I met Jean, the dying warrior, on a Medieval field of battle in 1993. I was laying fully clothed on a massage in a quiet room overlooking suburban woods. A petite, brown-haired healer named Janet gently placed her hands lightly on my clothed body. I had come to her desperate to find relief from intense physical and emotional pain that no medical doctor was able to address.
Suddenly, I was overwhelmed with an energetic sensation and awareness of a bleeding gash in my solar plexus. I recognized with a shock that I was in the consciousness of a mortally wounded French Holy Warrior who had been knocked off his horse when enemy combatants broke her back legs with their maces. Yes, the details were that vivid and visceral.
Once Jean hit the bloody earth, they had driven a staff through his solar plexus. Pinned to the ground, he could not move. Next to him, his beloved companion, a shining white equine, was chuffing in shock and pain. Her suffering filled him with anguish. He had always told her that his Lord Christ would protect them as they entered a multitude of warzones. Yet, here they were, dying together in the mud and cold. Where had Jesus gone, Jean agonized?
In the course of the 1-hour session, I was being given a physical, mental, and emotional impression of this man’s physical and mental suffering much like the negative of a photograph. My own consciousness was present and aware within his. It was not too intense, but vibrant enough that there was no mistaking the fact of the experience—its reality in the historical past and as a lifetime I had lived—or was living simultaneous to my own.
As Jean slipped slowly into the netherworld between full consciousness and death, he was suddenly plunged into a life review as the faces of all the men, women, and children he had made homeless, wounded, and/or murdered passed before his eyes. Scenes of absolute horror and evil shocked him into a great awakening.
All of his life, he believed that the mission given to him by Christ was to convert or, if unable to, to kill the “infidels”—to win control of the beautiful city of Jerusalem. Now, as he lay dying—a victim of those who defended themselves from this violent European incursion and who themselves also wanted to rule the known world—Jean realized that what he had done was deeply, morally wrong. A knowing entered in that Jesus did not want killing in his name; he wanted only love.
In despair, Jean pondered the loss of his most cherished dream throughout his life—that he would sit in glory at he feet of His Lord Jesus as a reward for his efforts. He believed he was evil, irredeemable, now unworthy, and that he would burn in hell.
In addition to these thoughts and feelings, as the fragile filament of light connecting the two of us was maintained under Janet’s hands, I learned more about Jean—about his deep love of and devotion to Jesus and his loneliness as a man who had chosen the life of a warrior-monk instead of family. I felt his close, intimate bond with his best friend and companion, his brave steed. I also recognized his confusion, brutality, tenderness, and hopes. He was a messy human being who, like so many, had been conditioned as his ancestors had been into a soul-sickening myth of separation and enemy-making.
And so, there on the battlefield of life in an era of separation and division, at the moment of death, Jean was both a perpetrator and a victim, all at once. Both-and. Within and without.
As I engaged with Jean’s consciousness through the veil, I felt a deep kindness towards and love for him. I told him he was forgiven and that he would sit at the feet of his beloved Lord Chris. I then directed Jean to detach from his wounded body as his soul and spirit rose up to the heavenly realms. There, I told him, he would find healing and have the choice to be reborn in this earthly plane to try once again to find his way back to the path of love and light. To enlightenment.
And I learned that Jean was me.
What Jean’s life and death showed me was the wheel of suffering on the victim-perpetrator-bystander triangle as we return lifetime after lifetime to find our way back to our original instructions of oneness and love. He and I existed along a continuum of consciousness from lower to higher vibrations in many bodies and forms. All of it was orchestrated by our soul to ultimately return us to unity and oneness—spirit.
One of the many places he came back to was in my petite, female 20th-21st century body and I to him. On that fateful day on Janet’s healing table opened up a Pandora’s box. After that for a decade, in healing sessions and meditations, I saw—no, experienced—many lifetimes as victim and perpetrator, witness and bystander. I had killed, maimed, harmed, and murdered many. I had been an oppressor of men, women and children. I had abused power and influence.
I also was abandoned, victimized, downtrodden, poor, unfairly imprisoned, torturted, harmed emotionally and psychologically, and even killed in various slow or quick ways. I had lives of goodness and kindness. Yet, in some lives, I had been forced to use manipulation and violence in order to save my own and my loved ones.
When I came to Janet, I was completely bound up in a body of suffering and dread-filled mind—all symptoms of PTSD. In this life, I had been a victim at the hands of a confused, angry, narcissistic, and controlling mother. I know that she herself had been a victim in her childhood—also abused and emotionally neglected. Even within the ancestral line, the roles were held within all of us. None were immune, including me.
I learned as the years of my healing journey went on that my present suffering was orchestrated to be a portal through which I would heal the victim and perpetrator and everything inbetween within me. I was learning as an act of sacred activism for peacemaking and ending violence how to use my own consciousness to work in a purposeful, directed way to transform embedded traumas resulting from an unstinting bloody stream in the mass consciousness of the planet into love and light.
This is why I tell you now how critically important it is in these uncertain times to face this shadow within you and pick up the tools of energy healing, self-contemplation, sacred ceremony, and prayer to heal your trauma. With each turn of the wheel of suffering within one life and across many, we can make the powerful choice to stop, heal, and grow.
Rachel Mann, PhD is a sacred activist, social scientist, healer, and spiritual mentor. She provides shamanic energy healings, an intensive 1-1 Mentoring Program, and offers courses and retreats supporting passionate individuals with a vision to integrate the wisdom gained through their own healing and spiritual study into creative service to others as a healer/therapist, minister. spiritual teacher, writer, artist, and/or socially conscious and spiritually awake entrepreneur. Through consulting and programs, she also provides businesses, NGOs, and nonprofits wishing to expand and anchor into the sacred values of positive inclusion, compassion, and a renewed, spiritual ethics with consulting and programs. Find out more at rachelmannphd.com.