Psychic Surgery

For the last few years, I’ve been experiencing what, to work a metaphor, I’m going to call “symptoms” of a psychic wound from my childhood.  It’s a wound around sex and sexuality that has been deeply bound in psychic scar tissue.  This scar tissue has acted as a deadening agent, a protection from accidental re-injury or activation.  The last fifty years allowed a lot of scar tissue to accumulate, for the psychic body to develop a somatic relationship to the wound in which it has been as if asleep.

Then came awakening.  With awakening as consciousness came the slow awakening of many parts of myself, countless and previously unknown parts.  Some of these parts brought ecstatic enlightenment to my Being.  Some brought quiet joy. Others brought pain that radiated out from the essential wound of incarnation, of being in a body.  Some of these parts are small and mundane, others are large and consequential.

About two years after awakening as consciousness, I took a long and quite activating telecourse with Waking Down in Mutuality founder, Saniel Bonder called “Let’s Talk Sex.”  For me, the course opened the door to the way sex and sexuality have been shadow parts of my Being, parts that are acting on me without my awareness.  My Trillium Awakening teacher Sandra Glickman has said “we are governed by what we can’t see.”  How true that is.

I’ve often used the metaphor of a splinter in talking about psychic woundedness.  It’s as if early life events, conditions and patterns lodge in our Being, some of them quite deeply, and once their trajectory inward stops, and they come to rest, they begin a trajectory in the other direction, back out toward light propelled by the body’s psychic antibodies that form a pocket of pus around them, sometimes with swelling, irritation and pain until they work their way up to the surface level where they can potentially be removed.  Sometimes they shoot out on their own accord, like a birth.  Even if they come out on their own, they leave a trace of their passing, a trail, a residue of awareness.  But sometimes they are obstructed and require the assistance of a skilled practitioner.

My wound material has been under the skilled care of a team of practitioners.  I first spoke of the wound with my core teacher, Allan Morelock.  He’s both my spiritual GP and a highly skilled specialist. He held the revelations without judgment and offered a salve of love and acceptance.  The Let’s Talk Sex course community was a collective massage team that prodded around the wound awakening its field of feelings: pain, distress and confusion.  Over time, the confusion gave way to a pressure to acknowledge the nature of the wound, which for the first time in my life, I spoke to my Beloved partner, revealing the people, places and actions that caused the wound.  Since then, the scar tissue of the wound has softened, parts of it have been metabolized into my Being.

But the deeper parts have been more stubborn.  They have required a commitment from me, welcoming them forward.  I say it’s been a commitment from me, but of course, it’s not been me at all; it’s been the flow of Being, bringing around events and realizations, revelations that have created space around and shed light on what has been buried for so long.  It has brought me into the transmission field of teachers whose skills with healing are both mysterious and effective.  The Shamanic healers Cielle and Jeffrey Backstrom peeled away the layers of dead and decaying matter between the wound and its healing.  They’ve created the space for and called in those who are the wisdom keepers for my life.  These keepers have revealed some of the conditions that led to my wounding and as importantly the patterns that caused it to fester, darken and limit.  They’ve brought me to readiness for surgery.

Last night, I entered the operating theater via a Skype session that brought me face to face with the psychic surgeon, Allan Morelock.  There’s a way that being in the transmission of these deeply embodied spiritual teachers, Sandra, Cielle, Jeffrey, and Allan, slices through my resistance to exploration.  In their loving, laser-like gaze there is neither a need nor a place to hide. My relationship with these teachers, especially Allan who mid-wifed my awakening, is deep.  The trust is bedrock.  The loving care, the truth telling, are utterly reliable and inescapable.

Meeting Allan last night, entering his transmission field stripped me down to the deepest, ickiest place in my wound. Through conversation, we unpacked it and bathed it in light.  He guided me into a meditative state in which we could lift out each piece of the wound, both the “story” of what happened, and the ways in which the conditions and patterns of my life have caused it to fester over decades.  He held it all in the light of loving investigation, of forgiveness and release.  He drew the whole gaping wound out of my body, left a large, tender spaciousness in its place.  In the hours to follow, in recovery mode, I rested in the pain of healing.  I was exhausted with the work of Being more fully alive.

This morning, in meditation, the palliative care of body, mind and spirit, I rested in the ongoing healing of my wound.  I rested in awareness of its long history, our long relationship, the dance of accommodation.  I acknowledge the way that relationship is changing through the healing process.  Sandra Glickman has famously said “wounds formed in relationship can only be healed in relationship.”  And in my experience this is true of all healing.

There’s a way that the depth of wounding is matched by the length of healing.  What we bring in with us when we enter this fleshly experience of our Being, what we accumulate from the early days can take the rest of our days to integrate.  There’s a way in which being alive in this human body is the core wound of experience.  When we awaken as embodied consciousness, we enter into the dance of healing, of mediating the distance and dissonance of Being and Body, which are both one and separate.  Like Michelangelo’s iconic depiction of the outstretched fingers of God and Man, these bodies are a constant ache toward the eternal.

Advertisements

News from Nerdville: Or the Process of Absolute Happiness

window

 

It’s a big day here in Twisp.  The couple of miles of Route 20 that comprises “town,” is clogged with foot and vehicular traffic.  The weekly market ran two extra hours from 8 to 1 instead of 9 to 12. The parking lot at Hanks, the local supermarket, is packed, and gas prices seemed to have inched up a bit since mid week. Wonderful. Twisp is an idyllically scenic town that thrives on tourism, and Memorial Day weekend, as in many such places, is the real start of the season.  It’s great to see our local community benefiting from summer tourism.

It’s a big day here, inside me as well.  Yesterday, a long time dream came to fruition with the offer of a job that makes it possible for me to finally join my beloved here on a full time basis and more or less support myself.  I’ve been praying for this daily for the last year: please provide the means.  A number of doors in the maze of job seeking opened and led to dead ends.  Each one was a short lived thrill of expectation and then an equally short lived disappointment. As I wrote in an earlier post “Has God been Co-opted?” patience is trusting in God’s timing, trusting in Being.  Each of those potential positions was showing me something about myself, how far I was willing and able to stretch, to lean out from my safe and reliable perch as a tenured college professor and pick the higher hanging fruit of change.  The job that I’ve been so lucky and happy to get is just such a plum.  I haven’t signed the contract yet, so I’ll keep things a little vague for the moment.  But suffice it to say that it’s a job in private sector elementary education in a school that is well established as a provider of what I’ll call “whole being” education: inter-disciplinary, collaborative and life based with lots of space for exploring the vast and ever changing outdoors in each season.

When I applied for this job, I had a completely incorrect expectation, which I know is a redundancy.  I made the usual projection my own ideas and sentiments into and onto the unknown reality of the job.  I applied for it as one more opportunity to get here permanently, and even though I got a response from the Board a couple of times before I left Pennsylvania, I had no real “expectation” that I would get an interview let alone get the job. And yet, here I am.  It’s as if the job was waiting for me.  The school, the board, the children were waiting for me.  At the first interview with two board members, I fell head over heels in love with the reality of the position, with its numerous challenges and uncertainties and with its radiant possibilities.  Love at first sight even at a little less than half my previous salary.  No problem!

The reason I’m home here today on this spread of land that backs up to countless conservancy acres in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains is that my partner is away in Seattle at a two day retreat with our beloved Guru and teacher Mata Amritanandamayi Devi known as Amma, “the hugging saint.”  Even though Amma’s organization does what it can to keep down the cost of attending the retreat, which is not for profit, it nevertheless still costs money to produce, and it was money that I thought it better not to spend. It’s not that I don’t have the money; I do.  It’s in my savings account biding its time until I need to buy a ticket to fly east in June to see my family and get my car and winter clothes and then drive the 2300 miles back home.  It’s waiting for the final course in my Waking Down mentor/teacher training, Advanced Mutuality Skills in August.  Its waiting for need to arise, which is different from desire.

Daniel Odier says quite a bit about this in his commentary in the Yoga Spandarika.  He says that the Tantric masters asked about the “whole of human passions . . . How to make it so that all is used, nothing is denied, nothing is rejected . . . so that we will not find ourselves one day face to face with our own demons, who always come back in hordes to destroy the quest?”   He says that for the Tantric, there is “no place for sublimation.  There is simply the act of looking deeply at what is there and of allowing whatever has remained buried to come up out of the ground and open like a budding flower.”

So not going to the Amma retreat is not a renunciation and does not feel like a sacrifice.  It’s an opportunity for me to look at an old pattern, one that says, “oh, what the heck!  I’ll just spend the money and go,” and  let it breathe freely and find expression in the comfort of staying home.  He says “One day, confidence begins to bloom, then flowers.  We then lose the idea of separation, and we get a taste of totality, space . . . a process that never stops evolving over the course of a life . . . process that is this absolute happiness.”

This process is deeply alive in me these days.  Today in particular I feel a simultaneity of excited joy, spaciousness and expansiveness. I have no needs.  I hung a closet rod and put my shirts on hangers.  I moved my altar from one side of the room to the other. I made and drank a smoothie.  The birds are singing.  It’s otherwise absolutely quiet, and the hills are at work being hills.  There’s a way in which they anchor me, drop me more deeply into my body.  Slow me down.

One more quote from Odier:  “When we talk about awakening, it is nothing other than . . . to discover , in a more or less permanent manner, [the] comprehensiveness of the universe, which is wholly contained in our consciousness . . . infinite fluctuation . . . never a beginning, nor an end.”  This is the process of absolute happiness. Be still and know that you are God.