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We Are Living Through a Giant AFGE

(Another F***ing Growth Experience)


Our Humanity, the entire globe, is going through a huge AFGE. So profound that we can even think of this as a planetary Near-Death Experience (NDE). Here is a poem I (BW) wrote after my NDE trying to express this deeply personal death and rebirth.

By Barbara Harris Whitfield and Charles L. Whitfield / December 9th, 2020

The Beginning:

We sit patiently, now

in our solitude.

Awaiting the dawn

of our release…

Knowing a death has occurred.

Too cautious still

to announce our rebirth.

But starting to sense our need

for lessons in crawling,

then walking.

So we may eventually Skip

and Dance

and Live

To our Heart’s Own Content.

I originally wrote this poem in the first person in 1984, owning that “I” was going through this.

I have changed the wording to “we” and “us” because this AFGE, this “growth experience” is happening globally.

Some of us are still in denial.

Some of us won’t identify because they are the ones that think we need a “great or giant reset,” and want to erase our history and grab power during the chaos. They are the ones generating the chaos. Those are the elite among the cabal.

And then there is “us.” We are the ones we have been waiting for. We can strongly identify with the hope for “A Great Awakening.” We are awakening from a sleep where we believed everything was going along “fine!” We are awakening to the facts that everything is not fine and we need to act now.

This global growth experience, this Great Awakening, is causing tremendous stress. Add to that the everyday conflicts we all have and the added stress is the “pressure cooker” that is forcing us through the tunnel/birth canal into the new us.

Here below is a chart that I, Charles, wrote for my book The Wisdom to Know the Difference: Core Issues in Recovery. I, Barbara included this table in my AFGE book because by using this Chart we can avoid a lot of unnecessary turmoil during growth experiences. Our global conflict right now is likely a 3 or a 4. Loss is possible or even probable and we need to focus on it – this pressure is the energy pushing us through our rebirth.

Here at this juncture is the opportunity to not add chaos to ourselves and those around us, but to use this table to analyze other stressors/conflicts to achieve a resolved AFGE without the associated pain, or at least minimize our pain. Personal Growth can be incredibly painful until we learn to work with tools like this table below.

Levels, Consequences and Attention Needed to Help Solve Conflicts


Then do the same for each of the other headings, and now you will have a plan for resolving your conflict. How much focus you devote to your plan and how much action you take will determine how likely you will be to resolve your conflict. For committed couples who may often fight unfairly (yelling, screaming, threatening, “taking our inventory,” shaming, or using the “silent treatment”) we can use a structured but effective method called fair fighting, as summarized in Section A.4 in the original book Appendix of Wisdom to Know the Difference.  

Table 10.2. Possible methods and solutions to handling conflicts


For anyone, including committed couples, relatives, business partners, or the like wherein the two parties-in-conflict have already triangled-in a third party (such as a child, friend, relative, employee, co-worker, or the like) using a healthy boundaries and spiritual levels-oriented approach with humility can often help us solve the conflict (summarized in Section A.3 in the book Appendix of Wisdom to Know the Difference).

What are we achieving when we apply these rational tools?

When life is interrupted by events out of our control, we ask ourselves “why?” These events sometimes knock us down so violently that we have to pick ourselves up, brush ourselves off and start all over again. We gain some clarity (and stress reducing humor) by calling these events AFGEs.

Now we will take this a step further by looking at who’s in charge of us when we get caught up. Is it our ego or our Soul?

Here’s a poem I, Barbara wrote that I reread every time I am questioning who’s in charge of my inner life:


The ego suffers

By resisting pain.

The Soul learns

By metabolizing it.

The ego believes 

It will die.

The Soul knows

It returns to Eternal Reality.

The ego ages in linear time.

The Soul becomes radiant—

And wise.

The ego is isolated and feels alone.

The Soul knows it is part

Of something much bigger.

The ego lives stressed.

The Soul relaxes into life.

The ego is addicted to drama

To grow more of itself.

The Soul lives with peace of mind.

The ego may know that enlightenment

Is not real but keeps trying to grasp it.

The Soul knows that a new enlightenment

Comes with each lesson

Of each problem that life brings us.

The ego suffers.

The Soul celebrates.

Ego and Soul have one thing in common:

When they are in action

They grow more of themselves.

It’s our choice

Every single time.


Our ego suffers because it resists pain. Our Soul takes in what is happening in a way that allows for pain to help us learn and move through it. Our ego freezes in a depressed state. Our Soul understands how to move through pain, which then transforms into a bittersweet renewal. The table below demonstrates the difference between our ego and our Soul both in our internal dialogue (inner life) and our outer dialogue with others.

Ego can be positive or negative. When the ego is helpful to us, such as in screening, sorting and handling many aspects of our internal and external reality, we can call it positive ego. My positive ego is writing this. Your positive ego is reading it. Positive ego balances our checkbook, keeps us on time for appointments, etc. When it tries to take over and control our life, however, it becomes negative ego, also known as false self or co-dependent self. This part of us believes we are annihilated when we die. It may believe in the Universe as an intellectual head trip. And it often believes it is a victim.

An easy way to tell if you are in your ego or being your True Self (Child Within) is to wait until you are doing nothing. As you relax into “doing nothing,” are you feeling bored? Or is there a quiet feeling of peaceful being deep within you? If you are bored, it’s likely your ego complaining. If you are peaceful, this is your True Self just “being.”  When I realize I feel bored, I try saying a spontaneous prayer of gratitude. My heart/Soul may scan all I am grateful for and this may bring me back to a state of peaceful being.

Table of Ego vs. Soul  


Coming Into Wisdom

Naming and working through an AFGE creates a new way of looking at old beliefs and current upsets.

Learning and practicing these new ways of looking creates peace over time.

Challenging what we have believed and done in each AFGE helps us grow. 

Incorporating this growth into our everyday life gives us wisdom.

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