August 7, 2005

Samuel:  Well greetings, dears.

Greetings, Samuel.

S: I think that Oma should be running circles around the room right now. Your energy looks lovely. Are you doing all right? A very nice difference. Not to say that I’ve not appreciated your energy usually, but most of the time it’s not spiking around the room like it is right now. So, that’s lovely.

How is life going for you?


S: Good.

Spiking around the room.

S: It’s my intention tonight to talk to you to talk to you about crisis. And the reason that I’m wanting to talk about that is because so many of you have been of late touched by crisis. And although every life has times in which things are going better than others, they’re not something that you would automatically refer to as a crisis, whereas what I am referring to is exactly that.

Although I am talking about the touch you’ve had of crisis, my focus is not defining the crisis—I’m getting tired of saying that word; I might need a few to put in instead—it’s defining, hopefully, things you can do about it, such as insuring that you don’t continue to have it. And the reason is because, as you will remember from last month, we’re talking about new things opening up in your life. And with new things opening up in your life, making decisions, making the right decisions, ways to enjoy your life, and as is so often the case when doors start opening, people get afraid. When choices have to be made, people’s security issues start coming up, and these are the ancestors of crisis: fear; security issues. So perhaps this night we will get around to talking about all of those things thus far.

[I’m] going to begin however with just a small bit of a lead-in about an important earth holiday that has either just passed or is almost here, depending on which calendar you’re working with. What would that be?


S: Lughnassadh, yes. And what, pray tell, is Lughnassadh?

First harvest.

S: First harvest. Nice. First harvest. Maybe in this day and age, third or fourth by now. Somewhat different in a world that has—let’s see if I come out with this word correctly—agribusiness. Is that a word?


S: All right. In a world with agribusiness, not particularly flowing on the planet’s natural time scheme, you don’t have just one or two major harvests a season, do you? You pretty well have them figured out all along.

Who here is planting or has planted a garden? Many of you. All right, then this might not be very hard to answer. When did you start harvesting?

May and June for the cool-weather crops.

S: Cool-weather crops. Such as?


S: And is that implying that you plant certain crops that will be able to manage the conditions of the time, and because they do well in cool weather, they grow and produce, and you have the availability to replant with warm-weather crops afterwards? Aye, take note of that. That’s a very important thing to remember.

So early on you were starting in April and May.

Actually, March.

S: March.

You turn the soil at the beginning of March. Early.

S: So in the early part of spring you begin preparing the ground, and you plant those hardy things that can manage a little bit of cold. You harvest them. You plant another crop altogether. And is there even another one that might come after that?


S: Sure. And how long does that process go on in a home garden?

Until frost.

S: Until frost, which with global warming and . . .

About six months in total.

S: About six months of planting and harvesting. Lughnassadh is all about planting what is needed, harvesting what you get. Now, did you get that just now? You plant what is needed. “All right, it’s cold weather time. I’m going to plant . . .“

Broccoli, cabbage.



S: I’m going to plant such things as that, and when you harvest, well, maybe you’ll get those things. Depending upon how good you are at the process, maybe you won’t. And when you get those things, anybody ever find something you did not plant in your garden? Oh, a whole lot of you have. What’s that about?


S: Volunteers. I like “volunteers.” And how does the volunteer get there?


S: Compost.

Bird droppings.

S: Or a bird flew over and dropped little seeds.

I have some flowers that are planted each year because they don’t winter, but I have found them growing and left over from a previous summer.

S: Aye, when they bloomed and created seeds and dropped the seeds, but the ground did not freeze them out. Instead, they have come up without you having to plant. Lovely, lovely, lovely.

All of the old earth holidays, all of them, were physical manifestations of an internal process. So that Lughnassadh, just as any of the other particular holidays, is all about a process you are going through in your own life, and although it’s not my intention to go through a whole lot of correspondences here with it, I want you to think for a few moments about planting what you need, and what’s involved in doing that, including the process of figuring out what you’re going to plant and why; including preparing the soil; including what’s needed to help that seed grow up; and harvest.

Your life is filled with many different spring times. Not just once a year, a few months that represent the season, but in a whole lot of ways, every day. What might be the equivalent of springtime in a day?


S: Morning time, probably, yes. Perhaps for you it’s when you get up, because that’s when you’re thinking about what you’re going to do for that day, and you have your routines that are preparing your self for getting out into the world and blooming with what you do. And a whole lot of times, as you are farming your life, you find that what you planted is not going nearly as well as what you did not plant. And that’s where crisis shows up. But I’ll get back to that in a bit.

When you’re looking at something you did not plant, or maybe it’s something you planted last year but did not plant this year, but it showed up, it’s not necessarily something you don’t want, is it? Or, then again, maybe it is. Maybe it’s taking up vital room that you really don’t have a place for, that no longer fits your plans for now, that no longer is workable—perhaps it’s too time-intensive. Maybe it’s not showy enough. Sometimes your harvest is not as much as you were counting on, or maybe it’s so much more you don’t know what to do with it. And with a garden it’s very easy to just write it off to the learning process. “I’ve learned now that you do not plant ten tomato bushes unless you have a whole lot of neighbors that like tomatoes. I’ve learned that . . .” What are the sorts of things you learn when you’re planting a garden? “:I’ve learned that it’s better not to use compost made up of foods I don’t care about any more, because they’re likely to show up in my garden. I’ve learned about . . .”

Zucchinus prolificus.

S:  Zucchinus prolificus. Sure. You’ve learned that you’re going to plant lighter melons than watermelons next time, because they grow well for you and you can’t haul them all around, and they smell really bad when they rot.

In your day to day life, it’s called learning as you go. And it’s not hard, you don’t mind it, you’re able to laugh about it most of the time. Certainly you do not build your whole life around the carrots that did not come up, or the lettuce that the . . . I almost said beavers . . . deer, maybe ate?


S: Rabbits? That the rabbits ate. But in life you’re not so quick to do that. Why do you think? Why do you think? Stuart.

Well, I probably shouldn’t answer this, because I’ve never done a garden in my whole life, but I would think that with a garden you realize that you do the best you can, but you’re really at the mercy of the elements as to what the weather’s going to do that’s going to make a big difference in what kind of harvest you have. And so maybe with a garden you’re more willing to recognize that there’s a lot of free will out there, and there’s a lot of things that come into play that we have to be in partnership with in order to create what we want.

S: Very well said.

I was going to say if you totally mess up you can go to Kroger.

S: If you find that you’re not having such a good garden, you can always go to the grocery store and get what your garden was not supplying. Yes, that’s good.

Sort of that same thing. Your survival doesn’t depend on it, and you’re not attached to the expectation of getting a certain number of whatever—tomatoes, cucumbers, and so on.

S: Your survival—and certainly for you that’s true—your survival does not depend on getting this many tomatoes, this many cucumbers. It’s all easily put into place—perspective, that’s what I should say.

Well, the attachment for life is much more associated with our ego. Like, “I’m just a failure,” rather than, “Gosh, you know, it never came up. I think I’ll try it differently next year.”

S: And that, as all four of these have just moved with, that is the key to Lughnassadh, and that is the key to living on the outside of crisis instead of the inside of it.

You set your life up in such a way that you do not have—as a very quick bottom line—you do not have your life in the balance with every move you make. Now, let me say that another way. You don’t have so small a life that any unplanned experience throws you off.


I think of it as diversificatio- like. Organic farmers don’t do a mono-crop. They don’t just do one crop, just put all their eggs in one basket, you know. They do lots of different crops, so if it’s a bad year for tomatoes, boy, the peaches were really great this year, you know. So they can do that. So, in my life, I don’t throw all my eggs in one basket of whatever it is. I do a little of this, little of that, little of that. You know, sometimes the A and B are working great, C is awful, and then later on C and D were great, so it works.

S: Yes. And that very much, simply said, is the biggest key to moving out of crisis. Crisis is an honest and, in some circles, an acceptable function of life. And what you need to think about is, is it acceptable to you.

Now, I said a sometimes acceptable form of life. What might happen such that crisis is a good way to be working? What is it that goes on in which you might be saying, “Crisis. All right. I can use this here.”

It involves energy, kind of an adrenaline rush, as we call it. So some people say they work better under crisis. They like that revved-up feeling that they get from it.

S: Yes. Yes. And if your motivation is a huge, last-minute push, if you work better that way—[takes a drink of water and spills it] I think that you’ll just have to explain to the Form that the mouth wasn’t where I thought it would be tonight. I just poured a little on her. Not too bad. When you are one of those people who gets moving when your back is up against the wall, when you’re one of those people who perhaps all through school studied for the test right before that test, if you’re one of those who push yourself better when everything is on the line—“Well I’ve really got to do something now”—you are somebody who has learned how to use crisis to act.

So although a whole lot of people looking at that decision would say, “Well, yes, it’s a way to act, but it’s not a good way. It’s not effective. It’s not . . . ,” some of you in here know that that’s actually not true, that in fact crisis can be effective. But not every day, every thing, not the only way you work.


What seems to be chaos to some people isn’t chaos to others, and that makes a difference. I think some people live either through their work or other areas where there’s periodic deadlines that come up, and sometimes deadlines by their nature become chaotic; however, you plan for them. But once you’re used to it and it’s part of the pattern of existence, it’s not . . . you prepare for it, and you’re ready for it, and it’s not chaotic to you.

S: So what you’re saying is that there are certain things that are crisis to you looking in at the situation, but if you’re in the middle of that situation it may not be crisis at all. And an example of that might be a bookkeeper or an accountant in April. Right? That, for some reason or another, tends to be a very, very busy month for accountants who prepare taxes—tax returns—taxes. There must be something about the other months that has them putting up with that one. What do you think that would be? Income. Paycheck. Well, might. There’s more to it than that.

Any other ideas? Wait. Any other ideas from those of you who tend to function in the sort of chaos that other people would say, “I can’t do that,” but which you don’t have a difficulty with? Parents of small children? School teachers? Anybody that has to drive in some of the traffic that you experience?

[. . .]

S: Good. Good. Yes. Yes.

[. . .]

S: Lovely. You become used to it. You adapt to it. What’s another?

When you get in one of these situations, first it may be rather frightening, but what I’ve discovered is I can slow down, take a breath, and start to pick apart the details. Once I start handling the details, it’s not a crisis any more. It’s just another activity. For me specifically, it would be handling a mechanical breakdown of a tractor-trailer, away from home, away from our home terminal, out somewhere, in the middle of the night. It’s pretty frightening to you when you get the first phone call, but then once when I start to deal with it, it’s just like anything else.

S: Lovely. Lovely. And very much [that] fits into the very important question I’m going to ask in a few moments about what’s the key to moving through that crisis. So I might come back to you to repeat what you just said.


Well, when you’re in the midst of that, you tend to . . . like a crisis situation, like if you work in a stressful environment, you start not becoming as attached to everything. It’s like when I worked in a psychiatric facility, I didn’t get emotionally involved with all the amazing amounts of, you know, crises that were happening.

S: The drama.

The drama. And so you tend not to view it the same way that other people would if they were to look at the situation.

S: And that’s because, as she said, you become used to it. That’s the means of that sort of work. More?

I was just going to say, like, you know, it’s like if you have another person who murdered someone or tried to commit suicide, they just become another person who tried to murder someone or commit suicide. It’s just another part of the day, you know, or something like that.

S: I’ve noticed that very same thing—daily.

And where I’m going with that is, the first thing that you want to keep in mind is that your crisis might be somebody else’s daily work. That shows up another way, though: It’s also important to remember that those who have that sort of daily work have a very good system for not wrapping their life around each crisis that shows up, and that system—as has been mentioned here and there—one of them is, you experience it so often that you learn you cannot give it all of your attention, all of the time, that you learn to simply grow used to it. That’s as opposed to “used by it.”

Another thing that’s done is—and here is what I was going to ask Mike to repeat if I did not come back around to it—is learning to break it into pieces, and handle each piece at a time. Now, there’s a real problem to breaking it into pieces when you are right in the middle of it. When you’re right in the middle of the tornado, it’s very hard to stop your runaway, fear-frozen mind and say, “All right, let’s see. House going by. All right. Dog. Cow. This is dirt. This is rain. This is mud. This is tree.” It’s very, very difficult to do that. In your life, it’s very difficult to move out of the emotional charge crisis gives you in order to negate, and therefore see it as just one more thing: “Samuel, would you go back to that part about the emotional, the dramatic, the. . . ?“

How is it possible that crisis can serve? How is it possible that I might be liking this difficulty? Go ahead, Suzanne.

Well, a friend once told me that she got addicted to adrenaline. And that to me explains it. When I’m in a crisis and I basically can summon everybody’s attention, and I’m riding on this adrenaline at that moment—and my opinion of it is the most important thing in the world—that’s pretty heavy. It’s pretty deep.

S: And, as was mentioned a little bit earlier, that’s the ego that’s getting something out of it.

Anybody in here a real caffeine junky. No one will admit it. Ah, a few now. And chemically speaking, the caffeine that you overdose with creates a lot of the same mechanisms that an adrenaline overdose [does]. Now, I’ve got to be careful with that one. You don’t overdose on the adrenaline, but your body can become weary of the dose it gets. Does that make sense? Is that clear enough? All right. So I won’t have to push that around any more.

High levels of caffeine are often a replacement for those who are worn out from a consistent, constant adrenaline high. Scary thought isn’t it? And that kind of caffeine poisons you, slowly but surely, but in a different way than adrenaline does. What does adrenaline overload create in the body? Mary Claire.

Well, it [. . .] literally the cells. Also it can have effects like speeding up your heart rate.

S: Yes.

And make your heart beat too hard and too fast.

S: And if you substitute the word “adrenaline” and you put in there instead “caffeine overdosing” . . . and I really am talking high levels of it. You may or may not be saying “I drink a lot” and that might be four cups before you leave for work, and you drink it all day, or it might be four cups all day. It’s rather subjective. But when you are drinking it so that you can function, you are essentially teaching your body that there are things that you can put into it that can make up for what you are no longer able to provide yourselves.

Two things now that I’d like for you to think about: If you are somebody that drinks a lot of coffee or is kind of addicted to adrenaline highs, you will find first that addiction is addiction, and it really doesn’t matter what your addiction of the moment is. You all have one. You all have at least one. You all have at least one, and it serves you in one way or another, and as you figure out how it is it serves you, you may or may not be able to simply drop it and let it go.

If it is an addiction that creates a chemical change in your body by the ingestion of it, such as caffeine—and I don’t have a problem with coffee or caffeine, not at all. It’s only the overbalance of it, particularly if you are somebody who tends to be dramatic or live in a lot of crises or crisis situations. When that is the case, adrenaline seeks ways outside of your body to mimic the adrenaline rush so that it can keep pushing you further and further into crisis. By your being further pushed into crisis, then you’re going to continue being motivated to act on whatever it is that’s creating all of this excitement.

If you drink ten cups of coffee every day just to get up in the morning, go to work, eat your meals, do your work, do your life activities, not more than that, just to get up, to eat, to work, to sleep, then I can guarantee two things. One of them is you’re overweight, maybe a lot. And the other one is—and if you want, remind me to go back to that in a moment—and the other one is that you’ve lost your passion. The two things that I can guarantee you if you are substituting—I’m not going to say substituting. I’m changing that one. Take it all back. All right. Just take that one off. Right. That.

If you are doing a behavior that gives to your body a rush—somebody, quickly, tell me another behavior other than lots of coffee that can give you a rush.

Bungee jumping.


Running your bike down a steep hill.

Roller coasters.


S: The one I was going to mention was sex. I wonder why that one didn’t come out.

[. . .]

S: Sure, Bonnie. Good for you. Good you can remember back that far. Just teasing!

But there is a point to be made there, you know, that that didn’t quite so easily come up. And there is another thing that I can throw into this crisis thing: You’d better hope you win the lottery, because you’re sure not getting laid. That was for Kay, who at one point said she either needed to win the lottery or get laid—one of the two. When I learned what it was that she said, I thought it was great. I’ll use it as often as possible.

But if you are working in crisis, I can assure you that your sexual stimulation connections aren’t working right, that you’re not going to have consistent, healthy sexual experiences, because your body’s chemical system, your body’s hormonal system is thrown off. Adrenaline does that. An addictive behavior that is a response to functioning without passion does that.

So although it may well be true that you don’t have to drink ten cups of coffee to have that same charge that adrenaline does to the body, there are also . . . they’re called “extreme sports” now, isn’t that right?


S: Such as . . .

BMX bike jumping.


For Steve, it’s getting in a vehicle.

S: [To Steve] Just day-by-day living, minding your own business, having sweet communion with Earth.

Bitterly tasting it.

S: Now . . .

You said something like that adrenaline seeks ways outside the body to push you into crisis. What do you mean? Like outside influences?

S: Well let me explain what I’m saying there actually. And it’s not adrenaline [that] makes you seek that, it’s your response to the adrenaline. Some of the doctors in here could tell you that there is such a thing as the adrenals being exhausted. When the body is functioning in constant . . . your language is just not flowing through this form very well right now, and I’m just going to have to say when your adrenals are constantly putting out adrenaline, overactive, your body becomes very tired, rather than very up and moving, doesn’t it? And the different organs of your body—the major organ systems—begin to erode, don’t they? Until you reach a point that you are really ill. But before you reach that really ill, what you notice is that the things that used to really get you zipping—zipping?—aren’t doing it so much. Well now, instead of taking that as a “Hmm, this could be a good thing,” or “Hmm, I seem to be expecting this sort of high to give me the energy that I’m needing,” rather than seeing that, you just keep pushing and pushing and pushing. And you begin seeking outside of yourself those activities—jump off a bungee; do a bicyle ride down a steep hill.

And jumps, yes.

Extreme sports.

S: The extreme sports, the . . . and you just start filling in the blanks there. And before you sweetly and smugly settle yourself down into your seat and say, “Well now, good, because I don’t jump off of ramps, and I don’t do dangerous tricks, and I don’t . . . whatever it . . . that would be a way to get adrenaline though, wouldn’t it? It was the dangerous tricks part—sorry. Now if Jean were here, she would say, “This one doesn’t go on Telecable.”

But when you are finding that you are getting involved in more and more intense activity in order to fulfill something that your body is no longer providing for you on its own, you’re in trouble. You’re in trouble. You’re in trouble not only because that’s a signal that your body’s physical experience is breaking down so that your natural fight-flight, be-prepared energy is no longer coming, you do what you can to get it. What does adrenaline give the body?


S: Energy. All right, that’s an easy way to put it into one basket, but the little things. For instance, your mind becomes clear. Your ability to focus—for a short amount of time, mind you—is greatly increased. For those of you who tend to have trouble focusing, that’s one reason why the first thing that you put into your mouth when you wake up is coffee, because it forces your body to wake up and clear your mind and get you ready for the day. It’s the reason why some of you live from crisis to crisis, because the crises focus you. You feel alive.

When you’re at a place in your life when you are not feeling alive, you’re not challenged, you’re not excited, you don’t feel that you are making a difference, you don’t believe that there is anything in it for you, it’s very, very easy to start seeking those things that will give you that rush, that clarity, that warmth, that ability to focus and feel.

Anybody in here ever had hives? Have you had hives’ friend shingles? Anybody in here . . . a few of you have had . . . a blistering vine.

Poison ivy.

S: Thank you. Had poison ivy. In any of those situations, any of those—interesting little group I’m making there: hives, shingles and poison ivy—in those situations, what would you do to distract yourself from the pain and itching.

Drugs! No.

S: Anybody ever, for instance, kick a wall so that your foot would hurt and get your mind off of it? Or, knock your hand so that it would hurt instead of . . . and there are enough of you in here who are shaking your heads yes—brave souls that you are—shaking your heads yes, because you’re understanding where I’m going with it. When you are not accessing true power in your life, you are giving yourself false experiences designed to separate you enough from the pain of your now as a means of getting through. It’s a survival mechanism. It’s understandable—it’s not acceptable—it’s understandable, because your body tells you the way you’re going to be able to make it through this is going to require ten cups of coffee, or running your back down the road, or losing a job, or losing your mind. When you don’t have the means to provide your life with what you need, your body on its own is going to start seeking what it wants. And if what you need is accessible and real, you will find yourself successful. If what you need is not realistic to you, if you really don’t think that you deserve or can have, then you’re going to need to distract yourself from the pain by putting into your life something that you can mistake for living, something that gets you through the day or the night, something that is the living-in-this-world-every-day version of punching your hand through the wall.

Crisis is a response from a body that has lived on adrenaline for too long. Crisis is a means of motivating a weakened mind, in the very same way that addictive behaviors are a way of pushing a weakened body. Crisis fills the need to feel. Now, I need somebody to say that who speaks clearly. What I said is crisis . . . go ahead Frank.

Feels the need to feel.

S: Good. Thank you. Crisis fulfills your need to feel good, feel bad, feel alive. It serves you by killing you. And its killing you may not be [that] tomorrow you are in the obituary section of the paper, dead, it’s the “I’m existing and not living” dead.

How do you trade in crisis for a powerful, consistently joyful, life. Well, I’m going to go back to what Mike said. You do it by looking at what you’ve got and separating it into doable, successful, parts. And although in your mind is running already several reasons why that’s not possible with your very special, very unique, situation, I would encourage you just to give it a try, because you will always—and you know I do not commit that often to a word as big as always—you will always have crisis where you do not have vision.

“Well, Samuel, does that mean that if I do have a vision it means I don’t have crisis?” No. But, at that point, you’ve got a tool to move out of it. And the reason that it probably doesn’t mean that is because you have given crisis power for a whole lot longer, you have entrained your mind that crisis is an acceptable motivating force in life, and you’ve only been giving yourself some clear messages about vision, well, maybe for ten minutes now. And I want to give a few of the minutes left to that.

When I say “vision,” I’m not talking about making an appointment with your opthomologist, although it’s probably not a bad thing to do. I’m talking about purpose. I’d like to offer you an assignment, just . . . I’m self-editing—that’s good, isn’t it? You see, I just about said . . . no, I just can’t do it. When I know you’re going to read it three different ways, I’m not going to play to it. Not enough time. All right. Let’s go a different way. Vision at its best leads you to greater and greater successes, but at its least, vision moves you out of the arena of pain, because vision may not give you the lottery, but it allows you to figure out what it is you do want so that you can begin taking baby steps to get there. And that is how life moves out of crisis. You have the vision, and the vision is not “I want to use up all of my credit cards until I am $40,000 in debt. I want to have very high expenses, needs, wants, very high-level—high maintenance, perhaps, yes—I want to have people who love me because they can’t do without me, because I give them everything they want, because I’m hoping that maybe in some way, when the time comes, they’ll give me some of what I want. I’m living for not this moment, but the next twelve of them.

You move out of crisis when you move into this moment. You move out of crisis when you recognize that there is something you can do to help—nine cups instead of ten today—because it says that you’re looking at something bigger than that all-encompassing thing. You’re looking at getting out of debt, rather than in more of it. You’re looking at getting a little healthier, rather than adding to the lack of health. Recognizing your crisis is one of the easiest ways to figure out what your vision is meant to be.

Now, I’m going to go back to what I’m suggesting that you do this week, and that’s where I’m going to leave you. This week, keep a diary, a journal of the things that made you really happy and the things that did not make you happy. At the end of the day, you might write down “I really enjoyed this and this and this,” and “this was really hard today.” And at the end of a week, look at those entries in light of vision versus crisis.

Now, I’m not giving you a formula here. What I’m giving you is a perspective that can help bring about change. You have crisis when you don’t have what?


S: So what is your life saying about your vision? Those things that make you happy are all about your character. Those things that weren’t so good, that you don’t want to repeat, that you’d rather not have happen, they are about—interestingly enough—your justifications for staying down. Look at them. See how crisis serves you. See how you can begin digging your way out of a bad habit, just a bad habit. Look to see if there are things in your life that are addictive behaviors that represent a crisis function, and what that’s saying is, your life needs some change, needs some vision.

And here is why: because in your garden of life, you get to harvest what you’ve been putting all your time into. You throw the seeds out, and maybe you’ll get one or two good plants out of it, as opposed to consciously and purposefully preparing the ground and placing the seeds and nurturing the plants, and thinning them out and pruning them when needed, and having a garden. You are harvesting what you’ve been planting, so take a look at what you’re harvesting, and think about what you want to be planting.