I can’t lie. Yesterday was not easy. Yet another birthday without my son. These dates, his birthday and death anniversary, really never seem to get easier. There’s still so much sadness in my heart as I light the candles he’ll never blow out and sing that song that he’ll only hear from that invisible realm he’s in. I can’t see him smile along or cringe when we’re off key. Still, he can’t blame me for the notes I missed. It’s hard to sing when you cry. God, how much I miss him.
Me: How are you, Erik?
Me: Of course you are.
Robert: A lot of time he wears the same thing when I see him. It’s like this shirt with blue sleeves, kind of like a baseball jersey/
Me: My god. That’s the shirt he died in. Oh my god. Three-quarter length sleeves?
Me: Erik, you could at least come to the party wearing something else?
Erik shrugs his shoulders
Robert: He just put a cap on, and he kind of turned it to the side just a little bit.
Me: Yeah, that’s how he wore them. You wearing jeans, Erik?
Robert: He’s picking his nose, and he was admiring whatever came out of it!
Trying to get a rise out of his mom, of course.
Erik (looking up): Huh?
Robert: He is wearing jeans.
Time to move on.
Erik: Mom, I want to talk about addiction.
Robert: Is that on your list?
Me: Yeah. Self-sabotaging addictions in general. Substance abuse, self-mutilation, eating disorders, etc.
Erik: They’re all rooted in the same thing.
Me: There are so many people who suffer from these self-destructive behaviors. Why do people do this to themselves?
Erik (as if about to announce something earth-shattering) Bum, bum, BUM! It’s scarcity.
Me: Scarcity of?
Erik: Scarcity, in general, creates all kinds of things that humans might label as self-destructive. What is scarcity? It’s feeling like there’s never enough of something. You’re not enough, for instance. When it comes to self-mutilation, it could be that what you feel isn’t’ enough, so hurt yourself to feel pain, cuz maybe that will be enough. Or that kind of behavior might come from not feeling like the family you were born into is enough. When it comes to addiction—
Me: And it’s probably all addiction.
Erik: Yeah. Some people feel like their feelings are too much. Nope. That’s not it. It’s because there is something in your life that you feel like is not enough. Your feelings, which might in some cases drive you to become addicted to something, are just telling you that something in your life is out of sync. You need to look at it. What happens is a lot of people focus on what’s immediately in front of them, which is how they feel. Then, like in the case of addiction, they want to self-medicate. Like you said, all this kind of stuff is an addiction, cutting, getting involved in bad relationships, all of it. It’s an addiction to scarcity, and scarcity is fear based, chaos based.
Me: And scarcity is an illusion, right?
Erik: Scarcity is an illusion, but it’s there to serve us. It’s there to help us move forward and evolve. By the way, I have a new word to use when it comes to lessons.
Erik: We use the word, “lessons” a lot, and we know, inherently, what it means, but to expand on that, what a lesson really is is it’s giving you the opportunity to adapt, because adaptability is what’s really driving our evolution. You have to adapt to move forward.
Me: To adapt to what?
Erik: To whatever it is in front of you and to do it in a way that doesn’t create suffering for you or for someone else.
Me: Ah! Okay.
Erik: You gotta be, in energy or spiritual terms, a chameleon.
Me: So, we talked about why people self-mutilate, and part of that, I’m sure, is for getting attention, right?
Erik: Yeah, and there’s the power behind having a secret. Some people do it because it’s a type of control that they can exert over their own physical body. “I can control when I hurt.” That gives you the opportunity to see your own power. You’re using it in a fucked up way, in my opinion, but… So in these cases, there’s a perceived scarcity of control or the privacy that you get from having control of your own thoughts and actions.
Me: What about substance abuse? Any other reasons for that?
Erik: I can go into all sorts of reasons, but ultimately people pursue it because they see what’s directly in front of them, and that’s the feelings that they feel, right?
Me: Mm hm.
Erik: These feelings can be the result of an experience that they may have had or didn’t have. There are other reasons. Maybe they got introduced to it because of their friends. That’s a peer pressure thing. In that case, when you see those friends doing what you’re not doing, you think you don’t have that. Scarcity. You don’t have enough, so you go and do it. It all boils down to that. That’s the thing about all this spiritual shit. It all comes down to something very, very simple. It becomes complicated because of al the different variations we create around that simple root.
Me: For example?
Erik: For instance, with cutting you might do it for the reasons we talked about like having a secret, controlling something.
Me: What are the most common reasons, under the entire umbrella of scarcity, for substance abuse?
Me: Of course there can be a genetic component to it, right?
Erik: The cool thing about genetics is that sometimes you come here spiritually with your genes wired in a certain way because that’s the other part that allows the lessons to unfold, but genes can be changed by what you experience, and experiences can be external to yourself or internal things that you feel.
Interesting that he should bring this up because I just learned that PTSD can actually change the genes related to the way corticosteroids affect parts of the brain.
Erik: All of that is controlled by consciousness, itself. Consciousness makes all of this possible. Some people might ask, “What does consciousness mean?” It means to be able to experience something. Part of being able to experience something involves the act of creation.
Robert: I know he’s trying so hard to come up with the right words because he’s showing me different things.
Me: Are you getting a lot of images from him?
Robert: Yeah, because he’s trying to filter through it, to think of something more simplistic.
For us simple minded people!
Erik: The simplest explanation I can think of for consciousness is to be able to experience something. It’s really not just about being self-aware because there are certain types of consciousness that aren’t in the way that humans describe it. I guess I could add “self-awareness in the way that humans express it.” Just because we express self-awareness in a certain way doesn’t mean that’s the universal definition for it. Self-awareness can exist without knowing who you are.
What rabbit hole is he taking us down?
Robert: He’s kind of showing me the way self-awareness works on a universal force level.
Erik: This isn’t going to sound like self-awareness, but it’s the best way I can put it. Think about a rock sitting in a field. This kind of goes back to a lot of philosophy shit.
Erik: So the rock is sitting in a field, and it kind of gets in the way of the grass growing around it. Then the grass has to grow in a different way because that rock is there. Or the rock might be sitting in a desert, and the wind has to go around it. That’s a type of, For instance, out in space, in our own solar system before the earth came along—there was a lot of shit floating around out there—it all seemed so random, but interstellar wind might throw a certain rock off course. That interaction between those things, which does take self-awareness, pushes that rock in a new direction just a little bit. Then, it pushes another rock off course, then another rock, and then another rock, and eventually you have the earth which wouldn’t be here if those collisions didn’t occur. There’s an awareness involved.
Stay tuned for Part Two Wednesday!