Tag Archives: non-ordinary reality

Chuck’s Place: Injured Maybe, Offended Never

Never get offended…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

When it really matters, when we are really threatened, something in us seizes control and acts. Awareness of the acts we perform in this heightened state of awareness may instantly be lost to memory as we shift back to our ordinary state of awareness, like when an intense dream is immediately forgotten upon awakening.

Immediately upon shifting out of these non-ordinary states of reality our internal dialogue takes charge, filling our minds to the brim with the affairs of everyday life, as our just moments ago extraordinary adventures fade into oblivion. In psychoanalytic language, our internal dialogue delivers us to a full blown neurosis. A caricature of how it operates would be a Woody Allen/Doubting Thomas character whose mind incessantly ruminates, doubts, and judges both self and others.

The salient feature of this obsessive thinking is its fixation upon feeling offended by the actions of others or blaming the self for the way things are; in effect, feeling offended by one’s own actions and limitations.

That we all have an internal dialogue is a necessary fact of life. In fact, as the Shamans of Ancient Mexico point out, its incessant defining and judging functions allow us to interpret and navigate the solid world we live in. However, the debilitating side of this nonstop chatter in our minds is that it distracts us from our capacity to live a richer life in a state of heightened awareness.

Indeed, we can be injured by the intentional actions of others, but to attach to the constant  promptings of the internal dialogue, to be offended by the behavior of other or self, is to relegate the lion’s share of one’s energy to inconsequential, emotional self-defeat. Put bluntly, it’s a major waste of energy.

We needn’t obsess to address real occasions of injury, for as previously stated, when needed, something within us will spring forth and act without the necessity of lengthy deliberation. Even the action of freezing, or leaving one’s body under the impact of violent attack, reflects instinctive knowing of how best to survive. The internal dialogue is of no value when it really counts.

Shamans recommend freeing oneself from spending one’s energy on feeling offended. The energetic savings accrued by this allows one to gain greater access to living in a richer state of heightened awareness, where one enjoys, and is fully present to, all that is possible in life.

Don Juan Matus calls this state the mood of the warrior, where one is fully energetically alive in each moment in a state of inner silence. Pragmatically, this entails refusing the promptings of the internal dialogue to attach to any interpretations of being offended, and responding instead to the actual presenting needs of each moment.

The thinking mind might have a role in deliberating a decision, but silence allows the truth of the heart to spark spontaneous right action. This is living in the Tao of heightened awareness.

The best guidance for freeing oneself from the energy drain and limiting perspective of the internal dialogue is to allow it to just be, to not engage it, to not argue with or fight against it. Rather than be offended by life, particularly in this time of great offensive talk, respond like a warrior who acts from the place of what is truly needed to survive and prevail, in the best interest of all.

Yes, acknowledge that the acts of others can injure you, and do take decisive action to protect the self whenever necessary, but don’t waste any energy on being offended by the acts of others, as the internal dialogue would have you do.

Finally, place no attachment on the outcome of your decisive actions; fulfillment is already achieved in the purity of the warrior’s decisive act.

Without offense,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: PTSD—The Doorway To Expanded Reality

Ordinary reality is perceived this way...
Ordinary reality is perceived this way…

Ordinary reality is our world of solid objects constructed by the building blocks of time and space as organized by the mind through its faculty of reason. Ordinary reality is a discreet world that increasingly sees itself as the only world, the one true reality. This is an old world view not dissimilar to the view once held that the earth was the center of the universe, that even the sun had to revolve around it. We now know that this egocentric, earth-centric view of the universe is false. The truth is that Earth is actually a minor player in a vast, endless universe.

Many people today also know that ordinary reality is but a subset of a far greater reality, that of infinity and the many worlds that coexist within it. Just as in Galileo’s time, today we encounter the fierce guardians who protect and uphold the notion of the one and only true world of ordinary reality. These guardians fear the collapse of the world as we know it—if the doors were to open to the experience of life beyond ordinary reality.

These same types of guardians operate within the psyches of all of us. There are veils that protect our version of who we are, what’s happened to us, and what really exists in this world. In trauma we are jolted beyond the confines of ordinary reality into a state of heightened awareness. In the world of heightened awareness, time and space as we experience it in ordinary reality are suspended. Many people report that time slows considerably during a trauma, that very slow motion and a sense of clarity to each unfolding detail are experienced.

Heightened awareness changes the way we perceive reality...
Heightened awareness changes the way we perceive reality…

The laws of space and reason are suspended as well in the heightened awareness of trauma. People report being partially out of or completely separate from their physical bodies, witnessing the entire traumatic event from a great distance, often with a remarkable sense of detachment.

Once a trauma has completed, consciousness immediately shifts back into ordinary reality. Similar to emerging from a dream world state back into waking reality, the experience of trauma disappears like a quickly evaporating dream. The guardians of the psyche of ordinary reality return and go to work to fit the residue of the experience that won’t disappear into some reasonable story that fits the guidelines of ordinary reality, once again ensuring the sanctity and supremacy of ordinary reality—known as sanity.

Jan relates that in her experiences as a sexually abused child, as soon as she left her abuser’s world—walked back out through the veils and into ordinary reality—she left the traumatic event behind, but there were still physical and emotional residues to deal with. As a six year old, pain in the pelvic region or crotch was given a reasonable explanation, coming from too much bike riding, or later as a teenager from horseback riding. Sometimes, even before crossing back into ordinary reality, the pain had already settled in some other area of the body, such as in the arm or neck, also related to the trauma but much easier to bear, more acceptable than a pain in a most private part of the body that no one ever spoke about or was supposed to touch. Emotional pain turned to acting out and anger, as she blamed others for the turmoil inside that she could not fully encapsulate.

Ordinary reality does not permit a world where time and space are suspended and reason falters. So the guardians of ordinary reality employ forgetting, doubting, and revisionism to secure the borders from the irrational intruders of experiences of trauma, that is, heightened awareness and non-ordinary reality.

A Guardian of Reality...
A Guardian of Reality…

PTSD is the result of the collision between that world of ordinary reality and non-ordinary reality. In PTSD the psyche is forced into a state of hypervigilance as it attempts to keep at bay the intrusions of the experiences of non-ordinary reality into its perfectly reasonable state of ordinary reality. Society-at-large fears and denies PTSD because of the threat it poses to the supremacy of ordinary reality over all reality. Certain experiences just don’t fit into the perfectly reasonable world that the guardians uphold: “How could someone forget something like that?” “Repression doesn’t exist!” “It’s impossible to have sex with an infant!”

The current incidences of mass trauma played out on our world stage are rapidly pulling down the veils that the guardians of reason uphold, revealing the existence of powerful worlds beyond that of ordinary reality. In recapitulation we voluntarily undertake exploratory journeys into our personal experiences in non-ordianry reality: traumatic or otherwise. The challenge for all recapitulations of traumatic states of heightened awareness is allowing the truths experienced in those states of non-ordinary reality to be permitted into the knowing of ordinary reality, to accept the validity of other worlds within the self. It’s both a humbling and a terrifying process.

Doubt so often appears to undermine the knowing of the truths so overwhelmingly presented during recapitulation. Frequently the body replays, in excruciating sensory detail, the experience that occurred in the heightened awareness state of trauma. The nightmare of this trauma is relived in all its intensity to prove to the consciousness of ordinary reality that indeed it happened! Amazingly, doubt can disavow even such powerful experiences for a long time. Ultimately, however, as a supportive process of recapitulation unfolds, ordinary reality expands to include the truths stored in the timeless world of non-ordinary reality.

Eventually these two worlds merge into greater wholeness and we become beings less attached to a narrow view of the universe. Like Galileo, we become proponents of and explorers of a new universe, beings far better equipped to navigate and discover the deeper dimensions of infinity, the infinity of ourselves.

In many worlds,
Chuck

Chuck’s Place: Doubt—The Enduring Sentinel

During recapitulation we use intent to shift us into places of non-ordinary reality where we discover parts of our personal history hitherto completely unknown to our everyday selves. Although we may encounter many triggers in everyday life—events that evoke anxiety, fear, bodily sensation or fleeting images of prior experiences—the full knowing of the events of our lives requires that we shift into non-ordinary reality to retrieve the full truth of our lives lived.

October 28, 2011—An undeniable sudden shift into non-ordinary reality

Whenever we experience events in life that fall outside the realm of normal, our hold on reality is threatened. Inwardly these events are experienced as overwhelming and disintegrating, often accompanied by dizziness and nausea. Our sense of self that is based on normal reality is forced to dis-integrate under the impact of experience that happens outside of everyday expectations. In order to hold onto some sense of a cohesive, recognizable self when the experience ends, a set of reorganizing defenses are employed to make the experience fit into normal expectations, or reality as we expect it.

These defenses range from rationalization—where a non-rational experience is cut and pasted into a rational one—to repression, where the experience is completely lost to memory; it simply doesn’t exist in one’s personal history.

As we go deeper into the intentional process of recapitulation, the body opens the hidden reservoir of personal history stored from experiences of non-ordinary reality. The body takes us into a direct, unedited reliving of those experiences. This is not a process of mental cogitation or speculation, this is an experience of direct knowing. This is the experience of worlds colliding, the world of ordinary reality with the world of non-ordinary reality.

As these worlds meet, so do different selves meet. The self constructed from experiences of normal reality meets the self resulting from experiences of non-ordinary reality, each isolated and unknown to the other until the moment of collision.

What just happened? Where am I?

The impact of the truths of experiences from non-ordinary reality upon our working sense of self and the world at large is deeply challenging. Suddenly we may be forced to face the fact that people we have loved and known to be good people actually violated us in horrific ways. We might also discover that things we definitely did in states of non-ordinary reality, like leaving our bodies, defy our rational grasp of the world. We might also discover that behaviors that we have engaged in for a lifetime that have led us to a sense of a deeply flawed, bad self, were actually defensive maneuvers to rearrange reality and make survival palatable.

The self of survival is not the true self. Constructed or not, flawed or not, it nonetheless is and has been the working definition of self, the familiar self, the self that has held down the fort for decades. In recapitulation that self is asked—or forced at a certain point—to take the journey to find the self locked away in non-ordinary reality. This is the ultimate journey that removes the barriers to all the truths and allows for the mergence of worlds, resulting in the full birth of the true self.

As we work our way through recapitulation, we encounter the defense of doubt—the enduring sentinel of the self of ordinary reality. I call it enduring because it is astounding how, despite a growing sense of deep knowing of experiences from non-ordinary reality, it persists in its ability to cast a long shadow over the validity of those experiences.

In a recent article from Harvard Magazine (Nov-Dec 2011) reference is made to a study that determined that repression—dissociative amnesia—is a “pseudo-neurological symptom that lacks medical or neurological basis.” The researchers conclude that repressed memory is a “culture bound symptom,” a product of 18th century Romanticism following the Age of Enlightenment. They hypothesize that the notion of repressed memory endures into our time due to its attractiveness as a dramatic device.

Studies like this show the power of doubt employed to preserve a rationally constructed world of ordinary reality. This is the kind of energy behind the concept of “false memory syndrome,” constructed to shut down forever any attempts to expose the truths of events stored from encounters with non-ordinary reality.

The old sentinel can give way to Buddha consciousness that can handle the truths of all worlds.

Doubt serves the process of recapitulation to the extent that it insists that the events of non-ordinary reality be fully experienced and fully known. However, at a certain point, it’s time for the old sentinel to put down its sword, a worthy warrior that has protected an old world so gallantly for long enough.

It’s okay, it’s time to allow the new self, the true self to be in the world, in full possession of all parts of itself, with all of its powers in hand. This is the self that can handle the truths of all worlds, an evolved self, ready to lead and fully enjoy real life!

Chuck