By Gabriel Hartley — July 13, 2013
I hadn’t anticipated communal living arrangements with Elves when Anna and I rented our house in the country here in Athens, Ohio. We have gotten pretty accustomed to interacting with Faeries and Extra-Terrestrials, but I, at any rate, had never really given much thought to Elves. In fact, I had wondered whether they might simply be Fairies that some people chose to call Elves. But now that we’re living with Elves, sharing our new home with them—or I should say they are sharing their old home with us—as we attempt to gain a better understanding of who and what they are and what exactly the plan might be for this new inter-species communal life.
I will write more about my first encounters here with the Elves as some future date. For now I want to record the lesson they have been teaching me over the past few days and nights as we become better acquainted with each other. Their lesson for us this week involves a meditation on the boundaries and limits of the Human Being as humans tend to conceive of ourselves today.
The starting point for this lesson is the recognition that humans tend to simultaneously inflate and limit their definitions of what it means to be human. This inflation and limitation involves the same notion: that humans are somehow privileged beings not just on this planet but in the larger universe. On Earth we tend to see ourselves as the most important species in existence. Every other being on the planet is by definition inferior to and therefore subservient to humans. This point is supported by a vast host of belief systems, whether religious, scientific, political, or simply customary. Many thinkers have pointed to this superiority complex as one primary source of our ongoing ecological crisis.
This notion of human superiority is inflating in the sense that it allows humans to imagine themselves to be greater than most if not all other beings in the universe. We are important. We are special. We are privileged. And this distinction results from the plan of God or the accidents of Natural Selection. All other beings by nature are at our disposal. This notion of human superiority is limiting in the sense that we see ourselves as separate from all other beings. In fact, we see all things as separate from each and every other thing and assume that this is the nature of reality. So we are unique and privileged beings defined by certain characteristics and traits that make us what we are and, more importantly, keep us separate from what we presumably are not. We have definite, determinate boundaries as we float as discrete, isolated beings through life.
But the Elves have a different view of the limits and boundaries of the Human Being (and all other beings as well). As the Elves see it, the Human Being is in fact infinite. It is, like all other beings, co-extensive with the rest of existence. There are no discrete, determinate boundaries that separate the Human Being from all other beings. Humans are greater in all ways than they tend to imagine. And what the Elves hope for us is that we can learn to contemplate this possibility and eventually learn to become comfortable with it and someday even, perhaps, to allow ourselves to open up into our infinite possibility.
These possibilities can be seen through a variety of phenomena that tend be excluded from the range of plausible realities for humans. These phenomena include capabilities that we currently deny ourselves and ridicule, such as telepathy, telekinesis, teleportation (or astral projection), and other so-called Metaphysical or downright superstitious concepts. The very fact that Anna and I are currently in communication with a species of beings that are denied any reality other than fantasy or mythology is one example of this self-imposed limitation on the definition (the de-fining or making-finite) of human possibility. Our telepathic communication is denied; and then the existence of the beings with whom we are communicating is denied. Elves cannot really exist. Humans—so the common logic goes—cannot really communicate telepathically at all, and certainly not with imaginary beings.
The only realm in which we allow such activity is art. Only in poetry or paintings or movies can humans engage in telepathy, and only there can Elves be allowed to exist—only as figments of our collective imagination. And this reveals both the beauty and the complicity of art today. Art can only be art so long as it limits its claims to such things to the realm of fiction. In this sense, imagination is characterized a pleasurable but ultimately debased mode of human activity. What gets lost here is that Imagination itself is the very term for the range of faculties that allow us to experience things beyond our current self-conceptions! Science Fiction, we are told, is great so long as we make sure to identify it as fiction. But if we start to imagine it as reality, we are deluded. Never mind all of the instances of “Science Fiction” that have proven to be accurate intuitions of an expanded understanding of reality. The last hundred years or more of western physics is a case in point.
Recognizing this limiting sense of human superiority as a conceptual barrier to further growth, nevertheless, is simply the start of where the Elves would like to take us. Their intention is to lead us through a thorough going practical program not only of conceptual but also experiential expansion. They want us to experience the vastness of our being. And this has been the bulk of their work with us in the past few days. So what does this mean in practice?
The starting point is to achieve a meditative state in whatever way one normally does. In this meditative state, we are to still our mind and relax our desire to make such growth happen. The point, at least at the start, is to not do anything, at least in the active, willful sense; we are instead supposed to let go, to stop trying, to give up our sense that we need to change ourselves and our world. The best way to try to change is to stop trying to change. “Just let go,” the Elves tell us repeatedly, “let go. Ease into the flow.”
And this easing into the flow is the key. By “flow” the Elves mean the flow of energies and vibrations that characterize our very being. As we come into contact with other beings, whether human or nonhuman, we enter into a mutual exchange of energies. Our vibratory signatures adapt to and influence the vibratory signatures of others. The point is to let go of the distinction between human and nonhuman in order to experience the full range of human possibility.
When I first asked them how I might let go, the Elves reminded me of an analogy that came to me a few years ago during meditation. At the time I was in sadhasana pose, also known as the corpse pose, lying on the floor as I felt the energies within and without me. In order to try to achieve some kind of energetic union with the vibrations in my immediate environment, I was trying to radiate my own energy out into the energy field around me. I was squeezing my eyes tightly and stiffening my body as I tried to push my own energy outward. I was trying to make myself glow by forcing the light outward. What I was told then was that I had the process backward in my mind. The point in trying to become one with your environment is not to force yourself onto your surroundings but rather to melt into those surroundings. When I asked how I might envision such a shift in consciousness and action, I was told to imagine myself as a pat of butter in a hot pan. The pat of butter does not have to do anything in order to melt. It simply experiences itself bubbling up on the edges and then slowly bubbling up throughout its structure as it simply flows out across the bottom of the pan. I was told to imagine myself as that pat of butter and to imagine my energy bubbling up on my skin and then my entire being ultimately melting into my surroundings. In this way I could truly manifest the energetic union I was seeking.
The Elves reminded me this week of this analogy and told me that this was exactly what they were asking of Anna and me. Instead of trying to squeeze out our radiance into our environment, we simply need to let go, to melt into the flow of energies that we share. For now this is our only task: to let go; to melt into the energetic field around us, a field made up of Elves, Faeries, Angels, animals, plants, stones, waters, and all other things in existence in our immediate and extended environment. Only once we become fluent—or fluid—in this experience will we then be able to take the next steps that the Elves have in mind: the engagement with energy portals here on the land. This will become possible once we let go of the rigidly defined boundaries of ourselves and allow ourselves to melt into the greater self in which we participate. In this process we will enlarge our experience of being human and take on our true Human Being as Being Commensurate With all that is.