We've heard the phrase, "strength in numbers", we've tested the claim. Ever ask a friend to help you move? Assuming the execution was timely and organized, I bet the job was finished sooner and smoother with more muscle behind it?
In the context of my work, for every one living person in my office, there have sometimes been a very full house - going back, way back, way way back, in ancestry - connecting deceased relatives and tribes, showing up to make sure the message, teaching, support, transmission, lineage, humor and healing gets to the heart of the living - (as well as amongst themselves.) To this end, every session is unique and educational. My time with Judith, for instance, yielded profound insight to the virtuous and transformative practice of Forgiveness.
Judith sought insight and understanding for decisions of her past and choices she had to make. Though as evidenced by the deceased male relative of hers that stood right behind me waiting for Judith to arrive, it was clear there was a shared intention to connect to deeper aspects of her and her husband's combined family legacy.
While my service was to Judith and her family, I was about to be blown away.
The decedent and I felt very comfortable and respectful of each other. I understood he was an elder and Jewish. While relaying copious information about him to Judith, all of which she recognized, she casually asked me what he name was.
"I don't always 'get' names, (but) I'll ask." I said.
I turned my body toward the decedent behind me. Before I could formulate the question in my mind, he gently spoke his name in my ear.
"Yaakov", he said/I heard.
Poised, elegant and modest, his communication was exceptionally clear.
"Yaakov", I repeated.
"Yes!", she exclaimed.
Though she could 'feel' him there, hearing his name spoken aloud opened the next phase.
Yaakov and I were about to get very friendly. We would shift from dialoging with each other to defying modern laws of physics and share space together. Judith's grandfather and I were about to merge. (And you can bet your sweet peaches I don't do this with just anyone!)
Our frames weren't too different from each other, though his fingers and thumbs were longer and the his palms larger. I wore not merely his clothes - a dark suit, black leather shoes, white shirt, dark woolen hat, I also 'wore' his body, to keep things simple. We were superimposed. We were intimate.
As I looked down at my body to also see his, I began to study the hairs on his wrist, the color of his skin and contour of his veins. When I turned my/his palm to face upward, the sleeve was rolled up exposing a faded, blue, tattoo of a number. Its origin didn't need explanation and Yaakov knew this. I understood the tattoo was the entry number assigned to him when he was placed in a Nazi concentration camp. He and I were silent as I continued to explore his body for all he wanted me to know and understand. There had to be a very good reason we were merged this way.
I told Judith what I was experiencing. She took the information in stride and confirmed her knowledge of these events in her family and remembered the tattoo on his arm.
Yaakov began to walk me through his memories. He showed me his relatives and who they were as people. He showed me how they once lived normal lives. He showed me the turning of events, the camps, where they were forced to live. We were joined by his family. I was shown where many, many, many people were executed. From a distance, I was shown the barbaric gas chambers, but one step closer set in motion a legion of loving people to block the door with their compassion. This was their dignified way of letting me know that I didn't need to go further. They knew I was with them. There wasn't anything to prove.
Still merged, Yaakov and I, returned our attention to his living relative. I told her what there was to tell.
Suddenly I heard the unmistakable sound of traditional coo-coo clocks and heard German language being spoken. New people were arriving. I told Judith.
"That's my husband's family" she said.
I had confirmation from her husband's deceased family this was true.
Making zero assumptions, I listened closely to the nuances of the accent. Were they Swiss, Austrian, German? With my question, I was shown different flags indicating more than one country was represented or involved. I saw strong famers hands raise beer steins filled with golden brews and heard music playing, laughter and more coo-coo clocks.
["Coo-coo clock" could be a pun. They could be 'coo-coo' or eccentric; they could be involved with coo-coo clocks, this could be to set the scene for the culture to get me to understand them better. This could mean all of the aforementioned. Though subtle, there was an emphasis on coo-coo clock. I'd have to investigate this more closely.]
I relayed all that was presenting to me live time to Judith. Fortunately she recognized the multiple meanings of the coo-cook clocks. When all the this was acknowledged, I relayed the next thing that I was shown: a swastika.
Just to be clear, it wasn't the original sacred symbol used for thousands of years in Hinduism and other ancient cultures, but the perverted version used by the Nazi Party. Some of her husband's deceased relatives were active in the Nazi Party.
At this time, Yaakov and I shifted our relationship. We were still very much connected through love, though we both needed to assume a different position for what was coming. This conversation was just getting started. Time to roll up my sleeves.
This concludes part I of II. Stay tuned for part II of II.