Mind and Movement 1- Introduction
It is new years eve of 1986 as I write this introduction. The book beyond these pages has already been written. Over the past few weeks I have received cards and letters from people who have used the techniques and approaches described in it. In wondering how best to tell you about what this book contains, and what it may have to offer, I cannot think of any better way than allowing these letters to tell their own story.
The most exuberant letter was sent by Paul, a well known musician. The SEED GROUP he mentions is one of the approaches to personal healing and creativity described fully in chapter six. Paul writes: “I thank you again for the Seed Group experience at Atsitsa. With that I let go of so much accumulated rubbish! When I got back I had a session of Soul Directed Therapy and haven’t looked back. Those two experiences must rank among the most important of my life. In fact my life is rolling, my creativity is rolling, my relationships are rolling!! I hope you are too!”
Here are two short letters, the first from Sarah who says: “Life has been somewhat difficult and confusing lately – not such a bad thing, but I can’t see when it’s going to sort itself out. I’m still with Michael but also seeing Steve. I just don’t know what I want. Still, here’s to 1986 and hopefully some decision making!
“Michael has been doing coex here in D.. – amazingly – which has been very useful, thanks to you.”
From a very different situation Tony writes: “Just a line of thanks for your having passed on to me the practice of coex. It is a path which has deepened and broadened over the years and although it functions differently it is still a source of eternal life. All my love, Tony.”
The last letter is much longer, but from it a fuller idea of what coex is, and how it works in ones life can be gained. It is from Pat Hudson who studied with me a few years ago. Since then she has explored in many different directions and has brought coex into her life and love in an everyday sense. She writes: “I want to write to you about a dream and its process which I had a couple of nights ago. It’s a marvellous dream. But first I need to say that there seems to be a tremendous healing process taking place in my inner being in three different areas. 1 I have been experiencing a growing sense of forgiveness love and compassion towards my mother. I see her as a very vulnerable, sensitive spirit crippling herself by alcoholism and arthritis because she didn’t and doesn’t know how to deal with what society puts on her.
I am becoming so much more alive sexually with my husband. It really astounds me at my age – fifty next birthday. I feel so much more loving and understanding towards him too. I am much more ready to receive his full-cream -milk kind of love.
He and I have been going to Blackpool once every fortnight to visit a recently bereaved aunt of his and this experience is turning out to be so healing for me. In the past I have hated common Blackpool and its common people. Now I have turned right round to find that I actually love the whole Blackpool experience, commonness and all. Instead of feeling separate and superior – I really thought was once – I feel so linked with those people. I love being in the crowds on the sea front. I love them wearing their purple tinsel wigs and foam plastic hats. Thank God I’m losing that awful sense of superiority. Goodbye – I’m well rid of you.
“Now for the dream. First of all it pushed me into reluctant wakefulness from a deep sleep in the middle of the night. I tried to kid myself that I would remember it next morning, but I was obliged to put on the light and write it down. It was one of my sobbing, sobbing, sobbing dreams which I’ve had now and then over the years. I had been doing dreamwork with a friend during the day, and I had told her about a sobbing dream I had the previous week. I said I had never got to the bottom of why I had such dreams. In this dream I was sobbing down to my very guts. The scene was a man, his wife and a lodger. It was in Victorian times and the woman wore a long white dress. She loved her husband with all of herself. The three of them were sitting at a small round table, and the lodger had to expose the husband as a betrayer of her love. She was sobbing and felt as if everything was wiped away and made as nothing. It seemed to her the basis of her life was taken away.
“Then the husband and she were walking along a river, she in a long white dress, still sobbing, knowing life would never be the same. And that was the end of the dream – yet it wasn’t the end because more was to come. I lay half awake dreamily wondering how Garry my husband had betrayed me. He never has, I know that, so I was puzzled. I kept sniffing around wanting to go deeper when suddenly a vision swept through me. I was standing deep down inside myself on the edge of a black hole, a black precipice, and I was shouting, ‘Well. what do you mean you silly devil?’ It was as if I was shouting down to the me right at the wellspring of my being. I came more awake, had a laugh at the daftness of it, then suddenly realised the black hole was a birth canal. It
wasn’t my birth canal but my mother’s. Then the whole thing began to flow. I suddenly knew with utter certainty that when I was in my mother’s womb I was totally loved. I can’t tell you how marvellous it felt to know that love again – being totally, safely, securely lapped in love. I simply lay there experiencing the love. I knew, with a great sense of compassion, understanding and forgiveness that as soon as I left the womb my mother couldn’t love me the same way, couldn’t cope with the stresses life put on her. I remembered a vision I had when I was with you in Devon. I saw my mother’s breast dripping milk, a thin watery, vinegary milk and I burst into tears saying I wanted full-cream milk. I now felt totally linked with my mother again. All the rage and anger which had gradually been dropping away over the past few months was now gone. The tremendous linking remained.
“After that lot I lay in bed awake feeling happy. I lay awake for about two hours . I realised I had never been able to accept love – never been able to accept Gary’s full-cream-milk love. I was constitutionally unable to.”
When I first me Pat she struck me a someone with very frozen feelings, especially in regard to her sexuality. It therefore gave me a lot of pleasure to hear her news of change. But I wondered what Pat had needed to be or do to find such satisfying transformation. I wrote to her telling her this. She replied: “The first thing which sprang to mind when I read your words ‘someone as frozen as you were’ was a brief dream I had when I was first with you. I was standing in front of an enormous iceberg. In my hand was a little ice-pick and I was picking away at this great big berg. How vivid and wonderful. I have never stopped picking away at that berg since.
“This picking away has taken many forms. I have for some time worked with three friends doing explorative counselling work each week. None of us are trained, and we use all sorts of tools such as Reichian and Gestalt work. Through this I have come across much that needed to be made aware in myself, and have had three big traumatic sessions. So big that each time I was ill and had to go to bed for two or three days to recover. During one such session feelings about my religious up-bringing arose. As a teenager I longed and searched for the living spirit. I made the mistake of searching in the Church of England. The phrase comes, ‘I searched for bread and you gave me a stone.’ Kneel down. Stand up. Put your hands thus. Say this. Sing this. Nothing but stones. Such rage erupted from me I began vomiting green bile and kept on for almost two days.
“So I continue coming across chunks of stuff like that. I see it as searching for the inner flame of myself. I am no longer living a false self as I did for at least eighteen years of my life. I see that false self as socially imposed – but I accepted it. It was when the pain of living by this false self grew too great that I had to break out and came down to work with you. I have worked at stripping away the false bits and re-building the realer me ever since.”
Coex is the way of working with the spontaneous process which led Pat to remember her mother’s love in the womb. It is the function in us which produced the healing she found. It is the magical force which created Pat’s dream, her visions, her gradual change. It is a process which has been so often overlooked, twisted into a mystery, covered with the ornate overlay of religious ritual and dogma. Yet it is something alive in each of us. It awaits our contact with it if we dare to look and meet the challenges of our own life and existence.