In the Desert, to the Forest
Apollo’s journey started by that phone call with me.
Or did it?
His journey started way ahead of the time as we know time to be.
In the phone consultation, Apollo told me that since Grade 6, he’s been asking many questions. “Where did I come from?” “Why am I here?” “Who am I really?” “Why am I doing this?” “Why must I be born?”
The last question was always accompanied by a sense of ambivalence and vexation. To resolve it, he thought, “I will just play my role and be done with it.”
A social butterfly, and at times genuinely happy with his closest friends, he still felt alone in the world at times. Apollo kept his spirituality to himself, except with the closest of companies. “I hide my feelings very well,” Apollo told me over the phone.
We may think we are hiding feelings from others, but eventually we can only hide from ourselves. Thus, Apollo felt disconnected, having an identity crisis. There is a part of him that was on the sideline watching. Recently, Apollo sees repetitive numbers everywhere he goes. A deep yearning was asking him to do hypnotherapy for life-between-lives regressions after reading .
That was how Apollo became that shiniest star in the sky of my practice.
I often marvel at how many layers and aspects each one of us has. There are moments when people close to us say things such as, “You always have that look on your face when you hear that particular word.” And we genuinely feel like denying that because it is not our perception of ourselves. Nevertheless, when we hear those kinds of statements often enough from different sources, we start to wonder, how much we actually don’t know about ourselves.
Many years ago, a book cover came to my inner vision as I was walking down Denman Street. On the cover, it says, “Layers of …”. The last word was blurred.
I haven’t gotten around to manifesting the book, but in that moment walking down Denman Street, I knew that the book that was waiting for me to write was about how we all have, to various degrees, Multiple Personality Order. How we sometimes hide a part of ourselves, get lost, and seek therapy to solve the puzzles created by our own mind.
Apollo sounded very chatty and wordy on the phone. He said he read a lot of my blog posts and other case stories. He liked my approach from what he read.
I asked Apollo what he was looking to get out of our work together. He gave me answers that I have heard many times before from others:
• I just want to know what my lessons are to learn in this lifetime.
• What is my purpose and higher fulfillment? I want to find it out.
Through his narrative, I realized that what Apollo really needed was to find the inner deeper connection within himself, and from there gain balance, so that he could move forward more integrated. In working towards that goal, he had done enough readings, and soul searching on his own. Where I could help him was to create an environment, where he could safely experience it on his emotional level, so he could tap into the answers on his own.
When Apollo showed up, I found out that he’s a tall, handsome, and charming young man who works in the art and culture scene.
Where to start was my next question to myself. Since Apollo never had any hypnotherapy sessions before, I decided we could start with a past life regression.
I told Apollo, “I know you are very versed in Life Between Lives, and that’s probably where you’d like to find answers to all the questions you have. That is a pure spiritual state and sometimes it’s hard to perceive and put into words, which are the product of this time-space physical reality. When you get beyond what’s physical, it’s not easy to use physical words to explain the non-physical, especially when you haven’t had this type of experiences before. So, one stepping-stone down the subconscious memory lane is through a past life regression. It’s still spiritual regression, but you’ll perceive yourself having a physical body, living a physical life, which makes it much easier to make sense and verbalize.”
“Sure.” Apollo was very agreeable. “Anything you think it’s helpful!”
I work well with people who have taken time to read my blog posts. They know my style. I have that feeling that we have built deep trust before we have even met.
Knowing this artistic and poetic Apollo might find the process very easy and therefore he might discount his own subconscious mind, I said to him, “It may feel like you are making everything up as we go along, but there will be a smooth quality to it. Not like when you think hard to make something up. There will be a flow to what’s coming up, and many times, the scene unfolding will have an emotional component to it.”
Apollo nodded his head.
“So, here’s the couch,” I went on with my standard instruction, “This is your couch now, and you can do whatever to make yourself comfortable. Some people choose to sit up, some choose to lie down. Whatever you do, you’ll make sure it will make you that much comfortable.”
Apollo chose to lie down on the couch. As he pulled the blanket over his body, he started to giggle, “This is real wow. It’s like a movie. Like I’m in a movie, on a therapist’s couch… hahaha…”
“Yes. Like a movie… And this movie starts here… continues somewhere else… ends in yet another surprising place…” My hypnotic tone started with the cue he gave me. As my speech slowed down, I matched his breathing. His eyes closed automatically in the comfort of the couch and my voice. I instructed his unconscious mind to take us to a favourite place…
“It’s nature… there are willow trees… by a river… very calm… there are mountains in a distance…” Apollo’s tone indicated that he was already in a deep trance.
The river thus became the “river of time” in my hypnotic talk. I had him walk along the slow-moving river, “The further you walk, the deeper you go, down the river of time… Over there, across the river of time, is a bridge, way down there… And eventually, when you come to the bridge, you will cross it. And across the bridge over the river of time, you will find yourself in another time, at another place, living in another body, in another life, the most significant lifetime in terms of your purpose and higher fulfillment…”
That was all that was needed for Apollo to drift into a most ordinary yet most extraordinary life.
Where Apollo landed was in a desert, as a 25-year-old young man named Kamal, walking with his camel alone, under the stars. Wearing an off-white robe, and a turban, initially he didn’t know where he was going, but it didn’t seem to matter either. He laid down on a sand dune, his camel laying down beside him. His arms behind his head, looking up to the night sky, feeling a sense of awe and the sublime, gazing at the stars and the universe, he felt a sense of connectedness to the sky. With stars out there, and peace inside, Kamal fell to sleep with a smile on his face.
In his sleep, the night sky became inside him, and the vastness of the desert was inside him.
The next day, happy and content, Kamal found himself in a busy market. He walked through it, got some bread, and sat eating it with water.
The journey continued after that. Kamal went inside a teahouse when it was getting hot, had some tea and rested, not talking with anyone. He pulled out his brown leather-bound journal and a pair of glasses. One third into the journal, Kamal documented his journey, “Little things here and there, nothing really significant. Just my thoughts, I write about my thoughts. It’s important to me. I take the words, and make them into little verse, like a poem.
“What do you follow when you travel Kamal? A map? The wind? Your inner compass?”
“I don’t feel like I’m following anything. It’s just where the journey takes me, and somehow I just know where to go.”
“Maybe you follow the stars.” I couldn’t help but make that comment. Kamal laughed with me. I continued to probe, “When the sun goes a little down, it becomes cooler, and you finish your tea, you come out of this tea house, where do you go next?”
“I turn left, and keep going, keep walking.”
“Which direction? The desert again? Or somewhere else?”
“I see a city come up. It’s all white, absolutely beautiful. The walls, the architecture, there’s a big palace… Very noisy. I walk my camel through. People poke their head out. Children from above. I look up, merchants selling shoes…”
I wondered if Kamal was describing a so-called “Casablanca”.
“I came to a domed door, a gateway.” Kamal continued. “It’s a large dome. And I look up to see how high it is, as I walk through the door. Now I’m inside. There are small white houses… It’s like a maze to me. A maze where there are walls going horizontally, and vertically different lines. Some overlapping each other. I try to see how I can get through the maze. At the end of building there is a big structure, like a dome house. I’m looking at it…”
“What does it evoke in you when you look at it?”
“It’s just sublime… the feeling of vastness, the stars and deserts, the palace, the city, sublime. I feel drawn. “
I noticed Kamal has not interacted with anyone in the city. I asked him why.
“I’m not drawn to any faces. I’m not drawn to faces much, mostly only architecture and nature.”
The palace has a black gate, with arrow-like spikes on top.
“So as long as your journey goes, do you feel you have arrived? Or you are going on?”
“I don’t know. I’m just standing there.”
“If anyone from the city asks you where you come from, what would you tell them?” I changed my strategy, so it didn’t seem that I was having too many questions.
“I come from the land of the lands.” After a little pause, Apollo laughed. “I don’t know what it means, I just say what came to my mind.”
“If they ask, ‘Is the land of the lands far?’ What do you say?”
“You know it when you know it… I just smile, I don’t explain.” That sounded quite Zen-like, but Apollo was just reporting without filtering. I knew Apollo could be a good energy conduit.
“Do they get it when you answer them like that?”
“They kind of look at me weirdly. One old man scratches his head and walks away.”
“Kamal, where are you going?”
“Journey to the east…” Kamal’s answer remained riddle-like.
“Maybe I have to find something. I don’t know what.”
“Are you halfway there yet?”
“No. I just started.”
A true journey indeed! I decided to move Kamal forward in time to see if he reached the East. He did.
“It is very different, a totally new place, deep, deep into the forest. Streams connect trees. The sun-rays stream through the leaves and speckle the dark forest floor. I walk amongst the trees. I then take a deep breath. I sit, and I just sit… I’m going to meditate for a while. A bird lands on my left shoulder, small and blue.”
“The bird must trust you.”
“Yeah. I have my palms up. I feel very peaceful. My eyes are closed.”
“Maybe the bird has a message for you.” I suggested. “Just telepathically communicate with the bird, for example, does the bird know you came all the way to the east to look for something?”
“I just sit there. And the bird stays with me… Now I follow the bird. It flies, and I follow. The bird will show me the way. I just trust the bird. It’s leading me, landing on different branches, waiting for me to catch up, not flying away.”
“Maybe the bird is going to help you find what you came here for.”
“I look up and talk to the bird.”
“What do you say to the bird?”
“I say, ‘You have to hold the way up.’ It doesn’t make sense, I know.”
“It doesn’t make sense; therefore, it must come from your deeper unconscious mind. As long as it makes sense to the bird, it’s good.”
“The way the bird waits, it knows what I say. It’s a very light-hearted feeling. The bird would chirp a song. There’s wind too, rustling the leaves. The trees are talking too — it just feels like it. I feel the connection to the trees.”
“What are they saying to you?”
“I go inside the tree now…” Kamal’s voice changed, as if he choked a little. Or, I was not sure if I was still to treat this as a past life regression. The entire session was not a typical past life regression. Kamal was alone, aloof, adrift. There was not much drama. No human interaction. Now he walked into a tree! I sensed some spiritual experience was to follow, and there would be no need to bring this life of Kamal to a death experience as we would to move on to a typical Life between Lives experience. All the questions Apollo had brought with him could be answered right there in the forest, a human, and a spiritual experience.
“So, you become a tree.” I said back to Kamal.
“Yeah, just… the bird lands on the tree after the wind, and I just… go, INTO the tree, by stepping into it. I feel like I was there to learn something. I’m in the tree, because I desired to learn the connections of life. I just feel the branches. And the vastness of the roots, and underneath the soil, fungal… all of the life forms, underneath, just like the tree is teaching me, this is what it feels like when we’re connected. I sense… it’s like… electricity…. Just… a sense of very, very… touched…”
Kamal/Apollo was sobbing. The words came out broken. A surge of emotion came, overwhelming him.
“Just feel… the tree’s showing me… just feel the connections… It just makes sense to me now… Just feel… peace, and joy… absolute love… synchronicity… how everything works perfectly… the roots of the tree branching, branching, branching out like a web, a web of connection. The connection…” Apollo wept, “into the sky, and all these connections… Just feel… Just feel love… so much love moving me to tears. Love of happiness, unbounded of alllllllll.”
“So, this is it – What you came here to learn.” I had Kamal/Apollo experience this further, to solidify the experience into his psych, so that he will always remember, how it feels to be connected, moving forward, even though how “lonely” it may appear in the life of Apollo.
“… And allow this experience to guide the inner knowing for the higher fulfillment. The connectedness is such that even the different versions of lives are connected with the soul, so you can allow this experience to guide this life with higher purpose, and fulfillment. This is the life with significance, simple, straightforward, easy, no distraction, yet profound at the same time. Walking into a tree, yet you are not a tree, in appearance. In this intimate connectedness, any question is answered. When I ask a question, allow the answer to flow through you.”
“I’m just there crossing my arms, holding my heart, my heart senses the tree.”
“Let the tree tell you something about you.”
“The tree tells me, ‘it’s all good. Everything is good, just like my roots, small roots, you can’t see it, but it’s there. And you are part of this. You won’t be lost. You won’t be lost my child. Trust, and trust, and know… you are part of one with everything. Even though you are on the other end of the bank, the river all flows.’” Apollo wept again.
“What tree is it?”
“It’s an oak tree, it’s very very old. It tells me, ‘my child, you will know.’”
“So ask the tree, ‘Why am I here?’” A question Apollo asked when he was in Grade 6.
“It doesn’t tell me. It just shows me a spiral, pointing out, like a snail he’ll but a lot denser. It’s just all connected. We are not separate, even though you are far out on the spiral, you are still part of the spiral.”
“Another question for the tree is, ‘Where do I come from?’”
Apollo proceeded to ask tree the question. And he repeated the answer, “We come from the lands.”
“Who am I really?” I moved on to the next question on his list.
“The tree said, ‘You are a soul.’ And that I know!”
“Why do I feel this is not home?” I asked on behalf of Apollo.
Apollo answered on behalf of the tree, “Because you forgot it!”
“Why must I be born?” I asked Apollo’s last question on my note.
“Because they need you.” The tree answered through Apollo, “They need you. You know how hard it is, but…” Tears came down Apollo’s face. The voice became inaudible to me. But I knew Apollo was accessing and absorbing the answers on his own – The answers were quite different from what he previously said, from his conscious mind, “Theoretically, I know I choose the life.” – It was more real, more touching than spiritual verbiage and platitudes.
Eventually I brought Apollo out of hypnosis. He sat up, wiping his face with some tissues, and said, “I know what you mean now when you said it would feel like I’m making it up.” He looked up at me, “Did I make it all up?”
I know the experience was real and profound. The reason Apollo asked his question was not necessarily that he was looking for an answer from me. The experience was so great that the little human self wanted a confirmation from someone else.
I normally don’t feel I am in a position to give the answer to that question one way or another, because I know even “I made it up” itself can be made up too. So I simply said, “If you did, your subconscious mind must be remarkable in making up such a story.”
On his way out, Apollo remembered something. He brought out his phone, and showed me his social media profile photo, in which Apollo was hugging a huge tree. “I just changed my profile photo a short time ago. Haha! Isn’t this synchronicity?”
Yes. It is. Timing is our organizing principle. We quickly added each other on social media.
One day later, Apollo sent me a message:
Kemila, there’s something kinda weird and interesting (in a synchronistic kind of way) on my way to work this morning… Is it strange to say that I think I may have seen “Kamal”? (Or someone who looks like the picture of Kamal whom I was describing last night?)
This morning, when I was taking the exact same route I take every single day, just when I was waiting for some crowds to pass, initially, I saw a man (Middle Eastern/Indian) dressed in a mid-length robe that fits below the waist, of the brightest neon orange colour. The brightness of that neon orange robe caught my attention, both in its colour and the uniqueness of the clothing style. He stands out in a crowd where everyone else was wearing “everyday” attire. He stops, turns his head back, and looks like he was waiting for someone or something. Then my gaze looks up, and sees an Arabian/Middle East young man, in his mid-late 20s, wearing the same kind of robe as the first man, but this time in an off-white cream colour. At that instant, I instantly thought, “That’s him…”. Then the scene was over, and they walked on and by.
Maybe Apollo needed to be told that it was real, not a made-up story from himself. Maybe reality is thinning for Apollo and other realities can easily bleed through for his. I know Apollo is up for something and am glad that we have scheduled two more sessions.
A moment later, as if reading my thoughts, Apollo sent me another text message:
Last night on my way home from our session, I felt this incredible sense of serenity, joy, and heightened awareness. Then for some reason, the BMO sign caught my attention – “Bank of Montreal” and the last four letters of “MontREAL” seemingly appeared clearer and brighter compared to the rest of the words. Then shortly after that, I passed by “Shi ZHEN ya” (a sushi restaurant) and felt like the sign spoke to me as well. (Kemila’s note: Zhen in Mandarin means “real”.) It’s as if my subconscious was answering my own conscious mind’s question of “was that real?” (Almost couldn’t believe the magic that transpired over the two hours) But then again, I realized it is what one chooses to make “real” on this stage of Life.
I couldn’t have said it better than that!
Later I told Apollo about Robert Heinlein’s book Stranger in a Strange Land, as his experience of going into the tree reminded me of the idea “grok”. Apollo messaged me:
Kemila, an epiphany came to mind just now (even though it has been right under our noses all this time, like the answer has been there all along, clear as day but I just couldn’t see it before).
We, humans, by coming into being, are all “grokking” so to speak. Our spirit enters the physical flesh, in order to learn, experience, and come to know this form and the wisdom that emerges from this experience. That’s why there’s amnesia, so the experience could be fully experienced in its truest sense; otherwise, it would be hard, if not impossible to convince ourselves, our souls. It’s really an act of benevolence, and above all, trust and ultimate patience. Trust in each soul, that no matter what, ultimately, we will all “re-member” where we’ve come from after we have learned this human form, in this school.
It may be long, it may be short. But eventually, we will all return back to the center, no matter how far the swirl spirals out. Thank you for the insights tonight, Kemila. My heart is filled with gratitude songs of many dances of joy and thanks.