Friday, January 20, 2017

Object relations

Within my emerging paradigm, inner healing consists in the initial phase in what might be broadly called Cognitive Psychology.  It consists in learning to realize that much of your inner dialogue is irrational, that it does not conform to what seems to be reality, particularly as it concerns your regard for yourself.  If you find yourself feeling chronic shame for something you did not do--which seemingly exists for no reason at all--then you have identified the fruit of something else.  The feeling leads to a thought which is dysfunctional and irrational.

What then leads to the feeling?  Well, you can use psychodynamic history to EXPLAIN it, but given that this feelings is recreated consistently within your soma, within your self as embodied physically, sooner or later you have to find what I might term the "existential" component.

Within what I am finding a useful heuristic--SIFT--underlying the feeling is a static image. It might be you reaching for your mother and her turning away.  It might be a parent looking at you in anger.  It might be your father leaving the home for good when you were 4.  And of course there might be many discrete images, but my instincts tell me for most people one or two suffice.

I have in the past called these "Rosebud" moments.  They are mythic, life defining moments which might IMMEDIATELY fade into the dark recesses of the psyche, but which never, ever leave.  Rosebud was the last thing Well's Kane thought about. He had a life of power, fame, success, experience, but he lost his connection with his core self.  Everything else was a poor substitution for it.

This is a common story, I feel.  Most of us are lost, and don't know we are lost.  Most of us are dreaming, as Gurdjieff said, and not just with regard to "spiritual" things.  Most of us are profoundly stupid.  We pick up this and that, from the fragments of our culture, and try to keep in step with everyone else, and hope no one notices.  Meanwhile, everyone else is doing the same thing.  And the more lost people feel, the more instantaneous and complete the corrections.  You see schools of people, flipping on a dime, like fish, like birds, and with regard to ostensibly serious notions like love, justice, fairness.

Sometimes someone comes along who is even stupider than the rest, such that he or she is utterly convinced his or her mania is innately correct.  Such people can become very popular in times of mass confusion.  By design, our system discourages the emergence of such people, and was intended to greatly mute their potential power, no matter where they wound up.  Our system, of course, has been corrupted, as all great things are by time and use.

But returning to the topic, with time, patience, openness, and kind probing--and allowing, which is very important--something may emerge.  It might initially be tainted with the presence of another person.  I think for most it likely is.  Certainly, for me it was.  But over time it purifies, and you get the image with the sensations.  I do think this is a twofold pairing: feeling/thought, image/sensation.

For me the image/sensation is one of having something taken from me the moment I either reach for it, or depend on it.  This morning I had the image of a woman I know and am currently attracted to laying next to me.  The moment I grew comfortable in her presence, she disappeared.  And in a more pure form, I can place anything on a table, in a spot called the  Disappearing Spot, and the moment I lean in--this is the sensation--it is taken from me.  The sensations are a leaning in and sudden leaning out in surprise, a tension in my solar plexus, a bit of dizziness in my head--let's call it vertigo, and the sudden blankness of dissociation (which does have a feeling tone).

If I pull myself back out of dissociation, the feeling is one of profound and utterly unassailable solitude.  I am alone in the universe.  Nothing out there, no one out there, can ever be real for me.  It is maddening.  I live in an illusory world.

Does this sound like something a Sartre, or perhaps a Charles Schultz in his analogy of Charlie Brown and the football, might have described?  This is not a unique problem.  What is unique is that I have gotten there in a fairly pure form.  Most people disguise this--and if I might put a term on it which I have used before, this Developmental Trauma--in ways we simply call "life".  Every craziness has a reason.  Every form of insanity has a logic.  No one is fully insane.  There is a spark in all of us.

And I want to be clear that this is progress.  This is not where you STOP.  Jesus, no.  Having gotten to this image/sensation, I am going to go into it as consciously and regularly as I can.  I can use my brain, my thinking, my learning and study, to realize that this feeling--which manifests broadly as what could perhaps most usefully be called shame, even if this is not an exhaustive word for a mutable and complex emergence--can be allowed to dissolve.

I really like my Mobility Meditation, which is really a modified form of Kum Nye.  It is underplayed, and apparently underpracticed, but Tarthang Tulku obviously saw all this in the 1970's when he wrote the first books.  Massage is actually taught before movement, and I now see why.

The way he teaches it, though, is subtle, mostly, although he does have very strong belly massage.  But in my own case the disconnection is so powerful, the underlying patterns so strong, that I need REALLY strong activation and elicitation, so my foam rollers, lacrosse balls and other tools work better for me at the moment.

I like to burn incense, traditional incense, where you have a brazier, put a charcoal piece on there which you have lit, then put the actual resins on there.  I have Dragon's Blood, a Kashmir Mix, a Celtic mix, frankincense, and actual Sandalwood shavings.  You can fill the room with smoke from the ceiling to 4' or so off the floor.  It is mood altering, and good for this work.  I have to temporarily unplug the smoke detector of course.

And I put on evocative music.  I like Bach.  Sometimes Vangelis.  Sometimes Steven Halpern.

One last point: for most of us, heroes represent an image/sensation combination that creates a moving-towards for a free system, for a liberated psyche.  We see that person, and imagine how it must feel to be them.

All of humanity's problems can be solved.  All of them.

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