This Journal is the first ongoing sequel to “The Daily Tinkering…Foundational Basics,” which was posted last October.
I want to write a few helpful words which expand on a section of this earlier Journal which is subtitled “Glimpsing Inward, Part II.” This section covered considerations of what I call the Emotional Tool Box and the Grief Box. In this section of that writing I described the shadow emotions of apathy, grief, fear, desire, anger, and pride.
For many people the Emotional Tool Box is no more than a Grief Box of stagnant pain whose evolutionary potential goes unappreciated. As has been said, “If you can feel it, you can heal it.” If we cannot feel our pain because we do not want to, or we do not know how to, or because we have medicated it away, then we continue to spin like unfinished clay on the potter’s wheel.
The pain living inside of our lives is an accumulation of all of the painful life experiences that were not fully faced and accepted in the moments when they occurred. If one’s Emotional Tool Box is cluttered and inhibited by such held pain then it will be difficult to develop emotional intelligence, and it will be difficult to develop and manifest one’s gifts and higher life callings. It will be difficult to manifest true and lasting happiness.
The energetic of pain is shared and circulated throughout the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of our quarternary (body, mind, emotion, and spirit). It is memoried in the physical matrix, as well as in the umbrella Heart toroidal electromagnetic matrix of our being. As you let your eyes wander over the images presented on this page, please note that these images are worth the many thousands of words which future science will continue to research and explain.
Our internal human pain is something that we reflexively contract from and shun and want to be rid of. After all, it hurts. Often, we are unable to release pain and grief by normal grieving processes, such as grieving by crying or weeping. We are only able to grieve when it is safe enough and when we are strong enough. Also, we may be unsuccessful at releasing pain and grief through various counseling or trauma release therapeutic efforts.
It may be incumbent upon our process to carry the pain a bit longer in the course of (and for the sake of) our spiritual evolution. Perhaps this is a not so obvious reason why we may be holding the pain…we may be holding the pain because it may be necessary for deeper ongoing meaningful life growth.
There is much to be learned from our personal story of pain and it probably will not be released until we have learned from it all that we can. Indeed, it seems to hang around as a burden in our consciousness until we have learned what it is that we need to learn from it. Only then are we able to forgive it in the spiritual sense, and in the Heart, and then release its influence from our repository of drag and baggage.
Until we are able to release grief and pain, we will have to create and enter into a (sacred) holding space with the pain and learn to transform it. If we do not transform it, then we will transmit it on to others in our lives; hurting them and causing ourselves more guilt and shame. This only serves to increase the body of pain. It also creates more denial and addictions.
Our shadow emotions enable the ongoing construct of our shadow self. From the shadow self we develop an ego which we go to great lengths to defend. This ego construct projects its own faults onto other people, and it loathes the projected faults which it recognizes in others. Our shadow self avoids its own transformation.
We hide and deny our shadow self. We hide it from ourselves. We don’t want to see it because we are afraid of it. And so, we certainly don’t want others to see it. This becomes a primary causative dynamic in the creation of addictions and narcissism. An addiction is any behavior that we do as a result of fear of further life growth. The narcissist looks outside of self to relieve lingering self doubts.
Addictions are created when the emotion of shadow desire is used to placate and shroud the shadow fear which we have assembled around the shadow grief. Shadow anger and shadow pride are then layered on and used to protect this umbrella addictive construct (shadow grief, fear, desire). This dynamic is patterned after our parents, and extends deep into our childhood, pre-verbal experience, pre-birth, and into our earlier exposome.
There is a simple thought based technique one can use to begin the transformation of the shadow emotions into their utilitarian counterpart. In such a transformation from the shadow into the utilitarian, we begin to use the emotion to protect and heal our lives.
As noted in the opening paragraph, you may review the prior Daily Tinkering section “Glimpsing Inward, Part II” where the shadow emotional frequencies of apathy, grief, fear, desire, anger, and pride are described. You may also type the words “shadow emotions” into the search engine above and you will encounter some 16 Journal entries which touch on or develop the subject of our shadow self.
How do we manage and transform the shadow and its attendant of held pain?
If our ego is overly defended, then it will be impossible to even have a conscious awareness of the issue of our shadow which is at hand. This is akin to being unconsciously unconscious…we don’t even know that we don’t know. Such people can be unboundaried, clumsy, hurtful, and narcissistic.
We have to at least be at the stage of being consciously unconscious…we know that we don’t know. Such people are less clumsy and hurtful. They are willing to consider that there may be an alternative to their awkward and unboundaried behavior. As we then become consciously conscious, we know that we don’t know, and we want to do something about it. Questioning the status quo of our interior and exterior worlds becomes safer, and more desirable.
From this vantage point of life practice, we eventually become unconsciously conscious. In this state we have merged into an ongoing life practice of awareness and growth which does not require alot of our conscious input and directive. Our life growth orientation becomes more effortless. We become anchored in a new and authentic life. Such a life is more rhythmically aligned with flexibility, resourcefulness, and resilience.
The option I want to offer here is for you to begin a practice of just holding a space with the pain. Don’t rebuke it or critique the hurt in your interior being so much. If you criticize it and demean both it, and yourself for having it, then you will become more deeply entangled with the gross and subtle aspects of the pain, and you won’t be able to transform it and forgive it.
Furthermore, the very holding of guilt and shame is tantamount to ongoing critique (self judgment), and this is unnecessary in the process of transformation, even though guilt and shame seem to be the inextricable universal and inevitable component of the pain construct.
Consider guilt and shame to be like a linchpin in the conjoined holding of pain and attendant shadow. This linchpin must be eased out of its placement in our lives.
What I am trying to impart here is that guilt and shame need to be, and can be, gradually unpinned and unhinged from your repository of trauma, grief, and life pain. You will need to develop a witness consciousness relationship with the shadow self and its pain.
Individual and Collective Pain Consciousness
Many people simply refuse to acknowledge that they carry so much traumatic baggage around in their lives. In the working dynamic of their Grief Box they simply shroud their pain with shadow anger and pride, and often go about flaunting their hubris. I call this dynamic “the creeping misery.” It is why there is so much malfeasance and egoistic power plays afoot in our world today; at the individual, corporate, governmental, and even at the cultural levels.
Our pain body is both individual and collective. Gandhi was undoubtedly referencing this fact in his bit of oft quoted wisdom, “We must be the change we wish to see in the world.”
Such a hubris cover-up of inner pain is one source of the lies that we have become conditioned to, and desensitized to. There are so many lies at our institutional, corporate, and governmental levels, and these lies have been fostered for so long in the main stream media and by our manifold institutions, that we have simply chosen to forget that they are lies. These lies all start with the individual whose comfort zone of human expression has not evolved beyond the shallow, hurtful, obstinate, and self-serving.
We want to go on believing in our own status quo, and keep clinging to the notion that we as individuals have always been right. We also want to believe that all of the paradigms offered in our culture are clean and pure, and that our controlling institutions have our best interests at heart. Of course, these notions could not be further from the truth. Is it any wonder that propaganda is so effective in swaying mass consciousness?
One of the biggest delusions of all which has been fostered through the millenia is that war is a normal human activity. After all, humanity has been at war for over 95% of the time over the past 2000 years.
I maintain that war is not a normal human activity. It is fostered and manufactured for the sake of the financial interests of those who stand to profit from the chaos and the suffering and the slaughter. Currently, those who profit from war and its extraordinary human suffering are the banking elite, the military industrial complex, the petro-oligarchy, and the propagandists who spin and foster the war agenda. This fact is well documented in history accounts which are truthfully rendered.
One may argue with reasonable certainty that we are well into the evolution of WWIII at the present time. Look at all of the conflicts which are being fostered and festered around the globe. Look at the costs of this behavior. Consider, if you will, the interior individual pain and shadow at play in all of the players and actors in the current global war dramas.
Our ongoing involvement in the Middle East since the days of 2001 reminds me of the Hundred Year’s War and the unrelenting belligerents who promoted that earlier version of an “endless war” across 4 generations of Europeans. If you had been born into one of those generations, you might well think that war is normal, for that is all you would have known, unless you happened to live sequestered in a remote hamlet where no “news” could reach you.
Another luminary of the recent past, Albert Einstein, opined some time after his contributions to the furtherance of atomic weaponry that we cannot solve a problem from the same level of consciousness which created the problem. In these times we do not need more ego driven wise guys who hold forth with the familiar sorts of “answers” which come from a place of lower consciousness and the pain which engenders such consciousness. Instead, we need transformed people.
If we do not transform our pain, then we will transmit our pain.
A major part of the dance in the space of pain is learning how to manage the guilt and shame elements which are internally evoked in the pain process, for they are painful also. Indeed, they are often a major bulky and awkward component of our pain, and this overlay usually clouds our inner vision as to just what our suffering really is.
Remember, this is all usually holding forth as just a mental construct of internal words which proliferate inside of our thinking mind. Words are not even real. Simply put, words are abstractions. However, words imply judgment (biased description) by their very nature. If we are thinking (or speaking) in words, then we are judging. Isn’t this composition of words that you are reading right now no more than a judgment?
This is a noteworthy part of the dance in the sacred space of pain…just getting to the point of being able to witness one’s judgment process without getting sucked further into it with more guilt and shame. Ongoing judgment only makes us more obstinate. It does not help us manage uncertainty and evolution.
In the early years of the 20th century the lyrically intense German poet, Rainer Maria Rilke, wrote about accepting uncertainty in one of his Letters to a Young Poet: “Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language. Do not now look for the answers. They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them. It is a question of experiencing everything. At present you need to live the question. Perhaps you will gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer, some distant day.”
When the mind becomes still and placid and unperturbed, then our inner vision can pierce through the fundamental illusion and delusion of our inner thought constructs. It becomes easier to accept uncertainty and paradox, and to live with questions. In this state of simplified clarity we understand that faith is about combining a degree of knowing with an acceptable measure of not needing to know.
As is conferred (and explained) in the second sutra of the Yoga Sutras of Patangali…”yoga chitti vriti nirodha”….”the purpose of yoga is to still the though waves of the mind.”
The stilled and clear mind knows that all of the dynamics of our life journey are designed for our spiritual unfoldment. Our painful life experiences require a respectful holding as we learn to transform the rough edges into the more polished form. The development of the meditative process of witness consciousness is a good dance step to culture.
I refer the reader to the Journal entry about meditation, written a year ago here, where witness consciousness is explained as an important aspect of meditation. The meditative process is a process of inward focus which leads to a growing sense of calm and peace in the midst of the ongoing activity of life. Meditation is not a quick-fix for pain. However, the practice of meditation is one good life practice which enables the mitigation, resolution, and transformation of our human pain over time.
What happens as we transform our pain and release its hold on us?
It’s a pretty simple answer…we are filled with more and more energy and clarity to engage in more meaningful life activity. Such engagement actually creates a positive feedback to assist more clarity and sense of purpose. This helps to further life healing.
In addition to a still inward focus we also require an external focus of coherent activities which align with our life passions and individual gifts. This allows for a matrix of positive reference points as we learn to resource ourselves and develop resiliency in the face of life’s ongoing challenges.
The great Canadian physiologist Hans Selye taught us that the challenges which life presents may be viewed as “eustress” or “true stress” rather than distress. Eustress is strengthening. The presence of distress means that a sense of overwhelm is holding sway in our consciousness.
First we have to make it safe and clear in our external space. Then we gain the leverage of some safe working room. This step is incredibly important for without it there is only ongoing confusion, and no order to build from. This is the correct way to begin this dance in the space with our pain body.
From a safe place, which we learn to protect and define, the dance floor will enable the steps which follow.
As Eckhart Tolle, who coined the term pain body, once said, “If you are present, the pain body cannot feed anymore on your thoughts, or on other people’s reactions. You can simply observe it, and be the witness, be the space for it. Then gradually, its energy will decrease.”
Here are a couple of other Journal writings which you may find helpful:
- Minding your Mind…this one is especially pertinent and is written with a sense of levity
- Depression…some nuts and bolts considerations for taking care of our four-on-the-floor carbon based Spirit vehicle when it hurts
Thank you for reading.
Signing off from Crestone…and Beyond.