I know several people in real life named “Bob” so when I think and write about Bob Marley, I’ll sometimes just call him Marley.
(I asked him what he thought of the book and movie “Marley & Me” with the out-of-control lab named after him; he replied “The dog is a free spirit, just like me! Anything that makes people laugh, is fine with me. The dog opens people’s hearts, this is a beautiful thing. I am glad my name plays a part.”)
I can’t help but compare personalities when a new spirit friend settles into our life, so my friends, please forgive me for contrasting your attributes as you relate to us through your most recent past-life expression.
John, such a charmer, so charismatic, so intense, sensual even, yet vulnerable, open, occasionally needy and seeking reassurance. He’s also our favourite prankster, keen to brighten our day with a sign, synchronicity, whispered joke or physical humour. John’s personality doesn’t seem to vary a lot when I relate to him as John Lennon.
Neither does George, who has always come through to me as calm, consistent, respectful, tolerant, bemused-without-patronizing. It seems in his last life he always had this sense of being detached from his physical experience, and so being in spirit form is so natural to him. He’s just plugged right into the heart of the universe and seems keen to distance himself from the human flaws of his past incarnation.
Kurt’s personality varies so much depending on what we’re communicating. Sometimes he comes through as a young teenager, enthusiastic, full of immature humour (my favourite kind) strength, guts, nerve. This young Kurt pushes us past our comfort zone, dares us to consider ticking people off, or at least to not allow fear to control our actions. He helps us to expand the limitations we place upon ourselves.
Kurt can seem like several different people at times, even though it’s the same spirit and the same past-life expression to which we relate. Sometimes Kurt the jaded rocker comes through. Sarcastic, cynical, quick to call bullshit and reflect the wrongs in the world. The Kurt who accompanies me on my meditative lessons is calm, stoic, watchful, protective. It seems he sets all other aspects of his personality aside when in “teacher mode” and becomes exactly the companion I require on these challenging and sometimes scary journeys into past lives and universal concepts.
And Bob. The first thing I see about Marley, is his smile and his laugh. I had to really do some searching to find pictures of Kurt honestly and openly laughing. John’s online store of laughing photographs are mostly from his early Beatle days, before huge fame, extreme stress, over-indulgence in certain drugs and the “india shits” took their toll. It’s not that easy to find pictures of John Lennon in the late 70s laughing. (But there is a great series of John & Yoko in the nude.)
Marley it seems is always smiling. It looks like there are hundreds, maybe thousands of images out there with his warm laughter dancing through. I’ve had “Is this love?” in my head all morning – I had to look it up to confirm it was one of his songs. He seems delighted that I have to check. Everything I do seems to delight Bob Marley. Every thought in my head is cause for positive response from him, even if it’s just to send me love. Is this love, is this love, is this love that I’m feelin?
So what do you do when you sit down to a conversation with Bob Marley? You ask him about pot, of course!
Bob, what would you like to tell the blog-o-verse about weed?
Oh, I think they know how I feel about it! (laughs)
I show him the contrast between worried parents thinking “gateway drug”, me, discovering pot in my twenties, Sweetie’s ex-boyfriend, a wake-n-bake stoner who can’t seem to get anything done. I throw all this in the form of a question at Marley.
His reply is first one of acceptance, utterly free of judgment. No one in this scenario I’ve put to him is wrong. Parents of course are concerned for their children. It is their job to protect them and instill within them the inner parent so the children can grow to care for themselves.
Children grow up to discover new limits for themselves. And adults who use the plant to cope with their lives, well, it’s a difficult life sometimes. We take medication to quell the pain of a headache, there are those who medicate with the holy plant, in search of relief of pain and fear, and the heartache of separation from God. To look upon them harshly does disservice to our own compassion, our own humanity. Reach out in kindness instead, to help ease their journey, if you can. If they will take your hand. They may sit and smoke instead, and then there is nothing you can do.
For an instant, I see Salvador Dali, in his opium den, hooka coiled in front of him like a hypnotic snake, the room warped and hazy with smoke and bent realities. (Sweetie knew Dali in her last life, more on that some other time.)
The plant, it can be so much more than this. It can open your heart. It can expand your mind. (Here he shows me the heart chakra and the third eye becoming charged and growing larger.) It can ease the limitations and pressure upon your mind, allow you to lay down your burdens (worries and energy or knowledge blocks) to allow the love to flow from Heaven.
Hey, my Girl, are you going to write what I am telling you? (He sees my hesitancy and tendency to want to vet some of this, my own worry of what current and future readers will think of this blog entry. Thank you Bob, I’m reminded to be right here in the moment, and just let the information flow.)
Now. The thing about the plant now a days, is that it has been altered so much from its natural form. If you take an unhealthy, unbalanced plant into your body, you will have an unhealthy, unbalanced experience. For this reason, I grew my own plants.
Nature has given us many gifts. Humanity may try to improve them, and so they reflect only that they see themselves as imperfect. Nature makes no imperfect things.
It is fitting there is such fear of this humble plant. There is such fear of beautiful things on earth. It is the contrast which we incarnate to experience. It is the learning to discover the balance in all things for yourself. If you do not know imbalance, you never know true equilibrium. It is your snowflake, frozen in time, forever, it has no meaning! Only through change, transformation, does God take form. On Earth. In all of us.
The plant, it only helps you to see these things and understand; to move past the deepest pain which every human being experiences – our separateness. This is why I come to you now. (He shows me the bubbles. I think George called Marley in after that conversation.)
Bob, are you telling me I should smoke some more weed?
(laughs!) Ah, my Girl, you do not need it. (He shows me meditating and I understand that this practice accomplishes the same thing for me.) Although, it is good for you when you are so tired. (He’s referring to the burned-out, flu-ridden, stressed out Toronto Kate of five years past.) Your body takes in too much of this, (shows me the part of the plant that makes me sleepy) and it takes a day for you to get back. (Shows me feeling alert after a good rest.)
Have you ever told people they should smoke pot, or more than they already do?
Of course I do! Put down the bottle, mon! Quit hitting your woman, take up the plant! Set aside your anger, your unhappiness, reach out for peace instead of creating more pain. Yes, I have told men these things. I see someone in pain, I gave them (shows me handing a deeply depressed, under-weight woman a joint.) It is not the answer to problems, it is a new way of seeing them.
The way you have seen this plant use, it is not my way. Our way (is this the Rastafarian way? Yes.) We gather together, we share the plant, we share our hearts, our laughter, our love. We close our eyes and share our journeys. We open our hearts to each other in complete love and acceptance. We grow closer than brothers and sisters in this practice. If only this culture could replace the tradition of judgment and hatred. (shows me a preacher pounding his podium in harsh denunciation of some “sin”, shows me holy wars, shows me motherless children, shows me mothers insane with grief over their murdered children – that last one gets me and tears spring up.)
If only this way of peace and joining together could replace these traditions of war. It’s only a plant my dear. It’s only a way to love.
And there are so many ways to love.