Lightmind Extract 011


~julian 9.23.04
here are three major initiatory experiences that i think are meaningful in the context of a discussion of transpersonal psychology:

a) the initiation into the primal emotional layer of the psyche, in which one directly experiences core emotional conflicts and lets go into full feeling and expression. here we are breaking through rationalizations, denials and dissociations into pure emotion. in the context of an appropriate container created by a good guide, the hidden feeling life can arise and unfold itself in a revelatory fashion.

this is the holy grail of any “therapy” and goes way beyond just sitting, talking and analyzing, into what lies behind and underneath the persona. then there is something to sit with, talk about, and analyze that is utterly compelling.

b) the initiation into a direct experience of bioenergy, prana, chi, kundalini shakti, the innate unwinding mechanism. here we discover an intelligence in the body that is not the ego, the reality of the bodymind connection via what we could call the “chakras”, and the possibility of an embodied spiritual ecstasy. in the context of an appropriate container created by a good guide, the body can unravel it’s mysteries, shake off tension and trauma, and awaken to itself as a vessel for the energy that seeks to become conscious of itself. again, we are breaking through ego-defenses and dissociations. often, the above mentioned opening into primal emotion will lead to energetic initiation, or vice versa…..

this is the holy grail of any energetic discipline based in movement, breath, or touch, and goes way beyond new age vagueries, fantasies and beliefs.

c) the initiation into the transpersonal archetypal dynamics of the psyche, in which the reality behind mythic metaphor is revealed as we directly experience the “angels and demons” within, anima or animus, the confrontation with and integration of our shadow material, and the relationship to the Self or “god”. in this altered state, the primacy of the Unconscious is undeniable and the psychological origins of myth and it’s literalized translation – religion, become clear.

this is the holy grail of what we might call psychospiritual practice, and goes way beyond mere lip service to or contemplation of archetypes, into altered state experience of the inner landscape. often the opening into primal emotion and/or energetic initiation will lead to these states.

all three of these initiations have to do with a softening of the barrier between conscious and unconscious. all three are realities that are accessed directly through various practices and techniques and are direct experiences that theory then attempts to explain. trying to understand the theory without being initiated into the experience is like a cloistered nun trying to imagine what raw uninhibited sex is really like. all three have largely been diluted out of the very practices, techniques and theories that were originally developed to access or interpret them. so we have a lot of guides who have not themselves been initiated.

all three follow the pattern of peak experience and as such need to be integrated with lots of follow up work and contextural exploration around meaning and value. all three can also reveal the presence of a transpersonal witness that transcends but does not negate the content of the experience. all three will arise in meditation, breathwork, shamanic journeying, ecstatic dance, psychedelic states, deep bodywork, tantric yoga and sex, if practiced consistently and bravely. all three will create unrealistic inflations, identifications, and beliefs along the way that will need to be critically examined and released at each deepening level of initiation. all three are vehicles that take us through the stages of healing and evolution as we transcend-and-include our way through the spectrum of consciousness.

i think that the whole point of any transpersonal/psychospiritual/integral model or discussion is to inspire us to seek out these experiences and create a framework for understanding, integrating, and then (after our own deep initiations and integrations) facilitating them.

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