Taking the Long Way Home

Our work is to use every crappy thing that arises from our depths as fertilizer for great growth and healing. Every crappy thing.
Our work is to use every crappy thing that arises from our depths as fertilizer for great growth and healing. Every crappy thing.

Since the Lower Self is all about being negative, it stands to reason its fundamental position is to say a big, fat No to life. Every day, in many ways, this is essentially what we are doing when we follow the path of least resistance and allow our Lower Self to run amok. We are aligning with our negative intention to stay stuck. And we will not turn this around until to we exhume our hidden inner No from the depths of our unconscious and get to know it.

This is true about any difficult truth we must come to know about ourselves. We cannot get to where we want to be unless and until we are willing to really get to know ourselves as we are right now. Where do I say No? Why do I say No? How do I believe this is serving me? For if we didn’t believe our negativity and destructiveness was somehow serving us, we would default to our natural state of aliveness and live from our Higher Self. Instead, we invest our life force into the service of our No. But we don’t have the foggiest idea why we would do something like that.

We tend to have our wires crossed regarding our active and receptive poles. We are forever pushing when we should relax, and straining when we should let sleeping dogs lie. Or we flip over to being lethargic when we really need to be making some effort. In this way, we turn away from what most needs our attention. Our own masculine or feminine nature comes into play here. And we wind up hopelessly confused about who should do what and why we behave as we do. (See more in The Pull: The Spiritual Significance of Relationship.)

There’s also a tendency among people doing spiritual work to want to skip ahead to the good stuff. We want to be where we are going, but we aren’t actually there yet. This is Spiritual Bypassing. And in the long run, it slows down our progress greatly. When we do this, we want to pretend we are living in our Yes. But deep in our psyche there remains a serious but unidentified No. We want to sit on a meditation cushion and learn to recite positive mantras. That way, we can quickly Band-Aid over any critical thought before someone sees it and realizes, Doh, we still have work to do!

But “doing the work” does not mean “being all better”. It means being able to be with what’s actually here right now. It means not acting out our negativity on other people. Rather, we work to understand what drives us, and then slowly and gently turning our ship around. To do this, we are going to need to start feeling what we feel. We will need to start watching ourselves in action, and this may be uncomfortable. That’s one reason we so often disconnect from ourselves—there’s stuff going on in us we don’t want to know about.

Or maybe we’ve taken the alternate approach of making something fun out of our foibles. We can polish up our wicked ways enough that others cannot help but laugh along with us. Then we smile about how we court the Lower Self using our devil-may-care attitude. We do this so we can go on abusing ourselves and getting far less out of life than we could.

This is what makes this particular path such a tough one. We must start to feel and see what we have not been willing or able to feel or see until now. For there’s nothing we can avoid if we want to transform our Lower Self and learn to live from our divine essence.

We must come to know how we are blocking our own light. We must realize that no one else is doing anything to us—we are doing it ourselves. Also, we must come to realize we are the only ones who can free ourselves from our self-made prisons. Believe it or not, no one else’s negativity can put the hurt on us if we don’t have a matching set of negativity in our drawers. Our work is to use every crappy thing that raises an Emotional Reaction up from our depths as fertilizer for great growth and healing. Every crappy thing.

Our Lower Self isn’t something we accidentally acquired along the way, like dog poop on our shoes.
Our Lower Self isn’t something we accidentally acquired along the way, like dog poop on our shoes.

There is a common pitfall of this path, or any spiritual path for that matter. It is the tendency to see something ugly and in need of transformation, and then use this awareness as a club to beat ourselves up. It’s inherent in the process that we are going to discover aspects of ourselves that will not, shall we say, look pretty. Expect this. We’ve hidden these parts away from ourselves for a very good reason.

Now that we are ready to go in search of what blocks our light, we are going to come across some bitter pills to swallow. To start with, the very things we having been railing against in the world are the things that live inside us, unattended. There’s no sense in trying to doll these things up to appear more appealing. Lower Self is not a lovely thing to behold.

At the same time, the reality of having a Lower Self is part and parcel of what it means to be a human. This isn’t something we accidentally acquired along the way, like dog poop on our shoes. No, the reality of our Lower Self is the very reason we have come to this sphere. That and nothing else. We’re here to bring the darkened aspects of ourselves back to the light. And this will never happen if we don’t first see what it is we’re dealing with.

We can find an example of this in our work of uncovering our version of negative pleasure. This is a phenomenon that happens due to our basic nature of being alive and having a fundamental need for pleasure. Simply put, people cannot live without pleasure. When a child, however, has experiences it perceives to be painful—and remember, this is the universal setup, so we are talking about all of us here—it attaches its pleasure principle to the negative event.

So going forward, the child-turned-adult will need to recreate that same unpleasant condition—realizing this may involve some similar mix of intertwined negative and positive aspects—in order to get its life force activated, to feel truly alive. We can think of this as the way we have become wired to feel our juice.

This explains why we have such a hard time letting go of the dramas in our lives. We keep recirculating them in our minds, telling and retelling our stories, and tossing and turning in our sleep. We’re electrified by our troubles, even though admittedly this doesn’t feel good. Yet strangely, we can’t let them go. Like a hand that accidentally grabs an electrified wire, we curl our fingers and latch on instead of jumping back. But it doesn’t have to be this way; we can unwind any distortion and find the beauty inside the beast.

An effective place to hunt for this reverse-connection is in our sexuality, and in particular, in our sexual fantasies. What does it take for us to fully feel ourselves coming alive? There is a very good reason for our sexuality to work this way.

When we are born, everything that happens to us gets laid down in the physical track of our being; the development of our mental and emotional faculties will occur as we grow older. This means everything that happens to us gets laid down into the same place where our sexuality resides.

Later, when arousal activates our life force, it lights up the most loving parts of us along with our embedded wounds from childhood. As such, using our minds to create fantasies, we are able to envision a situation that reflects the twists and turns of our challenging childhood. This is what we must do, in fact, in order for all the lights to come on. It’s not really that we are just made this way, but rather our wiring has gotten hooked up this way.

And so it could be possible for us to have all the same positive pleasurable turns, without the associated negative twists we find in our fantasies. If, that is, we are willing to do the painstaking work of unpacking our painful experiences and examining our sexual life in depth.

This may sound like taking the long way. But any attempts at cutting the corner and skipping over these delicate pieces does a disservice to the part of us that really, really, really wants to make it all the way home. And in the end, that’s the long and short of why we came here. We’ve all got some place better to be. And whether we’re aware of it or not, we’re longing like crazy to get back to God. Sooner or later, this is the way we all must go.

In Jill’s Experience

For some, the idea of exploring our spiritual work through the gateway of sexual fantasies may seem off. If that’s the case, then perhaps we buy the churchy notion that sex and God are on opposite teams. By now, this should be a blinking light—the notion that anything, especially God, is really in opposition to anything else. It’s telling us we might have some distorted thinking going on.

This country I have lived this lifetime in, the United States, is particularly split when it comes to sex. Even in this moment, there may be a feeling of tension: Oh dear, what is she going to say? Relax. But also get ready. Because I do want to a share a few things to consider, and they may shift your paradigm a bit.

My first visit to a spiritual retreat center located in Virginia—one that has historically delved deeply into these teachings by the Guide via a five-year Transformation Program—was to attend a four-day training about helping people do this work by excavating their sexual fantasies. Since much of the way I was taught was experiential—meaning we did our own work and then were taught how the teacher guided the work—this meant we needed to roll up our own sleeves.

And so, of course, my mask of shame came up, as did everyone else’s. Hiding is a “natural” condition of being human. It’s not really true we need to hide, but we all think we do. The teachers were marvelous about wading us slowly into these deep waters; no one jumped off the high-dive until they were good and ready. But still, it was a leap of faith for me to believe I could do this delicate work—in the presence of other classmates, no less—and that this would be worth it. Well, I did it and it was.

I learned we all hold much so close to the vest. We fear that if we are seen, we will be rejected, laughed at, or not loved. But no one was laughing. No, every time someone in the group took the plunge into their deepest, darkest territory, it kindled a fire of compassion in me for that person and what they were holding. It showed me that what we see on the outside is often miles from where a soul lives on the inside. So often, we have no idea just how much another is carrying.

There was work involving a desire to be urinated upon, where the stopping of it was really the turn on. This person struggled in life with the way he routinely started things, but then never finished them; he blocked his own flow. This connected with the way his father had so often cut off his attempts to follow his passions. There was work about anal sex involving the way a person’s body had stored all their reaction to the withholding they had been subjected to and in turn dished out. So much was being stored and held in that part of the body.

We all have misunderstandings in our souls, and our psyches are remarkably creative in revealing them to us. So are our bodies. By putting words to any malady displayed by our bodies, we can often uncover great mysteries. For instance, a mysterious lump on my right eyelid hadn’t budged for several weeks. But it resolved in a few days once I hunted around for where I wasn’t holding the right vision about something. (I know, I roll my eyes too. But the bump went away and an important issue got surfaced. I’ll take Things that Make You Go Hmmm for $500, Alex.)

In the end, I came to realize two important things about doing this work with sexual fantasies: 1) it is sacred work, expressing the pains and longings of our most precious and divine self, and 2) it is incredibly efficient, leading us directly to a person’s core issues.

Working this way is not voyeuristic, but rather a good way to expose the experiences that got laid down in the physical track of our bodies. And they now reveal their secrets by showing us the way we activate our life force—our experience of pleasure—during orgasm.

One of the ways I was taught to explore issues with Workers is by turning things around and looking at them from their opposite position. Because, no surprise, here in the land of duality, our psyche readily flops poles. For example, if we can’t put our finger on why we always feel so fearful—as in, we can’t see what others are doing that creates such fear in us—we may get more mileage from investigating how we try to make others afraid of us.

Here’s an example of how we can use this reverse view in working with sexual fantasy. It’s like looking at the negative of a picture, turning the black into white, and vice versa. In this scenario, a man has had a difficult relationship with his father, which is revealed the moment we turn things around.

First, let’s look at the fantasy:

“She comes up to me, unasked, out of the blue, and as I’m standing there she falls to her knees, opens my pants, and devours me. She sucks me, licks me, fondles my balls, and hungrily sucks me until I cum in her mouth. And she keeps sucking and eagerly swallows. She keeps gently licking and sucking until I get soft.”

Now let’s look at each phrase when we turn things around:

She comes up to me | unasked,
He turns away from me | when I ask him something, when I am talking to him

out of the blue, and
daily, frequently, all the time

as I’m standing there | she falls to her knees,
as I am on the floor, sitting | he stands (towers) over me

she opens my pants, | and devours me.
he won’t take “me” in | and ignores me, he covers over my person, he rejects my “self”, he closes himself

She sucks me, licks me, fondles my balls, and | hungrily (eagerly) sucks me
he ignores me, stares blankly, doesn’t feel me, | coldly ignores me, doesn’t touch me, talk to me, hear me

until I cum in her mouth.
until I withhold from him all that I am

She keeps sucking and eagerly swallows.
He keeps ignoring me and coldly accepts my withholding

She keeps gently licking and sucking until I get soft.
He keeps coldly staring blankly, ignoring, not talking or touching until I am hard inside.

Here is the exposed view of this man’s relationship with his father:

He frequently turns away from me when I ask him something, or am talking to him. As I am on the floor, sitting, he towers over me. He closes himself, rejects me, won’t take me in, covers over my person. He ignores me, stares blankly, doesn’t feel me, touch me, talk to me, hear me, and coldly ignores me until I withhold from him all that I am. Even then, he keeps ignoring me and coldly accepts my withholding. He keeps staring blankly, ignoring, not talking or touching until I am hard inside.

Our work is to unwind the kinks in our wiring so that we are able to enjoy the full intensity of our life force, without an associated shame or feeling that somehow we are bad. The point here is not to give up what pleases us, but to bring awareness to what’s gotten twisted in the psyche so that what we find pleasurable can be sexually satisfying, without involving a negative spin.

Note, too, this work with sexual fantasies can be efficient in showing us where our work is, but seeing it isn’t the same as doing it. In this example, this man uses his fantasy to see the scope of his wounding with his father, and this sets him up for a decade’s worth of methodical, step-by-step work to walk through his pain and unwind his full pleasure. Considering the alternative, it’s the walk worth taking.

In Scott’s Experience

I would like to point out two things here. First, sexuality isn’t somehow separate from a spiritual path, it’s a powerful and beautiful part of it. In fact, sexual energy is life-force energy; it is a chord woven into the rope that is our life force. So the more we untangle all our inner knots, the more vibrantly alive and healthy sexuality becomes too.

That said, exploring our wounds by excavating our sexuality is swimming in the deep end of the pool. It may be better to start with simpler exercises, like a daily review, and make sure to work with a competent Helper, counselor or therapist.

Second, I recommend holding whatever comes up lightly, and just be present with it for a while. Remember, it is the most painful childhood experiences—the ones we couldn’t bear at the time—that get most stuck in our energy system and thus in our sexuality.

It may take time and patience to work down to and through them, because these pieces may not be on the surface to work with directly. The good news is that this is an available doorway to understanding why we incarnated and what we came here to heal.

Doing the Work : Healing Our Body, Mind & Spirit by Getting to Know the Self

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