by itself for quite some time, long before the first sign in the streets appeared.

If I didn't believe in miracles, if I didn't believe a quantum leap is at hand, if I didn't believe we are ready to evolve beyond our age-old "survival of the fittest" instincts, I would likely agree. In fact, I might even say a very Dark Age was about to begin, if I didn't see evidence of the Shift.

They say that seeing is believing, but believing also leads to seeing.

If you choose to see only darkness in this time, that is what you will almost certainly see.

But if you choose to see the Dawn, you will begin to see the miracles, manifesting a destiny beyond our most hopeful imaginings, where Infinite Love is not just a concept, but a Reality residing in each and every heart.

**"Occupy Your Heart" photo originated from Wikimedia Commons - see the original location for a full description of how it can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

September 11: Choosing to Forgive

A year ago today, I wrote a spontaneous, heartfelt essay on my personal recollections and reflections on the impact of September 11. The expression of my journey guided me to the following words, worth repeating today. You can read the entire essay here.

"In retrospect, I now realize the tremendous gifts fear gave to me. It was fear that led to my heartfelt prayer to the Creator of the Universe, tearfully begging to be shown "the way", whatever it might be.

And the way was indeed shown, though it took years for me to begin to understand, a journey of progressive understanding that continues on this September 11 too, nine years later.

The way had to do with unconditional Love. The way had to do with unconditional Forgiveness. The way had to do with lasting Peace.

I have not forgotten what happened on September 11, 2001. I have not forgotten on a personal, national or global level. I have not forgotten the many people who died that day. I have not forgotten the many people who died in the days and years that followed, on all sides of the resulting wars, including many innocent children and civilians, in addition to soldiers. But there is a difference between forgetting and letting go.

I am finally finding a way of letting go the fear of those days. And it's been quite some time since I have felt any need for vengeance. Instead I have discovered understanding. Instead I am really beginning to see what true faith, forgiveness and unconditional Love actually ask of all of us.

When you begin to look through eyes of understanding, you realize that the entire event on September 11 (even if you believe in alternative theories on the subject) resulted from centuries of fear and vengeance, something that drove a few misguided people to commit an act they felt was justified by their own convictions.

We can question those convictions of course, but can we even dare to try to understand what might have made them feel this way? Can we even dare to end the silence of tolerance (which need not be silent at all)? Just as we expect the tolerant in other countries to take the lead in educating those in their midst, can we dare to take on the responsibility of educating and enlightening those in our own country plagued by eerily similar fears?

Wars breed more wars. Any student of history can see that this is true. Fear breeds more fear. Vengeance breeds more vengeance. Blame breeds more blame. Anger breeds more anger. Death breeds more death. This is true on both sides of any conflict. And sometimes the cascading domino effects of war go on for centuries. This is what happens when we choose not to forget, when we choose not to let go, when we choose not to understand, when we choose not to forgive, when we choose not to Love.

We have a choice. We can indeed choose to Love. We can indeed choose to Trust. We can indeed choose to Understand. We can indeed choose to Forgive. We can indeed choose to place our Faith in the Love that binds us all together on this Earth.

That is where I place my Faith tonight. I have released the angst of September 11, and I no longer believe reacting in fear has anything to do with Faith or Love. I have not watched a single news report today. I honor those who died, just as I honor those who died on every horrendous day, days that continue in some parts of the world, impacting people of many nations, not just ours.

I'm going to dinner in a while. I choose to visit a small family-owned restaurant run by a Moslem married to a Christian (not sure if she converted, either way is fine with me). I happen to know that these people have personally felt an impact from the fear and unreasonable bias that still have a strangle-hold on some who claim to be all about forgiveness, but are actually more interested in judgment, vengeance and a a skewed nationalistic furor instead (something that has led to more wars and death than can be fathomed). I look forward to a nice meal of spicy lamb tajine, a favorite of mine.

I invite you all to dine with us at the table of Universal brotherhood, sisterhood and Unconditional Love.

Understanding breeds more Understanding. Tolerance breeds more Tolerance. Forgiveness breeds more Forgiveness. Love breeds more Love. Joy breeds more Joy. Peace breeds more Peace. Faith breeds more Faith.

I have unwaivering Faith that true Peace on Earth will soon be in our midst."


My son and I dined at that wonderful Moroccan restaurant on Friday, now a favorite of his too. As a parent, I choose to teach tolerance and understanding, not vengeance and fear.

May all of our children learn these lessons well. And yes, I do believe they will one day know Peace, as miraculous as that may seem.

That day is coming soon...for all of us.

~ Susan Larison Danz

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

My blogging pen may be resting, but...

This blog continues to be on hiatus as I explore new ways in which I choose to share my voice. A new blog will arrive when the time is right (I suspect that time is soon), as well as multiple new web sites on a diverse array of spiritual and research topics...you will be surprised at just how many and how diverse, and yes, I'm doing them all myself...

Meanwhile, there are a variety of ways my voice continues to be shared right now.

One reason I have been led to believe my pen is mostly resting is because of being called to speak. It's as if Spirit has asked me to practice, practice, practice my speaking voice first, then write some more. And so my blog has recently become spoken, instead of written, along with chatting with some very interesting people making a difference in the world. Perhaps it is indeed appropriate that this spoken blog would be on Blog Talk Radio: The Frontier Beyond Fear Radio Program

A most surprising development (although perhaps not so surprising given my history of anonymous blogging) has occurred on broadcast radio, where I have found myself calling in to Ground Zero, a local paranormal radio show in Portland that also broadcasts online worldwide. I have called a number of times, simply as "Susan in Portland", essentially being a "Pollyanna" presence on the show.

(BTW, I recently stumbled upon the Disney movie "Pollyanna", a film I have not seen in quite a long time. And I was astonished to see just how bold and daring it was, directly questioning and confronting fear-based practices and messages in spiritual circles, not to mention affirming the power of positivity. The film has become a cliche, but it is well worth revisiting. And I always liked Hayley Mills too...)

I continue to have an attentive and regular presence as @bridgebldr on Twitter, where I occasionally participate in live chats relevant to the spiritual community, frequently post affirmations and inspirational quotes, and enjoy interacting with others.

I also regularly update my Facebook page, where new friends are welcome. I have established the new Frontier Beyond Fear Facebook community page associated with topics related to my radio program and upcoming 2012 book by the same title. I also have a fledgling page for my research related to prophetesses (the publication of which has been delayed due to the immensity of the task and so many questions yet to be answered in my research).

My research on prophetess Mother Shipton continues to be updated on my web site ShiptonProphecy.com.

And then there are upcoming speaking events and coaching booths, several this Fall:

Sunday, Sept. 18, 2:30 PM: Discovering the Frontier Beyond Fear at the Portland Healing Arts "Celebrating the Harvest" Fair in Portland, OR.

Friday, Sept. 30, 5:00 PM: The Frontier Beyond Fear at the Los Angeles Conscious Life Expo, where I will be offering one-on-one coaching throughout the entire Expo Sept. 30 - Oct. 2.

Saturday, Nov. 5, 2:00 PM: The Prophetess Legacy at the Portland Body Mind Spirit Expo, where I will also have a booth throughout the Expo offering one-on-one coaching Nov. 5-6.

Sunday, Nov. 6, 2:00 PM: Embracing the Shift at the Portland Body Mind Spirit Expo.

I will also be speaking again at the Los Angeles Conscious Life Expo in February 2012, details to be announced, as well as plans for many more events to come, not to mention being determined to finally get at least ONE of my books out the door (that's a blog post in itself regarding the delays and detours, not to mention the benefits of scenic routes...).

And yes, I am developing several new web sites to debut before the end of 2011 - on topics ranging from spirituality to ETs to 2012 prophecies to solar flares...every bit as eclectic as me!

You will find more information on all upcoming events (and various and sundry other pursuits) on the web site for my business Lighted Bridge Communications.

Somewhere in the midst of all that I am doing, I will also find the time to update this blog in a new location, where I hope to finally reach out to more readers and interact with those who choose to comment. As a long-time discussion forum participant, the transition to blogging has been more daunting than I anticipated, but I do aim to continue when the time is right. In fact, apparently that time is now, as this highly impromptu entry was supposed to be only a few sentences! And now I find myself debating whether to add images...maybe later, as "Mom Duty" also calls in this moment...(if only I could create more time!)...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Evolution underway...

This blog is taking a rest while evolving...stay tuned!

Coming soon: SusanLarisonDanz.com

Monday, April 25, 2011

God's Will, My Will...or Our Will?

Many of us grew up with the concept of God's Will, a will completely independent of what we as individuals might want. If someone became sick, died suddenly or suffered any kind of loss or hardship, it was God's Will, the Will of an external, transcendent He.

God's Will wasn't really discussed too much in my home growing up since for the most part, we had a good life. Generally God's Will only comes up when things go wrong. But I certainly heard about the concept in church. And yes, there was also this notion of the Power of Prayer, but God's Will was paramount even then.

In my mid-teens I began to learn about the New Age movement gaining steam in the early 1980's. The New Age movement then and now was more about MY will than God's will. It accomplished that by expanding the definition of God, such that the two were inseparable. This was not an external God imposing "his" will. This was the God within Me.

On the surface, MY will alone sounds very attractive (note the pun ;-), but there is a problem. It may no longer be all about "HE" (as God was usually portrayed back then), but it can quickly become all about ME - conveniently forgetting that concept of the WE.

When we forget the reality of WE, we end up focusing on a much smaller concept of "god", not the much Greater Reality of GOD.

What if the truth is to be found somewhere in the middle?

I posted a conversation in this blog a while back regarding my questioning the Law of Attraction. Then in a rather impulsive move about a month ago, I deleted it. Yes, I'm guilty of deleting a post from this blog!

I have pondered whether to restore it, but an interesting thing happened when I first posted it. It actually began as a "rant" one day on Facebook, and I didn't necessarily intend to publish it at all. I hit the wrong button and it published itself.

Immediately I honored what seemed to be the Will of the Universe, publishing my post without my permission, and I allowed it to stand.

It was a rant that I truly wasn't ready to share, as this topic requires much more careful, thoughtful exploration. Whether "the Universe" chose to publish it or not, I chose to take it back. And maybe that was part of the point.

Yes, we do have the ability to choose on this planet, but the nature of choice is not so easily explained.

Whose will is actually in control?

Some will tell you it's all about ME.

I have come to know it's all about WE.

Yet so often when we emphasize the WE, we forget about the ME. Could it be that balance is the key?

I happen to be a believer in co-creation, as a huge part of that WE is God, Spirit, the Multiverse, the Creator, however you choose to phrase it. A huge part of that WE is also All of You.

There are going to be times when no matter how focused you are, things won't go the way you plan. That's because focusing on the day-to-day matters of Me can blind us to the higher purposes of the WE, whether that WE is a small group of people in your life, the entire planet, or the Multiverse. We exist and evolve as WE, not just as Me. We CO-create as WE, not create in a vacuum alone as Me.

Bury your head in the sand if you choose, but this planet is undergoing a major transition. If you are playing the "Me blame game", that transition is going to be uncomfortable for you.

Many of the familiar things we might think we would prefer to perpetuate are collapsing. Any number of things we might prefer not to happen are happening.

The old must pass away for the New to be born. The latest and greatest class on personal abundance being offered all over the internet isn't likely to halt the higher purposes of the WE.

So if you find yourself frustrated that your intent or prayer just doesn't seem to be working so well these days, relax. It's not all about YOU after all. Be comforted. Stop playing the blame game, especially if you have been told to entirely blame yourself.

Instead, how about embracing what we are co-creating as WE (with plenty of ultimate benefits for the ME)? It takes faith, trust and an empowered form of surrender to consciously participate in the WE.

Life on Planet Earth may not be quite what you've been told to expect in the moment, but it is generally evolving towards what WE have always planned it to be. Some of the personal details may be up to you and you alone, but not ALL of it, unless you think you live in an insulated box all by yourself.

And yes, there is indeed an empowered form of surrender, not quite the type of surrender we may have heard about as children. It too is all about WE, in conscious partnership with every Me.

(If you are troubled by the "blame game" occurring in so many circles on this planet, whether said to be due to lack of prayer or intent, listen to Healing the Wounds of Fear on The Frontier Beyond Fear radio program.)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Awakening my Authentic Voice (...Again!)

I'm going to take the symbolic opportunity of Easter to resurrect my voice in this blog. For too long, I have viewed writing here as a far more involved exercise than it needs to be, surprising since in the past I have been known to write pages and pages and pages (and even more pages) per week on the Oprah discussion forum.

I think much of the blockage has had nothing to do with this blog at all, as even on the Oprah forum I have grown silent.

It has to do with finding a way to express my authentic thoughts with honesty, yet in a way that I feel helps foster peace, not division.

Ultimately I realize that it has much to do with my intent. It is my intent to be an individual contributing in my own way to peaceful co-existence on the planet. Yet if I avoid honestly expressing my genuine thoughts, even openly exposing wounds I seek to heal, there is not much point in expressing myself at all.

We will not discover peace through suppression of authenticity. We will discover peace through seeking to understand authenticity, even when we don't completely agree.

So I'm awakening this blog and my spontaneous voice once again. I hope to visit here often in the days and weeks to come, free from excessive editing, just authentically me. I'll even include authentic unpolished pictures from my genuine Oregon garden.

I will keep this entry short (in itself a novel approach for this blog! :-), but I invite you to visit a radio program I created earlier today ~ a quiet, contemplative time in which I expressed my hopes in finding common ground as we explore powerful Easter messages, transcending the often contentious particulars of specific beliefs ~ Easter Reflections on Love and Transformation.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The End of Doublethink

I recently felt compelled to reread George Orwell's powerful novel 1984. Though it was a rather dark exercise, I was amazed at just how prophetic many parts of this 1949 novel have proven profoundly to be, particularly for the Old Earth, that fear-based, power-hungry world which is no longer sustainable.

Of course, Orwell didn't envision a happy ending, and I had forgotten the novel's raw brutality, not the sort of reading material I typically choose these days. I may speak of other themes in future blog entries, but what I want to focus most upon today is the concept of doublethink, described by Orwell as:

"The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them"


Doublethink is not at all new, but it is alive and well in our modern world. And today I find myself reflecting upon the concept as I ponder the impact and "spin" of the growing nuclear emergency in Japan.

In so many parts of the world, people have been quelled into believing that nuclear power is somehow "safe", yet I believe we can assuredly say that never has this actually been the case. The problem with nuclear power, as is being so vividly demonstrated in Japan, is that it may appear to work well when it's working, but when it spectacularly fails, the effects are so very catastrophic that it becomes abundantly clear why playing with fire is precisely that: playing with fire ~ even when the fire is contained 99% of the time.

"Safe" and nuclear power as we know it are ultimately mutually exclusive terms, and we can only begin to speculate regarding what the effects of this emergency will be. The pundits on TV have many different tales to tell, from alarmist to obediently dismissive.

Corporate beneficiaries apparently fear what a setback this will be for the entire industry, particularly in the skittish U.S. (and rightfully so, many of us more and more strongly believe). So-called "cleaner" forms of energy aren't so clean if their failure carries catastrophic contamination.

I well recall multiple nuclear facilities I observed during my time in the Midwest, and one wonders if they could withstand an F5 tornado, every bit as possible in some parts of the country as a tsunami or earthquake in others.

Clever spin control is unconvincing if you do your homework. As I heard on one network earlier today, telling us that a CT scan contains more radiation than what has been released so far isn't exactly comforting if you have followed the latest news regarding CT scans, a procedure used much too frequently, putting people (and especially children) far more at risk than they realize. Indeed as a recent MSNBC story described, "getting two or three CT scans of the abdomen expose you to the same amount of radiation as people who lived near the atomic blast that ravaged Hiroshima in 1945 but survived".

Even in this very moment as I speak, CNN in the background is reporting a blast and "white smoke rising" from yet another reactor in Japan.

So how are we to respond? Is fear the answer? Or is it a catalyst?

Many of us in the spiritual community have known for quite some time that to awaken, one must often be jarred from sleep. We have experienced this intensely on a personal level. And perhaps now it's finally time for the worldwide slumber to dramatically come to a global end.

Our slumber is coming to an end when we realize unethical, profit-focused corporate interests (not to be confused with the growing contingent of enlightened business leaders) have been taking the utmost advantage of doublethink to introduce any number of wonderful "advances", while paternalistically downplaying the health effects on the general populace or the Earth.

Indeed this includes the medical community's cavalier use of CT scans, repeated mammograms and extraneous expensive tests and surgeries, designer pharmaceuticals with risks far exceeding benefits, and countless products and food items with risks we would blissfully prefer not to know.

Doublethink kept almost everyone asleep as those consumed with greed in our financial sector robbed us blind, even now strategizing loopholes and finding other ways to keep the profits rolling in at the expense of consumers.

And the very term "jobless recovery" is the epitome of doublethink in two words combined, but we would prefer not to know the implications of worldwide economic woes, rising food and fuel prices and growing income disparities in the U.S., beginning to resemble more of a third world Banana Republic than the Land of the American Dream. We would rather not hear that our infrastructure is crumbling and our educational system failing.

Doublethink leads us to ignore the countless deaths due to lack of health coverage and the countless deaths due to over-aggressive, greedy or negligent treatment, quite a contradictory quandary we would prefer not to ponder at all.

We drink doublethink when we daily ingest polluted drinking water, whether from the tap or the bottle, and blithely ingest chemical-laden and addictive food in contaminated containers.

Doublethink has diverted our attention from the lingering contamination and illness in the Gulf (reminding us that other forms of energy production have their perils too).

We have been trained every bit as effectively as H.G. Wells' blissfully ignorant Eloi, dutifully serving our masters every day, not even aware of the slaughter among us, with stunningly increasing cancer rates, not to mention other diseases, telling the tale.

Doublethink has been used by many religions for centuries, somehow making the concept of a loving, yet unspeakably violent God palatable to those who can't see through the contradiction. And the most horrifying type of doublethink was no doubt in play when witches were burned, slaves were kept or ethnic cleansing was speciously justified so many times in the darker parts of our history.

Doublethink keeps us inevitably at war, just like in 1984, mistakenly thinking the often vengeful killing of others will lead to safety and security, with huge corporate war machines financed by doublethink itself, bleeding the very foundations of society into utter oblivion.

Doublethink helps us justify the ever more intrusive security procedures claiming to preserve the very way of life they inevitably destroy.

Doublethink keeps the people disempowered, when in fact the power of the individual is grand beyond measure.

Doublethink is comfortable in a highly contradictory way, indeed invoking doublethink itself to justify the conveniences of our modern world, with selective amnesia whenever it suits us or our overseers. Is doublethink really worth the price?

The darkness of doublethink is coming to an end. That's what happens when the world is jolted awake from its slumber.

There are those who will say that I am engaging in doublethink when I say I happen to have faith that a New Earth is dawning, when I happen to see the signs all around us that the old familiar world is passing away, signs foretold time and time again and becoming more obvious by the day. Faith is another form of doublethink altogether.

There is only one course for us now. A Quantum Leap in Evolution. As the symbolism and eerie reality of 2012 draw ever closer, this is about to become abundantly clear on the planet. Our only path is an expansion in Consciousness so profound that we transcend the old, broken ways forever.

Call this yet another form of doublethink if you like, but more and more of us are in the process of making it happen, no more doublethink than Dawn contradicts the darkness of the night.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Fall of the A-Write-ocracy?

This morning I relished with somewhat devilish delight a provocative opinion piece appearing in today's Huffington Post entitled New Rules for Writers: Ignore Publicity, Shun Crowds, Refuse Recognition and More.

Though some have speculated that this article may actually be satirical, it echoes many of the sentiments genuinely expressed by writers consciously choosing to bypass the disempowering aspects of those in the traditional writing establishment who are not enlightened or progressive enough to empower authors. I happen to know because I'm one such writer.

The push and pull of differing opinions on this topic come up regularly on weekly #writechat discussions on Twitter, with today no exception. In fact, last week, the topic was so very raw, afterwards I may have been the first to coin the new term "a-WRITE-ocracy" to describe the elitist attitudes that are unfortunately so commonplace in the established writing world, with the many writers in waiting circulating around its ivory palaces.

No matter how shrill the denials or condescending comments, there is no escaping the fact that a genuine writer's rebellion has been underway for so long, it is essentially a fait d'accompli.

The rebellion is actually not quite as revolutionary as we may think. Although not as accessible in the days of old, its seeds were already present in everything from cheap broadside ballads, chapbooks, almanacs and alternative news sources to the unconventional approaches of the talented 19th century Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.

Self-publishing is the writer's entrepreneurship, not all that different from the choice to seek freedom as an independent business owner instead of a paid employee. Self-publishing need not only describe the publishing of a book. It can also encompass many forms of online writing, from blogs to discussion forums to entire web sites.

Traditional publishing may carry its rewards, but so does freedom. As with progressive employers, the most progressive publishers will survive and thrive, but only those that emphasize the empowerment of a true co-creative partnership, only those that recognize that writers really do have legitimate choices these days.

In truth, nothing can silence the voice of a writer, whether assessed by some as "talented" or not. Free, unhindered expression is writing in its purest form. And no matter how forcefully some attempt to bar the gates from the threat of the "writing rabble", the true gatekeepers are now the readers, not the publishers.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Does "Darth Vader" Qualify for the Shift?

A long, long time ago in my youth far away, I spent many a day reflecting on the first "Star Wars" trilogy, a young person (and admitted "Star Wars" geek) already on a spiritual path much clearer to me now than it was then.

And what perhaps reached me most as the first (and best) trilogy drew to a close was the story of Darth Vader, a villain ultimately not vanquished by vengeance, but redeemed by Love, in the end shown healed and restored, shining in radiant angelic brilliance, in harmony with his fellow Jedi Masters.

What is so very remarkable if you ponder this outcome is how the need for retribution was not a factor in the least, nor was the demand for "just" punishment of his crimes. In the story, Darth Vader was responsible for the brutal, callous deaths of many. Yet in the end, there is only Transformation, a transformation so very profound and powerful, a redemption so instantaneous, that all we can do is cheer.

The story of "Darth Vader" holds a very special lesson, one that only enhances the underlying "Star Wars" theme of finding the hero within.

Ultimately it is the story of Transformation, the story of the Shift.

In the end, it was the enduring, unconditional Love of a son that was the catalyst of Transformation for the "evil" father, who turned out not to be quite so "evil" after all.

And this is what I believe the Shift awaiting Humanity is actually all about. There are those who claim that the Shift will only be available to those who qualify, those who hold enough Love in their hearts at a particular point in time. Even though I have dear friends and mentors who insistently assert this is the case, the concept has never resonated with me, not for a moment.

Something that bothers me about the partial shift theory is the fear it ignites in some of its followers, not to mention the almost irresistible sense of vindication so familiar in our fear-based world. There are those who attempt to justify the theory in love-based ways, but to me, it's just another version of "Left Behind", a tale I know well from the teachings of my youth.

When the Shift truly takes hold, I believe there will be no need to convince the Darth Vaders of the world why Transformation is the One and Only Way. They will know already. They will simply know. And as another line in "Star Wars" conveys, they will realize that somehow they have always known.

For there is no path so dark that it cannot be instantly illuminated by the Light. Many tears of Joy will be shed on that day, a day so very revolutionary that even forgiveness itself will be transcended.

One of the most difficult questions we face in the world is why "evil" occurs and how to deal with it. If you choose to empower "evil" like the Dark Side of the Force, then what follows is Fear. And if you choose to live in a world of punishment and retribution, the fear-inspired vengeance goes on and on and on in seemingly endless cycles of pain. The same is true of "justice" based in punishment instead of rehabilitation.

But if you choose to empower and embrace Love instead, if you choose to accept that nothing is more powerful than Love, if you choose to understand that unconditional Love is the ONLY foundation that matters, it is then, only then, that you understand why "evil" is no more than an illusory nightmare of Fear.

Like Luke "Skywalker", I choose to walk a path above the fray. I choose to walk above vengeance and fear. Even forgiveness is eventually superseded on this path because I know some day, there will no longer be anything left to forgive. There will only be the Peace and Joy of the current moment.

Forgiveness is all about the past. True transformation reveals itself in the moment. It does not account for wrongs yesterday or long ago. Unconditional Love doesn't work that way. Unconditional Love first forgives, then miraculously heals, making the events of the past immaterial to the present.

When we celebrate Darth Vader's ultimate rise to the Light, the past is gone. All that exists at the end is the radiant Now. When you can consider every "Darth Vader" who has ever walked this Earth miraculously transformed and restored, it is then that I believe you will truly understand what the Shift is all about.

In peace,
Susan Larison Danz

Note: For more on this topic, listen to today's "The Frontier Beyond Fear" Blog Talk Radio broadcast Shifting Darth Vader.


Darth Vader Footsteps photo released under a Creative Commons 2.0 license from Wikimedia Commons. "Star Wars" quotes from "Star Wars Episode VI - Return of the Jedi" (1983).