Inner Michael » Neverland is a Way of Being

Neverland is a Way of Being

There are those moments in life when you recognize that everything has changed. The tree no longer looks the same; you never noticed before how stunning the color blue really is; the song of birds this morning sounds suddenly sweeter; the cat’s fur is softer than you remember; the sunrise is the violin section of the orchestra and the smile of a child is no longer musical—it’s now a symphony.

Everything is amplified. Things feel more urgent. What used to delight no longer appeals. Those people who were so prominent in your life seem rather distant now. That patience you had with people and their hang-ups is wearing thin and there is no tolerance for dark gossip or superficial talk in this new space. And there is a sadness about it, a quiet resignation.

There is no way to put your finger on it and no way to describe it but an earthquake, imperceptible by anyone else, has happened inside you. It wasn’t a giant crashing of structures or life turning to rubble (unless it was) but something fundamental has certainly shifted on its foundation. The new ground is shaky and the location may as well be Oz for all its familiarity and you’re pretty sure there’s a yellow brick road somewhere if you just look around.

You search for answers but your mind freezes up and seems alien, like it belongs to someone else. It did. The “trying to figure it all out” is not working and is, in fact, giving you a headache. It feels like you have landed in an in-between space but there’s no clue as to what or where you are in-between. It is strangely familiar, this place, but unsettling all the same. It doesn’t feel “bad” or “wrong” necessarily, but it feels like you have crossed some kind of unseen bridge and there is no going back. You have and there isn’t.

This tilt is a bit unnerving. You may have gained more knowledge from an experience but this doesn’t feel intellectual. It’s not. It’s not simply a new way of thinking that is making room for a reinvented identity, but a new way of being is settling in to the flesh and blood corporeal self. Welcome to a new perception. To an expanded awareness. Welcome to the new world, or the world anew.

It’s the experience many have had after visiting Neverland. Yes, that Neverland. I feel it too and I know the bridge is already behind me. Even the air crackles with it—this knowingness—but an unknown journey to where? Neither eat nor drink satisfies. Nor will a new pair of shoes or anything of the marketplace. The material world of life is over. For Heaven’s sake what now? For Heaven’s sake.

We have glimpsed this place before through story, folktale, fiction, poem or fantasy novel. James Hilton’s Shangri-La comes to mind as does Camelot, Shamballa, Avalon, “The Force,” Nirvana, the Magic Kingdom, the Mythical Dream and yes, both Peter Pan’s and Michael Jackson’s Neverland.

The Tibetans believe this real place may reside in a valley between the Himalayas. Some think it lives in the ethers and is yet to be manifest in physical reality. The Western esoteric of Theosophy places it near the Gobi desert or Mount Shasta. Christianity refers to the three manifestations or three bodies of the Divine and the Bible features The Garden of Eden. Hebrew scripture refers to Melchizedek—and his kingdom of Salem. Buddhism names three manifestations and elegantly calls it:

Dharmakaya which is something always present and is rediscovered rather than newly created. It is timeless and not limited by history. Considered the life force or the “energy of life itself,” it’s the fire that burns but does not burn itself. It’s similar to the deterministic part of the “force that animates” in the Taoist tradition.

Sambhogakaya, which is always present, is the state beyond thinking where one’s personal consciousness or mind is tuned into Dharmakaya and becomes the Expression of the Wisdom of All Life. It is the ability to communicate on all levels—verbal, non-verbal, interactive and relational—with all forms of life.

Nirmanakaya is the physical embodiment and employment of total realization of life and its myriad forms of communication and relating.

The realization of this expanded self is the magical expression of the open mind and open heart; the infinitude of who we are, the Magical Natural Being living in our own Heart Intelligence.

We are so busy looking for it “out there” or in a magical male or female supernatural being “up there,” that we have forgotten it is right here, right now. And each time we deny it is here, we feed our fear a little more and destroy a little bit more of the magic.

“Truly, I say to you, unless you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”—Matthew 18:3-4

Michael Jackson revered children and the child in everyone. To watch him with children is to watch someone interact with those viewed as sacred. His touch on the head or cheeks of a child is to witness the same touch of someone whose hands are entrusted with a holy relic. Indeed, Michael said he saw God in the face of a child. I believe he did; I want to see it too. Not just occasionally but every time. Those who knew and know Michael really, will tell you he did, always. They will tell you of a Michael different from the media caricature and the “creature” they bullied relentlessly, dehumanizing him first to make the torture easier to inflict. The pain of that particular stain on his name is unbearable to those who know the man, admire the man or are his fans. Someday the world will know the truth and that moment of sanity will move the dream forward.

It is no mistake that the human child is born the most helpless of all the mammals. It is no accident that babies are cuddly and delight the eyes; they reflect the light from whence they came. Children are creatures who trust implicitly that the adults around them will provide for them, nurture them and care for them. Their hearts are not wounded and their souls are intact. They show no reservation in their curious and bold exploration of life. And for the most part, life doesn’t let them down.

Growing into late childhood and early adulthood is not so easy as that. There may have been a few disappointments along the way; trust may have proven itself misguided; love may have been measured or withdrawn instead of unconditionally given. Somewhere along the line the child begins to think something wrong with themselves, then something wrong with the world. Instead of blindly and safely advancing through the world without pause or reservation, the world, with its measure of safety and love becomes trustworthy only intermittently. Eventually the death of innocence, the betrayal of trust and a withdrawal of a love that was unconditional, proves the world an unfriendly place and a resource from which one’s needs for love and nourishment must be extracted through cunning and manipulation. Success becomes a measurement of the skill of the navigator. The child believes “I am not enough; I am not worthy just because I am.” The game becomes “how good are you at extraction?” Not: “how big is the open heart you offer the world?” It changes from giving in free exchange to getting at any cost.

No longer loved for who you are being, affection becomes dependent on what you are doing. Do more to get more or take more to have more. Life becomes strategy and the days of taking deep relaxed breaths are over. If you don’t believe you have needs, someone helps you to believe you need something and the treadmill life begins. The constant need for something more leads to believing you are lacking, and that transforms the world of nourishment and safety and love to a place of scarcity: “There is not enough for me.” And it can eventually become “there is not enough for me because I believe you have my share.” The envy begins. The jealousy creeps in. The mind of lack takes over the place the open heart and soul filled, and Neverland is gone forever.

Michael Jackson knew that acute longing– we all have to go back to Neverland. That is why he built it. He designed it for the child in himself, to share with the children of the world and the child in the adults who would revisit that magic to recapture in themselves—the magical child who lives in us all. Michael knew what happens when that carefree creative child is broken. Not only did Michael know to build that magical world but he embodied that magical child.

When you know the loss of Neverland, you know the loss of the Essential Self, the divine child inside, the birth of the Christos gone silent and stillborn.

The collective of humanity longs for this place—this Neverland. Yes, it’s metaphorical but it’s more than that; it’s archetypal. It belongs to us all. The whole consciousness of humanity feels it, longs for it, waits for it, searches for it, wants to believe in it but often dares not. The mourning is a wailing that cannot be heard, an excruciating wound that cannot be healed.

It has been revisited many times, become the stuff of myth and magic, breathes new life into the creative and imaginative child. The Inner Child that wants to be loved and while searching to find it, throws a tantrum. She stages drama to get attention or attempts to take what is not her own in the fear that Neverland is forever gone. When undernourished her neediness shows, the tantrum gets loud and others are invited into the drama she creates to distract from the wound and how much she hurts.

We all need Neverland. We need the magical child. We needed Michael Jackson. We need to take another look, a closer look at what Michael Jackson was teaching us by who he was being in the world. We had him and we mistreated him. We had him and we let him slip away. We nourished our beast while the child went hungry. We ate from the wrong bowl trying to fill ourselves with something… anything… to take away the emptiness. We ridiculed someone who could have saved us. He sang to us of bringing salvation back. He wanted to. He tried. And for caring about us, the world and its children, we punished him without mercy. So we will continue to search for the lost child banished to darkness by its own hand and its own kind.

We don’t understand and we don’t know what’s wrong with us. We only know something was and is, missing; we caught a glimpse of it and it changed us forever. We remember a little bit more about how we cannot live in a world without Neverland. We will continue searching for the answer, looking for what’s missing. We will make more pilgrimages to the sun, walks to Assisi, treks through the Camino, become seekers of the New Jerusalem, start a Quest for Avalon and Search for the Holy Grail. Meanwhile, Neverland will be silently waiting.


  1. Krista said . . .


    Posted July 4, 2011 at 4:32 am | Permalink
  2. Sue Springer said . . .

    Thank you Rev. B, this is so lovely and true. As difficult as the world got at times, I believed in hope because for 42 years I knew Michael was here bringing us messages of love and understanding and equality. He was younger than I am and one never believes someone younger than you whom you love will go home before you. When the pain subsided enough for me to realize that I had taken his love for granted, the subsequent pain was unbearable. But I learned so much from that pain — his love never dies, it is all around us, and the divine lives in each of us. You are so correct, nothing is the same and I will do my best to never take him, or the lessons for granted again. I visualize that Neverland every day, with all of us holding hands, helping one another, and knowing in our souls that we come from the divine and each of us is worthwhile. We are at a crossroads, I think it is a kind of cramp ready to release and ease — there are too many of us across the planet now that see who we truly can become, and the brightness will not go away. There is love and peace and reconciliation afoot, just around the corner. Love and peace all, sue

    Posted July 4, 2011 at 4:44 am | Permalink
  3. Garden said . . .

    There’s a Place In Your Heart… that’s called Neverland. And you can visit it at any moment. You cannot see it with your eyes but you can “taste” it with your heart. It’s a spiritual place and a state of inner being. An environment like the Neverland we know from Michael can create a state of mind and soul that allows us to easier walk through the doors of that sacred place in our hearts. Even if we can’t visit the material Place of Neverland, we can visualise it, taste it at any time and be there for a moment… and even much longer. Find those gates of Neverland in Yourself and walk through them!

    Posted July 4, 2011 at 8:46 am | Permalink
  4. Nikki said . . .

    Thank you, Rev. Barbara. The magic of Michael’s Neverland is palpable, and to experience it is life-changing. You are describing what I’m hearing so many people say, including myself. Once you are touched by this and “cross over” there is no going back. It is like falling down the Rabbit Hole.

    Posted July 4, 2011 at 11:40 am | Permalink
  5. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    That was my experience precisely. I am stocking up on carrots for the duration! *wink* I heard similar experiences recounted by many. ~B

    Posted July 4, 2011 at 11:49 am | Permalink
  6. gertrude said . . .

    Yes we’ve fallen down the Rabbit Hole – how else would we have found Inner Michael? It was there holding a hand out to catch us from falling and take us where Michael wants us to go – back to Neverland, to never, EVER leave again. We lost Michael, but he has won US. This is not sitting well with the Beast, but now that the Child is being fed with Michael’s win, I see the Beast just ever so slightly beginning to starve. Is Michael not blazing more brightly and intensely with time? Too bad for Shadow, who thought with Michael’s demise it could wreak its havoc without his light exposing that anymore. HAH! as Michael said in Monster.

    Posted July 5, 2011 at 1:02 am | Permalink
  7. Robbie M said . . .

    I’ve crossed that bridge, and never want to go back again. I don`t even give the life before a second thought, why would I want to when I have never been happier or more open to all of this new life’s possibilities? That profound shift in perception changes everything forever. Michael has shown me how to rediscover the inner Neverland, I will never leave. Thank you Rev. Barbara and all of Michael’s people, we are a force to be reckoned with! Just in case I’m stockpiling a few spare carrots! Love and blessings from Scotland.

    Posted July 5, 2011 at 8:59 pm | Permalink
  8. Docas said . . .

    Matthew 18:3-4 is so true. Michael was so gentle, kind, childlike and humble. The mass media doesn’t want people to describe him like this, but rather as a child predator. molester satifying a human obsession. Michael was a light and children found his light attractive and magnetic. Like Latoya said, Michael had Godly qualities. He was childlike.

    Posted July 6, 2011 at 1:06 am | Permalink
  9. Heidi said . . .

    Thank you Rev. Barbara and all. We see clearly now how there is nothing immature about Neverland as the media once reported, indeed, one needs quite a mature awareness to enter it’s gates. Sometimes the journey feels a bit unsettling but if your EYE BE SINGLE as christian scripture states, your whole body shall be filled with Light. So beast or no beast, I choose to keep my eyes on the gates and The One standing in front of them with His arms open wide. We first must heal ourselves and that lost inner child. “All you need is Love I tell you I know it’s coming soon… Keep your head up to the sky, I’ve given you wings so we can fly…” Attention beast: Here the monster come. Hah-HAH!!!

    Posted July 7, 2011 at 6:27 pm | Permalink
  10. Joslyn said . . .

    Hello, Rev. B. I was drawn to this site through the Michael Jackson Tribute Portrait (I never would have found it on my own) and joined a group with a link to Inner Michael and I believe it was much more than a coincidence. There’s so much of the truth in this article about “the change” I have found that I’ve crossed a bridge and that there’s no way back across and I’m glad.

    Posted July 8, 2011 at 9:57 pm | Permalink
  11. Pam said . . .

    Rev. B. For the past two years I have felt like I was just stumbling through life. It’s as if my life was out of balance now that Michael’s physical presence was no longer here. The “change” that was going on in my life was the “change” that is bringing my life back into balance. It includes significant spiritual growth, loving unconditionally as a child does, and living my life with a open and forgiving heart. I have cried so much in the past two years, but it’s okay. I feel liberated by the pain. It has prepared me for what is ahead. I too have reached out to find out more about the spiritual aspects of Neverland. I believe in my heart that Neverland will become more and more important in the future. Thank you for another great article.

    Posted July 12, 2011 at 12:38 am | Permalink
  12. Michelle Cisneros said . . .

    So true. Neverland is in your heart. I have visited there and it has such a peaceful, calming affect on me, and you take that with you. I have changed in the past 2 yrs since Michaels passing–I am closer to God and see things differently than before. Its very hard to explain, but I feel good about it.

    Posted July 22, 2011 at 6:01 am | Permalink
  13. Kim said . . .

    Thank you Rev. Barbara. I am not the same. I’ve been to Neverland and I’m just not the same. When I read your words, it takes me a back in time when I was a child. I think about the many times that I was just being a child and something happened that wouldn’t allow me to just be. I had to re-adjust how I was acting or what I was thinking. It wasn’t ok to just enjoy. When I read about Neverland, I realized how much I missed out on the magical place that it was. When I went to Neverland in June, the vibe was that of loneliness compared to what it was, yet I knew there was something magical about it still. It is obvious that Michael knew what he was doing when he created it. He brought magic and hope back into the world. I hold on to that magic because I decided that even as an adult, so what if I want to believe and hope. I still have stuffed animals and I get excited about all things magical and beautiful. Then the real world reminds me of the other me; the one that has to be cynical, fearful and worried about life. I choose to step back into the self that is more child-like, excited and sees the world as it could be; with love and magic. We all have free will and frankly I prefer to live on the side of light, beauty, magic and hope. It is a fine line these days, but I am determined. I choose Neverland.

    Posted July 23, 2011 at 12:49 am | Permalink
  14. Inga P. said . . .

    Rev. Barbara, I thank you so much for all you are writing in your extraordinary wonderful blog. Gratitude and blessings for you! Especially thanks to this piece. You are able to find the words for describing feelings…that’s a benediction for you and all of us.

    It was a long way, feeling what you described in your dedicated perception of Michael Jackson. It took long time, to understand the language, which was not my own. To understand the real essence of messages, relating to a man, Michael Jackson was, implies a larger knowledge of wisdom in any case.

    You have this knowledge Rev. Barbara, and I’m deep impressed, you share it with us.
    With kind regards from Germany.

    Posted December 2, 2013 at 12:25 pm | Permalink
  15. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    Willkommen auf der Inneren Michael. Vielen Dank für Ihre freundlichen Worte.

    Posted December 2, 2013 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

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