Lightmind Extract 012
paul, i am responding to your questions re: how i have seen/experienced these initiations occurring
a) the direct experience of the primal emotional layer of the psyche
essentially, as i was saying before, this is about softening the ego-defenses and breaking through into the underlying emotional pain, grief, rage, shame, etc that we all carry in the unconscious. the defenses against feeling this stuff often manifest as “body armoring” or chronic muscular tension. engaging the bodymind through yoga (with permission to open up into the emotions that arise as the armor softens) can get you there. this means working with deep breath and long sustained postures, while maintaining a non-judging present attitude and allowing the body to release and unwind in whatever way it needs to. engaging the bodymind through grof’s holotropic breathwork or it’s pre-cursor (before it was made illegal) psychedelic therapy, will get you there too. deep bodywork by a very skilled and emotionally aware practitioner will go there too…
i said that this was the holy grail of any therapy becasue it is the direct experience that all of the theorizing and story telling points too. until the client has broken through into the unexpressed feeling life, the therapy will remain cerebral and one dimensional. once this opening has been discovered, there is then something utterly compelling and undeniable to process and make sense of, that then renders the theory in 3 D(or reveals it’s inadequacy…)
so, i was really saying that any psychotherepeutic approach would do well to include some somatic technique that would engage the primal emotional layer and make it experiential instead of just theoretical. at the same time, people engaging in experiential somatic techniques need to process the experience cognitively ( with a guide who knows the territory well) to make sense of and integrate it. body-based therapies like bioenergetics and core energetics, or bodynamics are good for this stuff too, as is janov’s primal therapy.
b) the direct experience of the bioenergetic/pranic nature of the bodymind
again, yoga, bodywork, psychedelics, dance, breathwork will all get you there over time. which one is most effective for a given person has to do with a variety of factors. as these modalities soften the defenses/body armor and release the pent up emotion, this will create what the reichian’s call “streamings” and, often, the more profound expereince they call the “orgiastic reflex”. this streamning is akin to the chinese notion of qi and the yogic prana. the orgiastic reflex is akin to the kundalini experience. as we are freed up from our chronic contractions and emotional/sexual repressions. energy courses through the body and the system unwinds and restructures itself. i believe that the ancient yogis personified kindalini as a serpent godess because the unwinding motion is very serpentine as the body undulates and energy pours threough the nervous system. this is an extraordinary thing to observe and experience and is recognized cross culturally from india to africa to america, from shamanism to yoga to caraniosacral to somato emotional release. this initiation reveals the reality of the chakras, the meridians and the body-mind connection. it’s a trip, and only for the courageous! while it is an initiation into what you could call the “subtle body”, there is nothing subtle about it, and when the energy really moves it is undeniable and not airy fairy at all……..
i said that this was the holy grail of any movement, touch and/or breath-based practice because, again, it is the direct experience that makes the theory and often vague set of “beliefs” show up in a 3D way! practices like yoga, trance dance and hands-on energetic bodywork are techniques designed to generate this initiation, though most don’t go there for various reasons. bear in mind that all of these energetic practices were originally highly secretive and shared in a very specific initiatory context, what we mostly have now is very mainstreamed, watered down and carefully diluted of the secret knowledge….
c) into the direct experience of the psyches transpersonal archetypal dynamics
the practices i have been talking about so far will eventually open into the archetypal layer too. meditation is useful here, as is the active imagination technique from jungian therapy. doing the intensive deep experiential work and then processing it through talk and/or art will often reveal these archetypal dynamics.
i said that this was the holy grail of psychospiritual practice because it reveals the presence of the gods and demons within. it gives us the realization that all the great myths that have become literalized as religion actually live in the psyche and are templates that describe/contain the dynamics of our life experiences……it also allows confrontation with the shadow elements of the psyche. the insight, healing and creativity that results is extraordinary.
why do any of this? because you have a burning curiosity to explore the human condition. because you have no choice. because easy answers are not sufficient for you. because magical thinking and abstract beliefs turn out not to be enough. because something in you wants to self-actualize more and mroe dimensions of who you are.
enlightenment is always a red herring, because it is a concept that suggests some kind of finality, some kind of complete liberation, an end state. life is never like this, ever. enlightenment is an attempt to conceptualize something outside of the stream of experience that is liberated from the realities of being human. this is misguided and beside the point. it mostly creates three things: 1) a lot of intellectual debate 2) a lot of repression, denial, dissociation and harsh attempts to transcend or get others to do so 3) an intense child-like idealizing of mere mortals who may have some useful insight in certain areas but otherwise be pretty mediocre, or (more often) damagingly dysfunctional in other areas……
Filed under: Bodywork, Jung, Lightmind Extracts, Psychophysical Energies (Kundalini...Shakti...etc...), Psychospiritual Growth, Psychotherapy, Shadow, Stanislav Grof | Leave a Comment