Mind and Movement 8 – Individual and Social Implications

In this present century there has been an explosion in the number of people who have in some way explored their inner world. This was partly due to the discovery and public use of L.S.D. and other psychedelics, but also because of other factors. Millions of people who had never used a consciousness-changing drug started meditating, or practising yoga, or became involved in group activities such as co-counseling, the growth movement and modern psychotherapy. All of these have introduced people to other viewpoints regard­ing life, sex, work, society and death, than given them by parents and the society they grew up in. When such a number of people realise there are many ways of dealing with the world, there cannot help but be social and indivi­dual implications.

Because the process of coex, connecting as it does with the self-regulatory and self revealing activities in individ­uals, is fundamental to the practices and changes mentioned above, I see coex as central to the change. If this is under­stood, the birth of the changes working in the world at the moment can be assisted more easily. If not, there can only be added conflict with the forces pressing for recognition from within countless individuals.

I believe it is clear from what has already been described that through conscious cooperation with coex, the con­scious personality can receive and integrate experience from what are usually unconscious life processes. For consciousness to take light into what had been the dark night of inner life process, is akin to the discovery of a completely new culture or civilised race. Just as the contact between Japan and the Western world in the last hundred years has produced radical change, so this is happening through the unveiling of the strange inner world of humanity. The similarity is quite inclusive. Just as the inter-flow between East and West has occurred despite the fact that comparatively few Easterners have been to the West, and few from the West traveled to the East, nevertheless the interchange of culture and commerce is immense. So too, although comparatively few have made any extensive exploration and study of their inner world, the few that have are influential. Many of the new attitudes in women, and new ideas and urges in regard to world politics, reli­gion, family life, music and art, have arisen originally in a few individuals who found a creative relationship with their own inner life. They were able to see through the constricting views and standards in which they were raised. Their own inner frustration and pain demanded to be heard and they listened. Out of that arose the new themes we can now see in the theatre, films, music and social reform.

Perhaps the major point of these changes is the swing from a relationship with the world and an evaluation of it based on objective and exterior observation – such as through the microscope and telescope – to one reached through subjective inner experience – such as through intuition, feelings, imagery and dreams. While talking with me recently, the poetess Joan Ruvinsky told me of her own experience of this move from one world view to another. She was raised in a family dominated by her father’s scientific work with time and the quartz crystal. Her early work was overshadowed by the standards of experimental science until her own inner life shouted to her for acknowledgement. She listened to it, noted its theme, accepted its validity, then promptly forgot it again for some years. To move from one paradigm to another is not easy. Joan is still exploring and evaluating, and in this she is representative of many of us.

For many Westerners there is a profound temptation, when the urgent call of their inner life is first felt, to leave the rational and scientific world entirely. Often they asso­ciate with an Eastern religion or guru, or try to drop their entire occidental identity. Fortunately this cannot be done in a satisfying way. The positive elements of ones own culture come knocking on the door of awareness to be included. The rational, questioning, scientific and experimental aspects of our Western identity have a great deal to offer to the unfocused, intuitive, evolutionary drive of the unconscious. Also much of the structure of our inner world is focused around the cultural symbols of Chris­tianity and Western literature art and music. Nevertheless, because the West has entered and in some ways raped the East, it has opened itself to a cultural back flow. We can no longer live in splendid cultural isolation. Our psyche is faced with the integration not only of the Cross and the microscope, but also the Void of the East. In fact we are faced externally, and within ourselves, with otherness.

I was born in 1937 from parents of different cultural backgrounds. My mother’s maiden name was Banning. She grew up in Amersham, a small town in Buckinghamshire, having an English, Protestant background. My father’s name was Alfredo Criscuolo. He was born in London from two Italian parents. When christened I was initiated into the Catholic Church, and, to be on the safe side, the Church of England as well.

Although not an avid follower of astrology, I believe it evident that the time, place and circumstances of our birth are powerfully imprinted on us. Arriving as I did three years before the greatest international conflict the world has yet seen, and with the name of Criscuolo, I was placed in a particular relationship with people around me. Italy joining forces with Germany against the allies caused me to be treated by some as an alien and an enemy. At three however, I posed little threat even to our local Home Guard.

At that early age I had no clear concept of war or international politics. The turmoil of war around me was beyond my ken. What was a part of my understandable experience however, was the intolerances, judgements and persecutions which came from having the name Criscuolo. I remember being stood in front of the whole assembled school without any pre-warning. It was then announced that I, Anthony Thomas Criscuolo, because my parents had decided to change our name, would from that time forward be known as Anthony Crisp. I had not realised until then that a name could be a problem. For some time afterwards though, the ring of voices followed me at play­time shouting Criscuoly-oly-oly. Also, while myself and other children were running behind a horse-drawn farm cart going to the harvest field, I was hit in the face with a horse whip by the farmer – who lived three houses away from myself – and accused of being a ‘little Mussolini’. I did not know at that time PRECISELY what that meant, but I got the general idea.

Compared with the treatment received by many people who, for one reason or another, are not considered as be­longing to the dominant group, what happened to me was mild. Even so, such experiences left their mark. The effect became noticeable during my adolescence when I uncon­sciously felt alienated from the structure and attitudes of the country in which I was born and lived. The morals and goals of Britons, individually and collectively seemed strange to me. In many ways I was a stranger to the land of my birth, feeling sometimes like an Italian Roman Catho­lic living abroad.

With an alteration of details, the overall plot of my story is also true for a huge number of people living in the U.K. today. The number is so large it brings threat of national splintering to the point where it needs recognition. It pro­duces a situation where the efforts of many peoples lives are other than toward a national cooperation. The problem is not simply one of foreigners or children of foreigners living in Britain. Alienation occurs beyond those boun­daries today. In a country where the child of parents whose identity largely arose out of a lifetime of work, cannot obtain work, a sense of alienation and identity crisis can arise. It can occur between child and family, and child and society. The development of rapid international busi­ness activity and travel also places us regularly in direct confrontation with aliens.

In 1983 I visited Belfast and Israel for the first time. The open aggression and carrying of arms forced me to face the potentially lethal effects of alienation. In Belfast I saw whole groups of people housed within strong wire mesh cages. In Israel I witnessed Israeli holiday-makers, com­plete with cameras, shorts and knapsacks, carrying automatic weapons. The guns, the fought over boundaries and the stout wire mesh cages, appear to me to arise out of the same sources as my own sense of alienation – religious and political differences, anger and fears, and nationalism. When I look at Belfast and the Middle East, the message I read from the situations seems very clear. It is that if human beings are not capable of transcending the hurts and atti­tudes their birth environment has imprinted on them, con­flict and alienation, with their consequences of international conflict, are impossible to avoid. Looking back with the wisdom of hindsight over the past twenty years, I can see that the urge to such transcendence has been the motiva­tion to much that has happened in the Western World and in my own life.

Many people wish to transcend the barriers of per­sonality and nationality which create for them conflict individually and socially. Millions have been attracted to organisations which appear to offer this. In fact, in the West we have seen the development of what can be called ‘supermarkets for transcendence’. But if I read my own condition rightly, and recognise the need of others like me, such organisations have been inadequate flirtations with a huge need. They have been too Oriental, too centred on the charisma of the leader, and catering to the uncertainty and fear in people, which looks for an appar­ently divinely inspired leader who knows the ‘truth’ and offers certainty in the midst of uncertain change.

One can liken this to a sort of ballooning. The person who aspires to transcend their imprinted limitations rises above them. The sixties and seventies saw the spiritual sky full of transcendental balloonists who had escaped the limited moorings of their British phlegm. Their boun­daries of nationality, even of sexuality, had been tran­scended, but to what purpose? This led to an epidemic of people who had found liberation from the limitations of their native religion, but who dived into the nearest un­familiar one. Thousands became Moslems, Sanyassins or Buddhists – achieving a new set of prejudices and means of alienation.

Many of us are capable of stepping outside the anxieties and tensions which lead US to draw guns on each other. But it is a skill which needs to be learnt, just like walking. Perhaps it is time we began to learn, and to recognise the need for a home centred program of education in a the art of transcending. To be able to do this well we need an understanding both of the urge to transcend, and of the forces with which we are working.

Observing the action of coex in many people, I believe it has rather an organic way of functioning. It is like a plant which takes the varied minerals surrounding it, and through its living process transforms them into its own integrated being. The plant does not become the mineral. Neither is it shaped by the forms of what it takes up. It is influenced, it is coloured, but its process transforms. The healthy human being can do likewise. A major part of unconscious mental process is to do with taking experience and integ­rating it into a meaningful whole. If we could trace how the development of such mental activity arose, we might find that it is a reappearance at another level of the process of digestion and absorption. But events need to be experi­enced to become integrated. We are an enormously sensi­tive and responsive living process. Our whole being can respond to what we experience or learn – words too have tremendous power within us. Often, however, we have unconsciously deadened our emotions and sensitivities, and we do not therefore properly ‘take in’ what we have experienced. Sam, working in a hotel as a cook, describes an experience which illustrates this point.


I had worked in the hotel for some years during the holiday season, and so was used to the crowds of people on the streets. In the middle of last season though, after having practised coex for some time, I walked out onto the street after work one day and felt a rush of fear. People thronged the pavements in such numbers many spilled off into the road. They were of all ages, all sizes and all conditions. Not only fat and thin, but occasional cripples and mentally retarded or mongoloid people too. I thought to myself, ‘My God! It’s all too much. I’m just a helpless ant in the midst of all these other ants’.

From that time on, although I had lived in London for many years, I began to feel fear on the streets. I was aware of the aggression, the loneliness, the broken spirit, the joy in people, and it produced feelings in me I had never experienced before. Through the use of coex I gradually saw I had felt all these things as a child confronted by the world, but I had unconsciously sup­pressed the experience. The examples given by adults was that feeling responses to life were out of place and infantile. But life in London had confronted me with people dying of cancer; T.B. was rife at that time too; prostitutes openly walked the streets; I was often accosted by homosexuals as a child; and instead of allowing myself to feel the enormity of what it said about human beings, I had shut the pain and wonder of it out. Now, as I began to feel this through opening up in coex, it first spoke to me as fear. Since then it has spoken in different voices.


The voice Sam is talking about is that of his own living being as it learns through direct experience. It is the voice of his own learning process as it picks up real knowledge, not from books, but out on the street, in the midst of his family life, at the death of his dog, while washing his mothers back in the bath and seeing her naked, and as life itself being born and living within the whole amazing condition of humanity and this planet. What Sam learnt is explained in these further comments.


What I find is a big boost is that I was thrown out of school, bottom of my class in most subjects, yet I dis­cover inside myself the most amazing form of intel­ligence and vision. It seems to me from what I have been experiencing in coex, that part of me is like a computer. All the things my senses and emotions have experienced are carefully recorded and then scanned for information. Practising coex is a way of listening to what the com­puter has gathered from all the experience. Some of that is very much about me personally, but a lot of it is about life in general, and even political and religious issues. So what I learn in this way makes me even more unique as a person because no one else, nothing else in the universe, has experienced or seen things quite from the time, place and situation that I have. But also I learn things that are universal, that are general to everybody, and enable me to see how much a part of everything else I am.

To be more specific – because I grew up in a world with many prostitutes and homosexuals something hap­pened inside myself which I was completely unaware of until I listened to this inner information. The scan­ning process saw what a huge percentage of people were manipulated through their sexual urge. Put rather crudely it was similar to the way humans trap animals or farm them. We know that if we put food in a trap an animal will be led into it by its urge to eat. We know that if we put a ram with the sheep, they will mate. Sexual hunger can be used to get people to part with their money, or to lead them where you want them to go. I recognised those things from the many bits of ex­perience scanned, but I didn’t have the courage to listen to what I had inwardly learnt until recently. On listen­ing I saw how, deep inside, I had decided to discipline my sexuality so I would not be so easily manipulated. That unconscious decision influenced whole areas of how I developed relationships, yet I hadn’t even known I had made such a decision.

What may be even more important is that out of that scanning, realisations about the social conditions in the country I live in had also been formed. For instance, what attitudes within us create prostitution anyway, and what leads us to manipulate each other? When we are so manipulated, often en-masse by political and commer­cial forces, why do we remain so sheep-like and follow? When we do that we are like cattle, having no self awareness at all. What sexual and social codes have we adopted, or been led to adopt through the manipulation by church and state, that place us in this sleep-like con­dition in which we can be farmed by people shrewd enough to do it? As far as I am concerned one of the major reasons is that WE HAVEN’T GOT GUTS ENOUGH TO LOOK AT WHAT IS HAPPENING TO US. We prefer to remain unconscious, and so avoid feeling the heightened emo­tions which allow us insight into ourselves and the world. We are far too busy congratulating ourselves on how well we are doing; how stupid the other person is, to really see who we are, and what the world around us is doing. And, quite frankly, that’s just the way the manipulators want it. I personally want to wake up. I want to increase the understanding I have gained about myself and my environment, even if it hurts or shocks me sometimes. It is the most exciting and adventurous thing that has ever happened to me, and I’m certainly not going to give it up.


Sam is talking about awareness. He is also showing how awareness transformed his view of himself and his world. The insights which arise for Sam and others who work with the process of coex are not limited to sex, politics and manipulation. They cover every aspect of human activity and speculation, but are particularly concerned with hu­man life, and the relationship we have with each other and the cosmos. To give an idea of the range and depth of these experiences I will quote some of them and summarise others.



Life Before Birth

As the experience deepened I realised I was knowing myself as I was before birth. No, even that is wrong. At first it seemed as if it was prior to conception. The world before conception was one in which I didn’t have any sense of myself at all, so is difficult to describe. Yet I was aware of many different types of energy, each with its own very different character, and each doing its own thing quite without concern for anything else. It may sound strange, but it reminded me in some odd way of the world described in Lord of The Rings. When things moved on to me being an unborn baby, some sort of decision had been made. I felt this strongly, al­though even at the time I felt what an odd thing it was. Nevertheless, it seemed as if the decision had entered my own little life, on a direction or track of develop­ment which I realised was my body and its growth. I don’t know if babies can be infected in the womb, but at one point I had the powerful experience of being attacked. I felt like a tree attacked by caterpillars. I don’t mean I thought I was a tree. As an unborn baby I had no conception of myself. I experienced myself simply as a living organism, a separate thing which was threatened by some other life form. It seemed as if the waters I was in dealt with the infection though. But when I came out of the experience I cried with the shock of the attack. (Abie C.)


Freud, Jung and Reich have all attested to the importance and validity of psychic or subjective experience. Such experience does not always relate to actual physical events, but it does express the dynamics of ones inner life. In many cases though it also expresses the truth of physical experience. Therefore, the things that Abie and others who have looked to their inner life tell us are important. If we learn from them that we can raise the quality of the way we care for unborn babies and children.

So, to summarise what I have gathered from peoples statements about pre-birth experiences during coex, there is awareness for unborn babies. Consciousness does not magically start with the first breath. Nor does it have its beginning at some particular prenatal stage of develop­ment. It seems to be a principle of life itself, always present, but increasing in complexity and focus as the form in which it exists develops. The unborn baby does not have personality as we know it, but it does have a sense of exis­tence. From this it identifies deeply with the mother and is greatly influenced by her acceptance or rejection of it. These responses to its situation that it feels very acutely, become the fundamental patterns of reaction which underlie the later development of its conscious personality. This level of its being is also formed out of the original act of love/sex which led to its conception. In some way that still needs further definition, it is a triangle of the attitudes, love, anger and blending personalities of its two parents. But the mother particularly carries within herself, usually without awareness, an image of maleness or femaleness, which influences the baby – but not necessarily while still in the womb.



Life is a Love Affair

When we remember that as baby we were in the most intimate relationship possible with a woman – our mother- the words love affair make sense. In no other way can one have the intimacy of being a part of someone else’s body. As a baby we also shared the binding experience of meeting the crisis of birth with our mother. There is also intimacy in helplessness. Therefore, as a baby we had a love affair with our mother. But the love may have at times turned to all the agony, the anger, the loneliness and despair so often seen in adult love. During coex people recapture the early experience of this love affair, its wonder and its turmoil.

This love affair – our very first – cannot help but leave a deep impression on us. It will etch into us experiences which will determine the way we relate to other people for the rest of our life. Overall patterns of how we love, hate and feel began then, in our first love affair. Any inability to relate to the opposite sex, may have begun with our early love for mother or father.

Here is Mark’s description of his own memories in this area.


Feelings began to arise while my wife was away, which I recognised as being connected with the time when I was put in a convalescent hospital at three years of age. My wife being away for so long had triggered the feel­ings into operation again, and in coex I was able to ex­plore and deal with them.

I realised that as a three year old I had an almost in­stinctive emotional bond with my mother. When she allowed me to be taken from her this instinctive part of me could not understand how the very person you loved the most, and were most deeply bonded with, could let go of you. To the feelings of love inside me that was impossible. It must therefore mean, those feelings res­ponded, that she didn’t love me. This brought about two conflicting storms of emotion which although I was now realising them consciously, had influenced the way I related to women all my life. First I was murderously angry. She – my mother – might be able to cast me off without care, but I couldn’t let go of her. Just being separated was therefore agony. My bond was being torn

– a bond created of the deepest emotions and feelings I had – so I was being torn. And I also felt lost in timeless­ness. As a child I had no concept of time. I and all child­ren live in a sense of eternity, and in that foreverness I was alone, not knowing whether the person I loved would ever come back. My pain and anger were forever.

Because this influenced the way I felt about women, it naturally tore at my marriage. I could understand why some people murder their wife or husband when an event triggers this childhood pain and rage. Such rage attaches to the person you presently love, creating the most awful things. I was confronted by the fact that I must either – from these deepest and agonised feelings -learn to forgive my mother by seeing her as a human being trying to deal with the adult world, or my marriage was finished. For in the present situation I could not forgive my wife for going away and acting in such a way as to resurrect these murderous feelings, and this eternal agony.

By allowing the deep and previously unconscious part of me to be released and find a merging with the adult conscious part of me, I did manage to find forgiveness and understanding. It saved my marriage. It also en­abled me to live with myself more easily and peacefully.


Mark has already clearly stated the social implication of his up-bringing – divorce, violence, possibly murder. He had already been divorced once. His awareness of the forces behind the break-up enabled him to prevent its repetition. The social implication of not knowing the sort of agonies and conflicts we sow in children through ‘adult’ behaviour, is much wider though. Mark’s mother was not the only one who did not know – in her head, she knew in her heart – what lonely hospitalization would do to her child. Tens of thousand of children were hospitalized under similar conditions in the past. The result is a huge number of people who have relationship problems, sexual difficulties, and may show anti-social behaviour. If we also see that insensitive hospitalization is only one tiny aspect of what we do to children, and each of these adds up to social disorientation in some form, then difficulties in parenting can be seen as one of the fundamental causes of social and individual stress.



Sometimes I Wonder Who I Am

Whether we realise it or not each of us is born with a culturally implanted idea of who or what we are. A few hundred years ago for instance, it was commonly accepted throughout Europe that a human being was, or had the possibility of, an immortal soul. Social position also made it clear whether one was a noble or serf, master or slave. In today’s world we have more of a dilemma about who and what we are. There are so many different viewpoints today, and as a group we have not dismissed the immortal soul concept, but have added some more such as the mate­rialist view of identity beginning at birth and finishing at death. For most of us it is certainly easy to observe though, that our identity is largely relevant to our up­bringing. If we were raised in China our view of life and reactions to situations would be quite different to what it would be if we were raised in Los Angeles in the U.S.A. There would be much less likelihood of our seeking a divorce as a Chinese for instance, or committing a crime.

Nevertheless, despite these marked differences in atti­tudes, skin colour, and even food eaten, there is a level at which we are all very similar. We all as a group reproduce sexually, we all eat and breathe, we all have a liver and a heart. Compared with our culturally imprinted self, this biological level is far older, less changeable, and more basic. When talking about our own likes and dislikes, we tend to mention clothes, music, a way of life and attitudes, yet these are all fairly superficial. Our being has more fun­damental likes, dislikes and patterns of behaviour which arise from body needs and instincts. Young males the world over have a tendency to go through a period of cata­pults, air rifles and other means of hunting. They, along with female teenagers, have a drive to break loose from previous connections and make a life of their own, some­times with a lot of aggression. During the use of coex, these basic drives become very apparent, and it is often noticeable how they have been repressed producing inner conflict. This repression is not only a consequence of the imprinted personality not understanding its own founda­tions, but also because the social world which imprinted the personality is itself in conflict with basic human drives. That social structure itself creates massive conflicts in the children and adults it is supposed to represent, is a sign of the sickness of our times. Seen in this light, some social attitudes and organisations are like a huge factory producing disturbed human beings – disturbed by city and work environments which are so foreign to deep needs that people break down. The breakdown may be in ob­vious ways such as mental illness, crime or physical health, but it is more frequently in subtler ways such as the inabi­lity to warmly parent children, or be a socially creative individual.

The people using the many different approaches to coex are gradually laying bare these areas of conflict in their own lives and within social organisations. Such awareness highlights the tremendous struggles and confusion that are occurring in connection with identity and its relationship with sexual drive, gender and up-bringing. Because a woman declares herself free of old sexual roles, it does not mean the deeper layer of her being will agree, and quietly withdraw its procreative drive and desire to nurture children. Because a man can be easily sterilised it does not mean he can so easily escape the natural bonding that takes place during sexual intercourse. He might escape it physi­cally, but the living, feeling drives in him will not let him so easily escape psychically. These basic living forces in us, inseparable from consciousness, have inbuilt sexual, kin­ship, and self giving needs.

Beryl tells of her own discoveries about this:


After I had my second son Frank and I decided two children were enough. I felt fully in agreement with that, although it was Frank who took the step of having a vasectomy. As Brian and Eddie started school I began work again and felt a real need to become independent financially. I managed this through my work in pro­perty sales. I began to feel ill at ease physically though and thought it was stress at work. With hindsight it all seems so obvious now, but at the time I felt confused about what was happening. I remember how much pleasure I got out of having a dog and how ill I was when it died. A lot of my hair fell out.

I believe a seed was sown when my son started keep­ing ferrets. He had a female and when it got a year old he told me it must be mated soon or it would die. I had never known that an animal can die if it doesn’t have young. Then I started attending a group practice of coex. It was another first, because I had not mixed with people who so openly talked about their inner feelings and acknowledged they were human. I realised then how hungry for that sort of companionship I had been. As my ability to use coex developed a part of myself was unveiled to view that I had never really dared accept before. I saw that I am an animal, a female one. That gives me a link with all female creatures of whatever species. I had not admitted that and had cut off in full flood my torrential drive to have children. It couldn’t just neatly stop itself and do something else, and in my ignorance I didn’t help it. So it built up inside like stag­nant water and led to my feelings of tension and even to physical illness.

When I let that stream flow again I thought I was going to go wild for a baby. For a while I was – a week or so, but the drive gradually flowed into the way I was relating to my family and friends. I found a lot more caring and love come into the way I talked to people or felt about them. Even selling property has altered be­cause I now have a feel for peoples personal needs in a building rather than just their business and financial needs. In a way I find hard to describe, I have also found out what religion is – it is knowing that you are con­nected with life itself and that it flows through you.


I believe that during this period of history humans are having to face the business of growing up and accepting responsibility for themselves and each other. The history of humankind is full of placing blame or power elsewhere. People have constantly surrounded themselves with gods and demons who directed their fate, physical well being, and even their creation. As time has gone on it has become easier to see the devils as projections of our own fears con­cerning our sexuality, and repressed parts of our own nature; and the gods as projections of our own latent abili­ties and power to create. As we recognise these angelic and demonic figures as shadows cast on the walls of our own awareness by our fear, our hopes, our transcendent beauty, and our unwillingness to accept our aloneness and creative power, we are confronted by the terrible responsibility of what we are doing to each other and the world. l) Despite waiting for centuries the Messiah has never come; the Christ has not returned; the splendid space people who will banish war and want have not kept their appointments. In the end there is only you and I left, perhaps looking to the sky hoping. If we want our dreams of a Messiah or great leader to come true, then we must take over the part and live it out.

But perhaps great leaders have had their day, like the shadows of demons. Just as the hazel twig used by the dowser is lifeless and useless out of their hands, so leaders have no power except that given them by the belief and support of ordinary (?) human beings. In a vacuum leaders are as empty and without life as the twig. You and I are the Christ, the Buddha Maitreya, the expected Messiah. We are the power we give to leaders. We create each other every day. Human babies reared by animals never develop human personality or self awareness. We have to accept the responsibility for that too, and not avoid it by saying an unseen and mysterious God gives us being. We create human souls through our belief, our name giving, our communication with the wonder that is a baby. The visi­ble, wonderful God called Human Beings creates other human beings. It is a miracle we are still not taking full responsibility for. When are we going to wake up to who we are?

The expanding awareness which occurs in the process of coex reveals these things. It is as if we have lived in a room and watched scenes which we took to be real, and gradual­ly we learn how to walk into other rooms of our own house, and see the magic lanterns projecting the images. In other words we gradually become aware of our own phy­sical and psychic functions which are responsible for the phenomena for which we blamed gods, spirits and space-men. We see the very buttons and levers in ourselves which heal our bodies, produce happiness or depression, clarity or confusion, phantoms and gods. Not that the human personality is so godlike – far from it. But our being is itself the process of LIFE. It is the very miracle of creation bringing about human experience. God is a pro­jection of what we are in our own being. That we have not yet fully woken up; not learnt to flex the sinews of our­selves is by the by. We are life with consciousness and a fragile sense of separateness – separateness so vulnerable it disappears in sleep, in sense deprivation, during shock, and perhaps in death.

Once we begin to recognise this action of growing awareness, of awakening, in the human soul, we can look back through past ages and see clear records of how other men and women experienced it. It is symbolised in folklore or spoken of directly in all cultures, and there are certain things common to these records. They nearly always include a sense of meeting something divine or transcen­dent. Yet it is realised that the transcendent is ones own being. The person breaks through the pains, fears and limitations of their own individual life experience and achieves a view which sees their separate life as part of an awesome process – the cosmos. This vastness, this time­less expanse, without apparent beginning or end, this careless everything, has no right or wrong in it; no up or down; no start or final destination. As humans beings we have always lived in this AMEN, but we usually keep our windows closed, a roof over our heads, the doors shut, so we are not confronted by the immensity of which we are a part. This is the Void spoken of in the East. It is the Wil­derness so often mentioned in Western religion. Having no pathways, no destinations, people have created rules and regulations, destinations and beginnings to help them fend off the sense of awfulness, the feeling of aloneness, the inability to make decisions – fear! How much easier to have a God to tell us what to do and what direction to take in this directionless desert. How much less stressful than facing the infinity of choice and deciding, for no other reason than it being our wish deduced from what we are aware. “Foxes have holes, and birds have nests, but the son of man has nowhere to lay his head” (Mat. 8:20.) says the voice of mankind.




Consciousness is fundamental to the universe. We have never been without consciousness, even though our experience of it changes. In human life consciousness becomes self awareness. In this condition there is often a sense of vulnerability when confronted by the immensity of consciousness itself. In the Old Testament this is expressed by Adam and Eve hiding when God walked in the Garden. People usually hide within veils of self deception as to who they are and of what they are capable – both in a negative and positive sense. They avoid being aware of the tragedy of human existence, but also its transcendent nature. By allowing the process of coex to expand awareness these veils are dissolved. The person then realises their alone­ness, their responsibility as a co-creator, and their life in eternity.

This self-revealing which occurs with expanded aware­ness, allows the person to look back along the pathway of evolution – especially the evolution of consciousness. Each person holds within them the physiological and psycho­logical record of this journey that life has made. At first it is ‘unconscious’, meaning it is not accessible to waking awareness. As it becomes so through expanding awareness – coex – the individual sees how, before human beings became self aware in the sense they are today, it was natural and helpful for survival to grab for oneself, to follow a leader, to have a certain type of male/female re­lationship. With self awareness came enormous changes in the size of groups living together, and the possibilities of relating. The patterns of domination, manipulation, grab­bing for oneself, no longer worked in this new setting. In fact they led to terrible human suffering as seen in slavery, war, racial and international conflict, and political and religious manipulation. Humanity, as transcendent beings had within themselves the potential to overcome this tragedy. They intuited it and projected their wisdom onto figures known as Buddha, Christ, Krishna, etc. This is another tragedy because it abdicates responsibility and allows other human beings to manipulate, through be­coming symbols, for ones own power and insight. Thus we have popes, kings, dictators and presidents.

The escalating results of this abdication from respon­sibility place humanity in confrontation with the threat of extinction. Despite prayers and cries for divine help, there is no other divine than that resident within ourselves. If we fail to use it to transform our old self-centred drives to ones of self giving, we are ourselves the creators of our own unhappy fate. There is an old saying that the ‘truth shall set you free’. We often take it that the word ‘truth’ means some transcendent revelation. Perhaps some people even see it referring to a political truth such as Commun­ism or Capitalism. We may hope that the truth is, that through some sort of therapy or process of meditation, we find our hurts healed and our problems solved, leaving us feeling GOOD. History has proven this to be an unrealistic hope. Hurts can be healed, pains can be melted, but in the end we are still left with our humanness, our vulnerability

—     we are still confronted with unresolved problems. If a car accident has robbed us of our legs, our healing may release the anger at our fate, allow the scream we held back as the car hit us, but we are still without legs. Despite successful therapy we are still confronted by the question of how to make love; how to get on and off buses; what we are going to do with our lives. Those questions can only be resolved by experiment and honest communication with other human beings. If I have been crippled sexually rather than physically the situation is the same. The TRUTH is our own personal humanness. Knowing and acknowledging that I am sexually crippled sets me free of it. It does this because we can only acknowledge such degrees of our own humanity by allowing love and forgiveness to be felt toward our own being and to the world around us. To love and accept oneself in this way means one has begun to accept the world AS IT IS. This love has in it the power to transcend old hurts, reach across boundaries. Maybe it would be easier if the answer to human problems were a set of rules such as a government uses. As this is not so, we will have to meet ourselves on the road to survival. Our awareness of this situation and of our own humanity is itself a point of transformation.


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