Mushrooms and Hallucinogens

Hallucinations and Hallucinogens

Magic Mushrooms

Things That Are Helpful to Know

A Man’s Experience With Mushrooms

Working With Psychedelics

It Takes Time

Exploring Inner Space

 

Hallucinations and Hallucinogens

I had experience of working therapeutically and in exploring ones hidden depths with LSD and primarily with psilocybin. At that time it was talked about as only for dropouts. Yet at that time it was also licensed for therapeutic use, and I experienced it as such with the psychiatrist R. D. Laing. But now it is part of todays world and big businesses are funding it and researching with it. See https://compasspathways.com/ for an entry into the future.

Drugs such as LSD, cannabis, psilocybin, mescaline, peyote and opium, can produce hallucinations. That is because they allow the dream process to break through into consciousness with less intervention because many people do not deal well with nightmares, and so can be knocked over by that. If this occurs without warning it can be very disturbing. The very real dangers are that unconscious content, which in ordinary dreaming breaks through a threshold in a regulated way, emerges with less regulation, and without the safety factor of calling it a dream. Fears, paranoid feelings, past traumas, can emerge into the consciousness of an individual who has no skill in handling such forces. See Masters of Nightmares – Shaman

Because the propensity of the unconscious is to create images, an area of emotion might emerge as an image such as the devil. Such images and the power they contain, if they are not being integrated in a proper therapeutic setting, may haunt the individual, perhaps for years. Even at a much milder level, elements of the unconscious will emerge and disrupt the persons ability to appraise reality and make judgements. Unacknowledged fears may lead the drug user to rationalise their reasons for avoiding social activity or the world of work. See Waking Lucid Dream

Because such drugs can produce what people often term hallucinations, they can be experienced through any of the senses singly, or all of them together. So one might have an hallucinatory smell or sound. To understand hallucinations, which are quite common without any use of drugs such as alcohol, LSD, or cannabis, one must remember that everyone has the natural ability to produce such images. One of the definitions of a dream according to Freud is its hallucinatory quality. While asleep we can create full sensory, vocal, motor and emotional experience in our dream. While dreaming we usually accept what we experience as real. An hallucination is an experience of a ‘dream’ occurring while we have our eyes open. The voices heard, people seen, smells smelt, although appearing to be outside of us, are no more exterior than the things and images of our dreams. With this information one can understand that much classed as psychic phenomena, psychedelic and religious experience is an encounter with the dream process. That does not, of course, deny its importance.

Example: ‘I dream insects are dropping either on me from the ceiling of our bedroom, or crawling over my pillow. My long-suffering husband is always woken when I sit bolt upright in bed my eyes wide open and my arm pointing at the ceiling. I try to brush them off. I can still see them – spiders or wood lice. I am now well aware it is a dream. But no matter how hard I stare the insects are there in perfect detail. I am not frightened, but wish it would go away.’ Sue D.

Sue’s dream only became an hallucination when she opened her eyes and continued to see the insects in perfect clarity.

There are probably many reasons why Sue should experience a hallucination and her husband not. One might be that powerful drives and emotions might be pushing for attention in her life. Some of the primary drives are the reproductive drive; urge toward independence; pressure to meet unconscious emotions and past trauma and fears – any of which, in order to achieve their ends, can produce hallucinations. An hallucination is therefore not an ‘illusion’ but a means of giving information from deeper levels of self.

Many people have hallucinations and find them a great addition to their senses and their understanding if themselves and the world. But a great number of people who experience them are terrified and experience a mental breakdown. I want to make clear that when they express so devastatingly, it is because the person has  lived with tremendous tensions and conflicts and has never learned to deal with them, so enormous inner pressure builds up and they burst through one’s defences like a dam bursting and a flood occurs. See Relax

Given such names as mediumship or mystical insight, in some cultures or individuals, the ability to hallucinate is often rewarded socially.

Example: I waded into the lake and suddenly realised that something strange was happening. Visions occurred stronger and stronger the further one went into the lake. I also realised that all the others had been in the lake and immersed in the visions. As I pressed on I knew that most people became so involved in the visions they lost grip of their purpose to walk on. I had the visions, but found I could maintain the decision to go forward – i.e. most people lost sight of physical surroundings and became absorbed in the visions. I somehow had an ability of seeing the visions and the physical world, of working in the physical world, at the same time. The end was a vision on my right of a huge and splendid mountain range, with snow. It shone with light. I knew it represented eternity. Yet I pressed on to get the water. I felt I would from now on always have a vision of the mountains with me, along with the wonderful feelings it produced.

 Example: “When Leary exclaimed that the experience of the mushrooms had changed his world, he was not exaggerating. Nearly everyone who has taken the psychedelics will grant the same. The psychedelic experience will certainly be qualified and regulated; it may prove too dangerous for general use; other and better ways to the mind may be found. But nothing on earth can contradict or minimize the opportunity it offers to explore the very citadel of meaning, the human mind.” Quoted from LSD Psychotherapy.

Example: Her constant wetting herself, which had been with her every day for several years, stopped after the second LSD session, a very violent one, in which she became disoriented and called continually for her mother. But then she went on to a great deal of  character change. She had been a thoroughly dull and boring person, a narrowly moralistic, unimaginative child. She stank of urine most of the time. She was a “straight A” student in school. During treatment she changed so that everyone, relatives and friends, as well as her mother and herself, noticed it. It wasn’t so much “spectacular” as it was profound and convincing. She was by no means free of problems, but became so free and creative and so much more outgoing and generous, that it was clear her behavior was springing from something spontaneous within herself.

If you are going to use such drugs you should either be raised in a culture holding information about their use, or at least educate yourself in how the dreamworld works, and learn to explore your dreams before taking the big plunge.

See: Methods of Awakening – Healing Cancer Using Magic Mushrooms – LSD Psychotherapy –  Shaman –  What we Need to Remember About Us – Life’s Little Secrets – out of body experience – Integration – meeting oneself

Carmine from USA says – Do we really need researchers to tell us about the effects of these substances? Surely many tribes/civilisations throughout the world have told us of these things for centuries. How clever these scientists have been to report other peoples findings and claim that they have “discovered” these properties. People have used these substances since well before any documented evidence and in the past they have been derided as being dangerous and unpredictable  by ‘reaserchers’. Now, we have suddenly discovered that they could be useful. One word – Leary. Another word – imprisonment. Are we gonna arrest these researchers and treat them in the way Leary was? Nothing new, just another example of standing on the shoulders of giants. In the year 2013 isn’t it a bit embarrassing that we’re still paying no attention to wisdom that has been handed down to us for many, many years?

See: Answer to CriticsTalking with the dead; esp and dreamsout of body experience.

 

Things That Are Helpful to Know

The real heroine or hero of the inward journey that comes from exploring dreams and incorporating them does not remain in a symbolised version of themselves. They do not accept the Devil as an exterior agent, or Christ as an outer and perhaps historical character. They do not accept their dreams at face value, but are ready to face themselves with the courage necessary. For it is an uncomfortable journey to actually see oneself. It is a demanding climb to have ones awareness stretched and widened beyond ones personal limitations in order to include a vaster experience of yourself. Therefore there are inbuilt or personal resistances to actually having direct insight.

It helps to be clear about this point of allowing fantasy if one understands the way completely unconscious inner events gradually emerge into consciousness. W.V. Caldwell, writing about the way Van Rhijn has defined the levels of consciousness says there are four stages. It says that dreams come from a part of us that is not known – unconscious. To become conscious the impulse has to travel through levels of our mind:-

a] The deeply unconscious physiological process, such as cell generation and digestion. Problems which cannot move more fully into consciousness and so are held at this level become psychosomatic pains or illness. This becomes clearer if we consider human life in relationship with other life forms. A plant for instance might have some sort of bacterial illness, but would not be able to bring that to awareness. In a sense many things which occur to us, although they are very real and definite, never become a part of our conscious life, but always remain in the ‘plant’ level. If they are to move from ‘deeply unconscious physiological process’ to becoming known consciously, there are stages such events go through.

b] As the physiological or psychobiological process moves nearer consciousness, its next level of expression is postural or gestural. Thus we may express our deepest hidden feelings in an unconscious body posture or movement. Not only our feelings express in this way, but also our physical tone or health shows in our postures and movements. Even the plant droops if it needs water.

c] Next, when something moves from the gestural to the next stage of expression it becomes a dream or a dream image or symbol, which although it may not be understood, is now entering the arena of awareness. It is still a part of the move toward consciousness. This is sometimes called the mythic level, and is something we see working in producing religious thinking or myth creation. It still remains at the symbolic level.

d] At this stage, what had been deeply unconscious, then symbolised, now rises into consciousness and is capable of being verbalised or thought about and analysed. If one had attempted to verbalise something in level two it would have been so far outside of consciousness as to defy description. Also, when looking at these levels or stages, they suggest that the dream process is a means by which deeper stages can be portrayed to awareness in order to make them known. Therefore, by working with the dream process we can tap deeper levels of awareness and make them known. It is not by thinking about a dream that makes it known but by working with the process that has taken it from the psychosomatic, through the postural upwards to the dream level.

When this level is reach you can describe a dream in a way anyone can understand.

An interesting example of these four stages and how someone can work through them is given by Reich. When the abdominal tensions of a patient were released the man found his body making spontaneous movements. These were allowed and the movements gradually led the man to take on the posture of an animal – he and Reich both felt it to be a fish. This puzzled both of them as to it meaning, but as the movements continued the man first realised he felt like a fish caught on a hook and line, then suddenly, that was how he felt in regard to his mother.

As can be plainly seen, the first level is the psychosomatic and is seen in the example as the man’s unconscious abdominal tensions, built into his physical structure. When these are loosened and considered by the man’s conscious attention, and the spontaneous self-regulatory/dream process is allowed to function, level two manifests as movement and gesture. This moves to level three where the movements are recognised as a symbol – the fish. Then the fourth level, insight and understanding are achieved when the man realises the fish represents previously unconscious feelings he has about his mother. At this point he can verbalise and analyse. I believe that being aware of such facts enables us more easily to open ourselves to the process of self-regulation and trust what it produces. It is not by thinking about a dream that makes it known but by working with the process that has taken it from the psychosomatic, through the postural upwards to the dream level.

It is also important to realise that you are dealing with intelligence, even though it is unconscious. The unconscious has a much wider awareness that our conscious and logical mind, and asking it for clarity if what you experience is not clear is very useful. In fact while you are allowing the spontaneous to arise you can ask any question.

 

A Mans Experience Taking Mushrooms

As can be seen from the levels described above. dreams are from the very depths or ocre of you and are almost to your rational self, but are still in symbolic form. So in a sense if you are working at trying to understand your depths and deal with them exploring a dream is a huge help, most of the work has already been done. This can be seen below in this man’s exploration of his dream

I dreamt that Pete Taylor was in my father’s shop in London. Someone had shot him in the bicep and I was trying to help him. I had a small box on the counter and there was antiseptic  or blood in it, and I put the hurt muscle in it hoping to heal it. When the gunshot flesh in the antiseptic but the blood bubbled and effervesced, becoming hot. I felt the flesh would not be of any use now, but wasn’t sure. In the end though I was considering cleaning away the injured flesh from the arm (left arm I think). All I could see were the sinews with a small amount of flesh on them – no muscle in between. But I began to feel that gradually new cells might grow and develop into a new muscle – granulate.

I started working on my dream that evening. I had tried working on the whale dream already, but it produced nothing. But as soon as I thought of Pete Taylor realisation after realisation began to pour into my mind, and I saw I had found the right key.

Interpretation

As I began entering the dream I realised I had met Pete on a walk a few days before in a wood with my children, and heard Pete shouting outside the wood I was in about, “The Lord Jesus Christ,” in a mocking voice. I stood still waiting for Pete and his friends to pass by – Pete being outside of the wood in a field. As I was entering into these feelings from the dream point of view I realised I avoided Pete because of pride. I hadn’t wished to be associated with Pete. Pete, who had a lovely daughter but who had failed at marriage; was a good musician but had failed to do anything with his skill; started businesses but failed at working for himself – failed. Pete, I felt was a failure.

Suddenly I realised with shock that I had tried to avoid meeting Pete because pride was my defence against my own failure. I was hiding away from my own sense of failure.

But Pete had actually come into the wood so we met, and I saw he was keenly ‘chasing’ a young French woman, Katerine.

I was exploring the dream upstairs on our house then wife came up and I explained this, and the talking helped the flow of realisation tremendously. Pete, who failed at marriage but was chasing after young girls, as I had seen him chasing Katerine. Yes, no wonder I didn’t want to associate with that part of me, who couldn’t make it in marriage but chased young women. Pete was living out all the things in me that I despised and tried to keep hidden, even from myself. But now they were out in the open and it was painful.

Then a whole mass more came. I saw Katerine as a little pro who was holding herself back, but wanted to wag her fanny everywhere.

Pete, the one who was in battle with his father and who constantly fought authority tooth and nail. He had got to make it alone to prove how much better he was then father/authority. What a waste, when one could have worked together to accomplish more. Conflict wastes so much effort due to the countless retreats.

Now it was coming thick and fast so I went down to my wife in the kitchen as it was so helpful to talk.

Yes, it was my father. The shop was the important point in the dream. It was in that shop our conflict had come to a head. It had been there always. The thing already seen about how my father used to show me his school books. He didn’t praise what I did, just showed me how good his work was, how neat, how few blots. But in the shop, he had set my pattern of behaviour, stamped it out.

Because I had never received praise or support from him – my symbol of authority – I had pulled away and gone on along a path of life that he had no understanding of. I went on to my wife about how I had stacked the potatoes in the shop for him as well as I could, but never a word of encouragement – always wrong.

What a fucking waste. He was so desperate for success himself he was trying to squeeze out a few drops from me too for the sake of his pride, to prove to England how much better he was. He was still fighting the battle of the school room, because he was too scared to punch the kids on the nose, so he wanted me to be a success to prove his own value. So, from then on I was in conflict with him, trying to prove how good I was, how much better than him, never able to co-operate at school, and work, or in my marriage. I had to keep on at my wife over nothing to prove how good we were. What I did for him was never good enough, never enough. What would get a word of praise? What would suffice? I didn’t understand what he wanted of me. So, I kept on at my kids like he kept on at me. Trying to attain the unattainable instead of a little warmth and love. Dad, you fucking killed me right back then. I sobbed uncontrollable with the pain of experiencing it.

What a waste. My schooling ruled by rebellion because I had to make it alone and “differently” not co-operatively. Anything to fight authority, my father. And I had to fail too, even in my efforts to achieve, because if I succeeded dad would fall to pieces, feeling what a failure he was as a man and a father. I needed a Dad so I dared not succeed. I had to fail if I wanted love. And the reverse side of conflict with authority was the cringing underhand crawling to gain love and approval.

Later I succeeded as an author and psychotherapist, having faced the pain of not knowing a father’s love.

The damage to the bicep, to flesh was the whole area of my life that I was trying to save and heal, but which I needed to let go of, and wait for the new muscle tissue to grow. How does one start again at 40? Is it with patience to let the new tissues and strength grow?

My left arm is my support system, my confidence to do things in the world. I am right handed so do things with my right hand, but support everything with my left – hold the paper as I write; hold the nail as I bang it in with my right. So, the damage to the muscle was the injury to my supportive confidence through my relationship with my father. As all this was felt I sobbed uncontrollably. I wept for the lost years, the wasted years of my youth. I was convulsed with the pain of not having been loved by my father. Tears fell from me for the failure of my life. I would never have believed one could feel so much pain about something missing in one’s life. I had always thought to feel that much pain you would have needed to be beaten or abused in childhood. My father was kind, but he showed no warmth. And that was as bad as being beaten, perhaps worse. I had been severely beaten at school, but it hadn’t scarred me like this.

  

Working With Psychedelics

In a more youthful period of my life I sat with many people as they used the psilocybin mushrooms (magic, or as they were called in the west country ‘liberty caps’) and LSD. What I learned has important repercussions for anyone using or planning to use the mushroom,  ayahuasca, LSD, or any other psychedelic agent.

If you haven’t realised that everything you experience when using a psychedelic is a symbol, as in a dream, and if you are not used working with symbols and dreams and have not learnt to see beyond the symbol to what it represents, then you are not prepared to enter the a half world of the dream world, such as ancient people lived in and understood. But for the western mind it is simply a dream that you do not understand. It will be intriguing even uplifting, but it needs another level to climb to make it useful to you. For the drug opens the possibility of dreaming while awake, which also means the door opens to nightmares where you meet the fears and terrors you have never meet or dealt with. Other hallucinatory substances such as ayahuasca should also be seen as both healing and as stated in the Wall Street Journal, “They can be dangerous. And should be avoided by those who are bipolar or schizophrenic, since it has been known to trigger psychotic episodes.” See Pandora’s Box – Waking Lucid Dreaming

People often think it is just depression, anxiety and other psychological difficulties that are what the psychedelics are used for curing, but that is a great mistake, because many physical ills as in this young girl are also cured by them. Her ‘incurable’ psoriasis was cleared in three sessions.

Many ancient and wonderful cultures lived their lives in this symbolic world and their rituals and practices give rise to symbolic statements. Here is a statement from a young Native American undergoing an initiation – “On the eighth night, another big bird appeared to me and I determined to accept its gift, for I was tired of waiting and of being confined in my little fasting wigwam. In my dream of this bird, he took me far to the north where everything was covered with ice. There I saw many of the same kind of birds. Some were very old. They offered me long life and immunity from disease. It was quite a different blessing from that which the chickadee had offered, so I accepted. Then the bird who had come after me, brought me to my fasting wigwam again. When he left me, he told me to watch him before he was out of sight. I did so and saw that he was a white loon”.

Those people were so deeply immersed in their connection and associations with the animals that the vision was understandable. The same applies to Christianity which was all told in symbolic language and so for many people has no meaning – unless they can meet and take the next step. To do so they will need the strength mentioned already, for I have witnessed people who took double or treble the amount necessary and had no effect for fear of what they were seeing. Or another person who as the drug started working recoiled in horror and begged for it to end. Or others still who took it many times as an interesting pastime, until one day they met something that they felt was a horror and never again used the drug. See Masters of Nightmares – Christ – The Inner Path To

Of course they have all entered the dream world with their barriers weakened and so experienced a waking nightmare, and because they could not escape it by waking it was awful. Yet nightmares are a way of presenting a healing catharsis. But it is only healing for those who can face, as I learnt to do, to be strong enough to meet what had been a terrifying experience, but was in fact the way to freedom.

How do we get from not knowing to knowing?

I am of course still writing about the use of psychedelics. And a person I once dealt with is a good illustration of the difference the approach can make. He was a young man working in an unskilled job in a hotel. His girlfriend had approached my wife because as the girl explained her boyfriend was taking mushrooms every day and she felt he was going mad because he had changed so much. She was frightened for his sanity and asked if we could help him.

As I understood it the drug was continually releasing things from his unconscious which if not met in the right way leads to complete confusion and elements that are fine in the unconscious, shut safely begin the enormous resistances the conscious personality usually has guarding it, but without that protection it was subject to enormous attack. It was exactly these features of my own unconscious that had led to depression and suicidal feelings. Meeting them in the right way had led to their removal. It isn’t that the unconscious is a dangerous place – not at all – but the things that are put into it by parent, culture, media, and even religion can lead to enormous threats.

So we agreed to see the young man. I thought that if I could show him how to work with the symbols he met it he would carry on and find health. He arrived and took the mushrooms before arriving. He was talking about the film of a man who collects payments and was on a beach, The Repo Man.

For a number of  years I was involved in teaching at a commune and there were many using psychedelics. I started helping a young man because he seemed to be lost. So I started helping to him explore a dream, using the technique explained in Peer Dream Work. With guidance he soon began to break through the symbols into the underlying emotions, and as he felt these he saw what they meant. It related to his grandma’s death something he had never deal with and had a lot of feeling about. He realised that the beach was a place he could be in contact with his grandma and he felt all was well and he was at ease with her death and his part in it. This is a shortened version of what happened.

Afterwards his girlfriend told us with very great feeling, that he was normal again and the change was wonderful, because she feared he was going mad. But after a week he was taking the mushrooms daily again without trying to understand the images he faced. The result was he was slipping back into his previous condition.

The Details                                                            

Todays way into this inner awareness might be through the use if micro doses of psilocybin. Despite earlier concerns, research has found no link between the use of psychedelics and later mental illness or suicidal actions. In fact, in some reports, these substances were associated with a lower rate of mental health issues. A micro dose could be from 0.2 grams as an experimental dose.

The mushrooms – you may be able to Grow Your Own

To be able to meet what after all is yourself, but a self you have not yet discovered, is what I have described dream images are, for they are like icons on a computer screen. The images or feeling we experience are not like real life. Because a dream is nothing like outer life where things could hurt you, but is an image like on a cinema screen that even if a gun is pointed at you and fired it can do no damage – except if you run in fear. The images ARE LIKE ICONS ON A COMPUTER SCREEN – so you have to ‘click’ on your dream images to make them come alive. Thinking about them doesn’t work. You need to open yourself to the magic of them. You have to ‘click’ on your dream images to make them come alive. Thinking about them doesn’t work. You need to open yourself to the magic of them.

The aim here is to show you how to move through and use the different aspects of YOU – your emotions need to be alive and responsive; you mind need to be open to the new, the VERY new that your dreams present you with; also the dimensions of you. So I am listing some exercises for you to try – use them until they work for you.

The first one is the Breathe Meditation. It is different to the previous breath control, and is aimed at seeing if you can get your emotions moving and mobile.

The Breath Meditation

This is more of a meditation than an exercise, but is important in mobilising inner feelings that lie behind movements. When you begin this meditation, do not be in a hurry to open the hands to let the feeling of pleasure radiate out. In fact, let the hands be as spontaneous in expressing what you feel as you can. It may be that your hands thereby move a great deal, or very little. If there is an urge to move the hands in other ways than suggested allow this to happen.

1 – Stand in a comfortable balanced position with the hands in front of the chest, palms together and eyes closed.

2 – Imagine that as you breathe-in, the air is fanning a small glowing coal inside the chest. The incoming air makes the coal glow gently, and you breathe slowly and with awareness. This coal is just a symbol of the subtle pleasure sensations generated by slow purposeful inhalation. If you can be directly aware of this pleasure, dispense with the image of the coal.

3 – In either case, let the hands indicate the amount of this glow or pleasure. Let them do this by moving apart, so if the pleasure is intense the hands reach wide. As you exhale and the glow fades, let the hands come together. But if there is little felt, then the hands remain unopened.

4 – If you find your hands and arms respond then let a feeling or warmth or love flow out to everyone, and as they pull back feel as if you are drawing in what others give you in this subtle way.

5 – If you have managed that and felt it working in you, then and only then let you energy move upwards, and eventually downwards so you get the sideways movement flowing into the up and down energy flow. Let your being show you how.

But if you have not got anything from it persist until you do. Do it day after day until you can feel a response, and then work with it.

If you managed that the next exercise is to get you ready to receive the impressions to move and express spontaneously that exploring your images will release in you. To understand this you need to understand the two wills in you and what they do.

The Two Wills

In life and sleep we have two powerful actions working in us. The first is our waking experience based on having a body, its limitations, vulnerabilities and a particular gender. Our second is the power that gave us life and continues to express as dreams, in our breathing and heartbeat – our life. This I have given the description as the Life Will.

While we sleep our conscious self is largely or totally unconscious, and while we sleep and dream our voluntary muscles are paralysed – therefore another will or motivating force moves our body.

So we have a Conscious Will, and what I will call a Life Will. The first one we have experience of as we can move our arm or speak in everyday activities; but the second will takes over when we sleep. See Sleep Paralysis

This Life will can move us to do all the things we do in our dreams, such as speak, to move our body, and in fact do things that we cannot do with our Conscious Will. As Freud pointed out this inner will has full access to our memories. It can do so many other things that are described else where – See Edgar Cayce and the Cosmic MindESP in Dreams.

This Life Will or motivator has been active for millions of years and we see it working all the time in animals. We are partly split in half because we are often opposed to what our Life Will in us wants. So the only way to express what is good for us is in dreams when our conscious will is largely passive or we are restricted by being tied down. An example of this who dream they are healed and unable to move because a being, demon or some dark force is holding them. But it is not a dark demon but our own body working to protect us. Without it we would wander about and injure ourselves because we are asleep. A part of the brain controls our sleep paralysis. We can overcome the paralysis while awake and so have a waking lucid dream. See LifeStreamFunctions of dreams

Arm Circling Meditation

This is a useful technique to learn the first stages of allowing your inner being to express spontaneously. It is a way of gradually loosening tensions and blockages. But must be practiced several times to really feel your way into it.

It is good to try a preparatory exercise first, one to give you a direct experience of spontaneous movement.

But it is also good to get the feel of something that is easy to do first. A simple way you might be able to learn the beginnings of this it may help to first learn how to yawn spontaneously. You can do this by acting out a few yawns until they come spontaneously. Let them come and let the rest of your body join in if an urge to stretch comes. This is to learn how to recognise and allow your body and feelings to express spontaneously. When you can allow spontaneous yawns and stretches, then try the arm circling. 

Spontaneous Arm Movement

This is a simple and enjoyable technique which gives a direct experience of spontaneous movement. You need to stand about a foot away from a wall, side on. Start with your right side. You are going to lift your right arm sideways, but because you are near the wall you will only manage to lift it part of the way. So when the back of your hand touches the wall, press it hard against the wall as if trying to complete the movement of lifting the arm. Using a reasonable amount of effort stay with the hand pressing against the wall for about twenty seconds. Then move so you face away from the wall, and with eyes closed relax your arm and be aware of what happens. Try it before reading on, and use the left arm afterwards.

For some people nothing happens. In which case I suggest you loosen your arms by consciously moving them to get your blood circulating, then try again.

What we have done is to attempt to make a movement. Because the wall prevented this, the body was not able to complete the movement you asked it to make. Therefore a muscular charge built up in the deltoid muscle. When you stepped away from the wall the arm, if relaxed, was then free to complete the movement. So possibly your arm rose from your side as if weightless, thus discharging its energy. Some people need several tries before they can find the right body feeling to allow the arm its movement. It is easy to prevent it moving because the impulse is quite a subtle one. The point of the exercise however, is to learn a relationship with oneself in which a subtle impulse can express. The movement the arm makes, and how it feels to experience an un-willed movement, is so similar to LifeStream we are thus provided with an experimental experience of the real thing. Therefore it is helpful either to practice the technique until you can do it, or use it a number of times to establish your relationship with the feeling of it. This sense of allowing movement can then be used in LifeStream itself. See Water Wonderland

Arm Circling Movement

For the next exercise you need sufficient floor space to move easily, or even lay full length if necessary. It also helps to have loose clothing. You start by standing in the middle of your floor space, giving yourself time to explore what you feel and experience. Start by circling your arms. Take the arms above the head, down the sides of the body fairly slowly, with the arms fully extended, then upward crossing the front of the trunk. In the full movement the hands are then forming wide circles that cross the front of your body. This arm circling is simply to help you learn how to allow spontaneous movement. It is a way of working with the natural forces within you.

So, as you are circling your arms with eyes closed, bring your awareness to the shapes your hands are making in space. As you become aware of the shapes the hands are carving in space, watch what feelings you have as to how you would like to move. Give yourself permission to doodle, to make any sort of shapes your feelings or body incline you to. Allow any sort of posture or movement, as active or quiet as you like.

If they arise, allow sounds to accompany the movements, and allow whatever feelings accompany them. Hold the attitude that what you are doing doesn’t have to make sense. Nor does it have to comply with what other people might expect of you. Realise that you are allowing another part of yourself, perhaps a non verbal part, or a facet unknown to the rational mind, to express.

With a non critical watching attitude, relax and let your body and feeling sense direct what happens. There is no need to fiercely concentrate in order to wipe the mind clear of other influences. But you may need to relax the part of the mind that always needs to know beforehand what you are going to do. See The Keyboard Condition

This is not like creative dance, in which there may exist a personal need to produce something pleasing for others to watch. With this exercise you need an open area in which your inner being can make its own adjustments, and movement and feeling has a chance to express outside of rational criticism and demands of everyday life.

Give yourself at least fifteen minutes in which to explore what spontaneous movements and feelings emerge. Below is a summary of what may happen in this practice.

Although the movements may at first appear haphazard and irrational, if you allow them to continue without criticism, they usually express – perhaps only over a period of several sessions – a particular theme or point.

Like a dream, the theme or drama often symbolises your life situation, or something within you, such as the remaining emotions or attitudes from past experience, or a creative realisation. Or the movements may be expressive of the body’s own need to release energy or mobilise itself and its urges.

There are obvious stages or depths to the experience. Movement is often the first. Feelings and fantasy can then combine with the movement. Only with a few people do they occur without each other. If met in the right way the movements, fantasy and sounds can lead to insight into what is being expressed. In other words the symbolic movements, if that is what they are, can give way to rational understanding. This is not because one has thought out a plausible explanation for what happens. It is because your critical, conscious mind has watched the spontaneous working of what usually only occurs in dreams while you are unconsciousness. This gives automatic feedback to the unconscious mind and it can speed up it processing and problem solving. A communication takes place between the unconscious and conscious mind.

If what emerges is symbolic then it is help to ask the spontaneous process to clarify what it represents. The first time this happened to me I didn’t understand that the movements were symbols. I experienced creating a huge world which was so heavy it crushed me, pushing me to the floor and paralysed me. Slowly I gained strength, stood up and threw off the world. It was three months later, as I was describing the experience to a friend that realisation hit me like a wonderful insight. The world I had created was one made up of religious rules that in fact had made me ill trying to live them by controlling everything. The spontaneous Life Process in me had given me the strength to see them and cast them off.

 

It Takes Time

One evening, while using LifeStream I was led into the experience of being a small child, crying in a cot, feeling abandoned in a hospital. As the experience developed, I realised that I was that boy. I was the child deserted in hospital.
At the time the emotions were very real. The sobs shook my whole body. The memory was clear that this had happened to me. So, it led me to believe that somehow, I had released the pain of my child self left in that hospital. This was a complete misjudgment of the depths of misery a child can feel. Ten or more years later, through a series of events, I was led to revisit my three-year-old self.
The events leading up to it are fascinating, because they were so perfectly tuned to produce the event that followed. So, perfect that I am led to believe such things are not accidental. Also, considering the length of time between the original emergence of my abandoned child feelings, and this new meeting, I believe many such pains cannot be met until we have enough ego strength and skills to sail these rough waters. See Death of Ego – Ego Death

This hell, imprinted in so many of us during our childhood, remains unknown in the majority. It thereby goes on poisoning lives, relationships and society. The only positive side I can see to it is that if we dare to descend into that hell, and find a way of returning, we gain great strength, we learn great wisdom, we absorb humility and compassion.

So take your time.

Copyright © 1999-2010 Tony Crisp | All rights reserved