ART : Anna Pugh
Steven Trevor Rich: On Spiritual Death and the Hero’s Journey
Everyone should be familiar with the ‘Hero’s Journey’. It has been written about by Joseph Campbell and others. And it has been the central theme of some of the most popular movies of all time. Star War’s Luke Skywalker comes to mind, but then there is Harry Potter and my favorite blue hero in Avatar. We are all on a hero’s journey, and with this journey comes spiritual death, followed by eventual rebirth.
It feels like I have died more than I would have liked to in this life. The last one happened in 2012. My wife and I had driven into the Texas hill country for that much anticipated cosmic event, whatever was to happen, or not. We were sitting atop a granite mountain on the morning of December 21st, just breathing and meditating. And it wasn’t long before I was overcome, not with rapture or release, but all the usual signs of a sudden flu. Good ol’ ascension flu.
I spent the next few days in bed. When we returned home I didn’t get much better; I would be sick for 6 long weeks. Along with the sickness I was depressed, apathetic, and disappointed. Sure, the lack of collective ascension was disappointing, but I hadn’t honestly expected that the whole world would be magically lifted into the heavenly realms all in a day. I had hoped for upliftment, a great clearing of energy, a feeling of joy, release!
But what I was feeling now was a profound grief, like I was mourning a death of something or someone very close to me. It was crushing at times, and aggravated by the various channels who congratulated us on our great victory and on all the new happy, fluffy, joyous energy that now enveloped all of us. From a perspective of the higher realms, we had all ascended. It was a done deal, they said – only our human minds could not perceive or feel it yet. Yeah, that was a big help.
I can see now that it was a spiritual death I was experiencing. Not just a death process for me alone, but for the collective as a whole. Perhaps there are those of us who are here to hold space for that death. We were feeling the death of the old paradigm, the death of the 3rd D. As with any death, there is no way around the grieving process, no sidestepping allowed. We must embrace the pain, feel it deeply and transmute it, before letting it go.
Ascension hadn’t happened for me, nor for anyone else I knew. I was lucky enough to have had an experience of it twelve years ago and that is what I long for again.
I was living on Maui, working as a hiking leader and doing rainforest tours. One day I awoke and I was different—very different. You could call it Christ consciousness, or what I would rather call ‘ heart consciousness’ on a very high level. I was love in body. I saw how everything was connected, and how we are all family within the One. I was in bliss, yet able to function in top form. I felt the power of being tapped into something that held all life in its loving embrace. I felt great humor in it, too. If a question came to mind, it was answered simultaneously. Such is that level of elevated consciousness, where all is simply awareness.
Our country was in the early years of the Iraq war and there was fierce negativity aimed at Bush and his cronies by people from all over the world. I remember seeing how Bush was connected to it all, and the awareness came to mind as it embraced me. “He agreed to play this part,” Awareness said. “He is a brave soul to take on this role and be the receiver of so much hate and darkness. He is playing his role well, don’t you agree?” I did. I smiled at that. I even loved him for it! Ahh – cute and cuddly Georgie Bush.
And in that state of consciousness that had come upon me so quickly, I knew that my judgments had evaporated just a suddenly. My fears were gone, my negativity in all its numerous forms was gone. And the brilliant thing was, in that elevated state of consciousness I simply had no access to it! There was just nothing to struggle against within myself, nothing to release; because I had no access to anything but love, compassion, understanding and joy. Life was gonna be amazing!
Three days later I woke up normal again. I went on, reluctantly, sad and baffled as to where the awareness went, and more frustrated in not knowing why or how it came awake in the first place. How could I get it back? I was pissed at President Bush. I was back in that 3D consciousness with all the other poor souls. Many years have passed and now I see it as a glimpse into the future, a gift of my higher self, and I am grateful.
A few years later I died again. I had been living and working in South Africa. I was the only American, white and much older than my peers, to be doing safari guiding in Kruger National Park. I had invested my life savings in relocation and formal training. What I had managed to pull off in my career was a kind of miracle. Like a pro quarterback playing in the Super Bowl at age 50. It had been the fulfillment of a dream that I had carried since childhood and I was gonna squeeze every ounce of life out of it.
I lived in a tent, with no electricity, no internet or TV, but plenty of elephants, lions and rhino to keep me company. The bush was raw and primordial, deadly and beautiful. It sang to my soul with the voices of birds and hyena. The night sky was vast and blasted with stars. I owed nothing and owned nothing but what was in my duffle bag, and I was happy. I was 9 months into my work when things unraveled.
It all just ended very suddenly. Circumstances and politics beyond my control forced me to leave the country. I lost my job, my career, my childhood dream and all my money. I returned to the US a broken man; 48 years old, deeply depressed, unemployed, in debt and living on a couch in a back room of my parent’s condo.
Everything I had believed in was shattered; all my spiritual and metaphysical beliefs about ‘creating my own reality’ and ‘always being guided’ and all being ‘in divine order’, now just made me more angry and depressed. Had I really created this for myself? I had believed with all my heart that when you set aside fear to live your dream, that the universe jumps in to support your dream. I am still sorting that one out!
I would love to say that the rebirth was worth it, but in many ways it is still in process. I am still grieving that death, but am reborn at the same time. I guess that has to do with time being non-linear! Six years later, I have a lot to be thankful for; a beautiful wife that shows me nothing but patience and unconditional love, wonderful family and friends who love me, and a beautiful new home. I take it a day at a time and I am different every day. My life of adventure is set aside for now, my existence very suburban. I work at a mundane job in a grocery store. And I experience and feel the spiritual death of the collective illusion as it gets broken apart by waves.
Every morning I wake up, get my coffee and read Golden Age of Gaia. I look forward to the positive, uplifting messages that are always found there. Sometimes I relate to the messages and often I don’t. I look for the shifts within myself and find that I am much the same as I was two years ago. I have no great insights and no emerging buds of creativity. I still have a difficult time feeling any joy. But I have little if any drama to deal with, and believe me, I’m not complaining about that. If I was ever called to take on some mission in these times I am still unaware of it. I feel like I’m in God’s waiting room and I’ve read all the magazines.
What keeps me going these days are my fleeting ascension experiences and the words spoken to me by Archangel Michael many years ago now. It happened in a channeled reading back when I was living in Sedona. As always, I was looking for my purpose or mission, or indeed any reason for being on earth.
I asked what I could do for a job or career that would help me feel fulfilled and happy.
Michael didn’t even pause before he replied, “ Nothing.”
I thought he must be kidding. “Nothing?” I scoffed. “You’re telling me that there is nothing in this world that I could be happy doing?”
He shook his head and smiled. “No, beloved soul. There is nothing in this lower dimensional world that will make you truly happy. Because you are not from here!”
He smiled knowingly at me and continued, “But know this: that you have encoded within your being a fail-safe system. We have heard your collective cries and we are coming, beloved soul. There will come a time and a particular set of circumstances when you will fully awaken to who and what you be. And what is that? A god, beloved soul. A creator of worlds!”
Until that moment – and it can be a sudden moment, I will hang on, because I have seen and felt what is awaiting us all. Ascension doesn’t have to be difficult, and it may come as a thief – make that an angel – in the night.
It’s as easy as waking up to a new day.
Blessings – Steven Trevor Rich
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