The Work 2015

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The Empty Chair and The Feminine Principle, (a little book of aphorisms) are still available to purchase from Barbara, Mike's wife directly. Contact Barbara

Audio version of The Empty Chair

The English audio version of his book 'The Empty Chair' can be ordered through Ryan Hallford's website

There are almost no bees. In spite of planting a variety of insect-attracting plants in the Spring, or at least, Barbara did, there are virtually no insects, apart from some hoverflies, at a time when the garden is a feast of flowers. This, of course, is a potential disaster and probably due to the latest scientific advances in pesticides. The neighbouring fields were sprayed recently, exactly in accordance with Ministry of Agriculture recommendations. To gain larger crops and more money, we risk losing all crops and incidentally, insect and bird life as well. Quality of life goes out the window. These pesticides, neonicotinoids, are possibly more virulent than the DDT which was quite successfully curtailed some years ago. Yesterday we saw one bumble bee with all six legs up in the air, dead, and not a single honey bee. Two cabbage white butterflies, two peacock butterflies and one comma; on a beautiful day; hot weather; the middle of July; in a paradise of flowers!

This is one story.  The other bee in my bonnet just now, a relatively new obsession, is that whilst I have been going on for years and years about how some sciences are exponentially catching up with the intuitions of the mystics, here below is my evidence of some of the the results. Perhaps scientists (some of them) are the new mystics.

 I have usually been talking about physics and some of the luminaries of that profession. Now I am extending my obsessive interest to Epigenetics, a relatively recent science, dating from about 1990, which is a joint practice between Biology and Physics.

SCIENCE AND SPIRITUALITY

I want to write about what I see as being the congruence between these two subjects.  Spirituality as I experience it, not as a dogmatic truth and Science in the particular form that it is described by the Epigeneticists.

I shall try to weave in thoughts that have grown in me about the Masculine and Feminine principles and how we would be wise to study them, largely, in my case, in their application to therapy, although perhaps, on another scale, to world affairs and indeed, life in general.

The attraction here is that it (the new science) seems to say from the point of view of science and the intellect, exactly what some of us say and experience, from the point of view of intuition and interior examination.  That is very comforting to the ego! As I get old this ceases to be as much of a problem as it was but, yes, it is comforting.

So now, since this discovery, I continue to do whatever it is that I do, or don’t do but it is great to feel the company of some others who reach the same place down different paths.

Part of what I do and what I teach students to do, is to meditate ( they may do so already, of course ) The reason I give is that if we are to work with people at a deep, perhaps very deep level, it is important that we stay  earthed,  grounded and in the present.  We cannot be of use to others if we disassociate whenever a deep level trauma arises. (whether mine or yours ). The main purpose of meditation, in my book, is to come into the present with what is happening, right now, in my mind, acknowledge that and let it go.  If I can’t let it go, then acknowledge that I can’t let it go.  That is what is there right now.  It changes the whole time and I try to be just aware of that, not trying to force my mind to take some other route.  I hear myself.  I do not judge myself or beat myself up. I heal myself. If I use meditation to try to elevate myself to some higher or better state of being, then I have lost the plot, in my opinion, I have gone back to materialism and the limitations of the intellect.

So, in class, we meditate, for half an hour at the beginning and another twenty minutes after lunch.  Or in some countries, after the siesta.

SCIENCE

I get a lot from science and I like to think that, in a small way, there is something to offer back, which is, simply put, a way of embodying, realising, the tentative conclusions we all come to. A truth that is beyond understanding.

I have justification in the form of references for statements that I have attributed to science and as I go along I will credit some of the main influences.  Anything else comes from my own experience or intuition and is not per se, scientific.

 

It seems such a shame that thinking people despise and put down feeling people and that intuitives are at war with observations that are more rooted in sensation. They are all aspects, equally valuable aspects, of the make-up of the human psyche (C G Jung).

 

It therefore becomes a pity when “scientific” therapy disparages the alternative and the alternative and traditional, rather pathetically, has to justify itself in pseudo-scientific language.  I can always be right from my point of view as you can from your point iof view; but right from an absolute point of view?  Who can say?  It might actually be useful to ask the recipient how she feels.  That is probably as close as we shall get to the absolute, whatever I or you, think.

 

We don’t get anywhere by fighting except into more fighting.  I am here specifically talking about the war against suffering and illness rather than that between nations, though much of my argument may be applied to the latter.

The questions we have to ask, when this happens, are, who is the enemy and who is the me that is fighting.  I am not who I think I am.  That I is an accumulation of undigested life experience, in other words the contents of my unconscious mind.

According to psychologists, ninety-five to ninety-nine percent of the time, I am not present but reacting to a replay system which has been laid down over many years, particularly in the first seven years of life (including the prenatal period) during which I absorbed a mass of information about my identity and the world I live in from my immediate environment - parents, siblings the family car, my pet cat and mashed spinach that I was forced to eat.  With this I identified at a subliminal level and to this I continue to respond.  Psychologists reckon that at least seventy percent of the developmental programmes that we download ( or upload, I never quite understand which is which ) are negative and disempowering. Why, is another subject.

This is particularly unfortunate as the conscious mind is the creative and life-enhancing mind and the unconscious is merely a massive storehouse of information which has become our default position adopted from a time, place and conditions which are no longer there.

(my interpretation of Bruce Lipton in “The Biology of Belief”)

 I is a strange thing, mostly it is other people!

GENES.

This, of course, is an example of our genes speaking, isn’t it! We are subject to genetic determinism, as we have been told.  At least, those of us who are of a certain vintage have been taught that and it continues to be so taught in very many schools.

Well, no it isn’t. Gene expression is found to be subject to changes in the environment in the greater sense of the word environment, which here includes diet, relationships and stress. Ninety per cent of all illness is a direct response to stress.

If behaviour can be altered by the environment, that behaviour, including even the way I think, which is part of my programming, can be modified.  I do not have to be a victim.  I can fulfil my dreams, wishes and aspirations.  I am not who I think I am.

To be fully in the body at a very deep level, in the present, is to open the door to the possibility of changing the way our genes express; perhaps this can be described as re-birth in the now (this is nothing to do with the concept of re-incarnation), This work can be, at its deepest level, a level beyond the limitations of the intellect, a route to that end.

I have described the work as being, “at its tenderest, a journey taken in company to a level of being where there is no pathology”.

The level of being where there is no pathology is the root or core level of being which supports all of us at a cellular level- the level of the sensory body. In embryology the cell, the blastula, the foetus and the new-born, first experience sensation; then comes feeling and then only later comes thinking and conceptualisation. Pathology has not yet arisen, there is only the experience of sensing what is. Pathology is a concept and at the level of sensation there is no conceptualisation.

CHANGES.

To make changes we need  perhaps, instead of wrestling with the forms which the unconscious mind has produced in its reactivity and which we have labelled pathology or symptomatology, to surrender the disempowering workings of the intellect that conceptualises and labels its view of what is, based on the input of “others” and get back in touch with the truth of our being, at a sensory level. Perhaps from just touching that level, repeatedly touching it in the form of practice, a better adapted and less victimising sense of self could develop.

I do believe this to be possible and a substantial experience of working with groups willing to make the necessary surrender, confirms it.

The problem lies in the intellect, in that the purpose of the intellect is to define, explain and judge (and by so doing to limit!): all these functions of the masculine principle. Other adjectives might include doing, expanding, telling, moving – these could all have positive and negative sides. Perhaps the ultimate negative side of the masculine principle would be explosion. We could say that the concept of genetic determinism was a product of the masculine principle as, indeed, was the Cartesian paradigm. Both these are being discredited or superseded or, at least, modified.

In many cultures, including my own philosophy, there is a view that the whole must include opposites: good is relative to bad, masculine is relative to feminine. Everything has its opposite and nothing is in isolation. So where then is the feminine principle in me?

We could say that adjectives describing the feminine principle would include conservation, receiving, holding, listening – these too have positive and negative sides and the ultimate negative would be collapse.

If, as I said earlier, at least seventy percent of the patterns from which the unconscious mind operates are negative, and if we are acting from the unconscious ninety-five to ninety-nine percent of the time, it sounds as if we are doomed!

Happily this is not so!  Neither in my own clinical experience nor in the model of Epigenetics. I have not suddenly become an academic or a scientist, I have neither the inclination nor the capacity.  What has been encouraging to me and I suppose I must be talking about my ego – it consumes a lot of my energy – is that whatever conclusions, provisional or otherwise, that I have reached in my work, seem to have been reached from the intellect as well as from intuition. If we could all find a joint practice between what I shall loosely call left and right-brain modalities, I do believe that a greater truth could reveal itself, in the search for healing.  To find that balance, we may have to jump off the cliff into trust of the workings of Intelligence itself rather than the specific manifestation of that Intelligence called the Intellect. Perhaps we need to re-evaluate the potential power of the Feminine, which could include Intuition.

To go back to making changes, Epigenetics says that whilst we cannot change our genes, we can alter the, roughly only ten to fifteen percent which is in expression, active, triggered, at any one time. Four ways to make positive changes are posited but they collectively boil down to changing their habits of expression and encouraging a different and better expression. Bruce Lipton The Biology of Belief. Habits are changed, in essence, by putting a new habit in place. Whilst trauma or grace may achieve this purpose involuntarily, the most reliable way, for most of us, will be step by step.  By first being aware that we are habituated, not as we might of hoped, in control and by being prepared to take responsibility for that.

So, the first step is to be aware. As I have said, most of the time we are not.  It can be a slow and painful process to improve the percentage.  The prize however is immeasurable - freedom.  Freedom from the enslavement to habituation. Having become aware of how I am dis-empowering myself by continuing to carry around and operate from the negativity of my unconscious – rather that blaming the relentless universe for this enslavement – I can perhaps begin to set better, more life-enhancing practices in place.

It seems that the left brain can conceptualise about quantum changes, this conceptualisation however, is, by definition, a separation from the changes and a limitation of those changes. , Perhaps a right brain, feminine, approach could lead to a non-separation and rebirth from the electro-magnetic, energetic, level to the manifest level. Intelligent unity could re-emerge from under the intellectual formation of habituated self?

Go to a deeper level of being, or better put, surrender to a deeper level of being that is at our core, and just be aware, with no object.  This is the incredible and difficult thing, let the work do the work lest we limit it. It is not, at first, easy to trust to the extent of not needing to know.  At least not for the differentiated and individual me.  But, when we can and do something changes.  That is all I can say.

The ability to be present to….just present without any analysis or judgement. That is to say just to listen without having to know what is being listened to, as all knowing is, by definition, a limitation.  This is my proposal and practice.

In sum, the essence of the work is to listen.

The Daoist tradition has a take on  listen. If we translate the Chinese pictogram for “listen”, we find it has has five parts, namely,

1. Ears,

2. Eyes. 

3. You.

4. Full attention.

5. From the heart (not the brain.)  If only we could develop that capacity, the other, be it nation, spouse, friend, lover or patient, might feel heard and to be heard is to be healed.

Although I have been aware of this translation of “listen” for many years, it is interesting and amusing to note that I saw it recently quoted in an United States Department of State advice document on the subject of “Diplomacy in Action!” http://www.state.gov/m/a/os/65759.htm

There are several applications for this work, some psychological states among them.  Trauma, anxiety, depression and others; but what interests me, in particular, for further study, is the possible effect of working from the feminine principle, in the form of embodied listening, in relation to loss of intellectual capacity.  Instead of the masculine structure; regime, telling, organising, feeding, medicating, that is normally offered.  I am proposing that this way of being could be valuable when working with dementia and early (perhaps first and second) stage Alzheimer’s. It is no good attacking collapse with explosion.  Dementia needs to be heard to be healed, if not necessarily, cured. It could be a comparitively low cost research and there is no need to stress the need for a result. It is very rare for people with dementia to be heard.  They are mostly talked over and talked about.  Surely this is crazy?  Where is is no or limited intellect, there surely is the need for a body work that is devoted to hearing and holding, both at the sensory level and both representing the prime needs of the human being – even, perhaps, above food and shelter!

Listening to an intellectually impaired person from the sensory level without judgement or analysis, is a very moving and rewarding experience, for both, or all, parties.

THE WORK.

The work, as I practice it, boils down really to just listening to another’s system without assessment, analysis or judgement of what is being heard. Without actually knowing what is being received. This is the feminine principle at work.  To be received or, putting it slightly differently,  to be heard is, in most societies, to be healed.  To be judged, to be analysed, to be “fixed” is the masculine principle at work and it is not a healing, other than of a symptom, and is dis-empowering.

In this work the hands are used on the fully clothed body – location is not of paramount importance as the connection is with the being rather than the specifics of the anatomy. It is important that the hands are seen as being receptors not transmitters, which is their usual function in medicine of one kind or another. Although that is not necessarily the case, significantly, when it is recognised that just holding is significant, as with babies, who have not developed yet an intellect!.

Being received or heard is rare, as I have suggested above. Much of our perceived suffering in relationship at the personal, societal and international level comes from not being heard. When that rare situation of being heard is encountered there can be a great sea-change in one’s defence mechanisms and as the receiving, being heard, goes deeper so do the changes in the armouring  allow a state of being to emerge that is much closer to the intentions of Intelligence and less a victim of undigested life experience, that is to say, the self-view that is so deeply entrenched in the first few years of life when delta and theta wavelengths are paramount and there is no discrimination. We could put this another way and say that cortisol and adrenalin are suppressed and serotonin and oxytocin are encouraged.

I am not a scientist, I am not even an academic of any kind but I do trust intuition and sensation and I suppose the word trust is absolutely paramount if the suffering, whatever it is, and I am talking rather more about Dementia than in-growing toe nails, is to be heard and healed as not to trust means that the, by definition limiting, intellect is always in play.

People have reported some amazing changes resulting from working this way, which nobody can understand very well, as they are perhaps, past understanding,

What gets heard?  At a very cellularlevel, what gets heard is the suffering, the trauma.  It is not examined conceptually or analytically, just heard and in this lies the possibility at that same level, for a re-evaluation of reaction and the possibility for a different reaction in the same way that the original sufferering or reaction was installed. It is not necessary to know that suffering, that would be a work of the intellect. Just to hear it.

Who hears? The patient hears and the thera[pist hears and they do not even need to know what they are hearing.  It is beyond knowing.The hearing is there because the conceptualising intellect is not.  The process is out of time or rather, fully in the present. (See the quote from Rilke at the foot of this document.)

I remember a particular, very recent, example, that perhaps illustrates what I mean by past understanding. It was during a three day residential course that I was teaching with about 22 students, if I remember correctly. The students ha all completed a 40 minute hands-on session in pairs.

During the feedback in the group it seemed clear to me that Marta was suffering in some kind of way.  I questioned her and she said she had a violent pressure building up “on the top of her head.”  During our little chat it got worse and worse until she say that she could and would bear it but only just.  I asked if I could move closer to her, she agreed and I suggested she lay back down again. - she had been sitting up on the couch that the exchange had taken place on -. I put my hands on her, not doing anything but just “listening” in stillness.  It could be called receiving.  I encouraged the person who had been the practitioner in the practice session to join in.  I asked from time to time whether Marta was still coping?  She was, but the pain was getting more and more excruciating.  I just sat, as still as I could, telling myself not to be paranoid every time I thought “ its not going to work this time.” – a habit of mine is mild paranoia! I just have to sit in stillness with that, as well.

Suddenly, Marta sat up and said “that’s it.  I have just realised how I have been limiting myself all these years. Now I can let it go! Thank you for keeping that safe space that I could explore that in.”  Not thank you for fixing me but rather, thank you for letting me find my own power  (whether again, or for the first time – I suspect the former).

The system finally found a way of, painfully, breaking out of its limitations; from what I know of her history, she probably had them since she was a small girl as she had not been wanted, loved was the way she described it. The pain faded quite quickly and the work of being present to her very lovable self begins.

THE FUTURE

I would like to find a way of getting together with a robustly left brained doctor/scientist, in a hospital environment with the aim of exploring clinically some of the areas which are currently most puzzling and most urgent. I am particularly thinking, of course, of the diseases associated with an exponentially increasing old population; particularly dementia.  The main task might be to find the form in which the work can be presented to make it palatable to those who would have to structure and conduct it. I have worked in several hospitals, including University Hospitals, some times with clients and sometimes with large groups of doctors and nurses. It is not however my main milieu and I do not know how to set up a proper “scientific” trial.

 What I bring to the meeting is that on the one side I come from an immersion in Eastern philosophy, Jungian psychology and mystical Osteopathy (if you can imagine such a thing);  in the middle I have forty years of clinical experience and teaching and on the other side I am much influenced by Bruce Lipton, Candace Pert, Rupert Sheldrake, Iain McGilchrist, Albert Einstein and many others especially the Quantum Physicists.  I am trying to make a bridge , in the same way that I struggle to make a bridge between intuition and sensation through thinking or feeling (c.f. C G Jung)

My main teacher remains Mila Repa.  He has been dead some 900 years but in the revered, second half of his life (unlike the first half when he was a bit of a tearaway) he advocated getting to know one’s demons, flattering them, paying them respect, feeding them well and then turning them into disciples to be put to work for the benefit of all. I like that model – let us schmooze! I do believe we can change our being and destiny

Is science prepared to work in the somewhat scary field of not-knowing, at least, not knowing in the intellectual sense?

Scientists tell me that the body, with its 50 trillion cells, is an incredible intelligence. The expression, not he structure, of the genome can alter itself.  Can we envisage a way of letting it do that and repair or restructure itself, without limiting what it can and will do by intervention of the intellect which, like the drugs that are often given and needed in cases of dementia, is not specific enough.

The premise is, that by becoming more fully in the body at the level of sensation (the cellular level), rather than thinking, which embryologically, is far away from the systemic source level, change can take place.  The repairs must be at that level, not from the limiting part- knowledge of the intellect.

Let us look for a moment at what the body does (among other things ).  Food, air, light, water, information, of one kind or another, including speech, sights and sounds, are ingested. All this is processed; we call it digestion.  What is useful is distributed and becomes, in a very real way, who we are.  Our growth, our structure, muscles, memories, fluids, feelings, everything. Our relationships become us. I am because you are (an old Bantu saying).

What is not useful is got rid of, through various outlets. Sometimes the processing plant breaks down or is overloaded and everything cannot be processed and eliminated so we bag it up, put it in cans; it just sits there and causes problems.  Remember, I am not just talking about carrots and big macs (if you must), I am talking about literature, movies, relationships, the weather, bad relationships, bad habits.  All!  We then unfortunately identify with the resulting can of worms or gloop, and the way it causes us to perform, think, live, reactively. This is the ninety five to ninety-nine percent of the time that we are not in the present but coming from the unconscious which is seventy percent polluted, as I quote from Psychology on page two, above.

If we can find a means of coming truly into the present, then there is the possibility of working with the effects that the cans of gloop are having on us and working with that. I see no need to force the tins open, it’s the effects that we are reacting to now that we need to work with as we cannot have the experience that we had when we buried undigested material in the cans.  I can begin to wonder why I am still reacting to something that I buried two, ten, sixty years ago. Of course if I determine to keep on walking around with all those toxins inside, because they are kind of familiar, then that is my choice and I can’t blame someone else…but I probably will!!!  Until I get sufficiently aware of how I am damagaing myself.

From my clinical experience, I suggest that there is an application for this work in dementia and early-stage Alzheimer’s at least, and very possibly further. I should very much like to test this “scientifically” as well as experientially, intuitively and observationally, which is where I am at right now. In the meantime, people continue to get better, or worse, exactly as they do from scientific intervention.  The trouble with scientific intervention in human affairs is that often the recipient of the intervention fails to respond in a scientific manner. Between science (certain sciences, at least ) and intuition, the gap is closing however.

SUMMARY

We are not what we think. Most of our life is spent in reactivity. The purpose of the work and, indeed the purpose of meditation, is simply to come into the present to what is, not what our undigested life experience, which is what is usually speaking, dictates. The present is the only place we can be proactive, anything else is reactive.

The only facet of the individual that is always present is sensation and sensation is of the body.

Sensation is primary, that is to say, the foetus has sensation before it has feeling and long before it has thinking or conceptualisation.

Any conceptualisation about the mind and about trauma that we carry is going to be a limitation as it comes from, or rather is mediated by, that unconscious mind which stores our undigested life experience that we have identified with.

We need to learn to trust in intelligence as it manifests as intuition, which is present, rather than only trust in the intellect, which is mostly not present but an accumulation of past and entrenched experiences.

If our life view can be brought into the present then the 95-99% of our behaviour that is reactive can become proactive. In my terms, these undigested experiences can be composted.

For many people it is a startling statement that our genes are controlled or rather, what we take up from the genes, is dictated by our undigested life experience. We do not have to be victims. We have first to be awake to the fact that we are reacting to trauma which are no longer there. With that awareness we can begin to rewire and set better habits.

We cannot go back and undo the past, we cannot even experience the past as it was, but only the effect that it is having now. We cannot truly experience our birth as a baby,. Whatever we experience in relation to that birth, call it a trauma, is coming out of a conceptualising adult and is a present limitation of the then experience. The experience of the baby is direct, immediate and in sensation with no past or future.

Intelligence takes form. One of the forms it takes is a limited and limiting intellect and a being that we call me. If we can come fully into the present, to what is now, not what we bring with us, then we can be in the creative moment, instead of being reactive to our upbringing, our early environment which may well have been substantially negative or not life-enhancing.

We are what we eat. In fact we are everything we experience physically, mentally and emotionally. The body itself is the great exemplar, the liver passes stuff to where it is useful and we embody that. What is not, or no longer useful, gets eliminated. At all levels if the system is operating well, we are experiences. We become our loved ones, by incarnating our experience of them We are also our feared and hated despised ones. When our loved ones die, we do not lose them, we have become them. (We are also continually at risk of becoming our neuroses and trauma if we are not awake).

There is no loss….. we have become.

And all this can be changed; by the same route that we ingest and become our good and bad memories and reflections, we can install new self image.

These are four routes mentioned earlier:-

  1. By hypnosis; in the sense that we ingest through repeated unconscious observation of the environment, as in the first seven years of our life experience.
  2. Through repetition and habituation. This needs intention.
  3. Following a major trauma, as being diagnosed with a terminal illness. Grace!
  4. By following a belief modification programme. Such as this work.Bruce Lipton

Something brings us to the point where we become aware of our reactive habituations. That awareness is the doorway to modification and, let us say,  going back to our ingestion/digestion analogy, change of diet. Whether that diet be food, relationships, behaviour or even thought. We can change our environment in one sense or another and the environment will change our genetic uptake. Not the gene itself but the activating or shutting down of genetic expression.

We cannot go back in time to the inspiration, the installation of the trauma but we can, in the present, alter its expression.

We cannot turn a demonic relationship into a picnic in the park, this would be being untrue to the facts, but we can become fully aware that this is not what is there now and from the realisation, be free to express ourselves pro-actively from what is, rather than as a victim of what was. I don’t think it is even necessary to wallow in the buried details of the awfulness of what happened, (which we have buried, with greater or lesser success) but rather create what amounts to a rebirth – not a re-incarnation – in the present.

To forgive myself and others who have caused my suffering, is not the essence, to recreate my world view is the essence. Ignorance does not need forgiving, it needs compassion.

The conscious mind, representing your uniqueness, your source or your spirit, is the creative mind. Conscious creativity is the source of our wishes, desires and aspirations. In contrast the subconscious mind is primarily a powerful record-playback device expressing little creativity. It is responsible for automatically and unconsciously engaging instincts and complex learned behaviours learned as habits.

Between late foetal development and seven years of age, fundamental behavioural programmes controlling life are  directly downloaded into the subconscious mind simply by observing behaviour of parents siblings and community. Unfortunately, psychologists suggest that 70% or more of behaviours downloaded into the subconscious during our developmental years are negative, disempowering and self sabotaging.

If mind is programming our lives, why do most people, most of the time, have difficulty in manifesting their life expectations? The primary reason is that we believe we are controlling our lives with conscious mind wishes and aspirations. Wrong. Neuroscience reveals the conscious mind controls cognitive function from only one to five percent of the time; consequently, 95 - 99% of our behaviour is derived from our subconscious programmes,

The reason for this functional imbalance is related to a unique property of the conscious mind .. it can think. While busy thinking, the conscious mind is not mindful of the current moment. Bruce Lipton

We are not what we think. Most of our life is spent in reactivity. The purpose of the work and, indeed the purpose of meditation, is simply to come into the present to what is; not what is our undigested life experience, which is what is usually speaking. The present is the only place we can be proactive, anything else is reactive.

The one facet of the individual that is present is sensation and sensation is of the body.

Sensation is primary, that is to say, the foetus has sensation before it has feeling and long before it has thinking or conceptualisation.

Any conceptualisation about the mind and about the trauma that we carry is going to be a limitation as it comes from  or rather is mediated by that unconscious mind which stores our undigested life experience that we have identified with.

We need to learn to trust in intelligence as it manifests in intuition which is present rather than in the intellect, which is not.

If our life view can be brought into the present then the 95-99% of our behaviour that is reactive can become proactive.

Science recognises that stress is directly responsible for up to 90% if illness. In response to stress the body shuts down growth processes, inhibits immune function and restricts executive conscious processing, collectively impairing the health of our bodies and our performance in life. Stress is especially exacerbated when individuals perceive themselves to be powerless in  facing impending challenges.

A particularly disempowering belief held by the public is the notion that genes control biology and, to a large extent, the character of life. From early school through basic college classes, the media, and personal family lineages, the public has been imbued with a belief in genetic determinism the notion that genes turn on and off and control our fate. Since 1990, science has dramatically veered away from its belief in to genetic determinism with the founding of the new field epigenetics, which is the science of how environment controls genes. Bruce Lipton

For many people this is a startling statement that our genes are controlled or rather what we take up from the genes is dictated by our undigested life experience. We do not have to be victims. We have first be awake to the fact that we are reacting to trauma which are no longer there. With that awareness we can begin to rewire and set better habits.

We cannot go back and undo the past, we cannot even experience the past as it was but only the affect that it is having now. We cannot experience the birth of a baby, whether ourselves or somebody else, whatever we experience in relation to that, call it trauma, is coming out of a conceptualising adult and is a limitation. The experience of the baby was direct, immediate and in sensation with no past or future.

This, to me, is a very important statement, that we cannot have another’s experience. There can be strong resonances as, we could say, my experience is also  the human experience, but whatever is going on in the other, is the excitation of a different nervous system.

Intelligence takes form. One of the forms it takes is a limited and limiting intellect and a being that we call me. If we can come fully into the present, what is now not what we bring with us, then we can be in the creative moment. Here we can  meet our hopes and aspirations.

“we are continually overflowing toward those who preceded us, toward our origin, and toward those who seemingly come after us. ... It is our task to imprint this temporary, perishable earth into ourselves so deeply, so painfully and passionately, that its essence can rise again “invisibly,” inside us. We are the bees of the invisible. We wildly collect the honey of the visible, to store it in the great golden hive of the invisible.”  Rainer Maria Rilke 

Mike Boxhall December 2014