Perspectives: The Programmed Mind Pt.2 – The Vessel of Light

October 6th, 2019

“What if I’m in charge of my own damn light switch?”

– Jandy Nelson

Some time ago I was in the beautiful country of Zimbabwe. I  was there to study and work with plant medicines. It is a country that respects the ceremony and serious work with plant medicines and the healing they can bring about. (More on these later). 

While I was not on the medicine that day, I was called into the ceremony of a medicine woman who was. She had – or rather, the medicine working through her – had a message for me. Paraphrased it went something like this:

”We are nothing. We have to be a vessel. Nothing of us, not our personality, our sympathy or compassion, our opinions or judgement can remain. Only light. When we are light, nothing can stick to us, nothing can gain a foothold in us.”

Now, I don’t know about you, but if someone in this clear state of consciousness has a message for us, it is highly advisable we listen, even if we do not yet understand all the ramifications of such a gift.

The tangled web we weave

At War with Self. All rights reserved.

In part one (click here if you missed it), we looked at some of the myriad of ways we can be led on a merry dance by the mental programs that feed on our light and energy. 

Since that blog I have received interesting feedback about how this phenomenon is known to many spiritual traditions (thanks Keith). It goes by other names such as ”’e’epa” by the Hawaian kahuna shamen; ”wetiko” by author Paul Levy (taken from North American Indian traditions) and ”Archons” in the Gnostic tradition. They may sometimes even be referred to as ”entities” and, in their extreme form of enslavement, ”demons” of the mind that can completely overtake our psyche and physical actions. They are  undoubtedly known by other names in other traditions.

In any case, we do not live in a bubble and are constantly interacting with others who are entangled in mental programs of their own. Let us first look at some more of those.

Families: Dr. Hellinger, a psychologist is the founder of ’Hellinger work’, better known as Family Constellations. It examines the phenomenon of how we inherit more than our ancenstors DNA. At an energy/consciousness level we also inherit the wounds and traumas, negative programs and unresolved issues of our family line. This is then played out in his workshops, using members of the group to represent members of our family – living or dead. 

It is truly astounding how messages can be delivered via this process through people who know nothing of our history but nevertheless ’channel’ highly relevant information about how the knots in a family web were created. A skilled facilitator can work with these symbolic representations of our family to reprogram some of these dysfunctional behaviors to break the chain of suffering and victimhood.

Jacopo da Empoli 16th century National museum of Warsaw

So let us now look at a few of those family programs:


Our parents are usually our first programmers as well. We might spare them a compassionate thought though. After all, they just didn’t read the parenting manual they never received.*

”Wait till your father gets home!” ”Don’t do that, it would break your mother’s heart.” ”Be a good girl/boy.” ”Do as your told!” ”Never show weakness.” ”Stop crying.” ”Don’t be a burden.” ”Why can’t you be more like your sister/brother?” And of course there are many more.

Probably the most damaging program our early care-givers can give us is to abuse us in some way and then tell us it is because they love us. In an odd way they are telling the truth because everything begins as love. It just gets screwed up along the way.

It is the responsibility of each generation to resolve these patterns in themselves lest they pass them on to the next generation and it becomes their problems

We must break the cycle of misery, mistakes and the suffering these inherited programs cause.

Friends and lovers: There is a Greek saying: ”Friends are the gifts we give ourselves.” In part one, caution was advised in choosing the company we keep. What attracts us to certain people may not be the attraction of love or true friendship at all however.

It may merely be the pattern-recognition of our programs that see a chance to amplify a certain negative pattern through another person (for my blog focusing upon on this particular subject click here)

Here are some methods to check whether we are with true friends or partners.

•  Does being with them make us feel good about ourselves?

•  Do we feel energized or drained after being in their company?

•  Do we inspire each other to our greatest good or do we reinforce each others negativity and cyncicism about the world through complaining, criticism and indulging problems but not solutions?

•  Do we feel we must limit or edit ourselves to avoid conflict?

•  Are we made to feel inadequate or not quite good enough for them?

•  Do we indulge in emotional blackmail to stop them from disengaging from us – or do we allow them to do that to us?

If any of the above feels familiar to us then we are enmeshed in the program-recognition of parasitic ‘software ‘ posing as love or attraction. Such relationships are not our true friends or partners. How could they be when they have not managed to even recognize that they themselves are lost in the tricky program-ridden labyrinth of their mind?

The merchants of misery

Some time ago, I witnessed two middle-aged women greet each other. One came limping with a walking stick while the other could only raise herself with difficulty up from her chair to greet her. 

The conversation almost immediately turned to their many and varied health issues, each complaining or making the appropriate sympathetic noises when the other was listing their litany of misery. Over the course of this short encounter I noticed their already weakened state became visibly weaker as their bodies reacted in turn to the mutual reinforcement of their misery programs. 

© Doug Savage

Surprisingly, there was also a gleeful pride behind their stories in how they could elicit these shocked or sympathetic responses in the other. They were unashamedly revelling in their tales of woe as if they were mythic figures enduring the world’s hardships in some vainglorious quest. Their strange sense of satisfaction came from having their identification as sufferers confirmed by each other.

The same patterns can be seen in those that are under the grip of addiction (and the self pity/indulgence cycles that accompany that) but never change their ways. If we stay around them we risk being dragged into their destructive patterns.

We would do well to avoid people that actively reinforce these programs and try to spread them to others. Such individuals have no interest in real change. Their mental programs are merely looking to feed. Politely decline to be another energy source for them and disengage as soon as possible.

The beauty trap

The obsession with youth and the hopeless quest to ”Stay young and beautiful” is another program that feeds on and amplifies our neurosis and anxiety. It is often part of the greater cultural programs we discussed in part one.

Billions of dollars are extracted every year from anxious people brainwashed by the beauty illusion and willing to pay for a chance to fool noone that they are aging.

This impossible task was memorably summed up by model Cindy Crawford. When told by an interviewer: ”Millions of women around the world wish they looked like Cindy Crawford.” she replied: ”Yes, so do I.”

The beauty illusion is merely a symptom of the ”I am not enough.” program. It is only when we become more accepting of ourselves and more comfortable in our own skin that true attractiveness shines for everyone to see. 

”Without you, I’m nothing”

This was the title of a stage show and subsequent film by performer Sandra Bernhard that covered a range of topics about the difficulties of relationships and the human condition in general. It is really a phrase that comes from low self-esteem – that base energy-sucking program responsible for so many dramas, tradgedies and comedies.

In relationships, it takes the form of co-dependency (for more on that topic click here: Codependency sometimes looks like love in some respects but it lacks something love does not: self respect and self love.

If we cannot love and respect ourselves (because we have allowed mental programs to tell us otherwise while they feed on our light) it will be impossible for us to truly receive love from others. Why? Because we cannot see what is not yet conscious in us. 

On the contrary, we may very well reject or sabotage real love because we either do not recognize it or cannot accept it. Instead we will find ourselves ”looking for love in all the wrong places” while being constantly disappointed by the poor substitutes that they are. 

So how can we break the chain of these meddlesome programs that prey on our light?

Become the love and light of truth we are looking for

This is the only cure for this kind of parasitic infestation. We literally have to en-lighten ourselves. That is, consciously reclaim our light as our own. Accept no substitutes. Make no deals. Do not entertain any gray zones or exceptions.

Strategies for a program-free life

Make a conscious effort to be aware when we are being taken out of our heart and back into the mind that is always jumping between sentimentality about the past and anxiety about the future.

Establish a daily ritual of gratitude. By practicing gratitude we become more aware of and reinforce the light we already have in our life. Gradually, we find more and more things to be grateful for and attract and create what we truly need.

Develop quiet periods away from electronic and work stimulations by practicing meditation

Do an inventory of all our relationships to others –  friends, family, partners, work colleagues. It may be painful or difficult but we need to weed out those dysfunctional relationships. They may have served a purpose in the past but they will not take us (or them) further by indulging them.

”A sound mind in a sound body”: Clean up dietary indulgences, avoid stimulants and chemicals in food. Develop a gentle system of regular exercise that appeals to you. This will help guarantee you make it part of your life.

Prevention is better than cure. Get regular treatments like bodywork, healing, acupuncture, sound baths, water and spa cures and the like before we develop health issues.

Get in contact with nature as often as possible. It can be as simple as a barefoot walk on the grass to hiking, spending time with the tress in the forest, swimming, surfing and mountain climbing.

If you feel called, investigate plant medicines with experienced guides in a ceremonial setting. Here is a (very) quick primer about some of the main ones used for inner work and healing:

Cacao: The bitter, pure chocolate drink with a sweet aftertaste that softens and opens the heart to be more receptive to our inner voice. 

Hapé: A mix of organic tobacco, medicinal and sacred plants that is used to alleviate discomfort in the body, focusing our intention and receiving messages from within.

San Pedro: A cactus preparation that amplifies truth, empathy and compassion. It is also a healer of the body.

Ayahuasca: A combination of sacred plants that can put us in contact with pure consciousness to reveal truth about ourselves.

Iboga: The bark from the roots of a West African tree. It’s  message is the truth that resides in the body itself independant of the deceptive mind. 

The vessel of light

© Alex Grey 2006

The reality is:

The very idea of ’self’ has to die

It is not real. It is just a story we have told ourselves to create a false and ineffective protection against our endless anxiety created by programs that are not us.

We have to get out of the way of this created self image and its endless justifications to become our true self. Our true Self is nothing less than light, love and peace. It is beyond being happy or unhappy. 

It is a state of self-less equilibrium

In this state we are the calm eye in the storm of programmed ’reality’ that roars around us yet we are not touched by it. It can no longer stick to us because we don’t indulge it and give it a foothold back into our life.

That doesn’t mean it won’t try. After all, the mind is trying to mess with us 24/7. To put it bluntly, we just have to have to remember ”It’s not my shit.” and leave it at that.

To be a vessel does not mean we become an unfeeling robot. It is the realization and practice of non-attachment. Non-attachment to drama and suffering. 

Only then are we free to truly love as we no longer have any imposed conditions on that love. We also no longer need to fantasise about love. We are love. We are enlightened because our vessel is open to the light that is always there. 

We are at peace.

*To prospective parents, this is something you may want to consider and investigate before having children.

© Jeremy Halpin all rights reserved. All images are the author’s own unless otherwise indicated or if the original source is unknown at the time of writing. You can subscribe to this blog by clicking the button in the bottom right hand corner of the page – or share it on the social media of your choice. If you have any wishes or questions regarding subjects to be discussed on this blog use the contact information below. Jeremy is also available for seminars, lectures and personal consultation:

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