Tag Archives: bearing the tension

Message from Jeanne: Before Breakthrough

"e" for endurance leading to evolution for everyone! - Photo by Jan Ketchel
“e” for endurance leading to evolution for everyone!
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Here is today’s channeled message, offered most humbly, from a place of innocence and gratitude.

Wishing you all well as you continue your inner process, bearing the tension but fully aware that breakthrough is coming! -Jan

A Day in a Life: Bearing The Tension On The Battlefield Of Conflict Resolution

Standing on a narrow ledge between worlds... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
Standing on a narrow ledge between worlds…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

All night I dream different versions of the same dream. I am standing on a narrow road dividing two worlds. In the beginning of the night I am between Heaven and Earth, between water and land, between psyche and soma. At one point I am on a narrow line between my past and my future. At another time I am between my two selves, the human self and the spiritual self. By the end of the night I end up in the deep South, in Georgia during the Civil War. I stand on a narrow strip of road between the two warring sides, the Confederates to my south and the Union soldiers to my north.

I tell them they have to stop fighting. I tell them that they each had some things right and they each had some things wrong, but I am not taking sides. There is nothing to fight about any longer, I tell them. I know you both fully and equally well. No one is more powerful than the other; no one is more influential that the other. No one is the good guy and no one is the bad guy. Having learned all this, a new me is in charge now and no one is going to get the upper hand.

I stand in the tension between the warring sides, waiting for them to lay down their arms and come out to greet each other as equals, to declare that they are each equally responsible for all that once was and all that is to be, as am I too. I declare that since we are fully known to each other all conflicts that arise in the future will be sorted out in similar mature fashion with equal honesty and clarity, all sides present and participating.

I patiently wait for them to make admissions and amends as I have done. I am solidly calm in my stance. I will not budge, but neither will I let either of them declare victory. The war is over; no one is the winner; no one is the loser; all sides have revealed their weaknesses and their strengths. It’s time to accept the position we are in and move on from stubborn self-righteousness into a new world where everything is acceptable and everyone is honest about who and what they are.

In the morning, I read of astrological aspects that signify taking a careful and balanced look at many conflictual situations, old and new. For myself, an old conflict had arisen the day before. I got caught in an old thought. I didn’t run from it but sat in the tension of it. It was unpleasant and a bit challenging but it was also necessary. I did the inner work by remaining mature, balanced, and aware, being totally honest with myself. It seems that my dreaming self finished the job nicely, showing me how multileveled our conflictual self really is, spanning all aspects of life and awareness, conscious and otherwise, and how strong and capable of gentle resolution we really are once maturity, honesty, and calmness step in.

Attending to the busy work of the psyche brings release... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
Attending to the busy work of the psyche brings release…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

By the time I woke up I felt quite peaceful and rested, in spite of the difficult situations I found myself in during the night. There was tension to withstand and yet I knew that only by standing in the tension and facing everything would the conflicts fully resolve so that no residual issues remained.

Recapitulation teaches us that once we’ve faced our inner conflicts and resolved them they no longer appear to grab our attention as they once did. On the rare occasion that they do appear, like my own old thought pattern, we are readily aware that they have come to teach us or remind us of something. In addition they point out the reality of now and how far we have actually come.

In balanced self we can firmly let those old issues know that they are no longer part of our life, but we must also attend to the lessons they have come back to teach us. This is standing on the line drawn down the center of the battlefield, bearing the tension of the conflict that needs resolution. Once we have achieved mature mutual agreement our conflicts dissolve and we can move on.

All things in the universe are bound to change. It’s the cyclic nature of reality; the stars moving and aligning, the moon waxing and waning, the sun rising and setting, the tides ebbing and flowing, the constantly changing days and seasons. We too are as cyclic as nature and so we must remember that inner conflicts will naturally arise and recede. But we also learn that they reappear over and over again, coming back to haunt us, presenting a narrow band of tension, a strip of fear and uncomfortability that we will live with for most of our lives if we don’t face our issues. Just like the returning seasons those issues come to stir us to action, often screwing things up for us until we finally make the decision to deal with them, to face them head-on by standing on our own battlefield of conflict resolution.

After recapitulation our own nature is finally freed to enjoy life in a new way... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
After recapitulation our own nature is finally freed to enjoy life in a new way…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Nature regularly plows things under, never to be seen again, but unlike nature we have consciousness and a psyche that keep us company and keep us on the straight and narrow road of life, asking us constantly to face what comes to greet us in our daily lives or suffer the consequences of failing to do so. With the proper ground upon which to do our most challenging inner work, we can volitionally counteract the cyclic forces of nature. By taking on what the psyche presents, we can consciously change ourselves with intent. And then the resolution is long-lasting, sending us one step further along on our true journey.

Facing what nature brings,

Chuck’s Place: Forging The Adult Self—Bearing The Tension

Sometimes the ritual is as simple as shedding what we don't need so that who we really are can bloom... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
Sometimes the ritual is as simple as shedding what we don’t need so that who we really are can bloom…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Ancient rites of passage championed the mature achievement of adulthood as the requisite linchpin to mastering life’s deepest challenges. Without the establishment of this mature adult self we are ill-equipped, or defensively overladen, to journey forward into life’s deepest needs and challenges.

The modern technological world has failed to collectively build the bridge to maturity that was once constructed by the transformative power of ancient ritual. Nonetheless, the modern world and life itself force us to forge an adult self. It is only the adult self that can take the journey forward, and that journey—if it is to be fulfilling—requires a recapitulation of life lived, with all its deficits, hurts, disappointments and traumas, to release frustrated energies and find renewal in deep connection with the greater self.

The adult self must ready itself to take the recapitulation journey. For this it must learn to be present to needs, feelings, and impulses, without collapse. Collapse here means caving to the demands of another part of the self that seeks release or relief in a compulsive, impulsive, habitual self-destructive behavior. The adult self must learn to stay still, to breathe and bear the tension of inner pressure in order to consciously choose the best course of action—that is, action that supports the true needs of the self.

Sometimes the tension must be borne for some time before the clarity on what is the right decision is achieved. Sometimes the adult self acts precipitously, only to realize it has been duped into traversing an old road once again. This is a critical juncture in the process, but one must not be swallowed in negative self-judgment or talk of failure, for that is the one-way highway to the helplessness of the child self, bemoaning its position, steeped in the powerlessness of self-pity.

The work is always for the adult self to stay present, both in the experience and as the detached observer, allowing for all the feelings, judgments, sensations and truths to be fully known. The adult self feels but does not get weighed down by its discoveries, though it can take some time, and repeated dives into the deeper self, to achieve this state of detached equilibrium.

The job of the adult self in recapitulation is to acknowledge, learn, and take forward into life the new awarenesses that are achieved, once and for all freeing the self of the need to cling to old habitual patterns and illusions. Resisting judgment, the adult self gradually molts into new life. Intense emotions and physical tremors are par for the course, bringing the necessary accompanying release of the multidimensional self as it frees itself of the past and moves forward to claim its innate potential.

It's all about sitting in the tension and growing right where we are planted... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
It’s all about sitting in the tension and growing right where we are planted…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

In this powerful physical release the adult self loosens and releases a torrent of energetic waves, once again fully present but staunch observer as well. Here, bearing the tension is allowing for vulnerability; complete physical and emotional release without constriction.

The crux of forging the adult self to fully live, is to learn to bear the tension of being fully present to all that was and all that is. In full presence we reclaim our birthright, our higher potential, completely freed to enjoy new energetic life.

In ancient religions, the standard-bearers of this ability to withstand the tension is the image of Christ on the cross and Buddha beneath his tree. In each of these ritual dramas, bearing the tension led to freeing the self to higher vibrational energetic life beyond the body, into full enlightenment in complete awareness. We too can achieve this state. Recapitulation is one tried and true method of taking the journey.

Keep it simple. Bear the tension, stay fully present, release the old, and move forward into wholeness, breathing in new life and new energy.


Chuck’s Place: Bearing The Tension

Like the hot flame emotions flare up... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
Like the hot flame emotions flare up…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Intense emotional encounters with rage, desire, joy or love are encounters with powers greater than our ego selves. Whether we seek out or seek to avoid these encounters, they require tremendous ego-forging to successfully receive or withstand the energetic intensity of their impact.

The ancient Greeks were well aware of the otherworldly origin of these higher power emotions, assigning many to the gods and goddesses on Mt. Olympus. Many Greek myths capture the intensity of human seizure by such higher power emotions in romances between the gods and mortals.

This ancient respect for the non-ordinary human origin of intense emotion, with its volatile, ecstatic, and overwhelming impact upon our human selves, is largely lost to the modern world. Now the lone ego self, or rational self, is given the daunting task of owning and managing emotions of great intensity.

Following ancient tradition, Jung’s psychology assigns the numinous energy of intense emotion to the ego’s encounters with the spirit self in the realm of the archetypes of the collective unconscious. This dimension of the psyche exists outside of the parameters of everyday space and time, in the timelessness of eternity. The ego, in contrast, was born in the world of ordinary space and time. Encounters between these two worlds are highly charged energetic exchanges.

For example, to be seized by love is, for the ego, an inner encounter with the archetype or Greek god of love—Eros—who pierces the ego with a numinous arrow of otherworldly spirit energy that then flows into the ordinary confines of human interaction. Some egos, under such seizure, are unable to approach the ‘object of their desire,’ collapsing in frozen awe or feelings of unworthiness. In instances where contact is made, rarely can an individual or couple withstand the energetic impact of the encounter for too long, as the relationship inevitably slips into the stasis of the ungodly boredom of the mundane, into the ordinariness of everyday life. As the light of the divine spark dims, a couple is challenged to search inwardly for divine connection and human partnership.

Bearing the tensions of ordinary reality... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
Bearing the tensions of ordinary reality…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Sexuality, as Freud and William Reich researched, is itself an interaction between ego and spirit energy. The ability to channel the highly charged spirit energy of orgasm requires the ego to relax its controls and constructions of ordinary reality to physically receive and commune with the divine energy of orgasm. Alexander Lowen spent his professional life developing Bioenergetics, physical movements to forge the ego’s ability to channel and receive spirit in ecstatic release.

The act of simply going to sleep similarly challenges the ego self to release control and receive spirit contact with its energy body in dreaming. In dreaming, the body self is completely immobilized to allow for this encounter.

In native American vison quests, the ego/body self is contained within a circle, bearing the tension of limitation, as it forges a vessel to receive a visitation from spirit self.

Christianity and Buddhism likewise engage physical stillness and limitation as the means of achieving divine encounters. Christ bound to a cross, bearing the tension of human suffering, is the context for divine connection. Buddha similarly bears the tension of the onslaught of human illusion as he sits in utter stillness, preparing to receive divine enlightenment beneath the bodhi tree.

At the culmination of the Jewish wedding ceremony, as divine energy pours into a couple, they forge a vessel of deeper commitment in human relationship by shattering a glass, in remembrance of the bearing of tension at the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem. In marriage, the ego self must bear the tension of suffering, as it makes contact with the divine, in joyful energy of union. The ego must be tempered to receive successfully the divine energy of joy.

Even the most modern of psychotherapeutic approaches boil down to forging the ego’s ability to suffer the influx of divine energy. In DBT therapy and Neuroplasticity, where the brain develops new channels to handle higher power emotional energies, treatment requires the ego self to learn to practice mindfulness. In mindfulness, we develop the ability to stay still and present—to manage and channel appropriately—encounters with highly charged spirit emotions.

The struggle to achieve full conscious awareness in spite of the veils of illusion is universal... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
The struggle to achieve full conscious awareness in spite of the veils of illusion is universal…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Vedantic science developed yogic practices to enable the ego and body self the ability to become still and successfully receive contact with the deepest spirit self, the Atman that lives beneath the bliss sheath. In other words, this translates as union with the infinite self in the space and time of ordinary human reality.

The ultimate goal of all spiritual and shamanic practice is: to enter infinity with consciousness, to be able to bear the tension of divine contact without dissolution, to continue the infinite journey beyond human life in full awareness. For this purpose, we are afforded a life in this world.

Everyday life in this world offers us many opportunities to forge the ability to enter infinity with consciousness. As we bear the tension of the reality in this world, we also practice bearing the tension of forging contact with infinity. We practice how to receive it, withstand it, flow with it and, ultimately, to become it, with awareness.

Bearing the tension,

#709 Chuck’s Place: Bearing the Tension

“I am obsessed with her, or him!”
“My loneliness is all-consuming.”
“My fear is paralyzing.”
“I am so angry I could burst!”
“I’m terrified of his/her anger.”
“I cannot accept what I have done; I hate myself!”
“I can’t get over what they have done to me.”
“I cannot stop crying, I’m so hurt.”
“I cannot bear to experience another memory.”
“My body is in such unbearable pain.”

The I Ching depicts the time of tension, inherent in each of these very real life circumstances, as the time of waiting. It offers the following counsel, but first a note of clarification. In The I Ching “the strong man” represents the masculine principle in both women and men. The strong man, the ego in us all, is confronted by the intense forces of nature within us that both nourish and deeply challenge our conscious stronghold.

Hexagram #5 Waiting: When clouds rise in the sky, it is a sign that it will rain. There is nothing to do but to wait until the rain falls… One is faced with a danger that has to be overcome. Weakness and impatience can do nothing. Only a strong man can stand up to his fate, for his inner security enables him to endure to the end. This strength shows itself in uncompromising truthfulness [with himself]. It is only when we have the courage to face things exactly as they are, without any sort of self-deception or illusion, that a light will develop out of events by which the path to success may be recognized.

The bird sits upon its egg and broods, in the time of waiting. The bird cannot create life, but if it refuses to brood, to sit and wait patiently, new life will not emerge. The period of waiting, as the bird sits upon the egg, generates heat, a vital ingredient to the transformation from egg to chick. For humans, the time of waiting requires containment of our emotional state (our egg), which generates inner heat, the basis for new life. When we are confronted with seemingly insoluble problems—gripping emotions, beliefs, or obsessive projections—our ego cannot make them go away with some new formulaic spin.

True solution, resolution, new life will only emerge from a source beyond the ego. The ego must acquiesce to the feminine principle of waiting, the labor of bearing the tension, in consort with its masculine consciousness facing the absolute truths inherent in the forces of tension upon which it sits. The outcome of this time of waiting is the irrational process of deliverance to new life. I highlight the word irrational because deliverance is a function of nature, not ego. The rain comes when it’s ready. New life is a changed self, fully relieved of its prior state of tension.

We live in a time of the collective inflated ego. Science has become the rational One True God, master of creation and solver of all problems. The irrational forces of nature are studied and corrected by science, as it perfects nature’s random and haphazard processes. We can’t help but see the consequences of such hubris upon the earth, with the irrational forces of nature wreaking havoc upon it in the form of oil leaks, floods, earthquakes, etc.

On a more personal level, nature confronts the rational forces of consciousness with moods, gripping emotions, needs, irrational beliefs, and compulsive projections. These forces are the messengers of our souls. Some of these messengers are angels; some are demons. Regardless, they are all demanding something of us. If we refuse them acknowledgement through repression, denial, rationalization, or projection, they intensify their approach and, like the earth, disrupt our functioning through volcanic emotional eruptions or earthquakes where we break apart into fragments. No amount of ego solutions will quell these forces permanently. No amount of medications will obliterate these forces of nature. We must reconcile with our deeper nature.

Reconciliation requires the correct ego attitude. We can’t simply lie down and give up. Nature has no respect for such a regressive attitude. This approach will land us in the flood, but not on Noah’s ark! We must remain aboard our ark of consciousness amidst a sea of forces, unknowing of the outcome, bearing the tension, awaiting the sign of the dove that we have arrived at new life.

We must respect the power of the unconscious, as Noah respected God, knowing that its power is greater than our ego, yet it seeks reconciliation with us. Nature wants consciousness. It created us. We are part of it, but we must assume the right attitude toward it to further our evolutionary potential. Nature has the resolution to our problems in its womb, however, it will not lead us to land or birth a solution unless we stand up to it, face it, acknowledge it, and discover what it has to show us in full consciousness and truthfulness. This is the period of bearing the tension, which we must, of necessity, suffer the heat of.

If we can bear the tension without succumbing to illusion, without falling prey to one of the demon’s tales, nature ultimately will reward us with deliverance. But this is an irrational process where consciousness must willingly ride the waves, without interference, bearing the tension like Christ upon the cross or Buddha beneath the bodhi tree. If we attach to any illusion, for example, the big baby inner child, who can lure us into sadness and fixate us in an eternal hell of pain with the illusion of emotional catharsis, then we become the ego that cannot remain aboard the ark of consciousness. If, on the other hand, we can bear the tension of the pull of that inner child, but refuse to attach to its drama, that is, remain the adult bearing the tension without drowning in the sadness, a time will come when nature will pull back the energy of this burden and release us into new life with the potential for innocent fulfillment at a deeper level. This is genuine transformation, genuine change, new life.

In summary, if we seek to achieve genuine deep change, we must be willing to bear the tension, suffer the pulls of opposite forces coursing through our moods, thoughts, and projections. Bearing the tension means waiting; patiently remaining still amidst the torment of intense emotions that seek release through acting out, giving up, or some form of ego spin on reality. However, waiting also requires standing up to all the truths that are presented while we wait.

And then, ultimately, nature, that non-rational force, will intervene: the clouds will release the rains, the chick will be born, the ark will land—new life through transformation. Such is the fruit of the time of bearing the tension.

If you wish to correspond, please feel free to post a comment below.

Until we meet again,