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Healing Through Awareness 1

 

1.             If you are feeling unwell do not think to yourself that ‘you’ are feeling unwell, or that ‘you’ are experiencing this or that physical-mental state or symptom.

2.             Do not even ask why you are feeling the way you are, but who - which you - is feeling that way.

3.             Be aware not just of what or how ‘you’ are feeling but how and who it makes you feel - the sense of self that it induces.

4.             Be aware of your state of being not simply as a mental or physical state but as a distinct self or ‘self-state’ – a distinct you.

5.             Remind yourself also that your current mental and physical state is but one of many ‘self-states’ among others, one self or you among many others.

6.             Now identify with that self which is distinct from each and every you – for it is nothing but the very awareness of any and every self-state that can be experienced.

7.             Feel this self - the awareness self - as a spacious field or pure centre of awareness that is absolutely distinct both from your current self-state or you and from all such self-states.

8.             Choose to allow the you that your current state of being is bringing to the fore to express itself more fully - both in your bodily language and in your thoughts and emotions.

9.             Do not try to heal or change the self or you that is expressing itself through your current state or symptoms but let it gradually change you - allowing it to alter the way you feel your self as a whole - your whole self or ‘soul’.

10.         Do not become ‘a patient’ but be patient. For by letting your mental-physical states and symptoms change you – which means feeling and expressing the other selves that they express – those selves will gradually no longer need to express themselves through states or symptoms of ‘illness’.

 

 

ILLNESS INSTEAD OF AWARENESS                 

            AWARENESS INSTEAD OF ILLNESS

A personal secretary finds herself stuck in a job with a bullying and abusive boss. Fearing to express her feelings of irritation, anger and embarrassed humiliation ‘face to face’ and ‘face up to’ her boss, feeling vulnerable in the face of the unpredictable rage this might unleash in her boss, and afraid with good reason that it might be ‘rash’ to risk her job by doing so, she keeps ‘a straight face’ in the face of all the bullying. Over time her feelings come to the surface in her body itself - in the form of an ‘irritating’ and ‘angry’ red skin rash. Lacking a way to face her boss, let alone ‘whack him one’ – even though she is itching to do so - the rash appears on her face, arms and hands. Plagued by itching, she scratches and irritates her own skin until it blisters and bleeds – an activity that provides, unaware to herself, some satisfaction in releasing her ‘bad blood’ towards her boss. But her feelings of embarrassment and shame about not being able to face up to her boss become displaced by shame and embarrassment about the rash itself. So she goes to her doctor. Not even thinking that asking her questions about her life world might have any diagnostic significance, the doctor is therefore completely blind to the metaphorical meaning of her ‘angry rash’. Applying The Medical Principle, the doctor’s sole interest is in diagnosing the rash as some form of skin disorder, the ‘cause’ of which must for him be some impersonal ‘thing’ - even though there is in this case no ‘thing’ to explain it such as a liver disorder. Nevertheless he prescribes a cortisone cream to ‘treat’ and ‘cure’ her problem. The problem is that she then becomes dependent on the cream, which far from helping her to become tougher and more ‘thick-skinned’ emotionally, has the side-effect of thinning her actual skin surface itself, making it more vulnerable to embarrassing sores and bleeding. Eventually she feels forced to take more sick leave and then to leave the job altogether and seek another boss.

A personal secretary, faced with having to work with a bullying and abusive boss for the first time in her career, doesn’t ‘feel herself’ at work in the way she was used to doing. She allows herself to be fully aware of her emotions of anger, vulnerability, shame and humiliation - and yet is wary of rashly letting them out in an emotional outburst that might risk her job. On a day-to-day basis she reminds herself that the awareness of an emotion, however intense is not itself an emotion or impulse but something emotion- and impulse-free. This makes her feel less vulnerable to her boss’s bullying and less impelled to react emotionally to it in a rash way. Instead she sees the bullying abusiveness for what it is – as the indirect expression of a deep insecure and vulnerable self in her boss. Nevertheless, she stays with her awareness of her own emotions, allowing herself to fully affirm and feel them in her body. As a result they condense into a bodily sense of a completely different self within her, a self that feels inwardly strong enough to face up to her boss – or to anyone - and challenge them in a calm, non-reactive but nevertheless firm and resolute way. By simply letting herself feel this other self in a bodily way and give it expression through her body language and tone of voice she feels ever less vulnerable, and instead becomes even more aware of the vulnerability that lies behind her boss’s bullying. Sensing this new self and awareness in her, her boss finds it strangely more difficult to be as bullying towards her as before. Now it is her boss who is uncomfortably aware of feeling another self, a less powerful and more vulnerable self. Afraid of this self, her boss reacts by actively intensifying the abusive bullying, only to find it met by a calm, resolute and firmly toned response from the secretary. Yet her boss now feels so secretly ashamed of bullying the secretary that she is not fired. She does not develop a rash, feels ready to face up to bullying, and as a result does not feel vulnerable, shamed or humiliated.