To my great pleasure, many of you wrote to me after my last top-secret email in which I shared the story of my out of body experience.
Turns out, some of you are quite well versed at what I now know to be called, "astral projection."
Oh, man! Talk about opening Pandora's box. This kind of magic isn't entirely new to me but my understanding of it is sure getting deeper. New worlds have literally been opened up to me. So, thank you for sharing your experiences as well as for all the kind words.
My intention for telling the story of that nights' expereicne, was meant to be more of a metaphorical translation of what the Bardolands are. But I think I may have missed the mark, just a bit. So let me see if I can clarify.
The Bardolands are not only that in-between astral plane, they are to my mind, any place of in-between. That is to say, they are a space, or a moment, or an experience where people go spiritually, emotionally, and mythically, in order to become and transform.
Traditionally, our ancestor created rights of passage for this purpose. They understood the significance of shifting identities and the dangers of not shifting when the soul called for it. We'll for me, I've come to realize that this place of becoming, just so happens to be deeply reflective of my Original Medicine or genius.
Now, I know, to talk about ones own genius to the unfamiliar ear, can sound egotistical. However, in ancient Greece, as well as in many other cultures throughout history, it was quite common for people to discuss their genius as the spark of God within. To build relationship to this spark was to build relationship to ones own super power, and my super power is that liminal space of transformation that I call the Bardolands.
For a long time now, my personal mission in this world has been to create a world where all people live deeply connected to their Original Medicine, their genius. Through art and stories, I seek to help people gain access to that space of transformation so they too may know and live from that spark within.
And that my friends, is the story behind the Bardolands.
You know, it occurred to me the other day that I've never really explained what the Bardolands are, or is, or however you say it.
So, let me try to explain with a true story. No alternative facts, I promise.
One night this past summer, I went to bed later than usual. I was both physically and emotionally exhausted from a long, full day of trying to figure out how I was ever going to know the sort of success I wanted as an artist. It's the kind of work as you might imagine, that requires one to sort through and question the fears and beliefs that don't do much in the way of helping.
In any case, I think I fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow.
In what felt like hours later, I heard the call of a screech owl just outside my bedroom window. I rose out of bed. No. I mean, I really rose out of bed. Like, there I was, in the air, looking down at myself sleeping and the strangest part about it was, it felt like the most ordinary thing in the world.
The owl called again, so naturally, I flew out the window after it toward the huge oak tree at the end of the driveway and perched myself right next to him. We sat there together for a while, under the electric moon lit sky. I remained silent while he whinnied his sad, eerie song. The next thing I recall was climbing back into my body and resuming sleep.
I awoke to a blinding morning light streaming through the window. A different set of birds had taken up their shift and sang songs of gratitude to the rising sun. I had one of those long morning stretches that accompany a good night's sleep. Then it hit me, "Holy shit! Did that really happen?!"
Now, before you conclude I was dreaming or even lucid dreaming, let me assure you, I am well versed at both. This was no dream. There was an owl outside my window that night. In fact, I continued to hear the same owl call for several nights after, in the same tree, before going to bed.
I am certain I left my body that night and for a short period of time, existed in what I can only describe as a place in-between worlds. I really don't know how to explain it any better, except to say that I have the sense I had become more sound then flesh. As though the molecules of my body defused into everything else around me. It was both weird and amazing and to this day, I can still recall, in a very sensory way, every second of the experience.
Now, if you're rolling your eyes at this claim, I get it and I don't blame you. Not one bit. I'd have a hard time understanding it too if it hadn't happened to me personally. But really, it doesn't matter if you understand or even believe me. What's important, and something I know you already get or else you would be reading this, is the significance of that "in-between" space I now call The Bardolands.
This is a place of liminality.
It's a place of becoming.
And it's pure magic.
Just a week after this experience, while thumbing through the Tibetan Book of the Dead, as one does after such an event, I came across the concept of the Bardos; a multi-staged and layered field that exists between life and death. And while that's about the only connection my use of the word has to the Book of the Dead's, I finally had a name for where I went that night. The place I go to become, create, and support others to do the same. A place in many ways, I have been visiting most of my life unconsciously, until now.
Cool, right? I think so.