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Assisted Passage

Assisted Passage

Working with a partner or a group in exploring your dreams or yourself is a very wonderful process. The thrill of discovering depth after depth within yourself is enormous. The immense feeling of contact between yourself and another person is also hard to find in most other human relationships. Even in many marriages the level of intimacy does not match that occurring when you move into another person’s deepest feelings and longings.

I have experienced this pleasure over and over again. I can see from it there are certain skills, certain standpoints, and a few ideas that are extremely helpful in finding this for oneself.

For a start the setting deeply influences possible results people achieve. Although it may at first seem rather abstract, it is in fact of great importance to create a mental emotional setting with as few limitations as possible. For instance quite a number or people come to dream work or the process of self exploration with already fixed ideas or of a goal or a result. It might be that they believe by returning to childhood ordeals, or going once again through the experience of birth they will find greater psychological wellbeing. Or perhaps they see dream work as a sort of quiz game where you think up the right answers and have a feeling of success when giving the correct response. These, and many other similar ready made views are extremely limiting.

But I am not in any way suggesting such things should be avoided. What I am stressing is the importance of being as open to directly experiencing yourself as possible, rather than seeking particular goals in the hope they will fulfil you. You are the central reality. Other people’s ideas of what may be appropriate for you are simply that – other people’s ideas.

The Three Basics of Assisted Passage

1 – The open condition.

2 – Being given and giving attention.

3 – Space to play or experiment.

The Open Condition

The Open Condition Consists Of

a) Not holding ones attention in a fixed mode, such as limiting awareness to ones thoughts or body sensations. It means being in a state of poised responsiveness to a wide range of possible experience. this means a readiness to experience emotions, thoughts, memories, fantasy, body movements, and even feelings that might be disturbing.

b) Not holding to already conceived views or conceptions. Being ready to experience the new in thought, emotion and movement.

The open condition needs to be practised and learned.

Things To Do –

The open approach is an access to your whole self. Because much of yourself still awaits discovery, is still unknown to you, it is impossible to know just where to look to find your own wholeness and health. You are unique. You have a different background in family or cultural traditions than many others. You have personal and particular life experiences and different personal qualities of mind and body which make your needs distinctive or unique. Allowing your being freedom of expression empowers your ability to work at and express your own special needs.

Your voice, your body and your emotions are linked. Restraint in one restrains the others. So working with the voice can help free and mobilise the body and emotions. Tense or rigid emotions are just as difficult to live with as a tense and rigid body. Just as physical pain and restriction arises from muscular tension, emotional pain and limitation derives from emotional blocks.

If there are changes in pace during the period of practice, allow them. The range of possible movements and forms of expression are so enormous it would be boring to list them. They include all tones of feeling from angry to loving and exalted – all vocal expressions from deep crying to imitation of the sound and feeling of foreign languages – all types of movement from the most exquisite stillness to frantic tribal dancing. These are some of the spectrum of inner qualities you are healthily capable of as a whole human being. Sometimes people say ‘I have never expressed myself like this before, I wonder if I am bizarre’. The answer is that only whole human beings are capable of a wide range of expression which they can choose to end at any moment. It is the unhealthy person who is locked into compulsive and limited patterns of behaviour. Liberation is a sign of health.

1 - Prepare your environment of space, clothing, mood and music.

2 - Put on some music which has energy but does not grab your attention too much. Use a couple of warm up movements to get your circulation more active and your body loosened.

3 - Stand in the middle of your space with feet about shoulder width apart. For a few moments hold the thought and feeling that for the next half hour you are giving up your own conscious efforts. You are allowing your being to express its own needs in its own way by opening to the WHOLE you.

4 – Get the ‘keyboard’ feeling in yourself. In other words give yourself permission to allow spontaneous or unexpected movements of body and mind – don’t forget to leave yourself open to vocal expression too.

5 - Allow spontaneous movements to develop. Take an open, observing state of mind.

6 – If movements are tardy in emerging, start by slowly circling the arms. Make the circles cross the front of the body. This will mean the right hand will cross in front of your pelvis as it moves left and upwards above your head.

7 – When you have the arms moving with ease, become aware of the shapes your finger tips are carving in space. Stay with this observation for a few moments, then notice whether your hands and fingers have any urge to create their own shapes in space. It may feel as if delicate magnetic pulls are directing your hands. If so, follow these delicate urges by letting your arms be moved by them. Let your hands and arms discover any movements or speed which satisfies you. Permit your whole body and voice to become involved if there is a tendency toward this.

8 – When you are ready to finish the session, stop the movements and relax on the floor or in an easy chair for a few minutes. There is often a natural sense of an end of the theme that has arisen.

Being Given Attention

Being given someone’s undivided attention is a great privilege, especially if that attention allows you to be yourself in a wide variety or in explorative ways.

Listening Skills -

There are a wide variety of ways in which a person can be given attention in the open condition or in play space. These are like tools or skills we can learnt to use. These will be explained and practised as we use Assisted Passage.

Space To Play And Experiment

This means the mutual creation of a reasonably safe environment that allows you to explore your own potentials and possibilities. Because of the often necessary restrictions existing within general social roles such as work or family life, there may not be opportunity to try out varieties of behaviour with different people in order to discover the spectrum of your own experience and responses. Play space allows this, and affords you the means of establishing new aspects of yourself that are useful or enjoyable in everyday life.

Wholeness Is the Aim Of Assisted Passagee

The aim is not psychotherapy. That is a rather one-sided goal. The aim is personal wholeness rather than seeking one particular goal such as therapy or spirituality. I believe each aspects of ourselves has something of great value. Without reasonable acquaintance with the major aspects of ourselves we feel in some measure unsatisfied or incapable – maybe weak.

Becoming Oneself – The result we can achieve is discovery of who or what we are. Although apparently an oversimplification, the realisation of what we are includes complexity. It includes any complications we may have in our nature, involving meeting past experience, uncovering personal conflicts or problems, as well as the perception of different dimensions of our being if they exist.

Results – Possibilities – These can be described in the light of what one might experience rather than what the results might be.

Space – Awareness – Growth – Practice

When we hold an open and aware state of mind, it is something like having time off without external pressing issues to take care of. At such a time we might cut our toe nails, or do some of the jobs around the house we have been putting off for ages, but perhaps enjoy doing. The open state allows your internal processes to:

a) Catch up on its home-work. This means things like emotions, decisions, habits, gathered expereice, that have arisen in the past can now be evaluated or re-evaluated.

b) Space to explore and develop aspects of yourself that may have been unheeded in the hurry or concentration of everyday life.

c) The setting to practice new skills or refine old ones. By practice is not meant an attempt to get something right, but to achieve greater satisfaction.

DON’T TAKE IT PERSONALLY – Two people alive and aware together create a totally different relationship than not being aware, or one being aware.

To take this further see Life’s Little Secrets; The LifeStream; Peer Dream.

Copyright © 1999-2010 Tony Crisp | All rights reserved