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Putting 'The Secret" to work?!

Last post 10-13-2007, 4:21 PM by markevans. 4 replies.
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  •  07-10-2007, 4:50 PM 25533

    Putting 'The Secret" to work?!

    Hi All,

     

    Acting as my own psychotherapist may not be the wisest course, but it is one i can afford; and for the most part it has worked okay. But recently a niggling bit of negativity has escalated into a troublesome nag. It has to do with the sense of what i would describe as an existential dread. It manifests as a feeling that is roughly akin to being trapped in a ‘no exit’ of terror as typically might be found in a child’s nightmare. Usually i'm able to trace these blockages back to a point of origin and just seeing them in context is sufficient to transcend them. But this week things reached a crescendo and this negative response/state seriously began to interfere with my sleep.

     

    Happily a memory of reading of a technique used by Maurice Nicoll (a student of Gurdjieff) to deal with a state of dread. Nicoll was a Brit and lived in the UK in the 1940’s, as i remember. His concern had to do with those famous open air double- decker busses then used in public transit. One particular route held a sharp curve and Nicoll’s concern was that at this critical point the bus would tip over, and he as passenger would be injured or killed.

     

    Like Nicoll avoiding the bus, the open upper deck, his feared route, or my own acts of avoidance or distraction did not deal with this bit of emergence from the depths of his psyche or mine.

     

    Here is what Nicoll did. He screwed up his courage, boarded the double-decker, deliberately seated himself in the very scary front and as it ‘careened’ around the sharp curve ‘willed’ the bus to tip. (It did not. He lived to write about it.)

     

    So stealing a page from his book; i tried his technique. It’s sort of like putting ‘The Secret’ to work, err. . . in reverse!

     

    And now when ever it occurs to me i give my best effort to call forth that feeling and it is nowhere to be found; leaving in its place a slight but detectable ‘thrill’ in my energy body –the sort of thing that i have long associated with getting something ‘right’.

     

    What attracted me to Integral in the first place was that it offered opportunity to use everything, including my faults; happily this has proven once again to be both true and useful. I am grateful.

     

    Warmly,

     

    Charles

    88W18'28" 41N58'02"     

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  •  07-10-2007, 8:50 PM 25543 in reply to 25533

    Re: Putting 'The Secret" to work?!

    charlesb:

    ...recently a niggling bit of negativity has escalated into a troublesome nag. It has to do with the sense of what i would describe as an existential dread. It manifests as a feeling that is roughly akin to being trapped in a ‘no exit’ of terror as typically might be found in a child’s nightmare. Usually i'm able to trace these blockages back to a point of origin and just seeing them in context is sufficient to transcend them. But this week things reached a crescendo and this negative response/state seriously began to interfere with my sleep.



    Arthur/adastra says:

    Hi Charles


    From your description, it sounds like your dread is without a specific
    object - especially in that you refer to it as an "existential" dread.  If this is so, it reminds me of some detailed questions I asked Ken about a generalized dread I've experienced, in one of the recently posted ISC conference calls.  You can read a transcript I did of part one of our conversation - the part that deals with the dread - posted at the BBG's blog here.


    It sounds, from your description, as if you willed the dread to become stronger - which was one piece of advice Ken gave me; is that so?  If yes, did you wait for the dread to arise on it's own, or did you do something to will it into existence?  Or am I misunderstanding - was there, in actuality, a specific trigger for the dread, which then became all-encompassing?


    curiously,

    arthur


    p.s. there is another post dealing with existential dread here, which you might find of interest.



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  •  07-11-2007, 11:36 AM 25580 in reply to 25543

    Re: Putting 'The Secret" to work?!

    Hi Arthur,

     

    Thanks for your interest in my little story and the links you have posted.

     

    I quite agree that this sense of existential dread has to do with death, and i would add its possible aftermath. From my view this is an important caveat having been raised in a fundamentalist fire-and-brimstone atmosphere, where death and the possibility of hell were synonymous.

     

    It was some years ago when this sense of dread first hit me with full force and effectiveness; i was in the midst of a week long sex-capade at a hotel designed with such things in mind. It was very intense, and i felt as though i needed to escape our room (dubbed ‘The Cave’) and get out into the light and sunshine. In the years that followed i felt absolutely no need to try to intensify the experience; opting instead for a piece-meal approach, one with more emphasis on divide than on conquer.

     

    But recently i suspect that having a brush with cancer and with old age staring me right in the eye has brought me to a place where a less tangential approach was required, bringing on the sleep altering crescendo mentioned earlier. I also agree with the general thrust of the notion of reversal, of doing the opposite; i remember in a reading of KW somewhere his recommendation of tightening a muscle group as prelude to its relaxation. This sort of thing follows the old Taoist maxim about compressing a thing to allow its expansion.

     

    I have, obviously, tied this notion to an act of ‘will’ (a mystery in and of itself) as i spoofed the basic fallacy on which ‘The Secret’ is based.

     

    Only time will tell if this ‘trick’ of Maurice Nicoll which i have adapted for my own use will prove to be a temporary fix or a more or less permanent solution to this sort of dread. But i must add that so far so good; i have not been able, despite repeated efforts,   to raise this feeling at will. More testing is in order, maybe submitting myself to situations where feeling trapped or claustrophobic have proved likely in the past.

     

    I am reminded of the situation in La Fiesta Brava, where the torero has completed his faena (his work with the muleta) and the toro stands transfixed, and where he brings the sword out from hiding, launches himself into the most dangerous area over the bull’s horns, seeking that dollar-coin sized opening between the shoulder blades, avoiding a pinchazo, and fearlessly driving the sword to the hilt, penetrating the lungs, and dropping the fearsome creature in one fell swoop.

     

    Warmly,

     

    Charles

    88W18'28" 41N58'02"       

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  •  07-11-2007, 6:57 PM 25609 in reply to 25580

    Re: Putting 'The Secret" to work?!

    Arthur/adastra says
    Hey Charles,

    Thanks for the further details.  Here's a link to a great essay by Robert Augustus Masters which may also be of interest: Into the Heart of Fear.

    spiral out,
    arthur


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  •  10-13-2007, 4:21 PM 29949 in reply to 25609

    Re: Putting 'The Secret" to work?!

    If you're looking for affordable psycotherapy, look no further than I-I's 321 process. It's in the ILP kit (which isn't exactly affordable). Diane Hamilton and Willow Pearson may have it somewhere here. I've been doing it and have found it quite effective (along with the rest of my integral practice).

    Good luck,
    Mark
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