Some aspects of knots and wounds:
The source of knots and wounds are beliefs, getting caught up in a story and it’s corresponding fear, and go into a victim role. Of course, there are many ways to look at this, and I tend to use beliefs as a focus right now.
There are gifts in wounds. They open for empathy with ourselves and others, and allows us to recognize ourselves in others. We are all in the same boat here. Wounds can also help us explore ways of healing, including allowing experience as is and examining beliefs to find what’s more true for us. And they can provide a temporary drive for us in life, perhaps to escape or compensate, which – although stressful – can be helpful in many ways.
There is a ground of wounds and knots, the awake no-thing which is the ground of anything happening. Wounds and knots are the play of the divine, one of the innumerable ways life, the universe, existence expresses, explores and experiences itself.
We can invite wounds to heal and knots to untie, making our human life easier on ourselves and others, and more enjoyable.
Before a stable awakening, wounds and knots tie up attention and energy, and this makes it more difficult for reality to notice itself. (Attention goes to a belief because it seems true, so it seems important to fuel it and filter the world through it. Attention also goes to a belief as an invitation for us to find what’s more true.) When attention is released from the story, it is easier for reality to notice itself. Of course, it may go into another belief, but as more and more beliefs are seen and felt through, the veils tends to become thinner.
Within an awakening or following an opening, wounds and knots may still be there. They are little islands of contractions and mistaken views in our human self, can still be triggered, and will influence how this human self lives in the world. God tends to bring these to the surface so they can be healed, providing a fuller and more mature way for reality awake to itself to live through this human self.
The core knot is of course the story of I, or more precisely, temporary identification as the story of a separate I. Knots and wounds are often the same thing, and this core knot – identification as a separate I – is also a core wound. It is what allows for all the other wounds, and it is a wound in itself with a belief and a resisted fear behind it. The core belief is that I am a doer/observer. And the core belief behind the fear is that something terrible will happen if I don’t find myself as a separate I. For instance, I need to be an I for this human self to function. This human self cannot function without an I. I won’t know who or what I am if I cannot locate what I am in space.
Different teachers emphasize different aspects. For instance, Byron Katie tends to focus on inviting knots to untie so our human life is easier and more enjoyable, and – eventually – reality notices itself. Adyashanti tends to focus on the ground, although he is very much aware of the other aspects. Genpo Roshi, through his Big Mind process, includes all of these and probably several more.
Are knots and wounds always the same? A knot happens when we are caught up in a belief/fear, and it usually – or always – comes with a wound. When a knot is seen and felt through, its corresponding wound tends to heal as well. At the same time, it seems that wounds can still be around even as reality recognizes itself. Wounds can still be triggered, and as soon as they are, there may be a temporary identification with the story behind it, and so an identification as an I.
– when wound: habitual patterns may take over, belief/fear, even when recognized as a belief/fear and happening within/as ground
– when healed/mature: god can use as an instrument
- knots and wounds
- source: from being caught up in a story/fear, go into victim role
- gift: opens for empathy, recognition
- ground: (a) all the play of the divine, the play of awake no-thing as form, or (b) life (universe, existence) exploring and experiencing itself in one of myriad ways
- human life: invite to heal, mature to make our human life easier on ourselves and others, find more enjoyment
- awakening: (a) makes it easier for what we are to notice itself, when healed (attention gets absorbed into knots/beliefs, so when is released is more free to notice what is), (b) makes it easier for what we are noticing itself to life more fully through this human life
- bigger picture: all of this and more, part of the bigger picture, and we emphasize on or another or a larger picture at different times
- three levels
- (a) all the play of the divine, working on the human self only makes the dream a little better – true and valid (some advaita folks)
- (b) the previous one is valid, and yet it is good to work at the human level to some extent, especially in terms of ethics – live a life that is easier for oneself and others, less distracting, less drama, which also frees up time/energy to explore what we are (joel, therevada?)
- (c) allowing knots to untie (i) makes it easier for reality to notice itself (release of beliefs, hangups), and (ii) makes it easier for reality awake to itself to life more fully and thoroughly through this human self (less hindered by wounds, knots, spots of immaturity) (byron katie, genpo roshi, barry)
- …. and different teachers/traditions tend to emphasize one or the other, or sometimes – in the most mature/inclusive cases (as I see it!) – all three
- allowing knots to untie so there is room for god
- can say that….
- all that matters is awakening
- anything else is making the dream a little more comfortable
- and there is truth to it, but it is also one of the ways we can be “stuck in the absolute”
- – knots, wounds, healing, maturing – all the play of the divine, ok as is
- but also….
- the divine wants to be lived consciously and fully through this human life
- so it is vitally important for this human self to heal and mature
- each knot comes from confusion and a belief and fear, it is a wound, it is often a place where we are and act as a little – and confused and scared – child
- so when these knots are invited to untie – when healing and maturing can take place there – the divine can live from that place too in a fuller and more conscious way
- can say that….
– healing, creating room for a more healthy/mature expression
– god wants to be lived fully through this human self, as clearly as possible, brings all the unhealed/wounded parts up so can be seen/felt/loved – healed, matured
– that’s what the dark night is about, along with release of identification….
Listening to different teachers, I notice three ways of relating to the healing and maturing of the human self.
Some dismiss it entirely, pointing out that (a) it’s all the play of reality, of divine mind, whether it takes the appearance of knots and wounds or healing and maturing, and (b) when reality awakens to itself, it doesn’t matter, it is all revealed as the play of reality anyway. Trying to fix or improve the human self is only a way to make the dream better. Some advaita folks may fall into this category.
Others include it to some extent or indirectly, perhaps through emphasizing ethics, but their main emphasis is similar to the previous one. Joel from CSS seem to fall into this category.
And finally, there are the ones who emphasize healing, maturing and allowing knots to untie as (a) a direct and safe path to inviting reality recognizing itself, and (b) a way for reality awake to itself to more fully and thoroughly express itself through this human life. Byron Katie and Genpo Roshi are good example of this approach, as is Barry.
Each of these are legitimate and valid approaches, but I am obviously more drawn to the last one. For instance, through The Work I find what’s more true for me than beliefs, and this invites in healing and maturing, making my human life easier on myself and others, and it also – gradually and over time – invites reality to recognize itself. Through allowing, being with and being experience without pushing it away or getting caught up in it or in thoughts about it, there is relief and the beginning of healing, and also a shift into Big Mind. Through going back to when I remember first having had a particular belief, and going into the role of me as – for instance – five year olds, I can do inquiry and find release there.
Knots and wounds come from beliefs, and these beliefs – these fascinations with stories taken as true – is what makes it difficult for reality to recognize itself. Attention is distracted and preoccupied with these beliefs, as it should be since this preoccupation is an invitation for us to find what is more true for us than the belief (sometimes what happens is just a fueling of these stories, but the invitation is always there).
Within an awakening, or after an opening, these knots tends to surface, and for good reason. They are where we are still stuck in beliefs, preventing a clear recognition of what we are, and also preventing reality awake to itself to life more fully and thoroughly through this human self.
Attention naturally goes to beliefs. A belief appears true, so attention naturally attends to it to fuel the belief and filter the world through it. And attention goes to beliefs as an invitation to find what’s more true.
When attention is absorbed into a belief and the world is filtered through this belief, it is more difficult for reality to notice itself.
When reality is awake to itself, this human self in the world is its instrument, and it invites this instrument to be as finely tuned and well functioning as possible, with as wide range and repertoire as possible.
Any belief creates a sense of a separate I. It is a viewpoint, this viewpoint is taken as real and true, it is identified with, and it exists in opposition to other viewpoints, so there is naturally a sense of being a separate I as soon as a story is taken as true. Wounds are a little different since these can be around even as reality recognizes itself, although as soon as a wound is triggered, there may be temporary identification with the story behind it, so also a temporary identification as an I.