People’s Experiences of LifeStream

LifeStream is a way of opening yourself to the healing and teaching power of Life. Below are some peoples verbatim accounts of what they met. See LifeStream; Life’s Little Secrets.

If you have not done this before you need to leave yourself open to whatever arises spontaneously. This is not done by searching but by noticing any idea or memory that presents itself and mentioning it and allowing any accompanying emotions. Amazingly one thing leads to another and you are taken on a journey into the previously hidden depths of yourself. So it is important to have a map of the journey you may meet.

You are trying to go deeper into yourself than ever before. that means that just under the surface of your human personality is a level of yourself we call the unconscious, and the first level of your awareness is where you have hidden from, or repressed all your hurtful or shameful experiences; all your childhood trauma and hurts, all that you haven’t faced in yourself.

Many people as their awareness reaches beyond what they feel is their normal self they feel scared or even terrified. Such resistances cause us to create awful dreams and fears as a means of avoiding our own inner world and its fears and wonders. This was of course known through ages and today we know it as Pandora’s Box. But it is not about the horror’s most people believe it is, for Pandora starts with the word Pan which in English means All, the gift, and it means  “the gift”, thus “the all-endowed”, “all-gifted” or “all-giving” – not the giver of evil at all – realise the evil is live spelt backwards, and so is all that we have not lived fully and so becomes sickness within us. She gives everything to us, evil in us, pain we hold onto, but everything for it means when we pass through these difficulties we meet our own Wonder.

As an example of this a practice called LifeStream was used by Rita, a nurse who had been hospitalised with psychiatric problems, describes what happened to her when she let go of her ’self control’ in what at the time we called self-regulation, (SR), but now name LifeStream.

The other day I found myself walking into the sea and shouting, ‘Hey sea, I love you’ and it really came up from my boots. We get stuck in the bad stuff and don’t let ourselves feel the good.

A couple of months back I went through, with M. the event of my son’s birth. It was thought he might not live and I had been super controlled from the nurses point of view. I hadn’t given way to anguish at the thought this child might not live. But when he was born healthy, what I wanted to do, much more than that, was to shriek with joy, and I hadn’t allowed that. We think so often, being a puritan society, it’s only the pain we have got to face, but it seems we have got to open those channels of joy too. It’s too easy to become hooked on the masochistic element. When I began to let myself experience joy in SR I even began to think I was no longer doing real self regulation because it was so pleasurable. 

A woman’s first experience of LifeStream

I was especially struck by the sentence, “Don’t enter LifeStream unless you are prepared to enter into it fully and are prepared to be part of the long process” I had undergone what at the time was a frightening experience for me – leaving my body – it was while I was very ill in hospital, so I had apprehensions that similar things might happen again.

I was reassured.  Indeed they might happen again but it would be in a position to learn from them rather than for them.  I pondered for a while.  I was in a fairly depressed state really.  I badly needed help.  More than anything I wanted to help myself.  I decided to give it a try.  It was a serious decision, not made lightly, and I was prepared to commit myself as fully as I was able at the time to the process but I felt very apprehensive.

My attitude to LS (LifeStream) then changed.  I thought, yes, this is it.  It can’t be faked.  It is possible for someone to pretend it’s happening but that they would know they were pretending.  I had been afraid I was acting and pretending.  But when it came it very definitely wasn’t that.

To people coming into LS I would say not to base their expectations on anything you have been told or read about it.  It is very individual.  It is easy to be discouraged if you have been with very noisy people, and your experiences are not noisy.  It would be easy thing to believe, ‘I’m not having the real thing.’ This may be linked with me because it happened when I had given up.  I stopped expecting anything to happen.  After three months of, to me, nothing happening, but my lying there for ninety minutes listening to other people making a noise.  But in the way a lot happened because my feelings and thoughts had changed considerably in those three months.  I had gone through fear, contempt, attempting to cut it down to size, saying it wasn’t a valid experience for those people.  I was very much the outsider for a long time.  Then, when I had given up any hope something happening, it happened to me.  

Rita Expresses Herself

“I was in such pain, and words having failed me I was pumped full of Largactyl and put in a psychiatric ward on my own.  And I became terribly aggressive, which I am not really.

When I could release all this in SR, I stopped being frightened.  I wasn’t so primitive.  I never actually attacked anybody else but I was very frightened I would.  I was so full of aggression it was going in and trying to get out.  Yet it seemed it was a force which didn’t necessarily need to destroy me or anybody else if it was allowed to get out.  I didn’t really want to kill anybody or myself.  It was the pressure in this force which was held back.

When I first went to the SR group I thought everybody had gone completely mad.  I was still quite paranoid, I think, and the place where we did SR backs on to the hospital where I worked.  I was very frightened doctors or nurses would come over, recognise me and think I had flipped again and I would get carried off and put inside.  I was very frightened but it has gone now completely.  Then, I stopped thinking people were mad after time.  They were not mad because they came together again at the end of the session.  It was just noise, and the actual experience seemed identical to those I had seen and experienced in hospital.  Then I started to think people were hysterical, in the sense that they were all acting out, and it was all very self indulgent and it didn’t get them anywhere.

I didn’t understand it, and this kept on for three months.  I kept going.  I don’t really know why, but I did.  Then it was Easter and I went on a diet.  The children were away and I was in the house on my own, and I thought, “I’ll try this self regulation on my own.  Maybe it’s being with other people stopped it”.  I went straight into it for an hour and half and I became like a tiny baby.  It was a very real experience.  It was really happening.  I felt like a baby.  I was a baby.  The sounds coming out were those of a baby.  Yet there was this marvellous bit of me which was still completely in touch with what was happening outside of the experience.  It was watching, and I knew I would be all right, I knew I was going to come out of it.  For me it was a real big breakthrough.  I stopped being frightened.  Up until then I had been stuck.  I was very frightened of making a noise.  Then some time later I had, not one, but two of pneumatic drills outside my house and I had the really big session making a hell of a noise.

My attitude to SR then changed.  I thought, yes, this is it.  It can’t be faked.  It is possible for someone to pretend it’s happening but they would know they were pretending.  I had been afraid I would start to play act and pretend.  But when it happened it very definitely wasn’t that.

To people coming into SR I would say not to base their expectations on anything they had been told or read about it.  It is very individual.  It is easy to be discouraged if you have been with very noisy people, and your experiences are not noisy.  It would be easy to think, ‘I’m not having the real thing.’ May be with me it happened when I had given up.  I stopped expecting anything to happen.  After three months of, to me, nothing happening except by lying there for 90 minutes listening to other people making a noise.  Yet in a way a lot happened because my feelings and thoughts had changed considerably in those three months.  I had gone through fear, contempt, attempting to cut it down to size, saying he wasn’t a valid experience for those people.  I was very much the outsider for a long time.  Then, when I had given up any hope of something happening, it happened to me.

What SR has done for me, or what change it has made is a very major thing.  In a very real sense it had saved my life.  I had thought about nothing but suicide for three years, and that hasn’t happened since; but once, and I have been in some very sticky situations.  I have been very mad but I haven’t been what I call depressed or beyond hope.  I don’t hate myself as much now.  I didn’t have any self respect.  I have respect for myself now and I am a lot more choosy about relationships because of that.  I don’t feel people are doing me a favour any more by liking me.  I think I am a lot stronger.  People at work say I am alive, and friends have seen a big change in me.”

Rita a Second Experience

Her second letter expresses the change she found even in those few months, even though she still very much under way.

“I felt after a session of SR last night that it was truly possible to let go of chunks of one’s past and almost be reborn.  During the session I had found a lot of pure sound coming out of me – not the first time I have been taken over by a sound, whether a stream or shared out of rage, so that it flooded out of my whole being – it was an exciting session were at last I felt able to stand up and explore space.  I have been doing so since September, it now being April, and apart from a few sessions where I sat up it has been mainly lying on my face or stomach or in a foetal position – much of what has come up had been pre-verbal and fear expression as a young child and babies longing for his parents, and rage that I had been misunderstood and abused.  I got into SR easily I suppose because I was more than ready for it, having a history of bottled up emotions that led to several breakdowns and a spell in a mental hospital.  Difficulty is in creating the psychological independence from parental possessive clutches – psychic castration by my parents – so I started letting go and yelling at once – there were difficulties.  I felt pretty depressed for months, full of shit, hating myself, therefore unable to love others; alone and lonely, longing for contact, even though living with someone and a growing baby.  There were times when nothing came through and defences and blockages would not be abandoned.

People’s support, coupled with the other coursework we do here at Ashram, and life processes, gradually eroded those defensive alliances until I felt myself opened and rediscovered my essential nature such as I have found.  In a sense I feel enlightened.  Nothing amazing and psychedelic, but initiated into living or the possibility of living that they had different more total level of contact all the time.”

John, a 54 year old, says of this process:

“The body postures and movements were near miraculous to me because during the previous nine years, two serious accidents and a disease had resulted in five separate spinal fractures.   For a period I had been encased from hips to jaw in a metal and leather support harness; for years I had endured great pain, and never in my prayers for help had I really hoped for the return of mobility of movement which was now shown in my childlike SR play movements.

The return of mobility is the only one of the blessings I have enjoyed since beginning self-regulation.  For many years I had experienced consistently poor health; a lifetime of asthma, compounded by TB in both lungs, and poor digestion with its attendant consequences had all produced a dismal attenuation of minimal well being with serious illness.  In the first four weeks of my SR I felt great draughts of air pouring into my lungs.  At the end of eighteen months my chest had expanded by four inches, which I discovered when I bought new underwear.  My spine was moving more freely than it had for years; my indigestion, with its accompanying constipation, had disappeared.  I am fitter than I have been for the previous forty five years.”

Rita, a nurse who had been hospitalised with psychiatric problems

Rita, a nurse who had been hospitalised with psychiatric problems, describes what happened to her when she let go of her ’self control’ in what at the time we called self-regulation, (SR), but now name LifeStream.

“In most every part of me I have felt energy stirring or moving since I started SR. I look different now. When I look in the mirror I see I am a different shape. I am much stronger than I was. I think this is because I am not wasting energy now. I am also less afraid of my feelings. I was a very passionate person and would get into arguments about everything. Now I can be more detached. I never thought I would be like that. Somehow ones energy gets re-organised in self regulation. You get rid of the stuff which is potentially destructive, and you are left with what is really a force for growth.

The process of SR seems so sensible to me. Having had a fairly good medical training the idea of homeostasis and energy being blocked, even though it may not be charted in Gray’s Anatomy, is very straightforward. It seems no more puzzling, although it’s mystical. The process is trying to do its work, whether we open to it or not in our body. It is quicker and easier if you give it the right conditions. Most of the time, almost deliberately we give it adverse conditions. All we need to do is take the concrete off so it can grow. This force seems to be there all the time.

When I started SR I wasn’t prepared for the violence of the feelings or the strength, immediacy and freshness of them, and the fact it was real.

Our society deals so much in second-hand experience. The immediacy of it really took my breath away. I am beginning to allow myself now a glimpse of what we often put down as so much religiosity.

I am allowing myself now, having had almost an overdose of grieving and anguish, to open up to the other extreme which I have never experienced very much, which is the sheer joy of living. The other day I found myself walking into the sea and shouting, ‘Hey sea, I love you’ and it really came up from my boots. We get stuck in the bad stuff and don’t let ourselves feel the good.

A couple of months back I went through, with M. the event of my son’s birth. It was thought he might not live and I had been super controlled from the nurses point of view. I hadn’t given way to anguish at the thought this child might not live. But when he was born healthy, what I wanted to do, much more than that, was to shriek with joy, and I hadn’t allowed that. We think so often, being a puritan society, it’s only the pain we have got to face, but it seems we have got to open those channels of joy too. It’s too easy to become hooked on the masochistic element. When I began to let myself experience joy in SR I even began to think I was no longer doing real self regulation because it was so pleasurable.

A Beginners Experience

I found the LifeStream information on your site a few days ago and have been going back whenever I get some free time.  It’s really different from anything I’ve tried before, and if it helps speed up the dream work, that’s great!  Already I did the arm circles exercise and had an interesting realization about half way through.  First off, I really enjoyed this exercise, it felt freeing to me even just shortly after beginning.  Actually there were moments of joy in it.  What came about was that I twirled my body around in circles and left my arms and shoulders very relaxed, so my arms floated just a little bit away from my body as I went around.  As I did this, I had a memory come to me from when I was a little 4, 5, 6 year old girl.  My mother would encourage us to spin ourselves around, faster and faster, until eventually we fell to the floor, and sometimes crashed into the wall and/or bumped heads with one another.  This hurt!  However, my mother found great pleasure in this, she would laugh and say, do it again.

And then I was holding myself and I imagine comforting the child inside me who learned that in order to make the person you love happy, it is OK to be hurt. That isn’t worded especially well, but that’s what I came up with.  Anyhow, I had a good session with this and intend to repeat it and to read more about the LifeStream process.  So thank you for sharing this with me.  It seems a remarkably simple and very effective way of getting to those things that we hide so well.  Who knew?  And I liked doing it, which is also remarkable.  Getting myself to sit and meditate for long periods is not easy.  Here I get to do whatever moves me – sing, dance, sway, laugh and cry, etc.  Cheers for that.  I am curious to know what my next session will be like.

Her Second Go!

I had another interesting arm circles session.  I haven’t had an uninteresting one yet.  🙂  I went into the exercise thinking about this dream I had about having to throw my baby boy back into the green sea to keep him safe.  I’ve been confused about this dream for awhile now and thought perhaps I could gain some clarity.  After being in the movement for a bit I felt a voice say, be the baby. I had a hard time feeling that at all.  Then I found myself making repetitive motions with my arms, the motions you make if you have jumped into deep water and you are swimming up.  I did it over and over till my arms were too tired to do more.  I thought to try being the dolphin or the sea turtle who had initially rescued the baby at sea, but that didn’t happen.

Eventually I was on the floor in a variation of the child’s pose, only my arms were around my face and head to block any light, my forehead on the floor.  I closed my eyes and saw myself as a small child, and she wailed at me furiously, he hurt me… and this deep pain rose up from her, and her fists were flying in uncontrolled anger, and from her mouth came many loud wailings, not screams, not crying, something more powerful and expressive.  Then I saw her arms over her head, pounding furiously on his torso area but she knew no satisfaction, no relief from her blows, her small arms were nothing more then tapping on his muscular body.  They bounced off him and he didn’t feel her, he had no thought whatsoever about her emotional tirade against him.  And here is where I finally, consciously knew her great distress of feeling absolutely powerless.  I knew it as my own at last, it is that feeling I have had so many times, but vaguely, as though I couldn’t name it or place it. I am powerless.  I am full of rage.  And I have no place to go with it.  Pounding on this man and he swats me away like a fly buzzing around his face.

And to her I said, remember how much you love Popeye, and how his arms could become powerful and muscular by eating his spinach?  Imagine that you have this power now. Imagine that your arms are big and muscular, and your blows to him will be felt and he will back away from you, that he will feel your strength and you will know the satisfaction of  landing each punch.  They will not bounce off. He can no longer use you as his thing.  He has power over you no more.  And so she did, she was like a boxer in the ring, landing punches in his abdomen, that was as high up as she could reach.  He backed up, he shielded himself from her blows.  She knew he felt her anger and her strength, and he could not deny her presence. To feel the rage and to have the power to defend herself, it was freeing.  I stood up then and came out of that place with her, and I held her and swayed back and forth for a bit, comforting and reassuring her.

It brings such good feelings to come through these exercises with yet more healing, more awakening, more wholeness.

A Turning Point in Realising

The first time I was moved without understanding what happened to me, was 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. But 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.

Ann’s experiences are fairly typical.

“After practising the action of LifeStream for nearly 2 years there are considerable physical changes which I am aware of, in myself. They are not dramatic in the sense of “pick up thy bed and walk” but have come about gradually.

I was always a very cold person – I felt shrivelled up with cold, and wore numerous jerseys to keep warm.  I ached with cold, and being thin I felt these keenly.  Now however I haven’t worn a vest for a year, I am far more often warm than cold, and feel so much more alive because of this -my feet were usually cold, now I always wear sandals and they are warm – as are my hands.  I feel so much more energy and joy in living.  I feel it flow through me.

I was often sick with diarrhoea for 48 hours – several times during the year – but not since I began SR because I feel that the sickness and diarrhoea was a form of tension release for me, which I no longer need in this form.

My throat was permanently sore and red inside, sometimes it hurt a lot, other times not so much.  There seemed to be no cure for it.  Now the soreness and redness has gradually disappeared.  This also I feel was a great tension area for me because I was afraid to speak my mind.  Now if my throat feels sore and tight I am being told that I am withholding my speech. A lot of my painful throat tension was due to being very verbally suppressed as a child.

As I released my feelings in words through sessions, this tension gradually drained away, and I was often led into singing and chanting quite clearly and strongly in sessions.  I felt my throat to be much freer and purer sound could come forth.  I am not completely free in this area yet, but this will take time. My voice is already lower and more relaxed than it was.

I had a habit of tilting my head on one side when I sat still – many people noticed this, more than I did.  This has vanished now, of its own accord. I believe that I always leaned my head to the left because I was so strongly emotionally motivated – that as I began to develop the capacity for receiving insight into my behaviour patterns – that as I grew in confidence – and I was more able to talk and discuss things, that I became more balanced and my head straightened.

I used to keep my shoulders permanently raised, accompanied by breath-holding.  This became my natural position especially in times of stress. Gradually over the two years my shoulders have dropped and my breathing is freer.  Yet I do not consciously remember this change taking place.  Now, when I raise my shoulders and my breath on purpose, I am amazed to realise that I used to live like this most of the time.

In watching myself more closely over the year I notice that I have dropped another habit of keeping my hands clenched.  Again I didn’t especially notice that I stopped doing this, but I have.  It was another ‘holding on’ tension.  “Keeping a grip on myself”.  I no longer need to do this, so my hands remain open.

In none of these examples did I set out to ‘try to stop doing them, or deliberately alter my physical pattern.  These changes occurred and I opened more to myself in SR I have always suffered from constipation since childhood.  It has been a great inconvenience, and in recent years I resorted to using suppositories to assist elimination.  This was coupled with a lot of ‘wind’ and internal discomfort.  Now I do not suffer from these troubles.  I find that I can digest raw vegetables and fruit skins easily, and because of this I eat and enjoy more useful foods – it is a circle now which has self-regulated, from being a tense viscous circle before to a freer, more open circle.  Yet again it happened over two years – which perhaps is not really slowly, when I had been suffering for nearly 30 years as my memory recalls.  I was literally ‘tied up’ inside – full of nervous tension and ‘holding back from life’.

My eyes used to water, and feel weak often, especially in times of stress, also a long-standing habit, now they are getting stronger as I am ‘seeing’ myself more clearly.

I considered myself to be a ‘normally functioning person’ two years ago – not a freak.  Probably few people would have noticed anything amiss.  I had perfected excellent camouflage, and I handled myself well.  Now I can look back and – amazed at how strong human beings are.  How I could have gone on year after year, imposing such strains on my system.  But I did, as many of us do.  It was not until I had self regulated for two and a half years that I begun to understand fully what real living is.  Not being manipulated by fears and tensions -’not pushing on’ a self in the morning – dropping those many ‘Self’s.  The ‘coping self’ – there are so many – and then the let-down when it didn’t always work out – when things went wrong.

None of these tensions are necessary.  Now that I live more fully from what I call my intuitive centre, I find that increasingly I self regulate in situations.  I instinctively know what is needed and follow this.

Sometimes I find myself ‘off centre’ but I know when this is happening so can watch to see why – this may take a few days or weeks if a big block is coming up.

Best of all is MYSELF which is so wonderful.’”

A breakthrough to a new level

A friend I know, Sheila, her mother died suddenly about three weeks ago, on the seventh I think. Not knowing this I received a message to ask for healing in her name. I surrendered in LifeStream and experienced dying, rising out of the death of the body, saying farewell to physical experience, meeting in wonder, loved ones, and opening to the pulse of the inner life. I knew from this that Sheila’s mother was dead or dying. When I telephoned I discovered she was dead. Never before had I honestly felt I was in contact with the dead. A new world has opened for me.

Some SR experiences are not simply movements to mobilise the body, or sounds to mobilise expressions of feelings and thought.  For some there are sessions in which they express in voice, inner feelings and body movements, being a Negro, an Indian, an Oriental, European or Arab.  Or else there arises very clear feelings or being a dog, lion, pre-historic man, snake, etc. Sometimes these are definitely linked with a problem such as is seen with Reich’s patient being a fish, but that is not always so.

Mark – I had Been So Good I had to Be Bad

“At the beginning I had a sequence about being good, ‘I’m good. I was so good. God, I’m good. Love me, I’m good. I don’t swear. I don’t eat meat. I don’t go out with women. Love me God. You’ve got love me I’m so good. I wanted to love. Go on, love me. Please, please, love me.’

Then it switched to – “I’m waiting.  Look, I’m waiting.  I’m waiting God.”

In the first sequence I realise why for so many years and the past I have not sworn, and had acted as morally cold.  It was all an attempt to be loved.  In the second sequence I was also being that good boy who was passive and waited, had never pushed in front, longing to noticed for his long suffering and self denial.

These cleared and a third sequence arose.  In this I was shouting – ‘I’m young.  And three weeks old.  My love was killed when I was three weeks old.  So young.  She (mother) killed me.  I screamed and screamed and screamed and no one came.  You cow, you killed me.  You killer.’

It swung to me saying, ‘You killer.  I’ll kill you.  I’ll kill her.  I’m going to kill her like this (my hands rose to kill, but fell back) I can’t.  I can’t kill her…  Yes I can…  I can kill her.’

This conflict of can and can’t went on for some time then suddenly a vivid fantasy developed.  At first a woman, then my mother.  I was trying to kill her but my efforts were ineffectual.  She kept reappearing whole and well.  This time I was the man in the dream with the pick. I attacked the (superior) mother. A great killing glee came on me. I ripped into the body with the pick. I hacked at their head, guts and genitals with terrific pleasure. This time the body split up and stayed dead. I had killed her.”

The Influence of Sound

Sounds have played a very big part in my experience  of LifeStream. Early on it was mostly about healing old hurts.

As I lay on the floor, I felt as if I were falling, falling into immensity, into my Self. I cried out a little. Also a very bad pain developed in the back of my head, and I cried and held my head. I cried with a high sound like a baby. Gradually this mounted, and the pain went.

I sucked my thumb and wept, jumbled sounds pouring out in the crying. Then the sounds developed into words, and I cried out again and again for my mother – “Mummy – mummy – mummy. I want my mummy.” It went on and on and became even more intense. It was as if a door opened, and I knew not only my own misery, but also the misery, hurt, rejection and loneliness of children all over the world.

But gradually it changed.

It ended by my gently and lovingly holding myself in my arms, and singing my love to God.

This one strange bark seems to tie all this up together. It was not just a bark. Suddenly I had inwardly become a dog that barked. My soul experienced the condition of a barking dog.

Tony’s Experience of Insight

The experience of the energy pouring through me, and enjoyment it brought, left a deep impression on me. It was this that led me to realise just how much my confidence had been hit by rejection of SR, and of course my own fears coming up. The realisation came because of the tremendous comparison.

After the meditation, because I had directly experienced the energy and felt the joy, I felt a completely different attitude towards teaching. Yes, I had something positive and beautiful to show. My recent months of uncertainty, of searching around for what to teach, were due to having lost contact with that wonder within. After the meditation there was no uncertainty about what to teach, or why.

I have something wonderful to offer – LifeStream – and it brings me to this joy – it brings others to this joy – to this new world of experience. It is bloody hard, but it is worth it. As I walked home I saw human life so differently. People who live in bodies, in awful situations, what does it matter? How ridiculous to take worldly achievements or failure so seriously when there is another dimension of experience that makes it all appear differently. Would any of my children seek and find this wonderful thing? I felt my struggle had made their way easier. Maybe the way would be easier for many others too.

A Real Experience of Seeing

Another way of picturing what happened to Jesse is to imagine what it would be like if you had lived in a small town all your life, then one day you went up in a helicopter, high above the town. Suddenly you would be able to see all the different places you had been at different times in your life. It would all be visible in one glance. Not only would you see all the places you had been, but places previously unknown would be visible.

Jesse Watkins, in his journey into mind, said that “I was more than I had ever imagined myself. Not only was I living my life now, but I had existed from the very beginning of time, from the lowest form of life up to the present. The real me was all that experience. Then at times I could see ahead beyond even the awareness I now had, to where we become aware of it all.”

His feeling of extending backwards expanded, and he became aware of directly experiencing life as an animal. In fact he felt he had actually been all sorts of animals, all life forms from the lowest up to the human. So at times he felt like a squirming blob of life without brain, then like a rhinoceros, and a baby. Jesse was fully in each experience, as we are in a dream which we are totally convinced is real. It was completely real to Jesse.

Quickly this went into a series of notes I had experienced before while chanting, but now I could feel words forming, and it began to express as intense up rising mood. In a way that was uplifting to me the song rose in scale and volume, and the words were, “Lord I’m coming. Lord I’m coming. Wait for me Lord. I’m coming. I’m rising up. I’m climbing the mountain to you. I’m coming Lord, but it’s hard. I’m climbing but I keep falling. Help me, I’m so lonely and it’s painful. But I’m coming Lord.”

Annette had joined in the song, and for the first time in the group I felt something pouring out of me and connecting me to the others. No doubt Annette singing with me helped. But then I burst into tears, heartbroken tears of longing, of spiritual pain. During all this next part Annette carried on singing.

Knowing A New World of Experience 

It was like dreaming while awake. I moved to the curtains and pulled them apart. This revealed the immensity of a clear night sky, filled with brilliant stars. As I looked at this natural splendour, a star fell to earth, leaving me with a sense that something wonderful had happened that I must go in search of. As occurs in dreams, there was a sudden shift, and I was a herder of flocks, a shepherd, looking for the star that had come to earth. Others were searching too, and when we found what we were looking for, I was astonished to discover it was a baby.

I was not in any way asleep, or in a trance. My evaluative rational self was keenly observing all that happened, but not interfering. Nevertheless, profoundly felt imagery and feelings flooded my awareness. I realised I was experiencing the New Testament story of the birth. But this did not seem to interfere with the flow of what poured into my feelings. My whole body felt the wonder of the baby and I fell to my knees before it. I knew as if intuitively, that all the cosmos had somehow come alive as this helpless vulnerable child. I was so overwhelmed, all I could say over and over, between sobbing cries was, ‘A baby’ – ‘A baby.’

The flowing emotions and the opened intuitive sense informed me that what I knelt before in tears was not a particular child. It was every baby ever born. For the first time I had been allowed to experience the enormity of birth, the holiness of every baby.

A thirty five year old man experiences a wonderful dance

The stamping started, but this time quite unlike the other times, in that my hands and arms soon became involved. I began to turn into the right as if feeling or searching for something with my hand. Having turned right around, it then seemed I found the right spot, and my right-hand began to circle wider and wider, eventually pointing straight up – the rest of the body as if pushing something up. Then a dance began. My stamping, or jumping, was part of the dance. It expressed defiance, warrior-ship, vital manhood. Something above I was holding at bay. Gradually it crushed me down and down until I was on the floor, but still with my right arm raised. Then, from the very position of defeat, strength weld up in me and I fought upward, pushing the adversary up. Then with both arms above my head I held the adversary and smashed it down on the floor with great triumph. Then gradually both hands were pushing down, another flow, I fought it down and down, going on to my knees and vanquishing it.

Standing erect again I was danced on, in an even more beautiful episode. This time my right-hand went up, with first and last fingers raised erect. I felt as if I were in a huge arena, faces, a great multitude, watching. My raised arm and fingers were a sign of victory. I had won. Slowly and with dignity I turned to the left and right, displaying the sign of victory to the multitude. But now I suddenly became aware I had been, or was, wounded. My left hand went to the wound below my heart. Yet still I faced the throng with dignity and victory. As I did so though I became week as death came upon me. But even as I crumpled as life left me, I held that my hand, the victory, and fell a crumpled heap, into death.

I lay in death for some time, and then was moved into the fetal position. Life was renewing me. Gradually I opened up. My head lifted higher and higher, and began slowly to sway side-to-side, rising up and up until I sat between my heels. My body now swaying, moved more and more rapidly in a dance of wonderful beauty, like flames leaping up from a fire, the body weaving, the arms moving like leaping flames, or life pouring out in constant weaving movement, up and down, in a way a friend described as seaweed moved in the waves. Perhaps the message was – death in victory – Life in Death.

Here a man describes a healing experience

Also, for some time I have been experiencing an extremely stiff lower back. This is not a new problem but it had become very intense. Sometimes it took me half an hour in the morning to stand up straight. Yesterday when I got out of bed it was difficult to stand up properly. So as I used LifeStream and I asked for help with this problem, and for healing. A series of movements followed that I had never done before. It is difficult to describe the movements, but it was like a cowering down and at the same time bending to the left and twisting one’s trunk sideways and up. Then the same thing happened to the right. The sense I had of it was that my lower vertebrae were being opened sideways and twisting. Anyway, the pain of my lower back was immediately relieved, and this morning when I got out of bed there was no stiffness whatsoever. So I am continuing the movements. How wonderful that this sort of healing can occur, when so many people resort to painkillers to deal with such things.

Mark describes one of these sessions like this:

“Started this session very quickly, singing in some foreign language, and foot stamping.  The song wasn’t really coming out very well, but my right arm began to swing round and round, and this seemed to lead through bark-like sounds to full African singing.  I don’t think I have ever sung as noisily or as lustily as I did in this session.  Gradually the singing chant became more and more forceful and fluent.  Now I was surrendered into it deeply, and a torrent of words and chant poured out.  I really felt like an African Chief chanting to a great crowd of people, not only in the sounds, but in my feelings flowing.  The chant became even more forceful, filling the hall with sound, and finally in a tremendous roar or bellow, I called out, just as if warriors had been roused up and up, and the roar sent them on their way to battle.”

MAC describes his  interesting experience

Today, with Avril I surrendered, and my sessions started with playful sounds, and then quite a lot about being a boy. This was repeated over and over, “I am a boy. Not a girl.” This was interspersed with many repetitions of, “Yes. No. Yes. No.” Sometimes it would lead to my saying I am not a girl, I am a boy!

In observing and thinking about this as it happened, I thought it might be some childhood trait or habit I was dealing with, or even childhood obstinacy of some sort. But it gradually developed into the circling arm movements, accompanied by the, “Yes. No.” The yes and the no coincided with the direction of the energy flow upwards or downwards.

There was a part also where I was saying, “I am. I am my life.” This has been a theme that occurred occasionally for some time. I took it simply to be a very general statement.

I was still wondering what this was about and so asked the process to help me understand. Gradually it became clear that the yes and no was a switch. For instance, life energy can be expressed in any number of ways. It can be movement, sexuality, thought, emotion, writing, swimming, and so on. The direction, or the way we direct, our energy, comes about through the yes/no action. Perhaps we do it unconsciously, but we are always applying the switch of yes or no to direct each movement, each action, each thought even.

So what was being gradually explained to me was how this action worked, and that the yes no switch not only directed our energy, but in the way I was using it, it was also a sort of generator. The action was that I was using it to circularise energy and in some way build it up and to create a new pattern.

There was still a great deal about this that I did not understand. So I asked again what was happening. As I did this I had a very powerful feeling of emotion in my chest, but it was unexpressed emotion. Then, as the circulation of energy continued the emotion in the chest burst out as very deep sobbing that took me down on my knees.

Although this was deeply felt, I did not understand what the emotion was connected with. So again I asked for help – “Please help me. Help me understand.”

Again I was taken down on my knees with the very powerful sobbing. In between this there was laughter, positive feelings. And the cycle occurred about three, perhaps four times. Then a slight difference occurred. With great joy and love my arms pointed up and I said, “You are doing this. You are doing this to me.”

It felt as if I were addressing Christ or God – certainly a being I had a loving relationship with. Then I asked again for understanding.

The feeling in the chest arose once more with powerful emotional response. But this time it did not take me down to my knees. Instead I began to feel the quality of it. I saw/knew that the Mystery that is existence is gradually unfolding itself in my being. It is creating a new pattern in me. I understood that we live our life out of patterns. For instance reproduction is a very ancient pattern, a natural pattern or direction that we express ourselves in, our energy in. But there are other patterns. The Mystery holds within it other possibilities, other patterns. Because I had surrendered to the Mystery, it was forming another pattern in my being. It was changing me so it could more fully express and be known in me.

I understood that this is something that is happening worldwide to many people. This is the second coming.

Yesterday during surrender it felt as if the Highest/Christ explained to me about my dream of the farmer/Shepherd. It was very brief. Simply that I am being called to work. This will be reasonably soon in the future, and I will understand what it is as it arrives. There was a brief explanation of the Flux dream also – the communion of souls.

Tara entry into herself

Tony told me to feel the impulse to move backwards very slowly, shuffling off the pillow.  Eventually I turn myself around and onto my knees.  I am aware that Tony is keeping a watchful eye to make sure I don’t hurt myself.  I move myself onto my left side and feel Tony’s presence behind me as a buffer.  It’s very comforting to know that he is there containing me.  And yet I manage to get myself in quite a tangle at this point.  I feel hemmed in, ungainly, awkward, knotted up, clumsy (again there are parallels with my life right now!)  I feel the impulse to rise but can find nothing solid to hold onto.  I try the cushion but it moves.  I flail my right arm around looking for something to no avail.  Although I am aware that Tony is there and that in theory I could use him to lever myself up, I am reluctant to do so for fear that I might hurt him and also due to a very familiar sense that somehow I don’t have permission to be that familiar.  Reflecting on this later, I see that I actually isolate myself because I tend not to reach out for help.  I know that I will have to summon up the momentum to raise myself up.   Eventually of course I do, heaving myself up onto my knees and then slowly and rather clumsily to my feet, encumbered as I am by the blanket.  I turn and face the sunlight.  I allow myself to bask in it, suddenly at peace.  I shuffle round to face different directions, until after a while I feel once again the desire to travel groundwards and hang down from the waist, surrendering to gravity, until gradually, bending my knees, I go down once again, completing a whole life cycle.

Afternoon session:  Your old stories are defunct

I sit down and and as I tune in I receive the message, ‘Your old stories are defunct.’

Tony then gets me to do rapid eye movements (REM), moving my open eyes quickly down from top left to bottom right and then going within.  I feel that to cleanse the gunge that lies deep in my belly, instead of pulling at the rope we could insert a hollow tube through my mouth and have water come in and cleanse that way.  I do REM in the opposite direction from top right to bottom left.

As the cleansing programme begins I become aware of a fibre glass or man-made structure, something like a Michelin man, riveted together.  There seems to be encrusted material caked on in places, rather like temporary dental filling or Polyfilla.  As it has been there for quite some time it is quite hard to remove and I become aware that to do so could mean the whole structure will fall apart.  Tony assures me that it is safe to let it die.   As the water continues to jet onto the filler I become aware of a new born life form which has been protected by the structure.  Its skin is slightly mottled and I become acutely aware of its breathing and the strong sense of magic pervading from and all around the creature.  The creature lies in a crib in the centre of a room, alert, curious, enchanted and I am fascinated by this incredible discovery.  From death new life miraculously arises!  Beneath the man made structure behold a faery child!  I reconnected with the magic that lies at my very core; the newness, the freshness, the playfulness and innocence.  I am renewed!  Untouched, at the centre, whole, safe, breathing, alive, wondrous beating heart, coupled with the capacity to come to each moment afresh and be fascinated by what I discover.  This is my birthright!

Shaktipat – an Indian Practice

I have been in India for about four months now and I thought you might be interested in the similarities between Reichian work and Shaktipat or Kriya Yoga. The Sanscrit word ‘shakti’ means energy, bio-energy, or more correctly, bio- cosmic energy. Shaktipat is a practice which is described as the loosening of this energy by a guru from the way it may be blocked in us. When this shakti energy is loosened and no longer tightly bound by the control of the conscious mind it begins to circulate in the body. It is then said to open up energy channels or pathways, and usually begins to manifest in what are known as ‘kriya’. Kriyas are spontaneous movements of the body and of the respiratory system. One interesting aspect of kriyas, which resemble Reichian abreaction, is that they very often manifest as highly involved asanas (body postures) and as mudras (meditational postures involving the hands). I have seen many persons who practice shakipat enter a phase of intense energy flow in which breathing becomes rapid and involuntary and in which people begin with great rapidity to do asanas they never knew and which they ordinarily would never have been able to perform. Although the conscious practice of asanas facilitates this process, true hatha yoga (Indian techniques using physiological processes to integrate ones being) occurs involuntarily in this kriya phase. The burst of energy that results is sometimes astounding and may continue for well over an hour. The movements in some individuals are so intense and frantic they appear dangerous. In other persons the movements are soft, delicate and flowing. Thus some persons may breathe like locomotives, beat themselves repeatedly, stand on their heads, bellow, twist their limbs in the most unbelievable postures; others begin to dance harmoniously, to sing softly in languages they have never learned, to be­come playful and flirtatious and to utter strange sounds.

The explanation for this is that the shakti is opening or purifying obstructions in the energy pathways, that the individual is working out the results of past actions and experience, and that an evolutionary process is allowed to unfold which eventually will result in an expansion of awareness.

In this kind of meditation the individual sits still, but not rigidly; he doesn’t concentrate in any way, but simply relaxes as much as possible and permits the energy to do its thing. The energy is of course thought of as ultimately cosmic or divine. Hence the path of enlightenment lies in relinquishing ego control and identifications and allowing this bio-cosmic energy to express itself and lead us. The final results of this process is the opening of the highest brain centres in a new type of consciousness in which the individual merges with the universal consciousness. The total process takes a very long time but this should not dissuade us as each stage has its own rewards. The bodily spasms, automatic breathing, asanas, contortions and reflex patterns that manifest spontaneously as the energy gains momentum all serve to purify the organism. Though some of these phenomena may sound strange they are not experienced as unpleasant once the practitioner no longer totally identifies with bodily processes. Thus the meditator can be totally in their body without identifying totally with its experiences.

Tom has had very clear experiences of this energy at work.

He had always since youth, been interested in keeping his body healthy and mobile.  About a year before he started SR he had this experience.  He says:

“I had a peculiar conscious and semi conscious experience without dream images.  I cannot remember ever having had it before.  My hips and pubic area vibrated.  Moved is not the right word, nor shook, as the movement was as quick as that produced by an electric vibrator.  I have seen this movement, or something like it, on a buck rabbit during mating.  Not really a backward or forward movement, but a very rapid vibration.  This occurred with me quite spontaneously and I relaxed and let it happen.  There was no erection.  It happened for fairly long periods four or five times, then as I became more conscious, disappeared.”

Many people experience this vibratory energy during SR, but as Tom’s experiences are fairly clear I will continue to quote him.  After about two years of SR the experience came back.

Tom, in a journal of his experiences says:

“Recently my body has been vibrating more consciously than ever before, i.e. even in waking it has remained.  Also, some nights it feels as if it is flowing deeply into P’s (his wife) being.  Sometimes she is aware of this too.”

Janov points out that his ‘post primal’ patients experience a different, more conscious sleep.  This is my own findings in LifeStream.  Gradually a different experience of sleeping occurs.  Sometimes one wakes up in sleep. That is, like Tom, although deep asleep, there is an awareness of what is occurring in oneself.  How far this can develop I have no means of knowing, but there seems from the evidence I have, typified from Tom’s experience, that the conscious release and experience of one’s core energy as we contact it in sleep and waking SR, leads to quite a different sort of relationship between the opposite and same sexes than we generally know.

This came home to me recently when attending a weekend where most of the people practised SR. I noticed a very different sort of relationship operated between some of the people.  I will quote Tom again to explain.

“I was talking to R. who I had never met before.  We were alone in the small hall as the others were outside eating.  It seemed like an ordinary conversation but suddenly my body began to vibrate and then to shake heavily.

R. could accept this so I did not stop it as I could have done.  I sat holding R’s hand and it seemed to me as if my central being wanted to express some­thing to R.  It seemed quite beyond verbal expression.”

Gradually this expression from the core defines for people.  It is as if our own released energy reaches out and calls up the other person’s life energy.  If this happens it may not be pleasant to be near the person.  For our own energy to move in great excitation may be very painful because our past agonies have not been cleared.

One woman said of such a contact, ‘It made me realise how I have thrown the beauty of my life away along with the rubbish.  This was so painful I felt on the verge of tears all the next day. And when Andrew spoke to me I couldn’t hold it back any longer.”

Another person describes it as follows:

‘The worst day for me was undoubtedly the one where A, letting that other part of himself flow out to me, pushed me into the appalling realisation that I’d been shutting life out and still was.  And for the rest of that awful day and the ones to follow there was nowhere to hide, nowhere to go.”

One can only wonder what, in marriage, as a parent with children, with friends and animals, it is really like to contact each other Core to Core.

In LifeStream we often are led to directly relate to our sexuality.  Most people at some point in their journey into LifeStream find, if they remain open, they are led to masturbate.  Few of us have, in the prevailing attitudes of our culture, properly fulfilled the urge to masturbate when it arose in childhood and youth.  As this urge arises and is fulfilled, and the problem attending it worked out, a new feeling grows in us.  It appears as a strong feeling of independence.  The pleasure in fully released masturbation is so intense and complete we realise we do not need anybody else to fulfil us sexually. Out of this sense of independence a lot of compulsive dependence upon others falls away.  In its place comes a desire to share our intense pleasure with someone of our choice.  We see this in Mark’s experience where the melting longing feeling arose after his desire to masturbate.  The desire to share and give pleasure is quite different to the need for someone else to give us pleasure.

For some people this process is a great struggle and not over quickly. Just to permit sexual feeling to flow more fully is difficult.

Ann says of an early phase of her LifeStream:

“At first the new energy took the form of tremendous sexual feelings.  For three months I was engulfed in my own sexuality.  I felt the need to masturbate several times a day.  I was quite overwhelmed by the strength of these feelings.  It was a relief when it died away, because I was not really ready to deal with my whole sexuality. However, by permitting the masturbation I was allowing my sexual feelings to come through and leaving the door open for what might follow.”

The lengthy persistence of Ann’s urge to masturbate is not typical.  We might understand it by remembering Rita’s insights into her ascending – into compulsive eating – or descending – into compulsive sexuality – energy.  There is a world of difference between basic sexual need and compulsive sexual desire. Rita had begun to find that it was not simply a case of letting herself eat or have sex to find satisfaction through LifeStream.  The LifeStream had exposed her compulsion not her need.  Until she recognised it for what it was, the problem behind it could not be felt.

Tom shows us another side of this in one of his sessions.

“I had woke that morning with a headache.  This was very unusual so I knew another lump of pain was ready to come up.   For some weeks my sessions had all been centred around being a tiny baby left to cry.  As that baby I had hungered for my mother with every ounce of my being.  I don’t suppose many adults can conceive of a condition where any feeling or desire is totally engulfing.  We are used to thinking of that sort of being swallowed up and possessed by a feeling as madness.  Because of the pain most of us feel when we really begin to experience our deep yearning we do relate to our deepest feelings in a sick mad way.  Yet a baby is neither sick nor mad, but it is totally engulfed in its feelings.

I had been experiencing this in the sessions, and how as a baby I had killed my longing when nobody came.  And because of that I had not as an adult been able to really let myself feel deeply in relationships.  Or when I did begin to go deep into a feeling relationship with someone it brought great pain.  So I thought the thing coming up was another lump of baby pain.

As soon as I had an opportunity I had a session.  I had been sitting in with a friend while she had a session, and now we swapped roles.  As I lay down the pain in the head increased. I felt sick and dizzy.  My body began to jerk and it was like words being forcefully squeezed out of my body.  It feels as if those words, and the emotions pouring out with them, were literally in the body, like juice is in an apple, and the process of SR, squeezes out this painful juice.

At first the words were just a jumble of noise being pushed out as my body cramped up and squeezed.  Then I was shouting out ‘I’ve got VD  I’ve got VD’  Then every so often I would gasp out ‘A father…s father…’

I didn’t understand at this point what it was meaning, but I knew from the past it would explain itself if I let it come, and there was no need to analyse or think it out.

Now the body contractions became deeper and I could feel some real deep emotion in my chest just beginning to come up. ‘Dirty,  I’m dirty,’ I was shouting.  ‘I’m a father and I’m dirty’.  Then my body just gave a big heave like I was having a baby or something, or a tooth out, and I was just one frozen block of pain, and a great moan of pain came out.  I was sobbing and moaning about my children.  Hardly able to say it because of the pain and sobbing, nevertheless the words squeezed out of me ‘D…. Duh …Does.. a… Does a father…’  I just couldn’t go on for a while.  My body contorted up with this inner emotional pain again, and a sort of bellow of it came up from deep down.  Then the words came again.  ‘Does a father…Does a father kill his children?’

I couldn’t take it.  I just wept.  I knew that’s what I had been doing for years.  That’s what most of us are doing, only we can’t and won’t see it. But even though we hide from it, the pain of it is there like poison juice in our body.  Now mine was being squeezed out and the words were like pips forcing out of my mouth.

 Tony Describes an Opening

I had relaxed deeply and entered a state of lucidity in which I felt like I was falling down a very deep hole. This wasn’t frightening, but reminded me of Alice in the rabbit hole. As I fell I passed through memories of things that had hurt me during my life, like the time I broke my nose.

Then I hit the bottom, experiencing a womb like feeling of great peace. I realised as I observed, that it wasn’t the womb, but the very basic level of my personal awareness. But there was still a current carrying me back further, and I resisted, fearing I would lose my identity. But then I suddenly realised there was nothing to fear. After all, I did this every time I went to sleep – trusting myself to the bosom of the deep. But usually I lose awarness, but as I let go I maintained consciousness, and so began to explore the deeps of sleep. So I slipped into what I have called the ocean of consciousness, and it caught me and started growing me as if from a tiny seed. I knew as this happened that it was this power that had grown me in the first place, and that there was so much more of me to discover than I presently knew. Then the Immense Life spoke to me. “Come to me each day like this (with an open heart to the power that had grown me) and I will know myself in you.”

A man experiencing the release of the trauma of feeling castrated

The leg thrashing became intense. My arms were held by my sides as if I were trained or fixed to a wall or the floor. My legs and hips thrashed wildly, as if trying to avoid something. The movements became more and more intense. Then I leapt about with my legs threshing to avoid something, someone, but always with the arms held by the side. I literally leapt about violently, twisting on my arms. Then my hips moved up. The attack now was aimed at my buttocks, and I now jumped about crab like, arms fixed, hips raised as high as possible, legs dancing to keep the hips away. I realised I was reliving the torture of being castrated.

Then the movements calmed for a while. I sobbed very slightly, lying on my side, hanging from my arms. I felt lonely, terribly lonely, for it, longing for the nearness of someone I loved. My face was against my left bicep. It was the only human comfort I could find – myself. I rolled my head back and forth across the softness of my bicep. Then, as my aloneness became more intense, I suckled my bicep like a breast, longing for the warmth only I could give myself at that moment.

My legs were now stretched out and apart as if I were on a rack or held flat I began to cry out, then to scream the most agonised sounds I have ever heard. My whole body convulsed in an attempt to escape, convulsed and twisted and I screamed- I screamed the awful scream of indescribable pain. It was a shout, a bellow. My throat bled that night because of those cries. Then I lay on my back crying. My hand went to my penis, it had been cut off. Over and over I cried out, “Oh God! Oh God!” Then, “Why God, why? Why God? Why God?”

Gradually these cries quietened. I began to shiver with cold. I had a fever and was cold all at once. My teeth chattered, my whole body shook. My face assumed a skull like grin with the lips drawn back. The body twisted slowly and became largely paralysed. Only the right foot, at one point, could still move. My hands were claw like. The body twisted back, and slowly I died. It was peaceful.

I later realised it wasn’t a physical trauma, but the agony of being castrated psychologically through the relationship with my mother.


Sunday Morning:  Long, long session with Helen as the seed.  I feel especially ‘with’ her.  Is it because I have cleared some of my own rubbish I have more room for others?  Although there is some struggle, some tears, Helen’s experience seems a very positive one.  Her body moves easily, smoothly, rhythmically.  There are wave-like movements through her whole body and I feel her movement in mine.  I don’t think my body moves much, if at all, but there is a kind of resonance which I have not experienced before – a kind of physical empathy, harmony.  During this time I experienced a kind of split in myself for though I did not feel less with Helen I became aware of Sally undergoing a very traumatic birth experience in another group.  She talked more than most, and the picture she presented was very vivid.  By the time Helen was ready to sit up it was time for tea and someone brought her a cup.  We sat for a while and then moved out to join the others.  As we went out I noticed Sally, wrapped in a blanket on the floor.

“Another major lesson for me – though’ it was several weeks afterwards before I realised just how important.  Not only anger to be afraid of, but loving as Well.  I had long realised that I was afraid of loving but gradually I have begun to explore and found that I could do it and it doesn’t hurt.  But this was the first time that I was so clearly aware that loving was the only possible response in the situation I was in, and though there were escape routes available I made a conscious choice not to use them. There are nearly always escape routes available if we want to avoid something – even love.

“A few moments later Sally came out of the room and as she approached I asked if she was alright and touched her on the shoulder.  She put her arms around my neck and began to cry.  Joan joined me and together we held her as she became more and more distressed.  She kept saying that it was such a shock.  We took her back into the seed room.  I was rather afraid at this point, I doubted my capacity to cope and I considered asking Tony or someone more experienced than I to help.  It then occurred to me that all she needed was love, that love was all anybody could give her and ‘that I was as capable of giving it as anyone in that room – if I wasn’t afraid to give it.  So I gave it and eventually Sally became quiet, peaceful.  She thanked us for caring – we hadn’t even been in her group!’ I said that we are all in the same group and not only inside the room.”

“Then Joan was the seed.  This was special.  Joan came to my class as a new pupil to me as a new teacher, she is now a teacher herself.  We have grown together, shared many experiences.  She witnessed some of my outbursts in self-regulation, and this seemed to trigger something in her.  I know something of her personal circumstances, some of the pressures and tensions, and have watched her own opening up. Almost before we pushed her she started crying “Don’t touch me!  don’t push me!”  My feelings were that she must be pushed. Again, on the floor she started to struggle and my feeling was to exert some pressure to hold her down.  I felt that if there was no pressure she wouldn’t fight, if there was too much she would give up.  I felt she needed to fight, that there was a great deal of fight in her and that once she gains experience and confidence she will do so.  She is equal to the struggle.  I never thought about her in this way until that moment and realised the right degree of pressure can be helpful.  Throughout the whole thing I felt that things were stirring but were as yet unfocussed – indeed they were being diffused in order that this should not happen.

Such group work, as can be seen, can have very special significance for a person, and reveal them to themselves very deeply.  But it must be remembered in considering these several techniques I have described, that the real work is taking place in our own person.  What we do as an individual or in a group may aid or block the source and energies of our own being, but we must never forget that what is thus done is only a gross physical expression of the most important and most subtle fact of all.  Our own relationship with ourselves is so subtle and to start, invisible to us, we may need to act it out in the visible world in order to see just what we are doing to the energies of our hunger, sex, love and thought.  But if we can simplify this way of learning a new relationship with self, all the better, even if it means discarding all the techniques and doctrines ever written.  For self-regulation is a very simple thing.  All it needs is that we do not stand in our own way; that we let our own being be what it is. If we can learn to do this without exterior aids or groups all the better.

A patient of Jung, realising this fact, wrote   “Out of evil much good has come to me.  By keeping quiet, repressing nothing, remaining attentive, and hand in hand with that, by accepting reality – taking things. – as they are, and not as I wanted them to be – by doing all this, rare knowledge has come to me, and rare powers as well, such as I could never have imagined before.  I always thought that, when we accept things, they overpower us in one way or another.  Now this is not true at all, and it is only by accepting them that one can define an attitude toward them.  So now I intend playing the game of life, being receptive to whatever comes to me, good and bad, light and shadow that are forever shifting, and, in this way, also accepting my own nature with its positive and negative sides.  Thus everything becomes more alive to me. What a fool I was! How I tried to force everything to go according to my idea!”

Copyright © 1999-2010 Tony Crisp | All rights reserved