Let’s get the hardest part over with first. Bartholomew, whose sage advice you’re about to read, isn’t real — in the way, say, Ronald Reagan is real. Bartholomew doesn’t have a body.

The last time the spiritual teacher Ram Dass was in town he said, “Some of you don’t have any prejudices, but you may have a prejudice against people who don’t have bodies. But I don’t.” He went on to tell of his conversations with a “friend” named Emmanuel, who spoke through a woman named Pat Rodergeist. (Emmanuel had some great advice about dying. “Tell them it’s absolutely safe,” he told Ram Dass. It’s like “taking off a tight shoe.”)

I remember, too, despite a friend’s insistence ten years ago that I read Jane Robert’s Seth Speaks, being revolted by the cover, with its ghoulish picture of Jane in trance while Seth spoke through her. Looks like occult mumbo-jumbo to me, I told my friend. Read it, she said. I did, and I haven’t read a more important book since. I still can’t tell you who Seth is — a part of Jane? a higher being who uses her to communicate the way we pick up a phone? — but I really don’t care. As Seth says, what counts is not who he is but who we are. And he explains who we are with mind-expanding depth and subtlety; I go back to the book the way you go back to the ocean.

I haven’t read enough of Bartholomew to know whether to rank him with Seth but of the various “channeled” things I’ve seen, this clearly stands out for its psychological astuteness and its compassion; Bartholomew may not have a body, but he’s sure got soul.

Bartholomew speaks through a woman named Mary Margaret Moore of Taos, New Mexico. For the past seven years she’s given hundreds of Bartholomew readings on every conceivable and not-so-conceivable topic. She also does personal counseling; such a session, with SUN reader Louis David Salomone, is printed here.

Salomone met Mary Margaret Moore — and Bartholomew — in November, 1982. It was a profound and pivotal event. “The life I had known for some fifty years was coming to an end and I knew I needed guidance,” he writes. “It was as if I had died and was reviewing my previous lifetime so I could fully learn my lessons. To be able to look with clear eyes and self-acceptance at our past, to forgive ourselves for our imagined errors of commission or omission, to see and know the truth, is freeing.”

Salomone, who lives in Langhorne, Pennsylvania, is married and has two children. He has been an electronics engineer, Army officer, business executive, minister, and college teacher.

He said he wanted to share this personal account “because I truly believe that my central struggle, with fear, is common to all of us and that our common task is letting go of fear, and realizing the love that we are.”

For more information about Mary Margaret Moore’s work, you can write to her at P.O. Box 1656, Taos, New Mexico 87571.

— Ed.


BARTHOLOMEW: I see two areas of difficulty. One is in the realm of relationships. Can you tell me your perception of the problem?

LOUIS DAVID: I’m thinking of my wife, Christine. We’ve been married 17 years. Not long ago, she and I met with her therapist and he said that I recreated her reality for her.

BARTHOLOMEW: What did he mean for you to do about that, my friend?

LOUIS DAVID: To keep my mouth shut more. When Christine confronts me, I will rationalize, philosophize, theorize but not own up to my feelings. I have difficulty being direct sometimes. .

BARTHOLOMEW: Do you know why?

LOUIS DAVID: Fear.

BARTHOLOMEW: When anyone tells you what you should do, tells you to be different, I would ask how are you going to be different than you are? Is there not a way in this relationship to both be who you are and still to move? Do you have to change being who you are because it is difficult for who she is? The important question is deeper. What is the communication level between you? Do you address the fact that there are difficulties? How do you go about sharing this difficulty? It is a shared difficulty.

LOUIS DAVID: To the extent that we allow each other more space, that can be helpful. Christine has been very afraid of me and has chosen not to share any space with me. I’ve been expecting her to change and she has been expecting me to change. Last night, she was very angry with me. Instead of just leaving and going to bed as I might usually do, I decided to listen to her. Eventually we were able to hear each other and there was a coming together. Normally, I expect her to talk with me when I’m open to talking — in the morning — but last night I changed and talked with her late at night. One of the difficulties is just modalities of communication.

BARTHOLOMEW: My friend, relationships are very simple. When two people come together in a friendship, and certainly in a marriage, one comes forward as the predominant character and takes on certain roles and one comes as the lesser and takes on other roles. These are interchangeable among men and women. I do not see that either sex has an exclusive hold over any position but usually it is the male who takes the dominant role. All right now. Given this to be the social situation, what can you do? You have two choices as I see it. You can work deeply to equalize. That is what you are looking for, my friend, make no mistake, for every human consciousness, no matter how much they might pretend, wants equality. They know that only through equality is there love. I repeat: only through equality is there love. You will not be loved if you are superior and you will not be able to love if you are inferior. Love stops. The only way that love is possible is through equality and this is the one thing that the human ego has trouble allowing. Your two choices are to work on it or to leave. If you remain in the relationship, then poison continues, to her and to you, unsaid and so forth. But the alternative is hopeful because you can make changes. I will suggest these changes to you, and you do what you want with them.

I feel that when any entity becomes very quiet and dwells upon the other entity, out of their being comes a feeling of love. I believe this. When you have this feeling of love, you will not say, “I must be more quiet or I must be less forceful or I must be. . . .” None of those because what you will be is love. And you will look upon this entity and say that whatever this cherished one needs I will give her, not because I have to but because out of my heart I want to. That is in you and that is the part you have not shown. You have not shown that soft, vulnerable space and the reason you have not is that you have not allowed yourself to see it. The one statement that would be hard for you to make is, “I love and I am vulnerable.” Instead you say, “I love and I take care of people.” Don’t you? You are a good taker carer, aren’t you? That is a “strong” role but to say, “I love this woman and I am vulnerable and I will allow myself to be hurt, to cry, to ache, and I will tell her that I am hurting, and I will ask her to help me” — all of that is very hard. I will tell you why and if I am wrong you must correct me. What I see in your psyche is that as a child it was not acceptable behavior. As a man or boy this was not allowed. There was a certain formula and if you followed it you would be a good man, a good father, a good husband. Nowhere in that early time do I see the model of being able to be totally vulnerable. I just don’t see it. Am I missing? Were you able to be totally vulnerable? Were you able to feel vulnerable and state it as a six-year-old, an eight-year-old, a ten-year-old? Were you able to cry? What was that like? Give me eight years old. What was it like?

LOUIS DAVID: There is fear. At eight I think of feeling bullied by boys stronger and taller and older than me. I keep quiet to stay out of trouble.

BARTHOLOMEW: What would have happened to you if you had gone to those bully boys and with tears running down your eyes said, “I am afraid of you.”

LOUIS DAVID: (cries.)

BARTHOLOMEW: You see what I am saying. It was not possible. You cannot go to bully boys and tell them you are afraid. Then you are the subject of ridicule and even more abuses are heaped on your head. Let me tell you that you are the way you are because you had to defend against your environment, not because of any other reason. It is my absolute conviction that the human entity, given the proper supportive and loving environment, will become open, loving, compassionate, humorous, and humble all at the same time. But that environment is very hard to come by in the world as it is constructed today. Therefore, you make adjustments. You have made a certain kind of adjustment against your early environment. Your wife has made another kind of adjustment. To me, the solution for both of you is to begin to face those early conditionings. Go back in your own awareness. What did I have to do as a young child in order to make it in my universe? Is it still necessary? Think back to those early days. What kinds of things did you have to do around your parents, the other adults, your siblings? Ask yourself until you finally understand. I chose this role and this role when I was small. I no longer have to choose it and I certainly don’t have to choose it around the one person with whom I am seeking equality.

Be clear that what you both want is equality. She needs the sense of believing, “When I say something, I’m really listened to.” I can only see her as she is reflected in your psyche. I see clearly that what she needs from you is to be honored when she says something. And you need that point within you that says, “Please help me, I’m weak in this area, I need your help.” What you both need is support from another entity who will not make you pay for it because the bottom line in human consciousness is: if I am vulnerable then I have given you a tool which you can turn against me. It is a frightening thing. Please see if you cannot keep remembering over and over — equality, equality — and mean it. Not the kind of equality which say I’ll make you equal in six places and I will be equal in six but just a feeling of equality. The closest and fastest way to tap that feeling of love which you have within you is to meditate on her face. I will be very specific about what I mean. You have thrown around each other’s face, each other’s being, a veil of protection. You look, and a part of you says you know you married her for many reasons but one of them was that you suspected you could trust her. This is a woman that I can take my heart to and trust her with it. She is not going to squeeze it, trample on it, or throw it away. She is going to give it consideration. But then the fear came. Oh my God what if she doesn’t? What if she turns out to be like those others? All the doubts come racing in and the veil goes up. I can trust you but not really, not all the time, not in this one area. And it reflects back. All you are trying to do in watching her face is touch again that place within you that loves her.

It isn’t that you just love her. This is the difficulty. You love everyone. You see, the human heart loves every other human heart. It is the Law. But you throw up all these veils and some are thicker than others. When I ask you to get in there and view her face you are going to find that the veils will start falling away. You will see this face and that face and then finally you will see her and love will go out. And when it begins to do that you are not going to act kindly because of any theory that a therapist has presented to you. You are going to be kind because you feel like that. So, if you want to mend this relationship, begin to dwell quietly, meditatively on her face in your mind. Dwell on her for a long enough period of time each day that all of the faults that have been constructed move away and she remains. I’m asking you to love her. I do not see any other solution for any relationship except love. You can pretend. You can make changes on the surface. You can try to adjust, to be good, to be obedient. In the end you will throw it all in the trashcan unless you touch again the love that you have in your heart. Once you do that, all of the rest will be humorous. You know you have good humor and it has been hiding. In this relationship it has been hiding. When I say to you that I want you to love her, I feel this tremendous fear rising up. Now tell me, why are you afraid?

LOUIS DAVID: There is a conflict. Christine tells me that I love and respect all those strangers out there but not her. Some time ago I wrote out my lifetime goals. First was to seek the kingdom of God, the love of God. And then, family.

In 1968, I was graduated from seminary and we went out to California. I had a very clear intuition to stay there and continue this religious path. But Christine was pregnant and because of her need for security I went back to management counseling, the career I had left.

Earlier, in 1965, I had a number of peak experiences which transformed my life. At Esalen Institute, in a psychosynthesis group, I died and was reborn. A month later, at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Menlo Park, California, I had a day-long psychedelic trip which gave new meaning and direction to my life. These events, among others, dramatically changed my attitude. I felt completely and totally free for the first time in my life. I began to do many of the things I had wanted to do for a long time but was afraid of doing. I left my executive position. I met Christine at Esalen and proposed to her three weeks later. I decided to go back to graduate school and become a Unitarian minister. I visited my father’s home in Sicily. All these changes symbolized a real, new, awakened life.

BARTHOLOMEW: Now, you think you’ve gone backwards?

LOUIS DAVID: It seems that since 1968, I’ve been standing still. Now I feel close to another such awakening. I see myself leaving the college where I’m now teaching and beginning to write, lecture, to be more of a vehicle. This is what I really want to do but there is a conflict between serving God and my obligations toward my kids and family.

BARTHOLOMEW: You have made an interesting leap. I asked you why you are afraid to love. You responded, in effect, that if you love this woman, if you allow yourself to love this woman, then you will be trapped even more fully than you are now. My friend, I did not say that to love this woman you had to remain with her or to stay in a prison with her or allow her to manipulate you. The minute you feel love coming into your life you interpret it as incarceration. And the one way to get out of the prison of the last few years is to withdraw love because if you and your wife are not getting along then you have a justification for doing what you want which is to leave and to do a, b, and c. That is the way the human entity usually does it. I would like to ask you to be conscious that you are afraid that loving this woman is going to mean you are strapped, not to her necessarily. In fact, you might not even mind being strapped to her in a nice, warm way. What frightens you are the obligations around marriage — responsibility, duty, family, finances, a certain income. The psyche tells you that if the marriage is losing, if the relationship is separating, then you can also separate yourself from this life that you hate because a part of you hates it a great deal. You fantasize a completely different kind of existence for yourself.

Now there are various ways you can go about this. You can address each issue separately. Would you like to take this lady and move to a new life and have her be a part of it, have her help you and you her? Can you go back to her and ask if there is a way that together you can be freed up? Do you tell her that you are stifled, that it isn’t her particularly but just the way of life?

Your love could free you in a different way. Do you love her? I am not speaking of the one and only love forever for there is no such thing in the human relationship — there are just loves. If you find you love this woman as a human being, and if she wants to take on a certain kind of lifestyle and you don’t, then with that love she can go her way and you go yours. You do not have to destroy the fabric of the caring between the two of you as human entities in order to be free and live the kind of life you want.

I do not see any other solution for any relationship except love. You can pretend. You can make changes on the surface. You can try to adjust, to be good, to be obedient. In the end you will throw it all in the trashcan unless you touch again the love that you have in your heart.

LOUIS DAVID: Yes, this is exactly where we are and it has been very hard for both of us. I’ve spoken of marriage counseling and she has spoken of divorce counseling. She has told me — and it is very hard for me to hear it — that she is very afraid of me.

BARTHOLOMEW: Because you have not shown her your vulnerable side. Any psyche who perceives another human being either on one pole or the other gets a very warped view. The male usually presents the strong side and not the vulnerable side. The woman usually presents the vulnerable side and not the strong side. So the male says, this is a weak person and the woman says, that is a strong person. It is absolute nonsense because inside they are both there. The child and the adult are equally alive in both your psyches. But you do not allow the child to come forward, to go to her, to ask for help. And she does not allow the strength in her to come forward and say that she can help you, that she is an adult. You have polarized your relationship and through that polarity she is afraid of you because you have not shown her the part of you that is as vulnerable as that part of herself. All she sees is her own vulnerability, her own childishness. She perceives you as this capable person who moves through life with confidence. If she had seen the totality of you, the hidden part of you, she would not be afraid. I am not afraid of you. I see both in your psyche. You see, it is what you choose to show her that she sees. If she is afraid, she may choose to stay away from you. It is irrelevant.

LOUIS DAVID: Are you saying that lovers may come and go but love remains, that love is the important thing?

BARTHOLOMEW: I think love is all that matters.

LOUIS DAVID: My greatest fears and hers too, I think, are separation, death, and divorce. She would add financial insecurity. For myself it doesn’t seem as important though it has been a big issue to learn non-attachment to poverty and wealth.

BARTHOLOMEW: I understand that.

LOUIS DAVID: I hear you and yet I haven’t fully heard you. On the one hand there is a part of me that would like the single life. I’d like a little place, some books, tapes, time to write, to lecture, to travel — free as a bird. And there is another part of me that can’t imagine not having my family. How do I put the two together?

BARTHOLOMEW: No decision that you make with your mind is going to answer your heart. The solution to your problem is very simple. Begin to dwell on the softness within you. I do not mean going and blubbering to her — nothing false. You love this lady. You love a lot of people but there is love in your being for this lady, love that has been covered over with layers and layers of false responses and the same is true for her. The solution, to me, is simple. When you get in touch with the love you have, you will know what you want to do. You will know whether you want to go together to find a new way so that you will be happy and she will find enough security. When the love comes, the happiness and security will follow. You were trying to do the second first and it is not going to be like that. If you continue the path that both of you are taking, you will end up separated and angry and it is that which bothers me. Separation done in anger, rather than with caring, creates the additional burden of unfinished business that you have to work out further down the line. When you allow yourself to love this lady again, you will find the mature love in you saying many things. Maybe it will say that while the relationship has been beautiful and wonderful, it is now finished. Maybe it will say that you need her to come with you but you have to try another kind of life. But that is secondary. It is the love in the heart that is important. I also see in the psyche a pattern of playing on guilt.

LOUIS DAVID: Tell me about guilt.

BARTHOLOMEW: It’s there in your psyche and it is a pattern. And other people can play on the guilt.

LOUIS DAVID: Christine says this to me but I don’t really understand guilt.

BARTHOLOMEW: What does she say to you?

LOUIS DAVID: That some of the things I say make her feel guilty. I tell you they are not intentional. I don’t mean to make her feel guilty.

BARTHOLOMEW: Give me an example.

LOUIS DAVID: Christine is notorious for saying she’ll be home at a certain time and then not appearing. My reactions vary from being angry with her to ignoring her to continually referring to her lateness. I am judging her.

BARTHOLOMEW: Listen to what you are saying. You cannot change the actions of another human being. What you are saying is true. You are saying you don’t accept her as she is for a part of her is not coming in when she is supposed to. That is who she is, a part of who this person is. What you are saying is that you don’t like that part, that you want it to change. And she also looks at a part of you, doesn’t like a way you are, and wants you to change. The solution is love. It is so prosaic and mundane. If you really loved her, you could tell her how hard she makes it for you when she finally walks in the door. Tell her you love her. Tell her this is a drag. You would laugh about it. You could embrace her and it would be all right and, who knows, she might even choose to come in on time. It would be finished.

Why is she late? What is her way? You know why she is late. It is a very good rebuttal to some of your own power. Do you understand? Why not come in a little late? Why not just get a little back? You know, people do unconscious things. They start as children. One way to get attention is to be late. The parents ask, “Where have you been?” Perhaps the parents get upset, even mad, but at least they pay attention. Their actions tell the child that he is noticed, thought about, considered a part of their lives. The pattern continues for years. It is not for your wife to be punctual because then it will arise somewhere else. Then, the coffee will be too weak — anything you name. The solution has to be getting in touch in your heart with the love you have for this lady. Dwell on her countenance, inside, with your eyes closed, as hard as this might be. Look at that face until all of the layers start to fall away and until light starts to come through. In your vernacular, you allow yourself to run all of the trips around the face and to touch again the amazing essence of love.

What you are telling me is that fear has closed off your love. You can love people in the abstract or people who are not close to you. That is not hard for you to do. You can be very personable, very loving, very understanding but then you close the door before going home. Your heart has had to close up because it is hurting. The one statement you cannot make is “I hurt” and yet you do hurt. And she hurts. Her loving you cannot erase the pain. She could love you until you melted and it would have nothing to do with you. You are the one who has to break open the door to love.

LOUIS DAVID: Is “I hurt” the same as “I need?”

BARTHOLOMEW: Yes. “I hurt” means we may not be able to solve my dilemma but I just had to share my pain with you. Maybe there’s no solution but you are my friend, my sister. I need help. Here I am. I hurt. Can we just acknowledge that? Can you just hold me or just sit with me, smile or cry with me, be here in this presence with me? She doesn’t have to make you well. You make yourself well.

What will happen if you both decide to become equal, when you both decide to love? To become equal means to love. When you love, you are equal. There is no up and down, no hierarchy. If she wants to do something, you tell her to do it! She asks if you mind. You don’t mind because you see how happy it will make her. Do it! It is such a different stance. So the only solution is to make a decision. Are you going to love this lady or not? And if you are going to love her, you are going to pull out all the stops and do it. That doesn’t mean that you are going to become her slave. No. It means you are going to allow the feeling that has been boxed up in you to start flowing. Out of that flowing, out of that flood, will come an amazing feeling. You are not going to feel imprisioned. You are going to feel emancipated within yourself.

LOUIS DAVID: The first time I saw Christine at Esalen, there was a radiance, a clear white light around her. And it was then that I also had a dream of being on fire. I shared the dream in a group — the pain and the hurt. Acknowledging openly my condition freed me.

BARTHOLOMEW: You will have to go back the way you came, my friend. What about returning to places like Esalen? I don’t mean leaving and jumping into a new life but allowing yourself to seek out the places you would like to visit for a week or two, allowing yourself the opportunity to return to these places, allowing yourself the freedom to start loving again. You have become afraid. There was a time when you were not afraid, when you were open and free and loving. You see, as it happened before it could happen again. Be serious about this. Find the environments and people and circumstances that will allow you to get in touch with the tremendous love which you have within you.

LOUIS DAVID: This summer I felt like spending some time at the Lama Foundation again, with Ram Dass and the people there. But I faced the same conflict. It would cost $1000, money that could be used for my daughter’s education or this or that. I wasn’t even sure whether it was necessary for me to be with you this weekend. Nothing you are saying is new to me. Also, can I afford it?

BARTHOLOMEW: You have to make up your mind. And so does Christine. What are your priorities? I suggest that you sit down together and try to decide upon them. Is the priority your marriage and your love? If you met Christine at Esalen, she also has access to expanded states of awareness. She also knows what it is like to be in a state of freedom within oneself and to feel all right with the world. Maybe love has closed down for her too. She is not here. It is not my place to probe. The thing I see clearly is that you have got to decide on your priorities. I will be frank with you. If you decide on money and security through a conscious choice, then do not complain when you have no love in your heart, when you feel empty and alone. I’m asking you to bring from the depth into your conscious mind the choice of priorities which you have with this woman and with your life.

Like any sane person you want out of prison. But you can’t get out because you love your jailer.

LOUIS DAVID: I am here to learn how to let go of my over-attachment to money, sex, food, and the rest of it. As a single person I think I know how. But that part of me that I call Christine, what she represents in me, says that, for her, security is number one.

BARTHOLOMEW: And is security number one for you?

LOUIS DAVID: No, it’s not.

BARTHOLOMEW: You say that she mirrors a part of yourself. She says it. You hear it. Now you must decide if it is worth it. Every seeker, again and again, comes to the line. Let us suppose that security is huge with you. Then you have got to find out just where in your limited environment you can maneuver. Don’t just assume that now you can’t do anything because that is a total lying down. Given “the fact that you can’t do A and B, what can you do? What is under your nose that you can do which won’t be a big problem for everybody? What I sense you have done is to place the responsibility, the conflict, on someone else. You are not sure about spending the $1000. You could have worked it out. Yes,there is a conflict; if you do one thing you give up another. But that is partly your conflict and partly her conflict. Become clear. To obtain that clarity perhaps something dramatic must be done. I see this all the time. People move along and then things get bottled up. They approach the neck of the bottle, the bottle gets filled, and instead of just taking the easy way out, it seems necessary to explode the thing, to make something big happen so that there is movement. Whether that means you have to have a peak experience or to immerse yourself for days in something, I sense that something halfway isn’t going to do it for you, my friend. Occasional therapies and occasional retreats and seminars will not work. I think it is going to have to be something big. I think you must recognize a need for a shift in awareness, a need to go and do the things that will make it a permanent change. Do you see what I am saying? But it is up to you to choose. And that may mean giving up some things that you thought you wanted. It is priorities, my friend, but I see it as bottled up.

You have lost the fabric of trusting your life. You have lost the realization that your honest experiences, your honest desires and motivations, are what is best for you.

LOUIS DAVID: Oh, that is absolutely true. Again the same question emerges. It is difficult to separate myself from my fourteen-year-old daughter, Maria, and from Christine. I would like Maria to go to a private Quaker school. I see that as important for her development. And we need a new furnace in our house. This seems so mundane. The whole thing is really absurd. I’m like a shoemaker with holes in his shoes. I’m a graduate of the Harvard Business School and I know about money. I could make a lot of money if I gave that my full commitment. At this point in time, that isn’t what I want to do.

BARTHOLOMEW: I see you fighting for your own clarity of consciousness. When that is the goal, everyone around you benefits. I agree that you have to have a furnace and that it would be a good idea to send Maria to a Quaker school but still I remind you of the priority. What is the priority? Is it the marriage and the relationship and the union of these souls or is it something else? If the priority is the furnace, then accept the fact that your marriage is in difficulty, that it may or may not end, but if you stay together it is going to be stuck. Or you will say: we are important; we — the human consciousness — are important.

It is important to make clear that you are your own teacher. I am not the great teacher that descends and dispenses this and that. We simply come together and when energy truly flows between us you become your own teacher and clarify for yourself.

LOUIS DAVID: I know that in love, our state of consciousness, our vibrational level, expands and we break through the ordinary illusion of separateness and become one. The door has been opened and I have moved through into a state of perfect peace and freedom and power but that has not remained permanent.

BARTHOLOMEW: Be very clear that the reason I feel you are conflicted, and the only reason you have come here today, is a call of your deep self that tells you to get your priorities in line. Once you get your priorities in line you will know exactly what you should do. You will not be conflicted. You will be very clear thinking. But when the priorities are darkened and you don’t see, a part of you says that your spiritual development comes first. But another part of you says wait a minute, don’t forget about all these other obligations over here. You were looking here and there. When you are clear, then you are very forward looking, very forceful, and things begin to manifest for you. When you are conflicted then it is manifested through disease.

Are there other questions? Are we clear that the only solution I see is a commitment — either you are going to love or you are not?

LOUIS DAVID: Yes. Maria put it to me very clearly. She said either separate or work at it.

BARTHOLOMEW: You have to make your choice. If you separate, then learn what that means. If your choce is to stay, then throw yourself into it. But if you do anything halfway, then everybody will be halfway. She will be half-pleased, half-dissatisfied, half-afraid. You will see the falsity of the situation. You’ve got to do something about getting deeply into what it is you truly want the next phase of your life to be. It is long overdue. If you had been watching consciously, you would have seen that the cycle had begun at least two years ago. These same questions were impinging on your psyche then and you didn’t act on them. You didn’t know where to go and how to work with it. The time for the expansion had begun and nothing came of it. The feeling within is now one of treading water, of not getting anywhere, of nothing changing. You are not expanding. The cycle has begun but nothing is happening and your inner voice tells you that you are supposed to be moving on. I don’t mean leaving houses or wives. You feel you are supposed to be moving to a different state of comprehension of yourself and yet you don’t move. Why not? In your case, my friend, I think the reason is chatter — inner chatter and outer chatter. Your life is filled. There is a lot going on. When you have a packed life and when you are an outgoing person as you are, there is very little space for the solitude that it takes to understand yourself. I remind you again to find a place to go for as many days as necessary to get in touch with what you want. Perhaps it will be a place where others are in like circumstances seeking answers. Whatever seems proper for you, find it. It is important. It would be nice if it could be a place among people you don’t know. The human psyche has a certain face to protect and if you go into a new environment where nobody knows you and nobody needs to know you, you can be still and say the things you want to say. The reason that Esalen and places like that are so terribly helpful is that they take you out of the old and place you, like a newborn, into the new. They provide a totally different situation which allows you to be who you want to be.

LOUIS DAVID: I’d like to talk about sexuality. In my head I know that form doesn’t matter and Christine is as beautiful as anyone.

BARTHOLOMEW: Exactly.

LOUIS DAVID: There is a lot of fear there.

BARTHOLOMEW: You have to directly confront that area of fear. We go back to the basic thing once again — the need to get in touch with what you want to do. You have seen that your view of marriage is that it imprisons you. Like any sane person you want out of prison. But you can’t get out because you love your jailer. And Christine also feels in prison and for her you are the jailer. She is telling herself she cannot do all the things she wants to do because you are standing there when she comes home late. You act as each other’s jailer. Each of you feels that if you weren’t in this relationship, then thus and so would be possible for me. What you have to find out is whether or not there is a way for the relationship to be sustained while other things take place. Is there a way you can put the relationship on hold for a little while so you can explore being yourselves? You both like each other. The problem is that both of you are ready for other kinds of experiences but you step in the way of one another as well as in the way of yourselves out of fear. You must address these fears. It is not enough to bring them to your awareness, to name the things of which you are afraid, and still hang on to them hoping that you will die before you need to rock the boat. You must address the fears for I assure you they will present themselves again in another time and another place. So, please, just begin to explore. Don’t worry about whether you should do this or that until you have spent some time with yourself. Find out what you want and where you are going. You are into a new cycle and you are dragging your feet.

LOUIS DAVID: I understand. Let me ask about health. A doctor said to me that until I learn to deal with my metabolism, until my body is at peace, then there will be no emotional and mental peace. I know that health is inner peace. I have had trouble with my body and with self-discipline. What are your thoughts.

BARTHOLOMEW: The reason you are overweight is that you don’t know yourself. If you knew yourself, you would see your pattern. When you believe in something, when you are convinced of it, you will give your life for it. But when you are not convinced you cannot know yourself. When you begin to address your problems deeply instead of covering them over, you are going to see where the disease is, where the balance is out of line. The metabolism problems and all of the things which are giving you false stimulation now will start to present themselves. What is lacking is the stimulation of your life energy. You are lacking in discipline because you are lacking in life force. You are lacking in life force because of all the places where you have chosen to block yourself. One block produces another block which in turn produces the next. Clamp down on one thing and everything begins to clamp down around it.

The answer is not to vitalize different points but to let go of the hold. Now, your hold is strong. You are afraid of the consequences of following certain actions which draw you. You are going to have to act and see what happens, or to look carefully enough to see that you don’t want to act in that way. But it is fear which blocks you in either direction.

LOUIS DAVID: You say actions. What actions?

BARTHOLOMEW: Imagine that you could push a button which would make you feel absolutely free to move in the world without worrying about guilt at all. If you saw somebody you would like to have an affair with, you could do it. If you decided you wanted to go away for two weeks, you could do it. If you decided you wanted to do nothing for a week or two, you could do it. You are saying that you are tired of having to do what you have to do when half the time — or more than half the time — it is not what you want to do. Turn it into a positive statement. Get in touch with what you want to do and be courageous and do it. Once you get in touch with what you want to do, you will have the courage. You have done it before, my friend, I see that. When you are convinced, you do. You must be convinced and cannot rely on the mind to convince you. Your mind will show you six reasons over here not to do something, and another six reasons over there not to do something else. You have to get in touch inside. That is absolutely essential. When you start seeing and facing what it is you want to do, what it is you want to try, what it is you want to throw over, what it is you want to experience, only then will you begin freeing up the courage to act on those wants.

Metabolism difficulties are always an imbalance. This is nothing new to you. You know there is a disharmony among your mental, emotional, and physical selves. You know they are out of balance. Don’t worry about it. To worry about metabolism just increases anxiety. It is only a manifestation of an inner disharmony and the solution is simple: find out what you want and be courageous. You have the courage when you need it and now is when you need it. In almost every human being I’ve ever seen, except the ones who have worked hard on themselves, there are two entities: the good boy and the bad boy. The bad boy says, “I want to do this” and the good boy says, “Don’t you dare!” The good boy says, “Here I am. I’m very good.” And the bad boy says, “Yes, but you are bored to death.” They battle back and forth. Sometimes one wins and sometimes the other. Most psyches choose a middle ground of halfway measures, a little of this and a little of that — enough, maybe, to keep the peace. But the battle has to be joined. The battle between good and evil is still going on. And both are false concepts which can only be addressed by answering the basic question: what do you want to do? You are dragging your feet. You are not moving. Every time an intuitive thought comes along, you cut it off. You say you’d like to go and stay for a month with Ram Dass and then immediately come up with reasons why you can’t do it but must do something else instead. So you decide to take the night off. Instead of allowing yourself a week or a month away to truly find out what it is you want to do, you give yourself the night off. You allow yourself to do what you want for one evening. Compromise, compromise. And the next morning you wake up looking for a change in consciousness and find nothing. You will not find it buying a new furnace. You will not find it by going to therapists. You will only find it by deciding what it is you want to do and then being willing to pay the price — which may mean having to trust other people.

The thing that is sorrowful is that I know something that you have forgotten: your life patterns are absolutely perfect. You say that your feelings of wanting something are harmful to your wife, harmful to your child. You have lost the fabric of trusting your life. You have lost the realization that your honest experiences, your honest desires and motivations, are what is best for you. And you are fighting against them. You have decided that they are evil and terrible, lacking in duty, lacking in responsibility. You have a long list of how you are lacking as does Christine. Perhaps when you compare your deep centers, you will find yourselves reflections of one another saying that it is time for a real change in our life. Maybe you will change together and be one. As brother and sister — which is all any of us really are to each other. Maybe you will reflect and travel together. Maybe it is time for something different. I don’t know. I’m simply saying that avoidance and surface solutions will not work.

You are looking for the love of God. You both know it. You try to find it in another creature and when you don’t find it there, you begin poking holes in the relationship. No relationship is going to bring you God. His love has never been found there. You have got to find it inside. So you must decide: are you ready to find a way to expand your awareness or not? Throw yourself into the effort. Believe in it. Only then will you be able to act.

Don’t worry about health. I don’t see any imminent danger but I do see a continual building of pressure on all parts of your psyche until you make a choice. And that pressure is your choice. You have picked it so you won’t stay where you are. It is you who has decided to move, even it if means an explosion. There is a part of you that is going to break out of this even if you have to explode the walls. Another part of you is holding back, trying to keep everything together. When you are ready to blow the top off of this, she is not. And when she is ready to blow it up, you are not. Both of you are afraid of what life would be like without each other. How would it be not to have this person in my life? The reason the human psyche does not learn is that it will not allow itself the time to find out. It takes time away from the environment, away from talk. It takes deep consistent introspection. By that I mean spending weeks in solitude re-experiencing parts of your being, re-remembering, integrating the lessons.

You learn for years and years but never stop to integrate. Few people do. You have set things up so that you cannot learn from yourself — and you are your best teacher. The only way left to you is through dream. Dream and sleep are the only things you have gotten in touch with. And now that the dream world is being probed into by other psyches, you lose the freedom to be your own teacher.

LOUIS DAVID: What do you mean by the dream world?

BARTHOLOMEW: In ancient days, if you were ailing, you would call on a dream to show you what was wrong. In the dream state you would be shown. The next day you would go to the appropriate so-called medical practitioner and tell him what your dream revealed. You would diagnose. He would serve you by confirming your words. Now when you have a dream and cannot decide what it's about you go to a book. A dream about a dog means one thing and clouds mean another. even the power of the dream has now been turned over to someone else. So there is nothing left. Where are you going to go to find out what you know?

LOUIS DAVID: I think in dualities. A part of me feels a need to be with people who are singing and dancing, to be in community of a devotional nature. Another part of me asks for the silence of Quakers or Zen Buddhists.

BARTHOLOMEW: I think you need both. You need dancing and screaming and swearing, and then you need quietude. You need the kind of place where you are allowed to let go, to do and be and say all the things that your society has not allowed and then to drop into quiet solitude and see what it feels like. There are places in the world just like that and I would ask you to find them.

The last thing I have to tell you is that there is nothing you need to know that is not absolutely accessible to you. You do not need a witchdoctor. You do not need a guru. You need yourself. Begin to honor the wise one within you. Ask him to speak to the rest of you. And listen. His words come out all the time but you deflect them. Up comes intuition and you throw it out. This is a pattern for you. It is only when the wise one in you screams at you that you hear him. You help other people find ways that help them but you do not listen to your wise man for yourself. Listen to him with all the honor due. You have a right to your own wisdom.