This emergence transcript is excerpted from several emails in which I discussed the need to be personally involved in one's healing.
Mon, 23 June 2003
Sorry for the slow reply. Know, though, that I started my day the day I read your email by smiling ear to ear. A fellow explorer to be sure, I thought. So first, let me just say thank you for your encouragements. Few people grasp the concept of of life event diagrams as quickly as you have. Thus few realize the wonderful possibilities.
As for life event forms themselves, the closest I have come to creating them is the "P" Curves I've written about on the site. My colleagues and I use them often. In fact, I, myself, have collected many hundreds of them and have on my list of things to do to write up several of them for the site. The one series I did start writing about, about a man I worked with who could not consciously process an infidelity, has been waiting to be finished for more than a year now.
The problem, of course, is my limited time. I practice full time, teach my small school of practitioners, and have several other emergence-related projects going as well. One, which I lovingly refer to as my "hit song," is a book on what I call, "character types," descriptions of the four ways people process need between themselves and others, all normal during one of the first four years of life. What I find amazing here is that even people to whom I have told this idea briefly seem to be able to both grasp and retain this concept; more so, they seem to be able to immediately put it into practice as a tool to dissolve guilt. More important, even non technical people seem to retain these ideas as if they have always known them.
Another project is "The Bernie Book," a project in which I and two others, a financial planner and a graphics artist, are writing a book to help people to realize their conscious states during financial transactions, a book to build bridges between the financially minded folks and us normal folk.
As for ADD, I've just begun to write on this topic, not as an illness, but rather as a misunderstood phase in the normal development of human consciousness. In effect, I see it as a left over from the stage we all go through during the first two years of life, a stage which evidentially, in some babies, remains intact. Thus, I believe many people never leave this pre-verbal exploration stage and are driven to distraction by the beauty in the world, not by any illness.
Of course, what do you do if you are one of those whose primary consciousness style is that of the first two years of life ? Well, to be honest, I am such a person. And the daily "distractions," as medically minded people might call them, have driven me, not to distraction, but to discovery.
Interestingly enough, the clues to all this are right in front of us. We just fail to see them for what they are. However, should you even briefly explore autism, and especially Asperger's Syndrome, you would find a perfect description of this condition, even to the point of suggesting that people like Einstein and Thomas Jefferson had these same inner lives. As well as people like psychiatrist Alice Miller and Microsoft founder Bill Gates.
Of course, without an interpretive baseline against which to compare this state, we fail to see ADD as the wonderfully potent learning situation it is and see it as a painful condition. It is painful. For those who have no one with which they can connect, let alone someone who can teach them how to use this potent learning state.
Even mentally ill babies desperately want to, and often can, connect to others. And I'm sure their parents, for the most part, want to connect to them as well. But because most adults lack the inner life (visual state of consciousness) of a baby this age, most will fail to even begin to connect to such babies except by accident.
In fact, I have one little girl, the patient of another fellow in my office, with whom I frequently connect in my waiting room. Her mother calls me, the "baby whisperer" in that this little girl and I so easily connect. Yet this little baby girl is so profoundly mentally ill, at three, she still has not slept more than one hour at a time and constantly tears at her flesh to the point she frequently bleeds. Even so, she and I never fail to connect and I believe, this is simply that we both live primarily in the first age of consciousness, the visual stage in which it is normal to live during the first two years of life.
Why am I not like her? What I believe has happened to me is that I've become bi-lingual, as far as processing my inner life that is. I seem to first process everything visually and with no boundaries whatsoever, somewhat like a less than two year old. But I have process things verbally and have come to love the world of words and abstracts as well. Thus, I actually see myself as a bridge between these two worlds, the first two years of life visual and the age two and up verbal, similar to what Temple Grandin has become for autism.
And co-morbities such as being Bi-Polar? Wow, what a good question. Another time, to be sure.
Finally, as time is short and I must close in a minute, allow me write you further with my thoughts on the incident you mentioned. Just know, I am already sure I can offer you at least the basics of how to both process and resolve this difficulty. How can I say this sight unseen? Because you life event contains the classic emergence wounding sequence; trance, startle, shock. Thus, it is very possible given your obviously open mind that you may, on your own, be able resolve this difficulty and in fact, may gain greatly form the experience.
And thanks again for writing.
Thurs, 26 June 2003
You've written too much for me to respond directly as it would take even the best healer much time to sort out all the complicated threads present. A few thoughts though.
You seem to be quite interested in labels. Are you a medically minded person, e.g. a psychiatrist or under a psychiatrist's care? Either way, I find that medical labels are useful only as starting points; meaning, they're useful if you can say 'em and then right away forget 'em. Otherwise they tend to narrow peoples' searches away from the wound, by creating a bias people try too hard to prove.
For instance, I know enough so as to be able to make a case for my having pretty much any illness, given I have at least one of the symptoms.
Not only is doing this not useful; it is confusing as hell. Try this.
Write down a single painful symptom; e.g. your intense desire to understand. (I often see this symptom as peoples' gateway symptom; the doorway into the good stuff.)
Next try to envision a scene in which this symptom is present, while at the same time NOT trying to identify this symptom as a disease or anything else. Just look openly.
Do this by only letting the symptom lead you to the scene and once there, simply ask yourself, what small details do I see.
For instance, imagine a time wherein you were very confused and had an intense desire to understand it all. Now close your eyes and explore this scene, allowing everything and anything to come to you, judging nothing as important or not important. How do you do this?
Think of how babies look at everything, censuring nothing. They never judge moral or legalistic value, only personal value; interest, if you will.
Now notice how the scene you are watching unfolds.
Try not to be a head with feet while doing this though, as healing happens only when you experience being the wounded person, and never when you experience being only the observer of the wounded person. You can be both. But you can never be just the observer and heal, which unfortunately, is the lingua franca of talk therapies. This is one of the main reasons they struggle so hard to help people.
In other words, you can not be looking to understand (be the theorist) AND heal yourself (be the wounded person) at the same time. This never works. So just look to heal yourself (by exploring what you see, hear, smell, taste, touch, intuit) and then you will, as one of the outcomes of healing, effortlessly understand all you have even wanted to know about this symptom.
BTW, you mention having an incident you vividly recall. These scenes, if painful, are always the best BLock markers, the best indicators of wounding scenes. Thus, they will always guide you to healing if only you do not analyze them while trying to heal. "Analyzing" is head with feet at best anyway; beautiful logic based on what you can already see, never about the actual wound itself.
In other words, the wound is always what you have yet to picture, what you presently can not see.
Finally, as for helping those you love, you might consider letting this go for now. You cannot help anyone else while being so driven yourself, and whatever you discover in yourself will be of immense value to you in later helping others.
Oh, and one more thing. You mention being in trance. Being in trance means you can vividly picture and freely continue to picture. The scenes you picture are moving and open, although they may also be painful as well.
Thus, being zoned out is not being in trance. It is being in shock. And in the worst of shock states; getting or reliving an injury; you can vividly see only snapshots at best. Certainly, you can not visually move anywhere else. Or you can see nothing at all, at least initially.
Best of luck and go slow and gently. Healing is there if you only let it come to you in visions, just as the shamans have taught people for thousands of years.
P.S. If you are currently in therapy with someone or have the open support of enough loving people, you can try doing Cycles of Three. They were my first way to do emergence and are the only way I know to effectively do self emergence.