Kate Sitka graciously guest hosts today’s post. As always, it’s wonderful and fun. I have shingles–on my freaking face of all things. Can you believe that! It happened probably due to my eye operations. It’s not uncommon to contact shingles post-operatively. Plus being in my 50s, stress, blah, blah, blah.
Do you guys like the new phone mobile app for Channeling Erik? Does it work?
Alms for the poor – really dude?
Hey Erik! (aww, he bounces in with a hug) I just read the alms for the poor entry, aaaaaand I think I’m gonna give you a bit of a hard time about it. (here’s the link: PART ONE)
Okay, background: Where I grew up, in Northern Ontario, it was too friggin’ cold to be homeless. NO ONE slept on the street, even in the summer, unless you were a teenager who partied all night and just didn’t go home.
When I moved to Toronto, I was SHOCKED at how many people were begging in the streets.
I donated to the United Way when I could afford it, but I developed this idea that giving to people begging on the streets was like feeding seagulls – it’d just make the problem worse.
Then I moved out here, to Tofino. Holy Hoppin’ Homelessness! I’ve NEVER seen so many homeless people in my entire life!!! But homelessness out here has a completely different cast than the streets of Toronto. Here, people are homeless by design, by desire, by lifestyle choice.
They taught me that a home doesn’t reflect a person’s worth to the world, it just reflects their choices – and that the choices an individual makes is based upon their needs at the time. The “problem” is really a judgment. The assessment of a problem is based on the judgment / statement that these people “should” be doing something different, when really, everyone does exactly what they need to be doing.
So now that I’ve done my little monologue, Erik, this is where I bring this question: Where does the “should” belong in this sentence?
You’re asking me where should you put the should? (laughs)
Yeah, and that’s a dumb question right?
I can’t believe your whole speech was building to that question. Can I make an observation? (Sure)
You’re always going to be looking at other people through your own eyes, right? No matter how much you think about it, any perspective you can wrangle is ALWAYS going to be your perspective. So part of accepting other people in where they’re at is also accepting yourself in where YOU are at, and understanding that a BIG part of how you see homeless people is actually how you judge and view yourself.
And how the fuck are you autocorrecting me now???
(Erik just noticed that the translation of his messages is shockingly obscenity-free, so he made a good point of saying “fuck” clearly in my ear, so I’d write it.)
I actually didn’t do it on purpose, dude. I think my brain’s translation program modified the harshness somehow. Like, if it’s not important to the sentence in terms of emphasis my brain is dropping the cursing.
(Erik shows me mopping hospital floors, like I’m sanitizing his words.) Does it really bother you?
Well, it doesn’t bother me really, but people who are reading (my translations) in a few different places use the curse words to ground / connect with me, and some people might not think it’s actually me if you’re dropping the (flowery f-bombs – this was translated by him giving me a blooming flower, and the letter F written on an atom bomb that was dropped and exploded.)
Very cool visual, did you do that retro sixties thing on purpose? The flower children and the atom bomb?
Well you hang out with enough dead hippies, you pick up shit like that!
Okay, well there’s something that didn’t exactly sit right with me about that Alms for the Poor thing, and maybe it’s just what I’m bringing to the table here, but when you talk about people making a choice to be homeless, is there a judgment there?
Well, for some people yeah, there is. How you read that, it’s like reading my brain – it’s all in the translation. So if you’re seeing a judgment in that, why is that? Who are you judging?
Well, I guess I sense some implication there that there is a correct and incorrect choice, and that the “correct” choice is to participate and contribute to society, not leach off of it.
A lot of homeless people I spoke with saw themselves as victims or powerless, and as a powerless victim, they were entitled to these services that our society provides. But the nomadic folks who travel around and never file tax returns, a lot of them choose it for the freedom from obligation.
Yeah, it’s a different set of restrictions though, like if you don’t have a job you’re not buying a lot of food selling your art made of seashells n’ driftwood n’ shit. You’re making money pickin’ weed, or selling crack – and it’s a slippery fuckin’ slope in some cases. (Shows me a dog digging up a human spinal column from a shallow grave – actually it’s more of a pit in a dump with a bunch of stuff piled on top of it.)
So yeah, I am fuckin’ judgmental when I look at that shit and go “DON’T DO THAT!” Sometimes it’s okay to shout that shit out, because it shows you fuckin’ care what happens to people. And I do care! I don’t want (beautiful, happy people) running on the highway to fuckin’ murder and drug rings and human trafficking. IT’S FUCKED UP! So yeah, if a little moralizing will keep people out of the shallow grave in the garbage dump, so fucking sue me.
A lot of the point of providing these services is to keep people out of the city morgue. So if we’re going to provide these services, why is there a judgment factor wrapped up in there? Like anyone collecting welfare or disability, or those harm reduction clinics where heroin addicts can get clean needles. Am I wrong in sensing a “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” tone in that entry?
Yeah, you are wrong babe! Got your panties in a wad for nothing.
Hey, stay out of my pants. (wink)
Notta chance! Ha ha! But yeah, you know how church started? It never started with a bunch of power-hungry assholes scaring the shit out of people – that came later. It started because every once in a while, there’d be some dude who would see shit n’ misery, and he’d have the nuts to stand on a hill and shout “DON’T FUCKIN’ DO THAT!!! STOP IT! AAAAHH!”
(puts on his Moses robes) Lo, the people did hear his moralizing. (Shows me people shaking fingers at each other.) And it was good.
Erik, did you see the Sid Viscious entries I did from last year? (http://psychicintraining.com/2012/05/24/sid-tough-love-is-bullshit/)
The part I really hung on to was when Sid said, “If you see a junkie, begging on the street, and you know any money you give ‘em will go straight up their arm, just give them a five spot. Just give it to them, grant them the humanity.”
What do you think about that? Like, do you agree with Sid?
Sid is like, speaking his own truth. (shrugs)
I guess I really hung on to it because I really worry about “humanity”. The concept of humanity and being humane to each other and ourselves. It’s what drives my whole blog, actually. I red-flag anything that separates us, people, from our “humanity”, and judgment is a big separation! So I have to question it if I feel like there’s moralizing / judgement set before me as spiritual guidance. I have to gife you some guff about it.
(AHEM! Clears throat) Wow, remember I am not some New Jesus walking around telling folks how to be. I am not. Not not not not not not not not not – (okay I get it!)
So I’ll tell you where I think the “should” DOESN’T belong, it doesn’t belong in a sentence like “You should / should not give to these people.” Seriously, that’s what taxes are for. You know how I’ve been goin’ on about taking care of our people at home first, before tryin’ to save the rest of the world?
Well, I heard your rant yesterday (that’s a long story) about malaria and how there’s no excuse for people to be suffering and dying from stupid, cheaply-curable stuff when we (people in “first world” countries) are SO INSANELY WEALTHY that even our homeless are fed and have healthcare.
That’s a giant “should”, baby.
And I agree with you, just for the record. HELL YEAH there ain’t no place for needless suffering, except when there is. So that’s part of the point of the (alms for the poor) thing, is to recognize and respect people for choosing what they need to do, even if you’re yelling at them to get off of that highway of death. There’s love in doing that, because at least a part of their soul understands that you care. That (compassion) makes an impact, even when it’s getting’ chucked at someone’s back.
So if you want a “should” I’ll tell ya you SHOULD keep on thinking like that.
Dude, this entry is confusing.
I am a brilliant and complex man! Try and keep up.
It’s just that you’re gonna nail me down for saying anything like “people should or shouldn’t do this” with regards to homeless people, and all I’m doing is (taps my chest at the sternum) You gotta check yourself before you mess yourself, you know what I’m sayin’?
Like, what determines your “should” is where you are at, as a soul (individual). Love each other an’ all that hippie shit, but for the fucking love of god, LOVE YOURSELF FIRST.
Cause you’re no good to anyone if you’re not takin’ care of yourself. That’s really more the point (of the entry) than anything else. Be the change you want to see in the world, Peace starts from within, do I need to go get Gandhi? You know we interviewed him, right?
I DIDN’T know that! I’m gonna go look it up.
Okay, I searched the blog for “Ghandi” and found Erik was directing me to this interview with Edgar Cayce:
Edgar: Working on life comes out of people in many different ways – when they work on a blog [he says “blog” with a funny look on his face, as if the word is out in his mouth and tastes weird], when they work on a book, when they are writing a sermon. Working on their lives is the most important role for their time in this space. Working on their lives is the most important role for their time and space. This time in their life on earth can be short (such as Erik) or their time in life on earth can be long (such as Ann Finegan, Carol’s grandmother – or Ghandi or Mother Teresa). Their time on earth is relative to the time they have to give in other realms. Each plays a role in interpreting the wave lengths of the continuum. The continuum shares its wavelengths of relative experiences with souls when they are in the human form. The energy that surrounds us in our human lives takes us on a journey.[Erik is sitting on a stool, picking his non-existent fingernails – but listening intently – nodding every once in a while in agreement].
The energy moves us towards and around our relevant selves. It keeps us in line and not in line. We move with grace and joy (when we are pleasantly surprised with the tasks in life). When we are not pleasantly surprised, when our emotions catch up to the human nature of grief and anxiety, we fight the relevance of our tasks.
We are resigned to do something – instead of acceptance of our tasks. When acceptance replaces resignation, then, and only then, do we find grace and peace. With acceptance of our relevance we find the path towards the light.
Erik is still insisting you actually did do an interview with Ghandi – is that true Elisa?
The journey on which you’re about to embark will take you through stories that are deeply personal and involves a relationship between a mother and her son.
As a physician raised by two atheists, I had no personal belief system about life after death. In a word, I was a confirmed skeptic. As my journey progressed, my mind opened. It is my sincerest hope that yours will open as well and that you will have a greater understanding of your own life and what’s to come ahead.
Although Erik sometimes paints a rosy picture of the afterlife, time and time again he stresses that suicide is not the answer to one’s problems. If you struggle, please understand that the information in my blog and my book is no substitute for professional help. Please click here for a list of resources for help when you find yourself considering taking your own life. Know that they are readily available when you feel that hopelessness and despair that many of us feel from time to time in our lives.
I refuse all donations and ad revenue on the blog. It is my dream to one day establish a nonprofit organization that delivers a variety of spiritual services for those who have lost loved ones to suicide and cannot afford that assistance on their own. It’s a mission of love, sacrifice, and dedication.
Love and light,