Monthly Archives: November 2016

Breaking Through to Reality

So I had an interesting question posed to me recently. The basics sentiment was: how can we break through to reality? 

This is somewhat out of context, so I will say that I talk a fair amount about the fact that a lot of spiritual paths and sentiments are meant to perpetuate illusion. That we are all steeped in illusion, and that we in fact seek comfort in illusion because it allows for us to feel in control, as well as quells our fears, and makes complex things (like spirituality) seem simple.

We like simplicity, we like linearity. Or I should say our minds do.

The difficulty with this is that authentic spiritual awakening allows for complexity. It allows for something and its opposite to be true at the same time. The “truth” is sometimes painful, it is sometimes what we don’t wish to hear. This is because it breaks away from what we consider to be “true” about ourselves or the world.

So I thought I would talk a bit, from my perspective, about the process of continually working through illusion in order to find truth.

We tend to repeat things to ourselves and others that are not true.

These are often phrases or sentiments that are focused on beliefs. These are also often sentences or phrases that will explain something complex simply.

For example: “men are like that”; “people suck”; “I will never have enough”; “women are soul suckers”

These are often focused on past traumas or cultural/societal teachings.

Or: “the alignment of the cosmos is why this happened”; “blessings, love and light” or “I am an (fairy, et, earth angel, sensitive, psychic, empath, shaman, fill in blank here) and that is why my life is so difficult”; “the shift is creating this momentum”; “I am special and so nobody understands me”; “everybody hates me/nobody loves me”; or insert conspiracy theory here.

So these are a mix of trauma and a traumatized brain always seeks separation. I have worked with trauma for a long time. Most people who have experienced significant trauma, unless they have received appropriate help, will believe that they are the only person who will understand or know what their trauma is like. This is untrue. I can tell you from my experience in working with people who have experienced devastating trauma that many other people have experienced the same exact things as you have. Even truly horrific things like incest, kidnapping, rape, watching someone be murdered, etc.

Our brains tell us that we are the only person who have experienced something like this. This allows for the trauma and the beliefs associated with it to continue, and for us to not receive the help that we need. A traumatized brain is fragmented, and will want to keep the status quo. Even if our reality is a dysfunctional one in which we are not thriving, our minds will seek to continue the separation. That is until we are willing to realize that what our minds are telling us may not be true.

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The other aspect of this are simple solutions to complex issues.

Although it sounds odd, if we believe that the Illuminati are controlling the world, this is preferable to realizing that the world cycles through various stages of entropy at times. That there is no evil Mr. Burns-like character in control of everything. There of course are shady characters, people of power, people who are part of the 1 percent and so forth. But conspiracy theories tend to be all-consuming and a simplified explanation for everything. Us believing whatever conspiracy theory allows for the part of us that likes simplicity and control to be sated.

This is also true in terms of identity. If all of our troubles are because we are an empath, that not only takes any sort of personal responsibility away from ourselves, it also creates the illusion that nothing in our lives will change. That we will always be troubled, have health issues, and so forth. It stops us from looking for and receiving help and guidance, or following through on doing so.

The fact that we may have a chronic health condition that we always will have to deal with is separate than the mental aspect of ourselves constantly defining ourselves as something in order to provide a sort of order to chaos, as well as to shirk responsibility.

What is funny about this is that a few months ago I saw a thread in a Facebook group in which someone said they were empathic and that made them so much different than everyone else. The funny aspect of this is that about 150 people responded, saying the felt the same way.

None of them realized that if they let go of the illusion of being isolated/alone/different/etc. that they would be able to see the irony that everyone in that group (even likely most people who responded) felt exactly the same way. None of them seemingly saw the irony of the fact that there were hundreds of people are sharing that singular sentiment.

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The spiritual realms are non-linear and often not logical. They also can be extremely linear and logical (see what I did there). But we have this tendency to want to create order and tidiness to spiritual things. The further that we move into direct experience, the more we will have to contend with our own illusions based on the idea of control.

Basically, if we believe we understand something and can name it, we feel in control.

A perfect example of this is Mercury Retrograde, which has gotten an exceedingly bad wrap (there are other retrogrades that are far, far more difficult, they just don’t have the PR campaign poor Mercury has).

People being aware of Mercury Retrograde and endlessly repeating that things are going wrong because of it is either because:

  • they are aware of Mercury Retrograde, and so are ascribing any small inconvenience to it
  • it is a time in which any problems can have an external cause (rather than looking internally, or having a “sometimes shit just happens” approach)
  • they actually are having issues due to Mercury Retrograde

The first two are by far more predominant.

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So how to Break through to Reality? 

How to know that you are moving towards “truth” rather than creating illusion?

  1. Look at the sentences and phrases you repeat to yourself. These may be sentences or phrases that you have repeated your whole life, or they may be specific to an event.
    1. For example, after a school shooting we will often feel worried and afraid. We may repeat to ourselves “that person was really sick” because, even though he was, the separation we are creating here allows us for some semblance of control and comfort. It may be entirely true that he is mentally ill, as most of us wouldn’t dream of shooting up a school, but the mental logistics of this are still the same.
  2. Look at the sentences and phrases that are repeated to you. The news and our media does this all the time. They will repeat things in just slightly different ways to us enough times that we make it a part of our reality.
    1. There are a lot of disturbing things I could go into about “pushing thoughts” and how easy it is to do, as our minds are incredibly malleable and open, but that is perhaps another blog
  3. Look at any thoughts or ideas that are causing you to place a lot of blame on one concept, or identity.
    1. For example, being an Empath likely does create some difficulty in your life. That can be worked with, by the way. But if you blame everything in your life on the fact that you are an empath (or even 70 or 50 percent) it is something to look at
  4. Look at any thoughts or ideas that are causing you to feel separate
    1. This is a big one in spiritual awakening. The ego and ego awakening sort of culture is really dominant and really illusory. A lot of people start on a spiritual path because they want to feel special. This is oddly a reaction to the part of the brain that wants to feel separate. Spiritual awakening can create separation at a certain point, but that point only happens when you realize that you are one and separate at the same time. Simply put, separation instincts are illusory.
    2. No matter what you are going through, whatever difficulty or terror or experiences that you have experienced, someone (and likely many people) have as well. This is why support groups work really well. I cannot understand what a Veteran has experienced past a certain point, but other Veterans will.
  5. Look at attempts to create logic, linearity, and simplicity
    1. This happens ALL THE TIME. It is much harder to understand and reconcile that we may not have all the answers, that our attempts to control (and feelings of being out of control) stem from a deeper, subconscious realization that we will never have all of the answers. That despite who we are, or how much we know, there is always a deeper truth. That things are complex, and non-linear, and that we do not control them and do not have all the answers.
    2. This also greatly reduces us if we do this. If we ascribe all of our problems to the full moon, we stop looking for answers. We stop realizing that “okay, the full moon is affecting me, but so is that person at work, so is this spiritual process I am going through, and I just talked to my mom on the phone, and I feel uneasy about that presentation I have to do”.
  6. Look at where you stop yourself– where you conclude the “final” truth is
    1. This one is funny as I meet a lot of people who introduce themselves to me as some great awakened being. Or they will state how they had a kundalini awakening, are psychic, and so forth. Many of these people truly have experienced some sort of spiritual “something” but the mind will always tell us that we are further than we are. It will stop us from moving forward, or even realizing that our separation instinct is causing for us to both simultaneously feel some level of low self-worth as well as needing to feel “special” or realized/awakened at the same time.
    2. We can always know more than what we do currently. There is no “end stage”. There is no completion point. There are always deeper and deeper and deeper and deeper truths out there (did I say deeper?). This is what makes the spiritual path so exhilarating as well as occasionally infuriating. Because if you are on it for a while, you will realize that there is always more to know.
    3. I have met so many people who have stopped themselves from proceeding on their spiritual path. I sometimes meet someone who has been espousing the same beliefs and understandings as they did twenty years ago. I always think about who they might be, or what they might have accomplished, if their ego didn’t tell them that they had found some sort of final “truth”.
  7. And finally, illusion creates numbing. It also simultaneously creates pain. Look at any beliefs about yourself and the world. If they are creating separation, pain, or difficulty for you, they are likely false. Or at the very least not as true as you believe them to be. If beliefs are allowing you to anesthetize, to be numb, or apathetic, they are also likely false, and should be looked at.

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I do realize that questioning your reality is for the brave sorts of us who are both willing and stable enough to do so. I continually question, learn, and try to “break through” my current reality on a daily basis. The effects of doing so can be initially frightening, but the baggage and sort of chains that false beliefs and illusions create, even if they are offering us things like simplicity and the illusion of control, cause for us to not be free. It is hard to describe how freeing it is to release the chains– the beliefs and understandings that are false that bind us. If you just start by noticing what sentences you repeat to yourself, or what sentences you notice repeated to you, you will likely, over the course of a few weeks, begin to realize some of the illusions that may be coloring your world.

The Path of Radical Responsibility

I have had an understanding come through to me over the past few weeks. This is an understanding that I have certainly come across before, but I know that when a phrase is repeating to me (over and over again, which gets annoying, as it is like a teacher trying to teach you something that you seemingly don’t get, or don’t get fully yet) that I need to pay attention at another level than I had been.

The teaching is that the authentic spiritual path is always one of radical responsibility.

What does this mean? In an earlier blog, I talked about two paths that one can take when interested in spirituality: one of further illusion and obscuration, and one of truth, even if it is at times uncomfortable or painful truth (you can read this blog here)

Of course things are not so black and white, and the complexity of being on both, or thinking you are on one and then actually being on the other, come into play.

What I will say is that illusory spiritual paths take you away from yourself. They take you away from your body, from your life. This is a good meter stick, by the way; if you are participating in something that takes you away from embodiment or teaches you that you need to be someone other than who you are, chances are that it is a false path.

The difficulty with this is that a lot of people want the illusions. The idea that the our greatest fears can be simply explained by some guru, or that there are singularly “compassionate” and “non-compassionate” spirits, or that we can run away from our lives for a weekend and be someone else is immensely appealing.

Life is difficult. It is tumultuous, and we believe things to be true, we create things to be true, that either help us to escape this realization, or seek to numb or comfort our brains who when faced with complexity and uncertainty. Our brains like to hear about simplicity, and spiritual experiences and realities are often anything but simple. This is how we have so much material on what happens after death definitively, or what the cosmos are like definitively, or even the silliness of people channeling “Hitler” and saying how he came here to somehow teach others (sigh. this is a real thing. You don’t need to look it up, though, trust me) in a way to believe that the world is really full of the rainbows and unicorns that people love to dream about.

Truth on the other hand is uncomfortable. It is a lot of times one thing and the complete opposite at the same time. It is also often complex, and we cannot fully grasp it. This is especially true on a spiritual path, where the concept of linearity, or the concept of story, gets sort of thrown out the window (unless we create a story on top of spiritual experiences, which we tend to do).

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But let’s get back to responsibility– radical responsibility at that.

At this point in my career I have seen and heard a lot of things. I have also, doing this work, interacted with a lot of people who have lost complete footing in any sort of grounding in reality. There are a lot of people drawn to spiritual work who are extremely mentally unwell because they can find others to feed or participate in their delusions. If you believe that space aliens are coming here to eat your brains, you will be able to find a community of people nowadays online who believe the same thing.

Those of us who do have at least a tetherhold on reality (to a firm grasp of it, and including even the most grounded and embodied of us) will still create illusions, but there will be at least some footing in collective reality, and some capacity to change.

I have noticed for a long time that people who contact me blaming whatever activities they are doing, meditations they have done, “evil” spirits, curses, their parents, another lifetime (you get my drift here) rarely are willing to see their part in things.

Before someone gets into: “well, you are a spiritual worker who deals with the external”, I will say that most people who believe that they are cursed are not. Most people who believe that there are evil or negative spirits against them are not experiencing them. A spiritual worker is really someone who believes in the external, and works with it, but most spiritual workers worth their salt know that a lot of people are dealing with psychological and mental forces that have created a reality of pain for them based off of inner wounding.

Before someone also gets into: “well, I was traumatized as an infant and it was my parents fault and I have no blame” sort of thinking, I will explain that part. We have all sorts of examples in our lives of times where we were under the power of another, and it failed. For some of us this is a large failing, and there are scars and brokenness and beliefs and so forth that were created as a result of that trauma.

But as an adult, someone can take responsibility for their healing from that trauma, and get their power back. I have worked with many people who have survived all sorts of horrors that have been visited on them: war, incest, electrocution, neglect, slavery (yes, in this lifetime), natural disasters, and the abuses and traumas that this world and the people in it create daily.

I have been doing healing work for a long time now, and I understand that a lot of people are not in the place to do so. I also have been a healer for long enough to know that some people are too broken to do so, and perhaps in their next lifetime they will be able to take some steps forward in their healing process.

I also am not victim blaming here. There are all sorts of things, spiritual and otherwise, that happen to us in our lives here. Devastating things. Illness. Unhappiness. The general chaos and uncertainty and tumultuousness that happens while we are here to all of us invariably at different times.

And many of us try to hide from it. We create entire worlds in our heads to explain and create our way away from these things. We construct beliefs and realities based off of our wounds, and oddly, they are often our protections.

But it is an interesting thing… I get a lot of people who tell me that a meditation, or a (insert reconstructionist pagan thing here), spiritual practices, or even things like occult practices, witchcraft, and so forth have caused for them to be unwell.

This person rarely realizes that it wasn’t the practice. It was the person.

It can be hard to reconcile that there are likely thousands, if not hundreds of thousands (depending on the practice, of course) of people currently engaged in similar spiritual/occult/magical/shamanic things who do not experience the same results.

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The spiritual path is one of destabilization. This means that what any spiritual path does (any authentic one) is to remove the layers and layers of obscuring illusory reality.

The thing is– if you are already unstable, this process will send someone into the “incredibly unstable” category. It is very, very rarely a result of the practice. It is a result of the person not ready for the practice, not ready for the results of the practice. It is often nowadays (with so many books out there on advanced practices) a result of someone not learning the basics before moving onto advanced material.

The same is true for reiki, shamanic practices, and so forth. It is also true for all sorts of beliefs and understandings. People hold onto the people who have done harm to them, to the events that have caused them harm. This may be because of wounded inner children, it may be because of overwhelm, it may be because the person hasn’t found the appropriate healer to navigate them through. Sometimes it is because the person really wants revenge, or is holding on to this wounded part of themselves in order to preserve a story, a narrative that is informing their world view (often with incredibly negative consequences in outer/physical reality).

If the person let go of such things, their world would change. Not only their beliefs, but their outer world as well. And our minds preserve us from change, from taking responsibility. In our own misguided way we protect these wounded parts of ourselves and their beliefs that are causing such constriction and blockage in our outer reality.

The less well we are (mentally primarily, but also emotionally, physically, spiritually) the less we are willing to take responsibility for our role in things. If we are incredibly unwell, there will be a tendency for the person to create a myth of being a lone person in a sea of monsters or demons or negative forces out to get them. This preserves a separation instinct (one vs. the multitude) and is often a part of early childhood trauma, where the infant is learning to trust and finds that they cannot trust their caregivers, or that it would be dangerous to do so.

This creates a legacy of feeling as if the world is against them, and they will recreate again and again ways in which that this is true, and their outer reality will be created based off of this instinct.

So in terms of trauma, we may not hold any responsibility in terms of the original instant. If we were an abused or neglected infant, we literally cannot take responsibility there. But we can take responsibility for healing that infant, for being an adult who can move beyond those beliefs and traumas. The person who decides to do so, and who reaches out to others who know the ways in which to do so, will move beyond their illusions into better health and stability, with a firmer foot in collective reality.

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I will say a short note (just to confuse, and to prove that the opposite of truth is often also true) that sometimes there are practices that are destabilizing. That is their intent. We are either in a place to be ready for that destabilization, or for change to happen in our lives due to whatever we are doing… or we are not. If we are not, it can get difficult for us. But we can realize that it was us that was not ready.

I will also say that there are a variety of stupid and shitty practices out there. Things that can get you in trouble. Most people will not find these things, but as I regularly get people who think that it was a good idea to contact things like goetic demons without knowing how to banish first… or who think it would be fun to try “x” in terms of witchcraft or spiritual contact and find out that it is less than fun… or shamanic practitioners who don’t believe that spirits are real and then find out they very much are, or don’t know how to adequately protect or cleanse themselves or deal with things when they do run into something that is powerful/scary/etc, I will say that sometimes shit just happens, and while it is often a learning experience, it is also a question of if we take responsibility for the fact that we went into something that we weren’t ready for the ramifications of.

Every single magician I have met, for example, has had something happen that has incredibly freaked them out. It happens.

But there is also a question of timing here, and of power. Meaning that if you have never done any sort of magical work, and are suddenly calling on Hekate, chances are she will laugh at you and nothing will happen. If you are a “shamanic practitioner” who learned how to do soul retrieval in a weekend workshop, and have only done a few of them, they are only going to be so effective and quite frankly, there is a limited amount of trouble that you will generally get into.

So I will share a personal story about this. I have shared before that my kundalini awakening was precipitated by me doing a bunch of stupid stuff all at once. I got a bunch of reiki attunements all in a row, and although I had been meditating off and on for about five years at that point, I found Mantak Chia’s microcosmic orbit. I started practicing this. A lot. And my kundalini erupted.

For a long time I blamed the reiki, I blamed Mantak Chia, I blamed qigong and meditation and anything I could blame, I did. I eventually realized that I was trying to go from step three to step ten in my practices, and I was experiencing fallout. I later realized that my kundalini was going to awaken anyway, and that there was reasoning why I felt so compelled to do things like get five reiki attunements in a month.

I will share one more story: When I was in my mid-twenties I tried to do the “Abramelin operation”. It is a ritual that is intended to last about six months (although people have tried to compress it). I naturally thought that I could do it in a much shorter timeframe, and without some of the materials needed.

What happened is that I started to feel insane– I had so much stuff going on around me (and coming from me, that is saying something), and I luckily realized that I wasn’t ready and stopped the operation. I did it again a few years ago and was able to complete it. This time it still had a huge destabilizing effect, but I was ready for it, didn’t cut any corners, and was (well somewhat) ready for its effects.

My point here is that whatever is going on in your life, see if you can take responsibility for it. We tend to externalize what we do not wish to reconcile internally. We tend to blame externally what we do not wish to take personal responsibility for. When we are willing and have the stability to do so, taking responsibility for everything that happens for us is a path that we should all aspire to. Being willing to question and take stock of our part of things, and to question our reality to the extent that it can change and shift to a different reality is part of the spiritual path. And we can either get stuck in illusion, we can get stuck in the constricted reality we have created for ourselves…or we can move forward through taking responsibility for our thoughts, actions, beliefs, and even our very reality. We can use our outer reality as a signpost of what is going on internally, and reconcile that… and our outer reality will change.

Post-Election Thoughts

As someone who does spiritual work, I don’t talk about politics a great deal. This is mostly because I look at things from the pattern level, and to see the level of absurdity and illusion, as well as to understand that politicians are representative of collective and larger forces, means that there is often a certain amount of separation for me.
 
I also know that we are in a destruction cycle (Kali Yuga, if you will), as most aware people are… and that dealing with a certain amount of chaos, pain, and darkness in this period is necessary.
 
One of the worst things that we can do is ignore our pain or whatever emotions are arising right now. It is not focusing on “negativity” or creating more of it to do so. One of the biggest issues with the spiritual community is that people have created this “love and light” ideology that means that any mention of pain or anything uncomfortable is considered “low vibration” or “bad”.
 
I recently worked with a woman who repeatedly told me how she had been on a spiritual path for twenty years. She had very little consciousness and zero ability to look within. This was not only because she wouldn’t allow herself, but because what happens is what always happens with the “love and light” community– she had a stockpile of unhealed pissed off energy that she refused to acknowledge because it wasn’t “spiritual”.
 
What we have unhealed within us, what we ignore, creates our collective energies. The purpose of any spiritual path is to come to consciousness. It is truly to look within. It is not to create illusions of bliss, or to stick your head in the sand, or to only sit with the good (and demonize the bad). There is absolutely no point to a spiritual path if it doesn’t allow for you to heal, to explore, and to understand. To work your way beyond illusion. To see beyond your fleeting wants and needs and to understand yourself, and reality, with increasing clarity.
 
One of the first “initiations” on the spiritual path is to realize that there is more out there than you. Through this you realize that you are not the center of the Universe, and begin to relate and understand people very dissimilar to yourself. You begin to become okay with thoughts, people, and other energies that have not had the same experiences of this world as you.
 
I see people creating “stories” right now about how and when “light” will prevail, and how things like this are always for the higher (or some) good. These are ways to placate the brain that is dealing with uncomfortable stimulus. It is a way to feel closure, to feel safe, to provide cotton candy type anesthetic for any sort of difficult feelings that arising. We are uncomfortable with the unknown, and so will do anything and everything to create a fairy tale ending, to anesthetize ourselves when we feel any sort of pain.
 
Understand that some people do not have this capability. That it is an luxury to have the ability to create illusions and not have reality interfere. I had a friend who was told “this country wasn’t for her” at the polls (she is Vietnamese), and today had a black friend have four men pull up to her and call her a “n” and then say that she will get what is coming to her. She is deeply afraid for herself and her son.
 
It may not be right to do so today. Today you may just need to get through. But at some point you should allow yourself to feel. To sit with pain and discomfort without trying to placate it or make it go away. Coming into consciousness sometimes results in discomfort. The decision to be okay with the unknown and to not create illusions or stick your head in the sand is always a difficult one. It is always easier to numb, to try to make pain go away.
 
But the people who are able and willing to deeply feel everything– from the greatest bliss to the greatest pain, are the ones truly doing the greatest work in this world. The people who are able to look beyond their own pain and to actually see how and why some people may be deeply fearing for their lives right now… and even why some people may choose to hate anyone or anything that is even slightly different than them… those are the people who are truly courageous, who are truly making a difference in the collective.
 
It is not by ignoring, or creating illusions, that we become “light”. It is by truly dealing with all parts of ourselves, acknowledging and feeling compassion for every part of ourselves, that we become “enlightened”.
 
And most of all, be of service. Or let someone be of service to you. One of my teachers used to say “shared pain is lessened pain”, and I find it very much to be true. So reach out to a friend, be compassionate towards others, and choose to make a physical difference in this world. Volunteer. Befriend people different than you. Read books that you don’t agree with. It is up to each and every one of us to do our own work, to expand our own consciousness, otherwise the collective shadow will never lessen.

The Primal Self

Caveat: I talk about some things with the realization that people who are not ready for them will read through and try to work with concepts before they are ready to. I cannot tell anyone what to do, but the realization of the primal selves is an advanced concept, and is only to be worked with by people who are psychologically stable.

I had a teaching come through recently in response to some questioning in which the thought of how we can operate from a basis of our wounds (and create illusions; and have the wounded parts of ourselves be needy and want based off of their wounds) or a basis of health. This work, and understanding this sentiment, requires the ability to at least see through the wounds (as we all have wounds, it is just a question of what basis we are working from, and if our wounds are creating our reality or if health is) to do this work and consider this concept.

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We believe ourselves to be one thing: one personality with a narrow range of likes and dislikes, one identity, one way of being in the world.

But we are not– we are a multitude of selves. Some of these selves are in fact opposites. We may be shy and loud at different times, or have a a part of us that loves monster trucks and another that loves Kierkegaard.

We are both masculine and feminine, dark and light (and everything in between), fierce and friendly, and so forth.

I was thinking about this this past week as I engaged with someone who I would firmly classify as a “new-ager”. I don’t engage or hear much from this crowd any more (although sometimes an occasional Facebook post), but a woman contacted me who was condescending as well as incredibly passive aggressive with me.

I recalled how the difficulty with this group, as a whole, is that they are unwilling to see anything beyond this really puritanical self– a sort of self that is “all light, all the time”, and I recalled how my former interactions with people in this group showed me a type of rage, aggression, violence, fear, and other unhealed and unwelcomed emotions that was quite counter to the “mask”, or front of “peace, love, and light” spirituality that they try to maintain.

As long as we deny any aspect of ourselves, it is not as if it leaves. It is not like we have become superior to it. What happens is that it lurks within us, leading to a bunch of odd illusions and resistance (and, well, passive-aggressive behavior).

The reason that I mention the new-agers is because it is the clear delineation of what happens here when we neglect any aspect of ourselves, when we resist aspects of ourselves, and when we judge aspects of ourselves.

I have yet to meet a new-ager who doesn’t understand how admonishing others for being anything other than this illusory perfected “light” is a form of judgement (a big “no-no” according to them)… and I have yet to meet anyone in that community that really has much capacity for inward reflection and questioning.

Because you simply can’t have awareness if you are neglecting, fearing, or rejecting parts of yourself.

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So on to the topic at hand (and my slight soap-box will begin to make sense, I promise).

A lot of our rage, fear, grief, lust (insert emotions we may neglect or cast aside here) are wounded children. What this means is that when we experience any significant trauma, overwhelm (which can happen a lot to kids, as our understanding level and threats to safety are magnified), or huge emotions, that we may be unable to process them.

Basically, we can’t deal with a huge welling of grief from being five (or something similar). What happens is that a part of ourselves “freezes” in that aspect of our timeline.

Flash forward twenty (or fifty) years later. We experience grief, or something that reminds us of the original grief that we experienced as that five year old.

Instead of reacting from a place of being twenty-five, or fifty, our wounded child comes out and we revert to being five.

I could go into a lot of complexity here, but one of the things that I have learned to do is to ask myself when I am reacting to something (or feel “triggered”) is what age I am acting from. 

Because it won’t be your current, adult self. It could be an infant state, or childhood, or sullen teenager, or know-it-all twenty something. If those “frozen” parts of our timeline are healed, they unfreeze.

The unhealed parts of us like healing, they want closure. Healing all of these stops on our “timeline”, means that we will no longer be reacting from the place of that inner wounded child.

And this is where a lot of our grief, pain, and reactions to the world (and to ourselves) lie. When we experience trauma, we also create beliefs… and so healing those inner children also heals the beliefs that were created.

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The reason that I mention the above (our inner, wounded children) is that when working with primal energies, we have to get our own clutter out of the way. Much of our emotional baggage is our own. By healing it, we let go of much of the reactivity that we once experienced.

In a healing path, we must consider if something is “ours” first. Healing is really about taking more and more responsibility for yourself, and healing and working with (or even considering) what age we may be acting from when we are upset or reactive, and then working and healing that part of ourselves so it is integrated (no longer frozen) is an essential part of the healing path.

But beyond this is our primal selves.

Not very long ago, we had to hunt, kill, take, steal, murder, plunder, be vicious, angry, warriors, fuck, dance, and create havoc… we consider ourselves to be “higher” or past these types of energies.

Much of the modern-day healing path is in fact filled with people who are wounded, or have wounded children, to the extent that they cannot even consider their inner warrior, or are new-ager-esque to the point of considering that a part of themselves once had to be violent would be automatically disregarded, ignored, or quickly admonished.

We also naturally are many things. I am going to use the “ego” word here, but I will explain how I use it, as it has taken on a negative connotation in pop-psychology shamanism and the like.

Our ego is simply our identity, it is our mind. It is, to be brief, our control center. Reality is much, much, much (did I say much) more than we experience. Our egos filter and blind us to greater reality. I recently read an article about how our minds truly filter the world to meet our expectations, or the “tracts” that are already set up in our mind, to meet expected outcomes.

This is how we create our world. This is how we get so pent up, so singular, and experience such a small frame of existence.

This is why, for example (yes, I am returning to new-agers) you find that new-agers only experience a very small part of reality. Nothing is more illusory that someone who won’t listen to certain kinds of music, or eat really anything, or who will judge all of humanity (including themselves, because it would be impossible to meet the perfected standards of the new-ager, which is why a lot of them are really miserable), who won’t have sex, interact with the world (or people different than them).

If our ego so firmly has a grip on us that we consider everything outside of our very puritanical notions of ourselves as “bad”, what happens is that we no longer experience ourselves. Or the world. We stop having fun, and we become sort of sexless, and the sort of wanton destructive, emotional, and just different aspects of ourselves (perhaps the side of us that wants pie for breakfast) are neglected, and become miserable.

They have to react and act some way, and so we become incredibly fractured, and unhappy. And do things like act passive-aggressively towards anyone that crosses our path who doesn’t fit our standards, and act horribly to ourselves because there is no way that we can meet our own.

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But back to primal energies. What are they? As we have discussed, we are a multitude of things. We believe ourselves to be “higher” animals, and have contained ourselves into a rather strict ego-based definition of ourselves.

Our egos do not like paradoxes, or really anything outside of what is considered our tightly controlled, dominant personality.

But we are a whole. Not only are we sweet and violent, fiery and calm, and have impulses to take, fuck, create destruction, and crank up heavy metal music (and then, maybe some Deva Premal later)… but these impulses live within us and are often separated and thought of as “bad” or “evil” by us.

All of us has evil within us. We all have inner caged animals and cavemen (even if we are, you know, women).

We are a multitude of things. Part of truly being on a spiritual path is recognizing and working with these things.

Part of inner stability (operating from a basis of health) is recognizing that even violent or abrasive instincts can come up in us that we don’t need to operate from or act our in our physical world.

We do not do this by avoidance, or pretending they are not there, but by greeting and understanding our atavistic selves– those ancient and primal forces within us– as part of ourselves.

This, obviously, requires a lot of balance. Many people on the spiritual path are not balanced– it is why there is so much delusion and obscurity. This is why I mentioned the wounded children, because those must be considered first before even considering the primal selves.

And if you are significantly out of balance, considering the primal selves will create a lot of fear, and misunderstanding. This is how we have people greeting the spirit of violence with outer violence. This is why we have so many people who consider themselves “spiritual” but will only consider a small portion of themselves and will develop a whole host of odd behaviors and requirements for people that we interact with to ensure only “high vibration” people make it into our lives.

I have said this many time, but our spiritual paths should clear away our illusions, they should make us stronger and more resilient. If we are not developing emotional and spiritual strength and resilience, that is something to really consider. If we are not taking more and more responsibility for ourselves, or are creating a lot of illusion so we do not consider within, that is also something to consider.

So how to work with these aspects?

The first thing to do is to consider if what is coming up is a primal impulse or energy… or a wounded child. Chances are, unless you have done loads and loads of healing work, that it is an unhealed child.

You would only continue if you are balanced and stable enough to work with depth spiritual topics.

If this is coming up for you, you would sit with and consider what is coming up. Is it a troll gnashing its teeth or wanting to slurp bones (you can read my blog here about my experience of this) ? Is it a part of yourself that hates someone, or hates yourself? Is it a current of rage, or an experience of wanting to take, fuck, dance, or destroy?

We tend to shove these impulses down, try to ignore them. We deeply fear them, and any occurrence of them will automatically cause our “control” ego to step in and to say that “this is not me”. We are not violent, or angry, or masculine, or aggressive, or fiery, or fierce, or sexual, or primal.

These parts want to be listened to. They want to be heard without judgement. 

A simple attitude of “hey, what do you want to say or express” can go a long way.

What may come up is things you do not understand. In your daily life you have no interest in slurping the bones of your victims, you say. This is really not important. I realize that our minds want symbolism, they want everything to be about ourselves, but what is important that things are expressed.

The next thing to do is to realize that we have controlled ourselves to the extent that anything primal cannot emerge from within us. We do not dance, have sex with wild abandon, create, stomp, run through fields, or engage in activities that will allow for expression of these parts of ourselves.

The difficulty here is that to the unready mind, a violent impulse equals a need for outer violence. This is not true at all.

If we were to clue in on this part of ourselves, there is some sort of expression needed. Our creative forces are similar to our primal and/or destructive forces.

The difficulty here is that we control our creativity. We cannot dance, or paint, or run through the woods without our egos telling us “no”, or how we should be doing things, or judging them.

Allowing ourselves to simply be immersed in some form of creative expression including the primal self takes a bit of work. Obviously, safety needs to be considered, as really tapping into our primal selves is really powerful, and often involves a sort of powerful trance state.

Our primal selves is where our magic comes from. The working with the primal self is how we truly come to power. Integrating and expressing these parts of ourselves allows for us to truly know our depths, and have access to deep magic that is otherwise unheard from (and not able to be resourced).

This is why I find the sort of new-age shamanism mostly powerless, because as long as we are fragmented, as long as there are depths of ourselves that we are not acquainted with or are shoved away, we will not find much, if any, power. And spiritual work runs on power.

Doing something expressive to release this energy (to get it flowing and acknowledge it, it doesn’t release… it is more like an old friend once reconciled) often requires a different sort of creativity and expression than you are used to. Listening to this part of yourself and what it might want (for example, it may want for you to take up karate, or kickboxing) and then allowing yourself to experience it can really help.

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People often feel more comfortable creating distance from themselves when they first do this work. There are a variety of ways to do this. Everything from creating masks to dressing up as a “primal” aspect of you can be done.

The most common that I suggest is to create a “character”. What would this character look like, or act like? What would it say to you?

Chances are it may express things that you find yourself reacting to. The realization that a part of you wanting to bash someone’s face in doesn’t mean that you actually want to do it. The realization that a small part of yourself may want something that differs from what your ego considers “you” to be, or what a majority stakehold in yourself finds dissatisfactory will undoubtedly arise.

But the more that you sit with this “character”, the more it will be heard.

The more that you sit with this character, there is no separation needed. We do not need to imagine it as some dark thing, or some monstrous force within us, or some primitive something that vastly differs from our outer appearance.

These are all separation techniques, and the last step is to no longer separate ourselves from these energies.

They are simply currents, energetic flows within us. By allowing their expression, and reconciling any hatred, dislike, distrust, or ego-based need for ourselves to “not be” (violent, sadistic, fearful, warrior, masculine, sexual, animalistic, evil) they simply are heard from, integrated energies that are a part of us.

In doing so, we gain access to deep resources of power. Of integration. And of healing. We can use a current of animalistic rage to create a painting, or feel the violent sexual aspects of ourselves rise and be accepted by us.

In doing so, we do not need to act out these forces in the outer world. They may show themselves in what we do, but when we separate these primal energies from ourselves, they will show themselves and have separate needs from the whole.

When we understand them as a small part of the totality of us, they no longer have separate needs or interests… and we can learn to tap into them to understand the totality of who we are… as well as “expand” our ego (you know, instead of “kill”) to include even opposing forces within us as a part of our identity.