Whatever I want, I cannot have.
In a program at the Monroe Institute, I learned a powerful lesson: “Whatever I want, I cannot have.”
The Institute is an amazing place. Its mission is to explore human potential, to learn for ourselves how much more we are than mere matter.
The core of the experience is first-hand learning. Ask questions. Challenge yourself. Challenge what others have told you. Question some more. Find more answers. Test them. Repeat.
Part of the magic is the Institute’s sound technology. Part is the beautiful rural setting, away from the hubbub of life. The largest part comes in the magic of the group of people who come together to share the week. And I do mean magic.
It is more than a collection of individuals. Often – very often in my experience – the groups are and were connected in magical ways before they ever arrived, though they had never physically met or ever heard of one another.
But, as I say, I eventually realized that “Whatever I want, I cannot have.”
Though I saw this in practice in myself and others repeated time and again, it took me half a dozen programs to put it into words. The core of it was realizing that the wanting of something, of anything, triggers powerful emotions and thoughts. Both are important.
By getting caught in that wanting, that desire, that insistence, I was trapped. So too were the others in the groups – trapped by their wants, as I was by mine.
In becoming focused on the wanting, I, and they, could not let go. I was trapped in my mind’s patterns. I was locked in on remembering what was, or what I desired, or what I insisted must be.
It was only when I could finally let go of that wanting that I could truly explore and find truth.
In 1984 at the very young age of 26, my dear sweet sister Shawn died of primary Addison’s disease. No one dies of Addison’s anymore. Her death was one of the greatest tragedies of my life and my families. It shattered us all. Shawn was a poet and an artist. And we lost her so early.
I had an unusual form of arthritis that was trying its utmost to kill me. It had nearly succeeded several times by then. Then Shawn died. How was this possible? Why her and not me? I was shattered.
When I first went to the Institute in 1995, I went because I was fascinated by the brain and the mind, as well as hard science of all kinds and the esoteric as well. Here they were researching all of that – together. Little did I know then how much my life would be changed.
What I did not realize is that in going I was searching for Shawn. That wanting haunted me both in life, and in my time at the Institute. I tried many times to “find her”, with no success. Others succeeded in finding ones they loved. I did not. Why? For a while, I set that aside.
In a Guidelines program I had an experience with an Owl in my visions. Nothing that happened told me anything directly. But I knew with absolute certainty that my cousin Kristi was dying. I was distraught. When I got home I called her mom and her and we talked. About a month later she was diagnosed with cancer. From then and for the next year I spoke with Kristi every night.
We talked a lot about my experiences at the Institute, about life, about healing, and about death. Kristi was an astounding young woman. She, her cousin Yvonna, and my sister were the best of friends. And like my sister Shawn, Kristi died young at age 27. Her life in that final year was glorious.
About a year after her death I was back again at the Institute in another Guidelines program. The group was amazing. It included two dancers from Paris.
As the program went along, I found myself in Paris on a particular street beside a café late in the evening. I had thought that I must be in Paris for some reason related to the two dancers. That wasn’t it at all.
In the next exercise, I found myself back in Paris. I heard someone behind me. When I turned around, it was Kristi. I was both overjoyed and overwhelmed with emotion. We could only talk for a brief time before I emotionally lost it and came back to full consciousness with tears running down my cheeks.
In the third exercise of the morning, I found myself back in Paris again. This time I was not surprised to find Kristi. We had a fuller conversation. Toward the end she surprised me by saying she had someone she wanted me to meet. She took me around the corner. There sitting at a table outside the café on the late evening streets of Paris was my sister Shawn. Even now 22 years later, I am overwhelmed with emotion just remembering that encounter.
I had “forgotten” that I was looking for her. Oh my! I cannot even begin to tell you how important that was, or how deeply it affected me. I can barely see to write this through the tears.
In time in that program and later ones I met Shawn many times.
As I thought about all of that and so many other instances I realized that in wanting so badly to find Shawn that I had become trapped in my own thoughts and feelings about her here in the physical. I was entirely unable to let go enough to actually go find her. And then through two diversions – the two dancers¬, and my cousin Kristi, I finally did find her.
“Whatever I want, I cannot have.” For it is in the very wanting that I am trapped and blinded, and thereby prevented from finding the very thing I want, the thing I most desire.
I am ever mindful now of that lesson. When I get stuck, I stop and ask myself – what am I wanting so badly that I am stuck?
I have found this truth has wider application. It extends to beliefs, especially deeply engrained ones, and to lessons learned in school and life. Often those are subtly wrong, or even seriously flawed. But in being trapped into believing they are true, in accepting them, I am and we are trapped.
Recognizing that, I have learned to let go. Let go of the beliefs that bind me. It is then that the magic truly happens.