Things I Wished I Had Had Been Taught Earlier in My Life

  • I think it is very necessary to know how our mind works – the psycho part of the somatic. Years ago, in my reading I came across research that spelt it out to me how we worked. The research was to do with how animals deal with anxiety or stress, and they did this by fixing a trailing wire to the legs of sheep.

This didn’t bother the sheep at all. But then at irregular intervals they passed a short electric shock through the wire. The sheep responded to the shock but immediately recovered with no difficulties. Then they began to ring a bell each time the shock was given. Still no harm done, the sheep started eating again as soon as the shock was over. But then the bell was rung some time before the shock was given. A very noticeable change occurred in the sheep. They slowly stopped eating as this was continued and they became so sick they stopped eating altogether, and the experiment had to be stopped because the sheep were dying. As soon as the shocks were stopped the sheep recovered quickly.

This shows that shock, unless severe, is not in itself dangerous. But anticipation of shock can be fatal if continued. When there is relief from this anticipation recovery occurs rapidly. As humans we do not need bells ringing to produce anxious anticipation. We have a thousand ways of doing this to ourselves. It might be that we anticipate failure at work; perhaps we feel inadequate in competition and fear losing our job; we may live in constant anticipation of our marriage partner leaving us for greener pastures; anticipation of injury to our children; having a terrible illness, being punished for not complying to the law; being persecuted. These are just a few of the deadly bells we may ring. So, thinking in anticipation of what we imagine may happen, can be very dangerous.

  • Death – the great bogeyman. People often ask what happens when we die? Strange question because you have known it all your life. Haven’t you realised that every time you go to sleep you die? If you haven’t realised that, then why does your precious personality vanish in sleep? Where does your self awareness and thinking mind disappear to in sleep and we say we are unconscious, and isn’t loss of all of our awareness and consciousness what we assume death is?

Another view is – A single cell, which is a seed from which all life forms evolved from, doesn’t become old or die because it is immortal, for it keeps dividing and doesn’t die. In dividing it constantly creates copies of itself, but as it does  so it gathers new experience, it changes what is copied, so becomes the ‘seed’ for multi-cellular organism. We all started from the original one cell, and we, you and I,  are the result of gathered experience.

No plant or creature grows from a dead seed, and each living seed carries within it all the past gathered from all its forebears. So, the seed in your mother’s womb is as old as and even older than human kind, and you carry that wisdom or memories in you. But in this life you developed a new brain, and the memories, education and programming you gathered this time are what you built your personality from, but beneath that is a very ancient self.

Finding this very ancient self, hidden as it is by all your personal thinking and opinions, you find you are free from all the painful emotions, suicidal urges and personal hurts. To explore it see Opening to Life

  • Something I did learn but wished I had learnt earlier was not to take as things of great importance what I as a child was told by parents, doctors, teachers, headmasters, authority figures, even the police. Once while teaching in Greece I met people who had been told by their headmaster that they could not sing, and from that point on they never attempted to sing. But in a few minutes a great teacher showed them how, and it worked. I was told the same thing by my headmaster, but fortunately I thought to myself he was a fool.

My headmaster threw me out of school at 15 – which was actually a great piece of luck, because at 16 I had my own business. because I wasn’t struggling to learn things that would get me ready for meaningless work., so I was able to express my own talents not those that the school system was trying to graft onto everyone at that  time.

  • While broadcasting in Australia the presenter, a rather ‘old school tie’ man in his fifties, asked me what the point of remembering dreams was. He could personally see no merit in them. His question led me to the realization of two of the great wonders of dreams. The first is that if I lived without ever remembering my dreams I would have a one-dimensional life devoid of the possibility of extraordinary riches of experience. Dreaming, daydreaming, imagination, and fantasy, so extend your range of experience, that you double or treble your experiential life span. The difference between the dreamer and the non dreamer is more marked if the dreamer takes the trouble to learn something of the country they travel through. A world traveler is hardly any wiser from their journey if they do not think about what they see, learn something from the foreign lands, and see if it can be applied to their life.

The most important is that experiments where people where either kept awake for several days at a time, meaning that they were unable to dream, or their dreams were interrupted, it led to mental breakdown in each case. In experiment on animals in which the animals were stopped dreaming all the animals died. It was begin too on humans but the effects were dire and had to be stopped. So dreams are not some exotic mental phenomena but the very important way of keeping us alive through regulating our system.

  • During my life I developed the ability that I see as a form of Virtual Reality. Not the type using technical equipment but an amazing mental ability. I see it as an ability that is latent in us and produces amazingly rich emotional and mental experience too. Where does so much inspiration and healing arise from? My feeling is that we are all much bigger that we are usually aware of.

“An example of this happened while I was in Los Angeles in a friend’s hotel room. I was busy writing and suddenly I was in the state I call Virtual Reality or Waking Lucid Dreaming. What first happened was that I was suddenly shot into a state where I had lost awareness of the room and yet I was still awake. In this state I had a very distinct image, along with a feeling, of a small bird fluttering close my head all in darkness.

What was incredibly clear and real was the way its wings were fluttering. I could really see and feel that they were not simply waving up-and-down but vibrating at great speed. The bird kept fluttering near me, and I realised it was trying to attract my attention so I would follow it. So, in fact I did and it led me into a condition of great darkness. I could see or hear nothing. But the bird led on and I trusted it and we came to what was recognisably a dark cave from which were slowly emerging hundreds, perhaps thousands of people. I understood as I saw this that an enormous number of people throughout the world were now emerging from a dark place. I realised that there was the need for many workers to meet them and help them to learn to live life within the light. I realised also that I and Dakota are two of the workers engaged in this.”

In trying to understand this I realised that many ‘pathways’ to one’s core left the participant in symbolic understanding of their experiences. The above is typical of that. Like any dream it is all symbolical and should not be understood by seeing the symbols as if they were mystical. That is the wonder and real mystery of such communications, for such are communications and are summaries of ones experience giving new information.

Taking the first symbol of darkness as a basic life experience and not as the mystical darkness of the soul, it suggests that I have not been able to see something clearly because I am in the ‘dark’; as a life condition I am unaware of where I am going. The small bird fluttering suggests that something has caught my attention, something I cannot really see but can feel, it is my intuitive sense. I have trusted it in the past and so trust it to lead me.

It leads me to see thousands finding their way to the light which seems difficult for many. It is again, not the mystical light that others rush to, but the ability to have a clear understanding of what are the possibilities of living, the difficulties people face and some means of dealing with the many facets of human existence.

  • On March 7th 1968 I was invited by R. D. Laing, who at that time was a licensed to use LSD psychotherapy, to try using LSD to  witness its effects. I had been exploring my dreams for ages and so was familiar with the dream process breaking through into conscious life, and LSD led me into not silly people wandering about giggling, but extraordinary insights. So here is a tiny part of one such session on a psychedelic.
I could see in this state of enormous mental quietness and calm that ones expectations determine to a large extent what one creates in this theatre of the mind. Of course fears would also be productive. The experience of the products of fear and unacknowledged previous trauma in this realm of virtual reality, would appear to the beholder who was not deeply self aware, as being spontaneous forces acting on their psyche. This would create great fear and a sense of being out of control to such people, at the mercy of these awful demons of mind and emotion.
What did form at this point was a sense or a view arising from what had happened in the slow breath state. In other words I had withdrawn from ‘the world’ into an intense oceanic inner world that had no boundaries. I had recognised the inner world as being empty unless I created things in it. So I had wondered at how much time some people give to achieving it. I had a strong sense that much of popular religious beliefs or realisations of truth have perhaps been based upon the experiences of human beings who entered these states of mind but simply accepted the phenomena as reality. People have a desire to believe, and the experience of epileptics for instance, might be taken as grand truths. I want to believe, but I also want to know.

I saw that what most people seek in their search for truth is in the end the stuff of mind. The experiences they have are manifestations of this ability to detach from the body sensations and senses and experience the power of this land of virtual reality in which they create images and experiences brought about by their own beliefs and convictions. Belief in these experiences would of course provide them with external certainty – perhaps enough to be charismatic. I saw this as public worship of sickness. In other words the wild visions of an epileptic may be taken with great emotions as the visions of truth beyond the ephemeral. The quest for religious experience and insight is in some ways a quest for mental phenomena and emotional uplift. In this sense it has nothing to do with insight into truths.

For myself I slipped almost immediately into the expanded state of awareness. I mean by this a state in which thoughts and body sensations do not dominate. But it appears to me to be a state disconnected from things. I called it a state of playing a computer game where ones attention is distracted from ones own body and surroundings. I felt it had no strong links with any other reality than my own separated awareness. It was like existing within a huge metal walled room in which no sound or event can disturb, but one is cut off from others. I wondered why yogi’s spent so much time learning to achieve this state. I believe there are things to learn there, but it has always seemed to me like a one-sided empty cave, without life, as in 20/3/91. I believe Life is never one-sided but the emptiness is balanced by everyday life full of activity. I also believe from these experiences that there  is no one set of rules to live by, so no definite end we need to reach for.

I am a wave on a shoreless sea.
From no beginning
I travel to no goal,
Making my movements stillness.
Constantly I am arriving
And departing,
Being born and dying.
I am always with you
And yet have never been.
  • Recently I have come to see that we have within us the lonely voice of Life calling out to us in our often-frantic search for meaning. It calls out from its vastness that is beyond our understanding, and in its loving efforts gathers the fragments of our memory and associations and forms dreams, intuitions, wild fantasies with them. It does this in its efforts to instruct, guide and even heal us; but often we miss seeing that just as Life reaches to us from its vastness using things we might understand, we too must reach beyond our often pitiful understanding to move toward and touch the wonder of Life within us.

I had begun to know this early in life, but it was not clear to me until much later that as a person you are a tiny spark of consciousness, a little bit of self awareness riding an incredibly ancient animal you call your body. Remember that your body has formed from cells and genetic information that has gradually developed over millions of years. It holds that information in it unconsciously. You need to understand your animal needs as you might a racehorse you are caring for – its diet, its exercise, it sexual and herd – social – needs.

At best you are the recent face or rider on this ancient beast, your body. This beast that we ride has a healthy fear of much that goes on in today’s world. Fear is a guardian that protected the ancient beast from uncountable dangers for millions of years. Although it appears like a great and ancient beast – it is the process of Life – and so it is full of mystery and magic. It has brought about living beings in incredible variety. It has possibilities we cannot even guess

  • If you drive a car you cannot afford to lack skill. Your life and other people’s life depend on it. However, even if you do not drive a car you are nevertheless the driver or operator of one of the most complex vehicles ever created. It is a vehicle with many functions. It can be one of the most destructive or creative implements, and so needs enormous skill to understand and handle well. The vehicle is your own body and mind. See Martial Art of the Mind
  • The essential you – the naked, decision making, responsive spark of consciousness – stands in the middle of myriad flows of energy and influence. Everything from internal urges to eat, mate, be angry, to external influences such as social pressure, music or opportunity call you to decide or respond. To respond or decide in ways which actually satisfy you takes great skill – the lack of which leads to internal tensions, ill health, frustration, social rejection or lack of recognition and so on. Because dreams play out this position of consciousness amidst a multitude of influences, they are an excellent guide to the life skill of ‘driving’ oneself.  See Your Amazing Circle
  • We are all born victims of circumstance. But we need not remain a victim.

Your natural response to your environment is to be influenced by it. A disturbing event would stimulate you to feel fear, a calming event to feel pleasure. Your moods are usually influenced by what happens to you. So being in prison would be more depressing than being free. Being rejected would cause more pain than being admired or loved.

Your emotions and feelings about yourself are like a keyboard that is played upon by people and events. If you are praised or rewarded your self confidence and therefore performance will usually be enhanced. That is fine except it means you will usually depend upon the world to create your moods and your sense of your own value. This makes us victims. We may not be dependent on a drug, but on praise, success, being admired or wanted. Without them we may experience the lows the drug user does on withdrawal.

As a human being though, you have an extraordinary possibility. This dream of Ed’s explains it.

I was in a prison with several others – all in one cell. It felt as if I had been in the prison for years. I was standing near the bars angry and shouting about the injustice of my incarceration. As I stood raging I suddenly realised that all my anger was having no affect on the world. I was the only one suffering it. I saw that the peace and freedom I wanted from release I could have now by letting go of my anger. I would then be in peace, and would be free of my own negative emotions. I forgave my judges and jailers, and a change came over me. In the following years I learnt to drop the other ideas and emotions I tortured myself with. I was filled with joy until my bliss filled the cell. In this way all had a changed relationship. In a strange way I was now utterly free.

The greatest prison of all, the greatest of torturers, is our own emotions and our concepts or ideas. While Ed felt angry and held the idea he had been wrongly accused, he was tormented and trapped – imprisoned in his own ideas and emotions. To have received a public apology and released would have changed his feelings, but he would still have remained a passive victim of events. Instead he found in his dream the greatest freedom of all – a blissful freedom – the release from his mind and emotions.

·       In our times a sense of the spiritual, although now a word much used, is actually atrophied. As individuals, few of us have a real sense of being connected with our core self. Lots of people meditate on ideas of the spiritual or have an emotional response to a symbol of their core, but few find this a function of their own being, such as their eyes is a function of their sense of an external world. Dreams show how human beings create a concept of their wholeness external to themselves. See Core Self

The study of such imagery suggests however, that humans have a long history of disconnection from their own wholeness. To understand this one need to consider the idea of humans prior to self consciousness – a humanoid animal was still moved by deeply instinctive drives. As self consciousness emerged, with its possibility of personal will, such human beings may have felt themselves like a beast which had woken up. It was difficult because they still had their instinct pouring through them. A shock or pain may have occurred due to becoming aware instead of being lost in unconscious and instinctive urges. History especially that of religion, with its manipulation of sexuality and aggression, suggests there was a break with the instincts. There was a denial of the instincts. This occurred because human beings developed a society and religious beliefs which began to treat the instincts as paranoia, as an illness or disease. If you were like a beast then you were less than human. This is a part of our psychological history.

  • I wished that self-regulation (homeostasis) had been taught me and had it explained to me as it applies to our body, our mind, and the world around us. It needs to be taught how it expresses in many ways in our life such as dreams, sex and life in general. See Psychological Vomiting

Vomiting takes place because we have an inbuilt defence system that does its best when our body is attacked, poisoned, or injured to deal with, repair or balance what caused the sickness. The process is called homeostasis – meaning any self-regulating process by which biological systems tend to maintain stability while adjusting to conditions that are optimal for survival. Or, if we take something harmful into us the process sicks it out again.

But textbooks seldom mention that the process is also active psychologically and is often called self-regulation. Jung, Hadfield, and people like Caldwell and Wilhelm Reich, have often written about self-regulation active in the mind and emotions.  Hadfield in his book writes, “This automatic adaptation of the organism is one of the main functions of the dream as indeed it is of bodily functions and of the personality as a whole. This idea need not cause us much concern for this automatic self-regulating process is a well-known phenomenon in Physics and Physiology. The function of compensation which Jung has emphasised appears to be one of the means by which this automatic adaptation takes place, for the expression of repressed tendencies has the effect of getting rid of conflict in the personality. For the time being, it is true, the release may make the conflict more acute as the repressed emotions emerge, and we have attempts to abreact, re-experience the cause, violent dreams (nightmares) from which we wake with a start. But by this means, the balance of our personality is restored.”  See Self-regulationThe Life Will

·       That the dream process can often break through into what we call waking consciousness – and in fact it should be taught how to allow it, because of the next statement. That it is an expression of the irrational level of us and should be honoured and balanced with the rational mind – we call this function hallucinations or visions. See Waking Lucid DreamingHallucinations

  • It needs to be shown how we are all products of Life, and as such only have a tiny awareness – usually – of what that means and what it entails. Most of what keeps us alive and functioning is below conscious awareness. See Unconscious – What Is It
  • That I had realised that the Big Bang and God were the same thing. That we all owe our existence to this creative explosion, and we try to explain it but fail. That what we call God is a projection from ourselves because we cannot own up to our own amazing potential, and as we do with dreams we build amazing imagery around it and many people back off from God instead of owning it. Also, I begin to see that the Big Bang is or was a huge reproductive act. See Big Bang and God
  • I wished that somebody had explained to me that thoughts are just photocopies of what we believe reality is and it is nothing to do with the real people, animals, and objects we think of. A thought can never be a dog or a person, at best they can represent it. And people get so mixed up in their thinking. See Thoughts and Words

·       I would like to try to teach people not to totally identify with their body. I realise looking back that for some reason I was born with a little of that wisdom. Whenever I was hurt or injured it didn’t bother me as it did many other people. When I was at school and cut into a vein in my hand on the sharp tool of a lathe, I could see it needed stitches and went to the headmaster. He asked how I was not upset because the blood was pumping out. Then when I lost the sight in one eye through eye injury, the doctor asked me how I wasn’t upset by it – and same with my stroke. See Tony’s Experience of Stroke

  • A single cell, which is a seed from which all life forms evolved from, it doesn’t become old or die because it is immortal, for it keeps dividing and doesn’t die. In dividing it constantly creates copies of itself, but as it does so it gathers new experience, it changes what is copied, so becomes the ‘seed’ for multi-cellular organism. We all started from the original one cell, and we, you and I, are the result of gathered experience.

No plant or creature grows from a dead seed, and each living seed carries within it all the past gathered from all its forebears. So, the seed in your mother’s womb is as old as and even older than human kind, and you carry that wisdom or memories in you. But in this life you developed a new brain, and the memories, education and programming you gathered this time are what you built your personality from, but beneath that is a very ancient self. See Opening to Life –

  • Later in life I learned that we are all born with an immense potential that often remains latent because of the condition of our body, our education, our prevalent social teachings, or our belief that what authority figures and parents say is taken as truth. As Plato said so long ago, “Strange times are these in which we live when old and young are taught falsehoods in school. And the person that dares to tell the truth is called at once a lunatic and a fool”. See
  • I gradually realised that the whole cosmos and everything in it is dual in operation that obviously includes us human beings. We all exist strung between enormous duality – sleep and waking, male and female, pain and pleasure, light and darkness, life and death, and death and resurrection, war and peace, matter and anti-matter, negative and positive, chaos and order, form and formless, success and failure and the many other things that torment so many such as, “Am I attractive or am I not attractive to others?” Our daily experience of knowing the form of our body is part of the duality, for we only know it because our body is all the time in the opposite if the formless space we are surrounded by. To be whole we need to accept and meet these opposites. In the pursuit of love, we need to recognise that we must integrate the other gender to become whole. See Archetype of the Animus
  • If you purchased a machine as complex and as wonderful as yourself, you would demand a handbook from the manufacturer. Unfortunately, the universe, the planet, and the parents who brought you forth, do not supply such a helpful guide. Yet there are things about how you work that are incredibly useful to learn. For instance in some ways you can be likened to a car. You have a brake, a gas pedal, and a steering wheel. Most of the time these are applied unconsciously by external controls. Running, making love, drinking coffee or watching a powerful film, will cause your body and mind to become more excited. Your breathing and heart will speed up. This is like pressing the gas pedal. Drowsing in an armchair, drinking alcohol, is the opposite, and slows you down. This is the brake. As for the steering wheel, other people or events influence you and your direction.
  • However, you can learn to press your own pedal, apply your own brake, and take more control of the steering wheel. Learning to use your own controls instead of them being constantly activated by other people or events is a life changing skill. So, for a start, if you recognise that breathing reflects excitation or quietness, learning to direct your breathing is one way of taking control. So, for a few minutes try slowing your breathing. Do not hold your breath, but simply make it as slow and smooth as you can without having to gasp for air. It helps if you sit or lie quietly. You can count as you breathe to help regulate the cycle. Being aware of the slow passage of air at your nostrils aids the calmness. So there must be no gasping for breath because you are breathing too slowly. Find a rhythm that is slow but not making you out of breath, and over time lengthen the cycle.
    Realise that you are gradually changing very deeply seated habits that have been with you a lifetime. Taking hold of the breath and controlling it is like taking hold of your nervous system, or body, and gradually altering the way it responds to events and thoughts. It is like gently taming a wild animal. There should be no force or conflict involved. Practising this for up to twenty five minutes each day for three months will change the way you respond to triggers that cause stressful responses.
    Being at the driving wheel of your life means you are not swept away by emotions and urges such as anger and sex unless you want to be. Equally it means you can let yourself be spontaneous if you wish. It means you can direct your feelings, mind and body where you choose, not where fears or urges deny you access. In the realm of dreams this is vital, otherwise a scary dream can send you scurrying away from something that holds vital personal information, or from releasing frozen energy and potential that would add enormously to your effectiveness and physical health.
  • The human personality – the You that you call yourself, with a name, is only a tiny thing. It is moved and tossed around by all manner of drives, ambitions, motions, fears, temptations, worries, love, and desire with its pains and hopes; it is something we take so seriously and get carried away into awful situations; we take many sorts of pain killers to deal with ourselves. Things such as alcohol, coffee, medical drugs and street drugs, and yet we are still prone to break down, as can be seen by the number of people who need antidepressants or are totally lost in themselves. Look around at the number of people who have to take anti-depressant, or who have to use alcohol every day, or smoke or take other drugs – all means of not facing the difficulty of meeting self-awareness.
  • Jung was not the first to recognise that we are male and female. It was seen in ancient times.The anima/animus – the female in the male and the male in the female is represented culturally in many symbols world-wide. At a fundamental level the anima and animus represent the many aspects of mother and nature. Like nature the aspects of the anima can be wonderfully creative and beautiful, powerfully destructive, or even beautifully dangerous. So it can also appear in a dream as a witch, a grandmother, an enigmatic female figure such as a woman of the woods, or a holy woman. Sometimes it is represented by an image such as a tigress, lioness, a woman in a cave, a ship, or the sea.We need to marry these two aspects of our nature to achieve wholeness. Marriage between the two sides of you is fairly clearly shown in dreams, and even the Bible tells how important this marriage is, “For many are invited, but few are chosen ”Here is a dream showing this wonderful and full union. The tree in dreams represent one’s whole growth from the very roots of our beginnings to the many branches of our activities and interests.Example: I dreamt I was looking at a very large and old tree. I wondered if I could climb it but couldn’t see any way up it. But I noticed a large area without any bark, like an old wound, and I thought that area would become rotten and so the tree would become hollow and offer shelter to animals and humans.

    Then I walked around the back of the tree and saw that the bark was like thick cables about 6-8 inches wide. I could then see a fairly easy way to climb the tree. So, I climbed up and the top of the tree was like a massive bell of a flower, like a crocus shape. And it was light and full of colour. Suddenly I saw a spirit, a beautiful female. It was the spirit of the tree. At this point I was semi awake, and I wanted to hold the beautiful spirit, but realised that the tree was a representation of my life, and so was the spirit of the tree. The spirit sat on me in a sexual position, so I was lying on my back, and she was sitting upright on me. There were no sexual movements made. She slowly took me into her, I mean the whole me, as if she was sucking my whole body into her. I realised that I had to die because she wanted to take all my experience of life and endeavour into her and fertilise herself to form a baby. So, I was ready to die and watched her form a new baby, a mixture of her and me.

    “When you make the two into one, and when you make the inner as the outer, and the upper as the lower, and when you make male and female into a single one, so that the male shall not be male, and the female shall not be female: . . . then you will enter [the kingdom].” Quoted from The Gnostic Apostle Thomas

    The variety of ways women and men handle their emotions and their relationship with a woman they love, or the woman within them. If one is to mature and grow as a person, the childlike dependencies and angers, the blaming and the idolisation must be met and transformed. In doing so one is led into, or uncovers, a wealth of experience within oneself that was previously unconscious. See Ages of Love

    I realised from that, to become a whole person, it is not done by acting it out or by trying to be a physical male or a physical female.

    Integrating our male does not mean dressing up in male or female clothes or even having an operation to become a woman. That is further developing an unbalanced self. Integration means having both the female and the male self equally developed. That is wholeness. So therefore, believing oneself to be firmly female, male, or homosexual are all unbalanced. It takes courage and hard work to achieve. See Life’s Little Secrets

    • Physical movement, so in traditional use of yoga postures the aim was to be able to sit without movement for three hours, and to do it each day for three months, because it took a long time to retrain the inner wildness.
    • Sexual expression is another way the instinctive self expresses. Again it should not be harnessed by repression, but by gradually changing its direction into higher forms of energy release. See Energy Sex and Dreams
    • Hunger for food or sensual satisfaction is also instinctive. This can be seen when a new born baby wants to do after it starts to breathe is to reconnect and feed from the breast. So regular fasting was an ancient method, but it should not  be done from the attitude that one must lose weight. See Fasting
    • The emotions and their instinctive expression in humans can be experienced as panic attacks, painful emotional reactions to relationships, suicidal tendencies, and generally being shattered by your emotions. This generally links with disturbed breathing patterns such as breath holding and not be able to breath smoothly. A traditional way of healing this is by using controlled breathing. Ways of doing this are – but remember, it takes time to change lifetime habits.

    There is a very necessary lesson we must learn if we do not have it already – the full breath. You can easily see by places your hands on your chest and your abdomen below the rib cage. With your hands there breath deeply in and out a few times. Does just one hand rise on the chest – or do both hand rise alternately? If it is just the hand on the chest it suggests you have a massive tension that stops you breathing fully and also suggests you are unable to fully experience your emotions and feelings. To move beyond it, first learn to move the hand on the abdomen by full expanding your lungs by using your diaphragm muscle. It may at first feel as if yiu have to force yourself to breath, but you must continue until anew habit of breathing is established. Also see 14-2 Breath Control and The Breath Meditation

    • The voice is another way of instinctive expression. I have met a few people who cannot stop talking, and a way to deal with it is to become aware of it and harness it. Some of the great beings who took this path of the Ox Herding tell their story.

      In 1927 Buckminster Fuller stood on the shore of Lake Michigan contemplating suicide. He said to himself: ‘I’ve done the best I know how and it hasn’t worked.’ He was still grieving the loss of a daughter who had died five years earlier; his business had just failed. He was penniless and 32 years old. He wondered how he could support his wife and newly born baby, but, after struggling with his despair for hours in the dark and the freezing wind, he decided to live the rest of life like an experiment. He wanted to discover whether the golden rule of life was dog eat dog. He would find out by seeing what could be physically demonstrated. To free his mind of conditioned thinking and reflexes he stopped talking for a year. He is now known for many, many achievements.

    Fuller said that at that time he had experienced a profound incident which would provide direction and purpose for his life. He felt as though he was suspended several feet above the ground enclosed in a white sphere of light. A voice spoke directly to Fuller, and declared:

    “From now on you need never await temporal attestation to your thought. You think the truth. You do not have the right to eliminate yourself. You do not belong to you. You belong to Universe. Your significance will remain forever obscure to you, but you may assume that you are fulfilling your role if you apply yourself to converting your experiences to the highest advantage of others.” [10]

    • Mental activity is another escape route. It is a way people sometimes use to prevent them for experience other aspects of the mind or consciousness. Many disciplines tell people to stop thinking, to quieten their mental activity. That is one way but there is also Intuition which leads one past the age old responses. Also try Opening to Life
  • Paul Levy writing about this says: “This process can be so extreme, so radical, that the ego experiences it as death …. This experience is related to the shaman’s descent to the underworld as well as the archetypal journey of the wounded healer. See ProgrammedReaction to meeting the Huge that we Are. We are all subject to the forces of growth – it is one of the main functions of life. But because growth is a push toward change, change that we do not want to face, we often resist it, often without realising we are doing so. Psychiatrists say we have resistances to meeting the uncomfortable aspects of our self. A young woman who was anorexic dreamt of cutting off her breasts, suggesting trying to cut out the living process that was moving her into being a full woman. So, such resistance can also relate to how we try to dissociate from our own process of growth and ageing.
  • We are like a creature that cannot exist without other things
  • And I am not talking about air, water, and food. If we look at all the human suffering in the world, not the sort brought on by floods or volcanos or earthquakes and wars, we see enormous areas where humans cannot easily survive. Of course, there is enormous mental breakdown, a vast number of people needing anti-depressants, alcohol, or street drugs to get by. And there are those living in emotional hell.Enormous number of people crave what they often call ‘fun’ or ‘pleasure’. This often means being part of a crowded room, waving one’s arms and body about for fun. But it appears to be ways people escape from themselves. It is partly because we do not or have not learnt to survive amidst the huge forces that are part of human existence. How many of us actually realise that we are only just recently in our development left the animal existence and admit the tremendous needs or pressure it places on us. Most of us totally take no notice of those needs, and so a great amount of splitting occurs in our personality. We have lost touch with the natural world and do not honour it as part of our life as many native peoples do, and this we can learn by being aware of what we are feeling most of the time. We do not tend to the hurts we feel as a natural animal that we are, and so become sick in our soul – a soul that we deny we have.
  • We cannot avoid death in Life or Dreams. Death is a fact that we all face, and it is no good running away from it in our dreams. That only makes it more scary. Because you CANNOT run away from death you should meet it face to face. If you do that it will transform into the beautiful part of life it is, instead of the horror we have been taught to see it as.

What I find again and again is that people are often so shocked by the death of someone, as though it were a surprise. We all know we are going to die, and honestly we haven’t a clue when. So, it is wise to realise that someone we care about will die, and even we will face our own demise. It is therefore worth not walking about with blinkers on trying to avoid the fact. It is worth thinking about what you want to do with them now, and what you would like to say to them now. Do not run around in a daze when they die.

Then I received what is for me a very new insight into death. It was that life and death are the Ying and Yang, the positive and negative to being alive. Without death we cannot continue to live. I was shown how to be able to continue to live for we are constantly dying, but close our eyes to it. Our body is all the time dying as thousands of cells die, and in doing so the new and living body can continue. Suddenly I realised that this was the meaning of the phoenix – it was consumed by the flames, and yet it arose anew. We have the fire of life within us that in consuming us gives birth to us continuously. It is the warmth of our body, the warmth, even passion, of our emotions and that is life – continuous through death.

Some means of developing the things mentioned are given in the book Many Ways to a New Life

Other links that are an education in the inner life –

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