The Phantom Note

The Phantom Note
William Pacholski

It is so easy to get wrapped up in day to day trappings of life; jobs, and errands, and to do lists, and all of the self-important stuff - being successful and being validated. All that made up stuff we've created as a way to express ourselves that usually ends up just distracting us from really looking at our lives. In a way, when we’re focused entirely on the body - on the stuff happening in the situations all around us - we lose sight of the bigger picture, the meaning of things, and why we do what we do to begin with.

It's equally easy to ascend, to focus only on “spirit”; to be "above it all" and lose sight of what is tangible to the senses, the lived experience. To "lose" yourself in spiritual pursuit - or your art, your science, your job, your relationships, whatever. And you forget to notice what’s really going on around you. You “transcend”.

What's nearly impossible in the day-to-day, is to hold attention in that magical space in between. This space is where you just wake from a dream and you're in both places at once, the place where you are aware of your dreaming self and your waking self at the same time. Being aware of both the body and the things happening and the energy or the meaning behind them. The psychic and dreaming self doesn't ever sleep; it's always creating and is happening in the background of this day to day life, mostly unattended and unnoticed. Likewise the body needs your attention and care or you will disconnect from what makes the spiritual part of you engaged in the world. So how do you have both?

This place in between is the same place they talk about in the ancient myths - of the demigods - not quite mortal and not quite immortal. Being both things; body and spirit. The ancient cultures understood this, they knew this place and had ways of visiting it, and we've lost this in our time. It's an atrophied muscle - it’s easy to be one or the other and the hardest place to hold your attention is the in-between. This is why meditation is so hard at first; you're going against the current of the energy in the world, the choosing to be either all body or spirit - and focusing inside of you to find that place where you are both things. Most people get a momentary glimpse of it twice, maybe three times in their lives. But this is who you truly are - not just chemical compounds and earthen material, not just a spiritual energy floating thru space. You are betwixt and between these two things. It is what makes you human. 

You can ignore either part of you at the the peril of the whole. All the ancient myths and stories tell us this so clearly over thousands of years. But aside from the warnings of missing out on the magic either or both of these things individually, what those stories and myths tell us is that the psychics - the creatives - are in unique command of both. You have the power to dream. You also have the power to make things real. When you are in this space - suspended between heaven and hell, real and not real, magic and normal - You can develop command of both. Because you are of both. This is the unique position that one in between has been given. 

Theater and storytelling began around campfires as rituals to help break the spell of literal time to reveal the spirit of things. Because of this, storytelling occupies a unique place in the world because we literally watch something both real and unreal happen at the same time. It's magic. The same thing happens in a Clairvoyant reading. When you're reading the energy of a thing, you're saying hello to it in the world, but you're saying hello to the spirit of it, outside of time and space. Reading stimulates energy, information, and pictures within us and brings them kicking and screaming to the surface. We are seen by someone else in a reading, from outside, like actors in our own lives. In this space, everything is suspended in disbelief. Something real and something unreal is happening at the same time. Only in this liminal and betwixt/between space can truth come to the forefront and be made real. 

All art comes from this place, this is why it moves the spirit. When you gaze on a beautiful painting, or listen to a passionate piece of music, watch actors onstage or on screen play a part or a scene, watch dancers move their body in coordinated rhythms - something happens inside of you, in the psychic space, that we can't yet measure. Your spirit is moved, things get "lit up". But then what do you do with it? How do you release? How do you use that experience to change and grow?

In our culture we've confused talent, artistry, and imagination. Imagination is the raw material that the artist uses to spin their thread. Artistry is the act of creating. Talent is when someone is particularly good at it. First there is a creative idea or a mental image picture, then a thread, and then the thread becomes a beautiful rug. Sometimes, it's a masterpiece of a rug. But often it's just a rug. Because everyone has this space within them - the space of imagination, of creativity, of spirit - all people are artists. Everyone is an artist - not because everyone is "talented" - talent and artistry are two completely different things. But wether it’s talent or art, it’s your imagination which connects these two worlds, the spirit and the body.

Most people think that they need to create Art with a capital "A" to be an artist - that's how they've dulled your life for you, and reduced you to your to-do lists and bank accounts and all the distractions. Your life is your canvas, and you are the artist. Learning to flex the muscle of reading energy for yourself and others, being in a space that is suspended between these two things, and then knowing yourself in your wholeness - and making it real - is an art. Being able to function in the real world, and also in the world of the spirit, of pictures, of energy - of psychic awareness - balancing those two things - that is artistry. Readings aren't necessarily meant to be "accurate" or about solving problems - leave that to the psychiatrists, doctors, lawyers, and life coaches. Reading is about seeing energy and saying what you see, from your neutral perspective - as a way of painting a picture for this person, so something inside of them moves, gets stimulated, and perhaps even starts to grow or change. 

If you've ever played or listened to music you know that a triad or chord completes itself when you play two notes - there's a "phantom" note you hear even when it's not played. This is who we are, this third thing. This is what makes us so extraordinary, so uncommon in the known universe. We inhabit this awkward place in between things - body and spirit, earth and cosmic, real and energy - and it's hard. It's really challenging! And we're all screwing it up all the time - falling on our faces, and saying the wrong things, and throwing away 1000 drafts before we get to a picture that feels like it really came from us - but it's art. Your life is your art. Saying hello to this beingness in another person is magic. It’s why I love reading, healing and teaching Clairvoyance as an Art - because it is. And often what people need is to be reminded that they are artists, and that they have an ability to be in-between.

WIlliam Pacholski