Parade: emotionally charged stories

 

A couple of nights during the retreat, a parade of images came up, each with an emotional charge, and I took the opportunity (not much choice, really) to be with each one of them in a wholehearted and heartfelt way. Each one wanted to be seen, felt, and loved, as it is.

Initially, most of the images were from my own life – present, past and possible futures, and they then expanded to include the many situations humans in general experience, include wars, torture, illness, tragedy, death and so on. There was a very clear realization that there is no difference there. It is all me anyway, no matter how I look at it (all my stories, all universally human). The emotions coming up were at first mostly grief, sadness and fear, and then moved into other ones such as anger. It all lasted for a few hours, with some briefer periods of calm in between.

With many of the images, there would be a brief initial response of terror followed by a heartfelt being-with and allowing. And it was very clear how resistance to the emotions was what created the emotions, in their form of sadness, fear, grief and so on. Even a subtle resistance makes them appear that way, the conventional way.

But when there is a wholehearted being-with them, even if they would last forever, resistance falls away and they are revealed without the previous filter of resistance. Now, they are revealed as a dynamic sweet fullness, open for a taste of Big Mind and Big Heart, and fuel a deepening clarity and stability of the mind.

Parade: seeing myself as others see me

 

This happened as I was about to fall asleep on the second day of the Breema retreat at Breitenbush (posted the Monday after)…

There is a parade of people in my life, one after another, and I see myself from their perspective. I see my appearance and actions, and experience in first person how this may have been experienced by the other. Then, I see myself as if with an x-ray vision, seeing the inner machinery (thoughts, emotion, confusion, motivations), and how this would have been experienced by the other if they had seen it. This happens for each person, one at the time, going from my current life to past and into childhood. Then, the same happens with animals in my life, including ants I tortured as a child (!)

There is an emphasis on the pain, confusion and suffering my behavior triggered in others, and there is a sense of a sweet openness to it all, taking it in, allowing it to sober me up and see myself more as I would see myself from another persons perspective. There is a sense of sweetness, painfulness, space, quiet receptivity, taking it all in, allowing it to work on me.

This parade was very similar to the parade of sinister characters from some weeks ago. Both happened as I was about to fall asleep, both were similar to a waking dream (happening on their own), and in both cases, there was an inside – first person – experience of each character. As with that one, this parade was very sobering.

I see the pain I inflicted on some animals as a child, seeing myself as a giant, powerful and as evil as they come. I see myself as completely oblivious to the pain I am indirectly inflicting on animals through some of my food choices, and the miserable conditions of laborers creating many of the things I use and wear. I experience the pain triggered by my behavior and words in those close to me, in innumerable situations, in many different ways. I see myself acting and behaving in patterns from my past, not corresponding to the current situation (including not living up to my potential in certain situations, just out of old habits.) And much more.

In each of these cases, I experience myself from the outside, as I would have experienced myself if I were in the other persons (or animal’s) position. The whole parade lasted for maybe thirty or forty minutes, although it is difficult to say for certain.

Deeper layers of the shadow

 

It is pretty easy to notice the surface layers of the shadow, the ones that come up in everyday life, projected on my neighbor, political figures and others. But there are also deeper layers to the shadow, layers that reflect deep patterns in our culture and in our biology as human beings, layers that mirrors our core identification as a separate I.

The journey that happened some days ago is an example of an exploration into these deeper layers of the shadow. And as it shook me to the core, it is clearly going deeper than I am familiar with…

In this vision (or journey, or spontaneous active imagination) there was a parade of dark, shadowy and evil characters from many cultures and times, animal like, human like, gigantic, tiny. I found myself on the inside of each of them, living and breathing their life. And this I was not a separate I but the same one transcendent I in each of them, living and breathing their life. It was the I without an Other.

In the very beginning, seeing a dark large male figure in a black desolate landscape, silhouetted against a dark sky, staring out with red eyes like searchlights scanning the landscape, there was fear coming up, because there was still an identification with a separate I. But soon, there was only the one transcendent I, and an absence of Other and of fear. (Fear requires an Other, and in the absence of Other, there is also an absence of fear.)

Of course, even as powerful a shift as this was, it is another drop, another phase into owning more fully deeper layers of the shadow. There is always further to go, more to see and notice, additional layers to own, befriend, embrace, become more intimately familiar with.

Maybe the most surprising part of this was the fear that came up after the journey was over. A fear of speaking about this, or even writing about it anonymously here… Who can understand? Only the few who themselves have gone here. Those who have befriended these deep layers of their own shadow, seeing that this too is Spirit, this too is God.

And as I write this, I am (by coincidence) listening to Misread by Kings of Convenience…

How come no-one told me
All throughout history
The loneliest people
Were the ones who always spoke the truth…

A close reflection of the sober and somber mood I found myself in writing this.

Not that I see this as “truth”, it is only how things appears for one individual at one phase of his path. But to speak this provisional truth is one way to find myself as lonely…!

A journey through collective shadows

 

I did a source code session last night, designed to facilitate a release from “negative influences” such as the collective unconscious. It was very powerful as it happened, and even now, with a very strong sense of alive intelligent presence and luminosity around and in me.

As I was about to fall asleep, a very vivid journey started on its own…

There is a parade of dark and evil figures from all cultures and times, one after another. I experience each of them from the inside, living and breathing their life, and I see how there is the One “I” in everyone and everything, how they all are Big Mind… (and how they appear as dark and evil because they represent things that are disowned.) There is an incredible sense of depth, grittiness and fullness there, and also a deep sense of peace, of God already being it all (and nothing other than God), so just peace, rest.

It is all very beautiful and peaceful, even in the midst of the most horrifying creatures and images.. Just beauty. And freedom from it all, since they do not appear as an Other anymore, and since they are all already God.

Throughout this, the alive luminous intelligent loving presence is very strongly around and in my body, working in and on the body, especially in the kidneys (!).

This was clearly a journey through the collective shadows of humanity, from any culture and time… very vivid, real, living and breathing the life of all of these creatures from the inside, and realizing that there is only the one “I” in all of it, the one Eye, Spirit, Big Mind… as the inside seeing and subjective “I” experience of each creature, the form of creatures themselves, and the seeing of the creatures as Other. They came one after another, as a parade, human like, animal like, huge, tiny, one and many. All cast in the role of the villain. All representing things we rather would not see as ourselves as individuals, and also often don’t recognize as the I of the One I.

And in the living of their life from the inside, and seeing that the “I” of each of them, the inside experience of each of them, is the One “I” of everyone and everything, there is a release from all of this. They are no longer Other, at an individual or Spirit level, so a release from them. Just rest, peace.

I am not sure what the activity in the kidneys was about, although I know they are associated with fear in Chinese medicine, and throughout this journey there was a deep absence of fear… Where there is no Other, on individual (projection) and Spirit (Big Mind) levels, there is an absence of fear.