Shamanic Healing

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Emotional Poles - Emotional Practices


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Emotional Practices

Emotion can be turned in on, itself.  Two like emotions applied in more or less equal amounts can reach a neutral position of detachment.  You will often find that an epiphany, of sorts, results.  You are taking a specific emotion, for example anger, and smashing it into nonspecific anger, but using the energy of anger still.  They will, in effect, create a void emotionally, and through that void you can see more clearly and with detachment.  The point at which they cancel each other out leaves an emotional void, an empty place devoid of emotional energy.  It may not last long, but it will usually exist long enough to allow you to move through it to see more clearly the real source of the original emotion.  This can be done with virtually all the emotional energies, but is especially effective with anger and it's emotional opposite, fear.

You speak of epiphany.  What if it's grief from the pain of loss causing a vicious circle, and the hits just keep on coming - how do you break through?

Okay, that's the epiphany, being able to suddenly see that.  The key, then, is to start recapping what you saw - to break it down and remove the energy from it which is creating that vicious circle.  Sometimes, it winds down, other times, it simply snaps.

I've been on a see saw - I see, I saw, react.

It starts out that way.  Then it becomes more of a process, although, still not orderly, but more manageable.  The problem is when you have soooo much to get back through, and it's going to take a while to tame a lot of that.  This is really the hard part of the process, besides just starting it.  Try focusing on very small things - an image, a sentence someone said, a smell you noticed when it was happening, or a sound.  Those small things can be very big doorways.

Can death be used instead of the opposing emotion to cause detachment from anger or any other interfering response?

Yes, death will almost always work as a leveler of emotion, and it is one of the primary ways to defeat negative emotions, except for grief/depression - not a good idea to apply it there, unless you really don't care about living.  I can tell you, though, from experience, it does work. :)

We need to draw a distinction here, however, in terms of emotion.  None of this means you have to be tied to a whipping post.  You have a right to your emotions, and they are not logical at all.  If they were, we would call them logicals and not emotions.  On a shamanic level, though, we need to understand precisely where they come from, what has triggered them, how we can use that energy, or disavow ourselves of it in order to remain focused on our true intents.

Layering/Stacking Emotions

Love, anger, fear, depression.  I have observed that often the one that you see or feel sits on top of another feeling that you don't want to feel.  I have found anger used to mask grief, and depression used to mask anger.  Do people of different temperaments have a predisposition toward a type of layering?  Is this common?  Are there guidelines about who uses what?

We, as human beings, create layers of emotion under which to hide from the unpleasantness of life.  At times you will even find that happy emotions from the past often mask very unhappy ones under the surface.  It's very important to be sure of what you're dealing with, just like in dreaming, or seeing - you have to keep peeling away the layers relentlessly until you get to the raw, ugly bleeding landscape of no return where the foul root of such emotions grows.  But you're right, one emotion often will cover up another, grief can cover anger, or even fear.  They become intertwined, not in reality, but in the speed with which our natural fluidity allows us to change emotional positions.  Just like a dream you recall on waking can be painted over by the conscious mind with an entirely different dream as you try and grasp the details, emotions can do the same thing.  Detachment would be the best to see with clarity, but if you can't do that, or can't seem to find it, turning one against itself, each in turn, will help peel away the layers.  Eventually you end up at the root emotion and usually find it firmly cemented in a lifelong pattern.

Is detachment the key, or an escape from the pain?

Detachment ultimately allows you to see clearly the source of your pain without falling into the emotion pit.  That way, you're able to control them, move apart from them, and deal with the problem in a way that truly benefits you rather than weakens you even more. Detachment is an odd thing, it's hard to describe, really, in words, but once you really feel it and know it, it all makes sense.

I equate emotion - to emote - with creativity, there is a fear of losing the ability to tap into that.

Oh no - actually, it should help your creativity because you can plumb the depths of that emotional energy without a lot of the side effects you used to have.  You still feel, you just feel from a different place . I wouldn't suggest anything to you that I thought might harm your creativity; in fact, the shamanic demands more creativity, not less.

Recapping Emotional Patterns

When one experiences emotions - let's say anger - while watching a movie or reading a book, is it always because we're being triggered?   And if so, is recapping it the appropriate response?

Recapping is a key response, but sometimes the emotions become so complex in the way they are intertwined with each other it's difficult to find the appropriate way of recapping them effectively.  There are other ways which give at least some temporary relief to gain a position where you can effectively recap into them.  Physically, you can deal with anger by using an anger stone, or object, or using clove baths, etc.  I've been over a lot of those over the years.  They do help, but in the end, they only help if we are continuing to pursue the basic root of the problems.  The recap is the best way - it helps sort out the connections, leads you into emotional patterns, etc.

Ok, so you said we were born with a bent to one of the archetypes.

Yes.  Creatively, we are.

Is it possible that from non-understanding you move away from that bent to the opposite?

Yes, very easily in fact.  Usually towards anger or fear.

So we're really twisted from pretty much the beginning?

Yeppers, you got to go allllll the way back, and when you get there, don't stop - recap all the threads you're made up of to explore and recap the lives of all the people who came before you who now make up each tiny little part of your energy.  Then, recap on further to find the old men, the shamans who almost made it but didn't, recap through their lives as well to understand them and their knowledge.

I'm recapping intensely in my dreams.  I'm aware that it's recapitulation while I'm dreaming.

That's very good.  Sometimes, what happens is that things we either can't recall well, or are too painful, will show up in dreaming for a pass in recapping.  I've always considered that a good thing.

For those of us who have brains wired by too much cortisol as babies (hence have a LOT of body fear), will recapping help rewire the brain?  Are there exercises for this?

Yes, there are exercises.  The particular water exercise I gave you is one.  There are others, but the recap itself, done over a long enough period of time, will eventually lead you back to a place where in fact rewiring is what happens; although, you may have to bore quite a few new holes to get the wires where they need to go.  Body fear, the natural anxiety we all experience, can usually be broken down with the recap as we move back, but it still requires that fluidity in order to get the new you moving.  You reach a place where everything is gone except you and your natural predilections, at that point, how you act, the way you become is up to you and how you deal with those things.  The other issue that bears on this is the issue of conditioning that comes with creating situations where fear can overtake you, but in which you persevere to overcome it.  If your own death is too much, you can always start with smaller fears.

Dealing with Trauma, Abuse

Relationships, parental, familial and romantic - those who are recapping in these areas, I realize, are having a very difficult time with physical issues being brought up, emotional issues, and depression.  Some cycles offer no buffer from the usual recap process of working around things to spiral in on, especially traumatic or difficult connections.  The difficulty with the recap on these levels is simply that we suffer, because in spite of our best intentions to let go, our energy and minds fight to hold onto the familiar - no matter how painful it may be.  Breaking these connections at this level predicates major changes in our worldview, our perception, and our ability to be aware of ourselves and those around us on entirely new levels.  This is not a casual recap.

The severity of problems, both physical and emotional, depends a great deal on how you choose to react to the energies attached and still active in your own energy.  Revulsion, physical pain and depression are just some of the ways in which these can affect you.  When you reach this level of the recap, there is only one thing which can get you through the process while making progress, and that is a ruthless compassion applied both to yourself and to the connections which are the root of so much continuing turmoil in your energy.  You must become ruthless - angry if necessary - but above all, ruthless with the connections and memories which flood in from the wounds of the past.  Compassion must also exist if you are to move away with detachment and dissolve those connections once and for all.  You have to think of yourself as a warrior, engaged in a battle for your own survival, because in fact, that is the case and not something that can be taken lightly.  No matter how much people have hurt you in the past, connected with you in ways that continue to drain your energy, you must engage those things with an absolutely ruthless determination.  You can't care about them, you can't care about the nature of the problem connections - you simply must succeed.

You can start becoming ruthless with these things by bringing anger to your side and applying it with as much force as possible - not to the personalities involved, but to the memories and connections.  They must be broken - take no prisoners.  The real problem is not one of connection, or the what, or the how.  The issue is one of self-perception and how your worldview has been shaped by these things.  While you may not like it, the fact is, you were - and are - formed by your interactions with other people.  That can't be allowed to exist in ways which drain you, control you, or make your world one in which you live in misery.  You can have regrets, but it doesn't mean you have to live a lifetime of regret.

What effects will it have on a current relationship if I recap events that are related to larger energetic patterns?  Assume the current relationship is desirable, and I intend to continue within it.

As long as you leave the current relationship dynamics out of it, you should be okay.  It may change somewhat, but relationships are built, so if you have built solidly it should be fine.  In other words, in that case, real love will win out.

Recapping a pattern that is manifesting in this relationship - how does that differ from relationship dynamics?

Because it wasn't created in this relationship, but was created in the past and is being carried over.  You can redefine the current one, but overall it should not affect it in a negative way.

How can we use the 'spot' of ruthlessness and detachment in recapping?  Recall it during the recap and apply it?

Anger, then ruthlessness, then detachment.  Here's how:

As you start working the recap exercise, you should draw upon anger - not personal anger as in 'so and so pissed me off,' but anger from the heart of anger, the big anger, archetypal anger.  It should not be attached to any person or thing you are recapping.  Once you bring up that anger.  Once you are literally shaking with anger, nonspecific anger, rage, aim it at the specifics of what you are recapping, still not at the person, but at the actions, the memories, the connections.  Use the anger to trigger your ruthlessness.  Go after it ruthlessly, without regard to anything but breaking down those connections and sucking the marrow out of the bone.  Then tell yourself one simple thing - you don't care.  If you have done this effectively you will find yourself in a place of detachment.  You are basically taking your emotional energy and slamming it into a brick wall, and not giving a fig about it.

You said earlier that this cycle was not a time to be casually recapping.   What would you say would happen if you have been doing some hardcore recapping?

That it was par for the course, right now, that this cycle is pounding the crap out of people - that's both a good and bad thing.  It gives you a boost to go after a lot of these things that may be very difficult, but it also tends to throw you into a cesspool of connections and emotions.  I'm trying to give you a survival kit, for the time being.  I'm sure you feel as though you have been sucked into places you really weren't prepared to go right now.

Where and how do you apply or involve compassion in the severing process?

The compassion lies in the detachment.  It is that place you come to which defends the existence of even the worst of behaviors and connections - not because they are right or wrong, but because they are simply the nature of the beast.  You can't fault people for their own weaknesses.  You can only choose not to be prey to them anymore.  Once you have detachment, you begin to see with a detached compassion the things that created them.  It doesn't mean you like them - and certainly not that you approve of them - but, it allows you to finish breaking those draining connections.

So, once again, it's the "big" compassion.  Not a personal thing, but a larger understanding of human nature.

Yes.  We are all, to one degree or another, victims of our past, but we can choose not to be victims any longer - there is a middle way.

When moving from archetypical anger into detachment, would one still feel the physical after-effects of anger for 20 minutes or so like normal, or will it vanish as we move our energy into detachment?  Physical effects like high blood pressure, racing heartbeat, shaking etc.?

It's a strange beast.  It will fade like a dying light, very quickly.  The shift in itself can be startling.

Okay, so if we are able to do these 3 steps successfully, will this lessen the physical problems some of us are having as a result of earlier attempts, or make them go away completely?  Except for healing damage done already, perhaps.

Yes, it will help lessen them and move you to a place where you can get through it without all the discomfort.  Practice with the technique some first.

What I'm unsure of is, should I go for it, or wait until I heal some first?

Work it in smaller things, other recap issues.  Then, as you feel it settling in as a tool you can use, apply it to the tough stuff.  If you are in a process of healing, now - I mean one you can really identify - wait; but if not, applying it will help lessen some of the things you are going through.

How does a person really define for themselves if they should quit. or plow onward?

Well, dry heaves are a good example.  If it's too much, if the depression is too great, the pain too much to bear physically.  Back off, allow yourself to get better, do mundane things, create with your hands, work with them in the earth at planting flowers, making mud pies - anything to reach a point of grounding and balance.  It's like a boil that's rising.  It won't drain until it's at a certain stage, and sometimes you have to wait a little.  And yes, they can be very physical.

Recapping and Self-Perception

Now we arrive at a pivotal point in our quest for awareness, and that is perception itself.  When you are born, created, forced into the world, you are equipped with tools of perception much greater than what most possess now.  The world, our culture, our 'way' of being has limited you to a hammer, so now everything you perceive is a nail.  We are not even taught that there are different types of nails - only peripherally are we aware of the differences, and certainly not other things which can be accessed with other tools that we possess but are not aware of, in general.  Tonight, I just want to talk about self-perception - how we have come to perceive ourselves and spin around in the center of our own little universes.  This is the way that we are taught, though taught may be a bad expression.  The demand that we perceive ourselves in certain ways, behave in certain ways, and even feel in certain ways, is driven into us from the moment of birth onward, until finally, we exist only as a reflection of the people around us.  We are part of one giant cluster fuck of perception.  The problem during recapping is that we are both revolting against that perceptual rule and living by it at the same time until a new balance can be struck in our energy.  This is not a fun thing.  Recapping on these levels is serious business, as anyone who has done it in depth can tell you.

How do you play with your own perception of self?  How do you move from the place of victim to one of strength and individuality?

The only way is to attach yourself to something larger than your own perceived existence for the temporary time it takes to move through the energy of recapping these fundamental events in life.  We have all experienced trauma at one point or the other in life.  There has been physical, sexual, emotiona,l and outright criminal abuse for many.  Yet, there is a choice involved in how we choose to perceive that pain.  I have been the victim of rape.  I could choose to take a position of anger and prejudice, but my choice is to move my perception to a place above that pain - to use it to understand my own nature and the ways in which I could use any experience to understand life itself in greater depth.  Perception, any place in perception is only a choice.  You live the reality you choose, and choose you should - before a reality chooses to live you.

What did you mean by attaching yourself to something larger through the duration?

There are things that exist in our universe that are much larger than us - the earth, nature in general, even visions of time.  We have to connect with those things in personal ways to allow us the perspective of our true position - otherwise, everything becomes about our pain, our suffering, and our misery.  No matter how bad we feel our 'problems' are, there is always someone out there with problems much worse.  We have to keep ourselves moving.  If we stop too long in a fixed position of our own perspective, we become rigid and become overwhelmed.

I take it you can use this applied anger and detachment technique for a number of things besides just recapping?

Yes, it has applications in a number of ways; some are brought up differently and from different aspects of our energy.  Yes, it can definitely be used in healing.