by Alan Johnston, Pottsville NSW

Up until my engagement with Universal Medicine, I never actually considered that (my) soul could intervene in (my) life. However, I did occasionally have the intimation that something was looking out for me in some way, even if at times it felt like the rough end of the pineapple.

For example, I once spent several weeks in prison.

The equation went like this: it was the end of the 1960’s, add a large BSA motorbike plus very long hair and a ‘rebel without a pause’ attitude, a three-car police chase, a conservative magistrate (I wore a wig to court to conceal my hair)… but incarceration was, he said, ‘unavoidable’.

I spent my first few days sharing a cell with a seminary student who was a conscientious objector to the Vietnam War. No contest as to who had the moral high ground.

Now, with a bit more self-reflection than when I was twenty, I have no doubt that this episode was my soul intervening and breaking up a self-destructive spiral.

Things weren’t the same when I got out – I mean apart from the prison haircut. And perhaps you can get a whiff of how that inmate ‘barber’, with all his mates watching on, relished cutting the hippie’s hair.

Closely entwined then, there was the ‘biblical’ disempowerment of the haircutting but also, thanks to my soul, a much more dire imprisonment was revealed.

What I mean is, that through the sudden loss of a heavily-invested-in identity, I got the first glimpse that I was a prisoner of my need for acceptance and recognition – from without, from others. As far back as I could tell it had always been like that. A life sentence, in fact. I probably couldn’t have expressed it quite this way at the time, I just felt extremely vulnerable.

So, while the rebellion didn’t disappear and indeed led to further self-destructive behaviour, I also very gratefully feel that this soul-provided insight/vulnerability (and other such episodes), ultimately helped draw me back to myself – albeit via the scenic route.

And how beautiful it now feels to name and sense the sphere of the soul and its influence, and the joy of that which senses….

108 thoughts on “Imprisonment

  1. Rebellion is an interesting stage. On the one hand it has great honesty and expression, on the other hand it is a rabbit hole that can swallow you up and become an identity in itself and no ‘better’ than that which the rebel is rebelling against.

  2. Yes, we can often look back on things that happen to us in our lives and see how there is something looking out for us, something that has a bigger picture in mind. This sense is well worth remembering in the present when the things that ‘happen’ to us feel illogical and perhaps overwhelming.

  3. When we are imprisoned by our own self accord, it is very difficult to get out of it because this is where we have opted in with all our might even if what we seel to ourselves is that we are freer than ever.

  4. Reading your blog Alan has supported me to become aware of all the times in my life where the loving guidance of soul was steering my path and encouraging me to embrace my inner wisdom. Thank you for inspiring me through your lighthearted story.

  5. It’s amazing that you saw this moment in your life as an opportunity to see how you had imprisoned yourself in your own life. There is always more to the events in life than what we see on the surface. We may not like it, but it’s often needed, as until these moments bring us to a stop, we go on through our days blinded by our own needs.

  6. Ah, the illusion of pseudo-freedom. We put so many conditions to qualify ourselves as being free, and there’s actually so much attachment.

  7. Those big ‘stop’ moments or circumstances are always great opportunities to reflect. We then have a choice: to go even more ingrained into the same or to choose a wiser path.

  8. A very funny short story and it was so real when you read it, an obviously truly gifted writer. I have had the same experience where you have a sense of something grander, something bigger then big watching over you. I always had the sense it was in the sky somewhere looking down and that I was at the bottom of the ladder. This maybe partly to do with my catholic upbringing but there is still a true sense of the grandness but now it’s not seen in the sky with me at the bottom, it’s more all around with me at the centre. Life isn’t what I made it or nor was it what I saw it to be, life is a reflection of what is already within me and the more I allow movement from this true place, the more what is outside me is pulled back to the same grand quality.

  9. Thank you Alan, you have inspired me to take a deeper look at my life to see where my soul has intervened. I enjoyed the term “scenic route” – very apt!

  10. A connection with your soul is not some far off thing that takes decades of work. It can be a part of everyday life with the application of care of self, and use of the Gentle Breath Meditation.

  11. Great blog Alan. Life is but a reflection and keeps reflecting back to us what we are in fact doing to ourselves . . . so we do give ourselves that life sentence when we are looking for acceptance and recognition from others. We sit in our self made prison cell with the get out of prison key in our back pocket.

  12. We imprison ourselves with the burdens of ideals and beliefs until we discover the key to reconnecting to love and our innate inner wisdom then we step into the light and feel the freedom to be who we are.

  13. We tend to equate being a prisoner with being locked in a physical jail. Yet, this is not the only possible jail, nor the worst one. The worst one is being a prisoner /e.g., of your ideals and beliefs, your visions of the world, etc) but not being aware of the fact.

  14. I had to sit with what you have shared about “your soul intervening and breaking up a self-destructive spiral.” I have to admit that my soul did a similar job to me but until I have read your awakening blog I was not aware of it. Now I am even more humble how I was looked after. Thank you for sharing your souls connection!

  15. What a total classic and a super visual picture that you painted. I was very wild before my introduction to Universal Medicine and after reading this blog about how your soul was always present it made me reflect on similar experiences I have had over my life. I remember making many bookings at the tattoo parlour to get my full sleeves of tatt’s over both arms, I wanted pirate ships and girl sailors, yep in all the bright colours that money could buy. At the time I thought my inability to get to the appointments was disorganisation and when I kept spending all my money I had for the tatts at the pub I took it as another reason to beat myself up. Now, I can see that something was looking after me, for if I had gotten those tattoos, they would have defined me for the rest of my life; they do not represent who I am as a woman today on any level. They would have trapped me into one kind of life. I am so grateful that my soul, although it left me alone to have free will about most things, was not going to let me stray too far; it had my back.

  16. True freedom is lived when we move in connection to our Soul. For whenever we move in dis-connection to our Soul, we are incarcerated by the ideals and beliefs that serve only to keep us confined within the walls of illusion, exhaustingly seeking approval, recognition and identification at all costs.

  17. The ‘pull-up’ – oftentimes feeling like the ‘rough end of the pineapple’, yet potentially holding the blessing of much learning and shedding of that which we’ve donned that’s not been truly ‘us’ in the first place.
    As ever, love your honesty here Alan, and can’t but be intrigued as to the many stories you could tell…

    1. Well said Victoria and a profound reminder that is a blessing itself, of the truth that we are eternally held, as our Soul is forever calling us to move in union with the quality that we already Divinely are and are here to live. A quality that reflects the vibration of true freedom is in being ourselves.

  18. The rough end of the pineapple can often be where we get our most honest realisations that the fruits of the world around us sometimes are not all that they appear to be, and that in fact underneath the outside skin, some can even be quite rotten.

  19. That is great and I would say true way at looking at imprisonment, it creates a stop moment to feel if what you were in was really what you would choose to be in if you have a moment outside of it.

  20. Beautiful Alan, the soul has a hand in many things and from my experience it’s always there if I choose to work with it and it can also pull back if we are working against it for us to have the space to feel our choices.

  21. As the saying goes ‘a blessing in disguise’, as often what seems a bad incidence in our lives will in truth be the turning point that taught us the lesson we had to learn and will bring us closer to our soul.

  22. As I reflect on 50 or so years of life this time around there are definitely some experiences I would not have consciously chosen ‘from the comfort of my armchair’, but which without doubt spurred me into action that I would not otherwise have taken and now it is possible to see the blessings – with hindsight – recognising a much bigger ‘picture’ at play. The Soul is deeply wise and today I seek its guidance more willingly rather than stumbling across it – and am yet to regret choosing its lead.

  23. I’m sure all of us if we took a few moments or more to pause and reflect on turning points or significant moments in our lives, we would be able to feel the intervention of our Soul whilst still feeling that we have always have free-will.

  24. Thank you Alan for a simple sharing of your souls love coming through to curb the destructive course that you were on at the time, i am sure when we look back, from where we stand to day, on our life’s journey that all along the way the souls has been calling.

  25. Love it Alan, the visuals of you as a young rebel with long hair! Yes when caught in identification a simple hair cut can really rock the boat as can being jailed with a conscientious objector! Great read and great insight.

  26. I used to be very much identified with all the peripherals of my life – what I did for living, who I hang out with, what I was into, where I lived, the personality and attitude I have cultivated along the way etc. and thought these were what made me me, so my ‘being myself’ was more like enforcing those identification, thickening the prison wall. My first few dips in the nakedness of being myself in truth felt very vulnerable, but smelt very freeing.

  27. The amazing thing is we hold the key to unlock this imprisonment because we locked ourselves in there in the first place, so we can get ourselves out of this imprisonment as quickly as we got ourselves in it. But if we are in denial that we are in a self-created imprisonment we could be locked in there for life times. It is when someone shows us the way, how to get out and how to use the key we hold from within to unlock ourselves out of this mess that we know and understand what is truly possible. The key to connecting to our soul resides within our inner heart.

  28. Looking back over the many years of my life I too can see the times, rather too many, when I imprisoned myself into a way of living, that at the time I obviously thought was the only way to be. And looking around me so many others were doing the same, so I sadly accepted this as normal; how crazy is that? Thank goodness that my soul continued to shine a little light every now and then to remind me that there is so much more to life on the other side of the self imposed prison bars.

  29. Alan, I love the tongue in cheek way you describe how your stint in prison was your soul’s way of sharing with you that in truth, you were a prisoner of your own need for acceptance and recognition. It is very loving how our soul will sometimes place us in very uncomfortable situations in order for us to realise the error of our ways, which is not always apparent at the time but usually comes with hindsight.

  30. Looking back on my life there was one very strong moment where I was about to take a fork in the path that was to be quite harmful and what that would have led to I hate to think. I remember the distinct moment as I stepped over a hedge walking to the supermarket where my soul came in and made it clear that under no circumstances was I to take that path. It really was a beautiful moment. At the time I didn’t know it was my soul stepping in, but with the beauty of increased awareness and hindsight I now realise thats what it was.

  31. Loved reading this Alan… It is gorgeous that you had your eyes opened to the life imprisonment of self identity you had invested in through a couple of weeks in the naughty corner… blessings certainly come in all different shapes and sizes to guide you back to you.

  32. Looking back I can now see that throughout my life I received many messages from my soul at a time when I too felt I was imprisoned in a life, or more so an existence, that offered no light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. To have been finally shown a way out of this prison, and to take that choice, was the most freeing and liberating feeling of my life; a divine prison break!

  33. How we love the scenic route home Alan. The guiding light of the soul, the ever present guide, rarely acknowledged by the funny creatures we humans are. Only years later we look back, with the clarity that reveals the greater wisdom that was prevailing, and say thank you to it. And thank you to the teaching school that has helped us prepare the eyes that see. At long last.

  34. “I got the first glimpse that I was a prisoner of my need for acceptance and recognition – from without, from others. As far back as I could tell it had always been like that.” Thus we imprison ourselves, but don’t perceive it as such until we are woken up by an ‘accident’ or similar. Soul is amazing……..

  35. Your writing is always a joy to read Alan. I spent most of my life in a self-made prison feeling disconnected from my Soul, thank goodness for meeting Serge Benhayon and finally freeing myself from this incarceration that held me back from being who I truly was.

  36. When we imprison ourselves within what our head makes us think we should be we cannot see the bars that keep us confined. This a great example of the Soul offering an opportunity to feel the self-imposed prison that we can put ourselves in and that we have the key to freedom from ideals and beliefs. Universal Medicine has shown me the key to the door of so many of my suffocating ideals and beliefs.

  37. The soul is always there, often giving us insight-full moments, it is up to us whether we choose to listen and respond to those messages and although I had many many revelations, like you Alan, I took many detours before being willing to listen and accept what the soul was offering me. I went through thinking what a wasted life I had lived up until coming into contact with Universal Medicine, but now I can truly appreciate how far I have come since those days of disregard of self and irresponsibility. I have a deep appreciation for what has been presented to me through the teachings and workshops of Serge Benhayon and the Universal Medicine.

  38. What a totally awesome way to use prison time, I love the slant you looked at it with, as in your soul gave you an opportunity to break an totally ingrained pattern of behaviour. It’s a much more refreshing and helpful way to look at it than taking becoming a victim, instead it’s a possibility for true change.

  39. Guilty as charged, I left my soul and have spent many lives hiding my light and remaining disconnected to my true being, despite numerous incarcerations of my body that were self imposed and never in the house of striped sunlight, this life.

  40. It’s so true that when we subscribe to a look or a way of being that is a part of a scene, it can be very limiting as we will look at outsiders with scorn and comparison, and we are stuck in the identification of that group. Sometimes we need a jolt to get us out of it, to broaden our views and to bring us back to brotherhood, and sometimes our soul is the one that stages that intervention.

  41. It is true that we can imprison ourselves by simply not wanting to see the bigger picture that our bodies can offer us. Your experience of actually being in jail is fascinating, and I can see the resemblance to the real world, and how we can create our own prison. Like you share here, Universal Medicine has offered me a key to see a much bigger picture.

    1. Wow Hannah, well presented. Life before Universal Medicine for me was definitely one of imprisoning myself. Now thanks to the presentations of Serge Benhayon I am breaking the shackles of the past.

      1. Absolutely Greg – and in knowing you personally, I am constantly inspired by your openness to everyone you meet, the care you show to everyone equally, and your depth of expression that comes with such wisdom. You live in a way that has no restrictions or limits – it comes from your soul first.

  42. The imprisonment is often not seen or felt which is the hardest nut to crack. The moment in which I start to become aware of an area in my life that is not really free, the Soul has communicated and delivered its service. I sense this same service in Universal Medicine’s services.

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