Self Help

This dictionary was designed to deal with self-help. It was built around thousands of people’s dreams used as search material defining meaning. But a great deal of research into dreams meanings was done by people actually exploring their dreams by entering the experience of waking lucid dreams. See Waking Lucid Dreaming 

Waking Lucid Dreaming is a new description of a very old technique or ability used by many older cultures. But the view and understanding of it has been clarified by realising the connections with the dream process and what has been called psychic phenomena and visionary experience. This new understanding has arisen from what is described and experienced by people using the technique of Life’s Little Secrets; People’s Experience of LifeStream

Both these are very powerful self-help techniques, although it is not a path many people will take because it confronts one with the unknown in oneself, and also the hidden traumas that we hide from ourselves. See – LifeStream

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

While we sleep, our conscious self is largely or totally unconscious, and while we dream our voluntary muscles are paralysed – therefore another will or motivating force moves our body. So, we have a Conscious Will, and what I will call a Life Will. The first one we have experience of as we can move our arm or speak in everyday activities; but the second will takes over when we sleep. See Sleep Paralysis

While we sleep and dream, the Life Will promotes subtle or powerful emotions, sexual experience and very deep spiritual experience; it can often teach us things previously not known, so this Life Will can move us to speak, to move our body, and in fact do things that we cannot do with our Conscious Will. As Freud pointed out this inner will has full access to our memories. It can do so many other things that are described elsewhere. See Edgar Cayce and the Cosmic MindESP in Dreams. 

For simplicity, I have called this experience, of what is actually ‘waking lucid dreaming’, ‘LifeStream’. It would take us too far out of looking at dreams to explore it, but it can be studied within these features: Arm Circling Meditation; Opening to Life 

I see dreams and LifeStream as major ways paths of personal evolution. Thousands of people say they are using yoga as a path to transformation, but as explained in “Life’s Little Secrets”; “To help people I would wander around the yoga classes I took, and lift an arm or leg of some of those lying quietly relaxed. I moved the limb to let the person have an enhanced awareness of their relaxed condition. What amazed me was that often the arm or leg was so rigid with tension it was hard to move. If I let go the limb would remain suspended. On asking the person how they felt they would say, ‘Fine. Really relaxed.’ They didn’t know they were carrying enormous tensions.”

It took me a while to realise what that indicated. You could relax surface muscles and feelings, but a mass of tensions remains unconscious. Later I learned that such tensions had often arisen from difficult or traumatic past experiences, still locked in the body and emotions. By using relaxation techniques such as dropping the tension of the voluntary muscles or meditating on positive things those inner tensions were being pushed back into the unconscious – undealt with. When left at that point, relaxation and meditation were a method of suppression and control, not of healing.

Despite having practice yoga and meditation for years, I realised with shock this was true of many things that were supposed to be helpful, such as meditation and positive thinking. What they often did was to calm surface feelings by controlling thoughts and body. They did not deal with the real difficulties that had been pushed into the unconscious. Their purpose was to quieten the conscious mind and the voluntary movements of the body, not release unconscious tensions. 

Real Self Help

Of course, the traditional and ancient teachings of yoga understood this, and the past methods were not just physical postures and breathing exercises. They were methods designed to strip the ego/personality bare of its convictions and attitudes, that are basically programming. See Wild Side

That is why I see dreams and LifeStream as major paths – but both of them require more than using our will and thinking. This is because they are like icons on a computer screen – you must ‘click’ on your dream images to make them come alive. Thinking about them doesn’t work. You need to open yourself to the magic of them. To make them into the wonderful gateways they are you may have to learn certain skills. I summarise the skills needed by quoting Elliot, who so rightly wrote –

I said to my soul, be still and wait without hope

For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love

For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith

But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.

Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:

So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.

This seems to me to be very similar to aphorism 51 in The Yoga Aphorisms of Patanjali which was written about 2000 years ago. It says, “The train of thought which has but one object, may also be stopped, in which case “meditation without a seed” is attained.”

Meditation without a seed” is that in which the brooding of the mind has been pushed to such a point that the object selected for meditation has disappeared from the mental plane, and there is no longer any recognition of it, but consequent progressive thought upon a higher plane.”

Maybe this is not the same, but about 1975 I had for years practiced a great many different disciplines of body and mind, and still felt my life was a mess. It led me to realise that I had no idea of what to do to find help. Some of the so-called yogi master and people selling advice, who I had approached either were crafty tricksters who didn’t know anything and so played word games with me; or wanted to grab my dick, or wanted young women to bare their breasts so they could play with them; so, I lost hope in authority figures. I felt that I was as lost as the people mentioned and so gave up any form of discipline or meditation and so sat for half an hour a day simply waiting. I felt that if there was any help, it would be like a friend who touched you on the shoulder, and the touch would be real enough for me to recognise.

This went on for quite a long time, then one evening I had got up in the middle of the night to go to the toilet, and as I was returning, just as I was getting into bed, I heard a voice as clear as if it was from a person in the room. It said, “You have asked how God touches the human soul – now watch closely.”

I had never before heard a bodiless voice speak like that. It was very impressive. I recognised because of my deep acquaintance with the dream world and the unconscious, that I had heard the voice of my unconscious. The result was quick to show itself. Two friends and I had started an explorative group which met a couple of days after the voice spoke to me. As I sat in our small group I began to shake or tremble. I thought I must be cold, and so sat huddle up and tried to stop it. The next time we met the shaking started again, but this time I had put on a thick jersey, and did not feel cold, so I moved slightly apart from my friends and let myself really shake.

What happened was incredible. My body and my emotions discharged the whole experience of having my tonsils out as a six-year-old. My head pulled back, my mouth clamped open and my arms were in the position of being strapped to my side. Perhaps I had not been fully anaesthetised – I don’t know. What I do know is that I had carried that enormous tension and shock inside me from six until I was thirty-five.

Up until that day I had experienced a powerful neck tension that I had tried again and again to ‘relax’ away. My being didn’t need to relax, it needed to discharge in powerful tension, physical struggles, and emotion. After this ‘shaking’ experience there was never again a tension in my neck, a tension that had been caused by trying to pull away from the surgeon cutting my throat. However, it was not simply a physical tension it released. Powerful emotions were also discharged, ones that had created difficult responses to everyday life.

The Secret Is

A great many realisations arose because of that experience, and it carried on its cleaning, healing, and growing experiences for years. See People’s Experience of LifeStream

Yes, the secret is as old as the hills, but it keeps getting buried by being not understood. Two thousand years ago it was rediscovered in the Pentecostal event. Remember that they moved spontaneously and cried out. But of course, it was soon discouraged and became doctrine that people listened to, and was ruled by authorities instead of being personal experience.

In India, a practice that has been used for many centuries is Shaktipat. It produces spontaneous movements of the body. The movements in some individuals are so intense and frantic they appear dangerous. In other people the movements are soft, delicate and flowing. Others begin to dance harmoniously, to sing softly in languages they have never learned, to be­come playful and flirtatious and to utter strange sounds.

While working in Japan I was introduced to the practice of Seitai which also leads to spontaneous movement, but strangely sounds are not made. Unfortunately, like many such practices it is often taken over by ‘authority figures’ who twist and bend people into postures and charge them for the survive. It strikes me that it is a way the people train to earn money, whereas true inner directed movements need no practitioner to do them, for we all have extraordinary wisdom built into us if we allow it.

A practice that works with that understanding is Subud. Pak Subuh, the leader of the practice said that Subud was not a new teaching or religion. The movements (Latihan) is not thought about, learned, or trained for; it is unique for each person and the ability to “receive” it is passed on by being in the presence of another practicing member at the “opening”. The opening was the impact of the Great Holy Life Force.

Nearer our own times, George Fox who was born in 1624 was an amazing man who criticised the church. The worship of Friends in the form of silent waiting seems to have been well-established, they were called Quakers and some Shakers, because people were shaken or moved when they opened to the Spirit – which we can also call the Great Holy Life Force.

Even more recent, we have the testimony of Alcoholics Anonymous which was started by Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith in Akron, Ohio in 1935. They put in place the Twelve Step system. But it is the first two steps that I feel are very important. They are –

  • admitting that one cannot control one’s alcoholism, addiction or compulsion
  • recognizing a higher power that can give strength

I came across this wonderful simple statement before I found my own way to that higher power. When I found the way to “recognise the higher power that gives one strength” I changed the first one to – “Admitting that I could not control my fears and my whole being.”

If we add to that the ‘silent waiting’ of the Quakers, we have a good foundation for self-help. But something that has been forgotten by most, especially AA, is that to receive the higher power fully, you must give yourself fully to it. That means surrendering your body to be moved by that power; surrendering your sexuality, your emotions, your voice, and your mind – in fact your whole self.

Copyright © 1999-2010 Tony Crisp | All rights reserved