More Dreams

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Last night, I had a dream I was being baptized (? maybe) and confirmed again, in some other Church.

The Gnostic Church?

It’s hard to tell.

The dream was important, though…I know that much.

My dreams lately seem more important.

Still doing rituals. Today, it was heavily Christian in nature as I specifically invoked Jesus Christ as the Lord of Nature and so on.

One thing of which I am certain this life now- there is a God of Nature, as in some kind of God or Spirit or Life Force that flows through the natural world and connects us. I can’t be sure of other things relating to spirituality- but the Nature God is definitely real.

Steve

On Experiencing that I’m Not Pagan

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Recently, on my Facebook, I had taken to posting artwork and depictions of the Wiccan God and Goddess; a kind of movement was going through me in conceiving of That One Force in the universe as The Goddess and so on.

My husband and I did a small Wicca-based ritual before dinner this past Saturday night, and I have to say, the ritual…well, it left me empty and lacking. It didn’t nourish me the way I needed it to. I didn’t have the same connection I had once felt to any kind of Goddess-God dynamic.

I went through the Unitarian Universalism “new member” classes a few weeks ago. I actually had no interest in joining; I took the classes for the sake of my husband and to support him learning more about being UU. (He’s already a member.)

A particular status was provided for me, though- Friend of the Congregation.

And that status is identical with how I feel about Paganism in general- maybe one might making a joke and say “Friend of the Coven.”

This is most surprising to me; I genuinely thought I could partake of every religion equally, or at least to the extent that I was able, but everything suddenly has been turned on its head.

Not much left to ponder- I simply know that I’m in the realm of the Christian religion, albeit a highly mystical and esoteric one.

May the peace of God be upon you all.

Stevo

Ecstasy and the Divine Office

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You would think I could make claims to something at this point.

I’ve been on the mystic’s path for some god-awful number of years now, and the problems are always this or that; either there are people of whatever path (in this case, Christian) acting like complete fuckwits, or I have atheists and secular humanists who equally are fuckwitted attacking me and…well, I guess between the two, I’d rather deal with atheists and secular humanists. They tend to behave more like Christians are meant to behave, save for some details.

They do say God is in the details, though.

To the best of my ability, I’m praying the Divine Office. I downloaded iBreviary on my phone and am using that.

Yes, in a perfect world, I would have all four volumes of the Roman version of things and be praying all the things in Latin.

I have to settle for praying things from a digital handheld device. It doesn’t feel as authentic to hold such a piece of technology to do my prayers, but I get the benefit of praying in Latin, which feels incredibly right for me.

I finished reading Thomas Merton’s Seven Storey Mountain tonight, almost two years after receiving the book.

To be sure, his whole writing about his “sinful” life was incredibly monotonous, such to the point that I quit reading for a year, and only resumed out of a sense of loyalty to my husband having bought the book for me in the first place.

But Merton’s sudden spiral into Catholicism- well, that sounds like me swirling back into Christianity.

There aren’t many suitable ways to explain it- my favorite way to express what happened is, “Christ compelled me.”

Now, of course, that might sound strange to many people, but to explain it in other terms: my return to Christianity in ANY form came from some Greater Force Outside of Me. No, I’m not doing it to satisfy someone else; it’s largely an internal process.

The same is true of the first time I set foot in Saint Michael’s Episcopal Church in Ozark, Alabama. I was almost horrified at the lack of Tabernacle but found quickly that God dwelt there either way, and I wasn’t going to let the lack of a Tabernacle stop me.

Being compelled by Christ is also what began the Divine Office. I predicted I would pray for maybe a week or two and then fall away from the practice.

To the contrary: with the exception of being a bit tired the first time I prayed all the way through the Morning Prayer in the BCP, I have willingly gone into prayer each time. I have been desirous to pray; I have felt the grace of God descend upon me more clearly because I have prayed the Divine Office.

Tonight, I was reading something about Orthodoxy and the Jesus Prayer, and my heart was struck with ecstasy, ecstasy the recalled to my mind the image of the angel piercing St. Theresa of Avila’s heart, an ecstasy so strong that I had to close the computer and do whatever was necessary to make it to the bedroom and lie down to allow whatever was going on to go on.

The feeling began in my chest, somewhere below where we might call the “heart chakra,” and it then moved down somewhere to the bottom of my spinal cord and all the way up mine into the back of my head. It felt profound and wonderful, and I had to just lie down and allow the ecstasy to run its course.

So I know somehow that I’m on the right path. Maybe these things won’t last. But they’re comforting for now, and I feel empowered to serve God through my contemplation or what we might call the prayer of silence or prayer of stillness.

There’s another experience regarding that to be shared soon.

Stevo

Love of God for a Few Days

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Over the past few days, when I am still and focus and relax, I can feel a combination of things welling in my heart, namely something like “love-longing-meaning-joy,” all bound up together.

The most amazing insight recently is that this experience, this love-longing-meaning-joy, which can only be coming from God Most High, is for EVERYONE. The one experiencing it is meant to GIVE this love-longing-meaning-joy to others.

This is the solution all the ills of mankind, this one powerful, mysterious movement in the heart. This is the solution to our problematic nature.

And now the words of St. Paul come to me about “if I have not love,” and I think, if this love dancing in my heart now, fluttering in my heart now, is what he meant, then he’s absolutely right. No amount of spiritual powers, no amount of insight into the universe, no amount of any political power of any kind, NONE OF THESE THINGS MATTER WITHOUT THIS LOVE.

I pray this love consumes “me” so that it might find life in others.

In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, AMEN.

Perceptual Changes and More

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Perceptual changes as of late that should be noted:

I seem to have a greater and automatic focus on experiencing the world through my senses. It’s difficult to explain what I mean by this, but there’s certainly a very “this world” focus on the one hand, though my mind often seems to go blank or be clear.

The “tiredness” has returned lately; I feel like a kind of blanket is held over the front of my brain, and thinking, as well as writing, becomes a kind of effort that has to be made. Lying in bed, very still, can create a great deal of bliss for me; last night, I lay in bed and had a heating pad on my head to help keep me warm, and I felt such incredible bliss there unlike what I normally feel.

Certain sexual energies seem to be lessening for me; this isn’t consistent, but sexual pleasure seems to have been stripped from me to some degree. It’s just as well, as through the Holy Spirit, I have experienced a fullness and completeness that sexuality has never granted me.

Another recent insight I’ve had lately is that what I truly want is Nirvana, not only for myself, but for all sentient beings, as the Buddhists would say; my most fervent prayer to God is for everyone, even my worst enemies, even Satan itself, to be brought to salvation in Nirvana; Nirvana not only for myself but for everyone and everything. This is the only true purpose that can exist in reality.

The completeness of the Holy Trinity has been revealed in the Holy Spirit, and yet I am left without a particular abstraction or mental construct by which to express the completeness. God is never-ending; God is always-continuing; God is eternal, but not eternal in a way which seems suffocating or crushing; God’s eternity is simply beyond words that explain what’s happening. There is no lacking in God, while in humans, we seem to have a very basic nature of “lack.”

I lay in bed last night and felt my prayer going to God, my glorification of God, while the true glorifying agent is the Holy Spirit, God the Mother, praising God through me. Suffice it to say that God the Mother offers God the Son to God the Father through us, in a Mystery of God that is profound and deep and that I cannot begin to explain; we may participate in this by surrendering ourselves willingly to God, but it seems rather like God’s actually got all the bases covered, and we’re not really necessary in the process too terribly much. It’s almost as though I observe something happening but don’t cause it to happen.

Anyway, there was a sense of completeness in glorifying God; not glorification in the sense of petition or because I wanted anything, but because it is the nature of man to want to honor and praise something greater than himself.

And of course, the glorification is a sense of fullness and joy, mixed often with longing; it isn’t the corny sort of modern Christian worship that’s hollow and devoid of the very things it seeks to express. This is different; this is more; this is REAL. There’s something substantial here.

Several times, I’ve also noticed that I don’t have the same kind of arousal of emotions as I used to; this isn’t consistent, but during this period, it’s rare for me to experience extreme emotions, either good or bad. Instead, there’s a kind of constant steadiness in the tiredness. I do have emotions that appear at times, though the cognitive component seems at times to be worse than any kind of physical passion associated with it.

Beaux

Resonance

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Resonance is an important but apparently often over-looked aspect of the mystic’s quest. For me, resonance ties in heavily with gnosis; resonance is a guiding principle by which I walk the path.

Resonance cannot easily be put into words; it is more than something simply seemingly like a neat idea and is instead something that is incredibly real, incredibly close to something real, incredibly indicative of something else.

Resonance deals with a meta-cognition, a meta-experience of sorts.

Resonance is what happens when I sit in a Church full of statues and stained glass, and, despite my rejection of so much of self-styled “orthodoxy,” I know that they still know something, that the people who have developed these things are still in tune with me somewhere.

All is not lost.

God help us.

Don’t ever overlook resonance to guide you, to help you. You will see things and know them for what they are to God and not what they are to man.

Beaux

I, Satan

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How best to write this blog, I don’t know. This started last night as I was falling asleep, as a great deal of my psycho-spiritual work takes place in the dream world and especially on the borders between the conscious mind and the subconscious mind.

Let us first go back to a few nights ago, during the weekend, when I had dreams. I dreamed of seeing my friends Pam, Michelle, and Brandi, and we were all going to Montgomery for some LGBT event. In the dream, it seemed we were awake early, and I remember being excessively tired and wanting to back to sleep. I remember stopping at a restaurant and needing to pee but being unable to find the bathroom or shut the door in the bathroom or something.

At another point, I recall being at my house, outside, in the sunlight, and reciting prayers. Then the Light came, the warmth, the Inner Light that I’ve seen more and more frequently.

Allow me to go back even further; the first experience with the Light happened when I was in high school or had just started college; I can’t remember exactly when it was. When I first began participating in Wicca and doing rituals, I ended up triggering some kind of kundalini energy, which was often apparent in a hypnogogic state of mind.

The experience was one of intense vibrations, of an inability to move, of an expanded psychic awareness; the vibrations felt like I would be shaken to pieces, and a few times, I felt like I would come out of my body (though I never had an experience of astral projection.)

One time, this process continued, and then I suddenly saw a light. The light was so bright and so apparent that I thought someone had turned on a light in the room. I came out of the state and threw the covers off my head- nothing. No light. I was still in the dark.

I asked the only “mystic” I knew at the time what the light was. His response, in his pseudo-guruship idiocy was merely, “Shut up.”

Anyway, last year, I had a similar experience and posted about it on Facebook. When I would come into the light, everything would be still. No vibrations, no noise, just light- dead silence.

The terrifying part about this Light is that I’m the only person there. There is no God, no angel, no entity, nothing- just me.

Now, more recently, this has happened in a more gradual way. Back to last weekend’s dream. I was outside my house in the dream, I began praying, and the light gradually appeared. Now, I noted that it was warm, that it was real, that the more I prayed, the greater it became. There was no absolute silence; the vibrations came but were not strong. I think I prayed to not die, because the pressure on my chest grew so great I thought my heart might stop.

Now, to bring us up to speed: last night. I read an article yesterday that discussed how violence is addictive in the same way as food, drugs, and sex can be. That makes sense, and I would note that a good part of my own Shadow (in Jungian terms) is a repression of my sense of violence and aggression. I often lament the modern-day culture that seems to think that if we just all decide to be happy and not hate people that those things will go away. But the problem is, our inner evil is born with us. Men do not become evil. They only discover they are evil, then go from there.

Years ago, perhaps in the first hypnogogic experience ever, I was quite young. I had almost forgotten about the experience, but I recall that it involved a process where the “seed of Satan” was planted in me, and I remember being terrified and hearing people scream that it was too late, the “seed of Satan” had already been planted.

Last night, this all collapsed in on me, combined with my sense of shame and guilt that pervade so many aspects of my life, and I realized that Satan was inside of me.

This is not an easy realization. In fact, to accept that anything remotely related to the concept of “the Devil” exists, much less that it exists inside of me, is anathema to everything I’ve gone through since I left evangelical Christianity at age 15.

 

Then last night, I had strange dreams, but the dreams ultimately culminated in seeing the light again at one point while praying, and then in having a dream that involved a grey alien. Instead of running from the alien, instead of screaming, I reached out and touched its face as it began screaming at me.

Then I awoke with the dreaded epiphany, a realization that I did not want to face, a horrifying twist in the story of reality.

I realized that I am Satan.

Maybe it would be better to say that I am “a Satan.” But the core of me stood up, and I realized I was evil, out for myself and only myself, and that all good will was an attempt to steer myself away from what I truly and really wanted.

I could put this in Jungian terms and say that I’m facing my “Shadow,” but I want to express this as gravely as possible to make clear the reality of it.

The violence, the sex, the desire to destroy, the desire to cause mayhem, pain, destruction, and hurt other people simply because I want to revel in their hurt- indeed, the idea of destruction and more destruction makes me so giddy, so enthralled, that I can’t imagine that I would have ever presented to anyone in the world that I was a good person, that I had any sense of ethics or holiness.

It truly bewildering and somehow a great cosmic joke to have sought God and the Truth so fervently only to discover that the Truth is that I myself am Satan. All the the things I’ve read about our Higher Self, our Soul, some Divine aspect of ourselves; all of it rendered rubbish by one real experience.

I sought gnosis. Well, I got it. I got what I wanted- at least part of it- and even though I don’t like what I see, I accept it because that’s all I can do.

Naturally, during this process, there are moments when I see myself as Satan and then see myself as containing mostly Satan. This sense of absolute sinfulness, of not only being pure sinfulness, but being the actual cause of sin in the first place, and the notion that I will burn forever because of the mayhem, is ridiculously strong.

Yet to see that I don’t care about the eternal judgment, so long as I can bring down everything with me, is what ultimately is bewildering. I can’t care about tomorrow when today I can steal, kill, and destroy.

Is there forgiveness for me? I don’t know. I have never felt this evil before. I have never felt this level of “bad.”

The only good news is that, knowing that I am the worst thing that exists, I understand that I have reached the ontological threshold of “bad.” Nothing can be worse or more awful than this inner Satan phenomenon. This is it. This is THE worst thing, from which all bad things flow.

The kind of power that exists in Satan is amazing. It is truly amazing. I understand his words to Christ that if he bows down and worships him, he can give Him anything He desires. It’s true. Having this sense of evil inside makes me have confidence I didn’t know I could have. When you just don’t give a fuck about anyone else, well, you don’t have anything to lose.

So this is where I am. I wondered when I first broke with Christianity if perhaps I were the Antichrist- I loved all religions, I wanted to see peace in the world, and I’m a grade-A Sodomite. The perfect Antichrist cocktail.

This whole process is exhausting, all this awful emotions, and the awful sense that I could get exactly what wanted by crushing anyone and anything that’s in my way while simultaneously standing horrified that it’s possible and that I’m somehow the cause of it.

If this is only the integration of the Shadow, well, by God, I pray for every bit of grace possible, but I dare not receive Christ in the Eucharist, unworthy as I am now, for it would surely kill me.

Pray for me, Holy Mother of God, that I may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Beaux

Great Comment on Divine Law in Religion and some thoughts (via My Caravan of Dream)

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A great blog explaining one of my major positions on religion in general.

From a previous post: "Each religion has its laws which are none other than the Eternal immutable Divine laws clothed in the garbs of the particular society, times and people." As different religions have different laws – that sometimes contradict each other – it seems it is not the laws that bring us closer to the Divine. The laws are a means and not an end. Following strict laws every second of your life disciplines the mind, body and soul. Whi … Read More

via My Caravan of Dream

The Light

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My current circumstances are somewhat odd. A new focus has been taken up inside of me with respect to the dhikr and the repetition of the Name of God.

The Grace of God has been descending constantly for a few days. The only way to explain this is to say that a certain kind of inner and deep tranquility is present- not perfected, not complete, but I am aware of its presence somewhere.

I’ve had an interesting week- first, having contact with a new Gnostic friend named Erik who helped to clarify many things about Gnosticism to me; second, celebrating (or not celebrating) my birthday; third, having some intense spiritual experiences on top of that.

Last week, I realized I would have to make a concerted effort at repeating the Name of God. I’ve meditated nightly for a year and a half, only to have barely any “results,” as it were; in other words, I cannot see a profound difference in myself even if it’s possible that one exists. So in the moments when my emotions would go awry, in the moments when I would be worried about something, in the moments when my sex drive would attempt to usurp me, I would necessarily repeat the Name of God even harder.

All these things came to point at something interesting- I’ve said many times that my religion is Beauty, or that I seem to go for the religion that appears to be most Beautiful at any given moment. Beauty and Majesty are the two major means that are discussed in Sufism- and moreover, these two are also likely hypostases of God in Gnosticism- Beauty certainly is.

While commenting on Beauty and Majesty is too complicated at this point and beyond the scope of this entry, it’s something to point out- that Beauty calls to me, and that I can offer up my attention on bad emotions and feelings to the focus on Beauty.

So, let’s begin with May 10th. I had an overwhelming sense of tiredness. But as Nick the Buddhist once said, Americans can’t tell the difference between relaxation and falling asleep- once an American begins to relax, they think they’re falling asleep because they’re so accustomed to being stressed out. All the stress did not leave, but an almost mindless did appear, and certainly the thinking processes seem to have been slowed down and almost stopped into total silence at points- and this is in full, waking consciousness.

I stayed at a friend’s house until 5:30 in the morning- my birthday- because of the great conversations that the people present were having, and then I drove home.

But instead of going inside and straight to bed, I walked around outside- truly something different and new for me. The exhaustion was beyond a normal exhaustion, and everything seemed magical in a way, connected into some kind of great unity. The notion that we are inside of God and totally protected seemed quite apparent- and I didn’t have much of any kind of emotion at this point, only an interest in seeing the world around me.

Later that day, the experience of the Grace of God was still with me- a kind of tiredness and detachment.

The same thing the next day, whereupon I had a dream of receiving the Holy Eucharist- actually being in a church at Mass, walking up to the altar, kneeling, receiving the Eucharist (albeit in my hand), and then consuming it. This was the first time I’ve ever had that kind of dream, which implies something.

And now, today- the tiredness, the relaxation, the Grace of God, is here.

But last night, while asleep, I had an experience. A kind of spiritual teacher was talking to me, and then I recall seeing light. In the dream, the first impression I had was that the light was simply a lamp overhead, and I began chanting the Name of God. As I repeated it, the light grew brighter and brighter. At this point, I was no longer dreaming- I could hear the sounds in my room around me. So the light became brighter and brighter and hotter and hotter- I recall distinctly the heat- and I remember feeling a lightness on the lower part of my body, as though I were no longer connected to it, or as though it were floating upwards.

I entered the light, however briefly, to the point where my room around me went silent. This sounds interesting but in reality is tremendously terrifying. Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee would state the the light is the Higher Self, which is, of course, a spark of God’s light, or the Gnostic might also say a spark of Christ’s light.

Then it was over, and I was awake- the fear of what was happening always seems to stay with me into the silence.

I’ve seen the light several times in my life and still have yet to fully understand what it is or why I see it in said situations. What I do know is that as I repeated the Name of God, the light increased in intensity. The increase in light may not be apparent on the regular level of consciousness, but I’m almost sure that it happens regardless. What this ultimately means is that the dhikr has been doing more than I realized, coinciding quite well with the realization I had back in January after everything went to hell when I stopped saying the dhikr. This slight bit of encouragement is all I need, and especially in a positive sense, to keep doing it faithfully.

Another realization that I’ve had is that to repeat the dhikr is constantly draw Beauty into the world. This is important since Beauty is important.

The wife of my former preacher used to say something that I think is not just ill-informed but incredibly stupid- she said that the Devil makes sin “beautiful” because he was the most beautiful angel. Essentially, she equated beauty with being malevolent- and I happen to have a problem with this as God is the author and origin of Beauty, not the Devil (or the demiurge, as it so happens.) So to suggest that sin is beautiful when grace is far more beautiful and God Itself is Infinite Beauty is to say something that amounts to bullshit.

On another note, I’m making a better attempt at celibacy of all forms. This is extremely difficult on the one hand but also a chance to offer the sexual energies to Beauty- which is what I really want. I really want Love, I really want Beauty- not just sexual pleasure. Thereto in addition, I’ve wondered if the phrase, “I will cry to Thee and cry to Thee until the milk of Thy Kindness boils up” has a reference to the transmutation of semen and sexual energy. Certainly the imagery of semen and milk is common, from what I’ve seen, and it seems that the dhikr does cause the energy to move up the spine.

It’s true that I think our society is oversexed. That doesn’t mean that I look down upon people who have sex for pleasure or outside of marriage- they’re entitled to do as they please. What I’ve seen, though, is that while sexual release gives a temporary sense of relief, ultimately, it can also drain one of energy entirely and that it creates a kind of slight emotional instability. This is a subtle process, not a blatant one, and only when one sees it over and over again and knows how bad one will feel after too many orgasms does one “get” it.

But that’s only from my personal experience- maybe other people don’t feel so terrible about sexual release, and if they don’t, more power to them.

The sex drive is incredibly powerful and incredibly capable of producing strange thoughts for the sake of its own release. The sex drive can literally trick you into thinking you’re in love with someone- or that you could love them- in order to get you to have an orgasm. It’s that powerful.

But really, all it wants is the orgasm.

Truly being in love with someone goes deeper than sexuality. This is a hard truth that people in our culture don’t really grasp so many times.

And the reality is, when the heat of the moment strikes, when sexual passions strikes, it is difficult to resist, to stop it. The sex drive is extremely compelling! It’s not like we can just “control” ourselves without leading to some serious repression.

Thus, spiritual practices are necessary to transmute the energy unless one just receives a special grace from God- and lucky is that person.

Again, I’m not trying to demonize orgasm, I’m not trying to demonize sex- no moral or value judgments here. Instead, I’m attempting to look at things practically, to point out that sexuality is extremely powerful and that we must be extremely careful about our sexuality because it can not only hurt us but can also hurt other people as well.

The rant for today is done.

Beaux


Oppression and Meaninglessness

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Here’s a chance to document something in real time. Earlier in the evening, I took a nap that turned into fours of my sleeping. In the dreams I had, a sense of meaninglessness and oppression that I experience in my life appeared and appeared strongly. In waking life, this feeling is minimized, likely through various mental tricks I use.

Imagine an icy-hot fire gripping the chest, especially the top part of the heart or above the heart and at the corresponding area on the spinal cord, and imagine all sense of meaning being taken from reality; this is the experience I’m going through as I type these words. The world seems both empty and oppressive, grey, and stripped of purpose.

Naturally, this is a Veil of God. This isn’t permanent. My immediate thoughts are that these relates to me on an ego-level, of something unfulfilled or missing in my life, but further ideas that appear make me wonder if it’s more than that, if maybe this is part of the transformative process.

I didn’t bargain for having only negative experiences in transformation, but good grief, that seems to be the vast majority of them. I suppose in the end I will have felt every possible emotion until the end of its existence.

Another immediate reaction in the middle of the clenched-up-chest experience is to not look for God, to not say the dhikr, but it is absolutely crucial in these moments to do just that, to keep a focus on the Divine, however we may encounter him.

But what does one do when the Divine is encountered as meaningfulness, and there’s suddenly no meaning? Ah, here we have the problem, and the only solution is to continue with the action as though we know the Divine is there.

Here, I have a glimpse of what will lay beyond all unconscious oppression, in that the peace that will follow will enable both confidence and a general contentment with life. But how to get there? Well, in a sort of honest manner, one cannot get there on one’s own, as it is ultimately contingent upon God and not one’s self. But many mystics say that the Grace descends only after have made every effort on this end, and I’m making a great deal of effort and finding every way I can to turn to God, whatever it may be.

Categorically, I can’t place God anywhere, and I’m even having trouble using the word “God” because of the negative connotations that I have with the word. Certainly I know what I mean, but does everyone else know what I mean? That’s always the question.

I think for most Christians, God is first conceived of in personal terms, e.g., as a person or entity, and only secondarily does the entity contain ideas such as the Supreme Beauty or Absolute Reality, whereas I would conceive of God in the opposite manner: the Ultimate Meaning or the Truth that is translated into imagery of an entity. Yet I cannot mislead anyone in saying that God is a mere abstraction, as I would argue God is quite real and beyond our ordinary understanding. Moreover, many great Christians would certainly be in agreement with me, even if they are somehow considered unorthodox for their views.

The oppression in my chest seems to have lessened, but does that mean something good? Does it not make me less reliant on God? Maybe I should be grateful for the afflictions that befall me, but that’s a difficult thing to do.

I have trouble when people say we should be grateful for our suffering, because many people don’t understand that the person who is grateful for suffering has achieved a certain level of consciousness (or be given it, if not achieved it), and that the person has an understanding of the suffering that someone else simply doesn’t have.

Now I should go get to the root of this.

Beaux


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