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On Accepting A Disability

the Emergence Explorer

Questions for the Week of May 15, 2006

these questions were based on the article
"The Formulas of Human Consciousness: Part One"

Emergence Character Type Babies 9-AI-2

This Week's Questions

[posed by John F.]
  • Does physical injury always impact peoples' non physical abilities?
  • How do you help someone to connect when they are taking mind altering medications?
  • Does peoples' age at the time of an injury affect their loss of life skills?

Do you know?

[Question 1] If a person becomes physically limited, in an accident, or from a disease, does his non-physical ability also get impaired?
[Answer] The simple answer, John, is yes. Peoples' physical and non physical abilities both get impaired. In fact, I cannot imagine anyone losing a significant part of their physical ability without also incurring non physical symptoms. Why? Because all serious injuries effect the whole person, not just the physical parts. Why? Because we are never simply the sum of our "parts." We are holistic, integrated beings.

Know, also, that it is often difficult to determine the exact point at which a BLock occurs. This leads us to refer to our BLocks by whatever symptoms we first see, especially, the first physical signs we see. For instance, in the case of a car accident, most people assume the BLocks occur in the instant in which the accident physically happens, and these assumptions center on what we imagine to be the instant in which our bodies first get affected; what we would see as the "actual" injury, the "physical" part of the injury.

People even ask the injured person, "Did you get injured?"; meaning, did you get "physically" injured?

Later, of course, people also often ask "How are you?"; meaning, how are you "emotionally" or "psychologically" feeling, the non physical part of the accident or injury.

In addition, people often get a secondary BLock when they realize the injury happened. For instance, with cancer, obviously there is a point at which the cancer begins. Moreover, most of us will never, ever know this instant. It is simply too insignificant to be consciously witnessed, at least by us normal folks.

At some point later, though, we get told we have cancer. In most cases, then, people will then get injured all over again, this time, by the startling realization that they are sick or injured. This startling realization creates a secondary BLock, and in this case, we mostly see it as a non physical injury, as in a psychological or emotional injury.

Both types of injuries affect us physically and non physically, both Primary BLocks and Secondary BLocks. Moreover, this happens to us whether or not we consciously witness the BLock occurring. It simply does not matter. Being startled wounds us. Period. And it wounds us both physically and non physically.

[Question 2] I believe that the strongest picture a disabled man has of himself is his past self. This means, for most disabled men, the drive, after an injury, is to return to their pre-injured state. However, the way to heal, in my mind, is for the man to learn to love his post-injured self and work from there. How would a guide initiate such a process?
[Answer] First, I must say, I very much agree with your ideas on the pre and post injured self. Now add to this the idea that healing should always focus on removing peoples' visual BLocks and not simply on altering the person's psychological or cognitive beliefs or behaviors.

So how would a guide initiate this process?

Most times, I would say that the guide should focus on healing three major things. First, the guide should focus on helping the man to picture his post-injured self. Second, the guide should focus on helping him to picture the loss of his pre-injured self. Finally, the guide should focus on helping the man to build a visual bridge between his pre-injured and the post-injured self.

Take my father, for instance. At 83, he injured his back lifting a car engine short block. He then discovered he had spine cancer. Then, over the next year, he continued to try to return to his pre-injured self, failing again, and again, and again. Finally, one day, I said to him, "you realize your problem is that you still picture yourself as you were when you were twenty-five years old?" To which, he got quiet, then laughed and answered, "You're right."

After this conversation, my father went into a deep period of grief. He then began to accept that he was disabled. Slowly, of course. But with definite ongoing signs of progress. For instance, he used to say all the time that he would soon be driving again. At some point, he came to realize he would not be able to drive again.

At first, this realization startled him. It literally injured him. At some point, though, he healed this BLock. How can I be sure? Because he came to love the fact that he was being chauffeured where ever he needed to go.

Here, then, is the ultimate goal of the guide; to help the person to love aspects of their new life. Not just rationally, but rather, personally and spiritually. And consciously.

[Question 3] Certain injuries require people to take drugs that distort their perception. Hence, peoples' abilities to connect diminish greatly. How can a guide help someone in this position?
[Answer] John, medical management, especially pain management, requires that people make compromises. The greater the pain, the greater the compromise. However, nothing says that people must make physical painlessness their ultimate goal. Nor the only goal. Especially, when the emotional pain of aloneness is frequently more difficult to bear.

Case in point. My father, in his struggles with spine cancer, has reached the point wherein he must take heavy doses of pain killers each day to survive. Even so, on a recent morning, when he knew I would be calling him, he chose to delay taking his pain pills, knowing he would be unable to connect to me once he did.

At first, when he told me he had done this, I didn't know what to say. For a moment, I was speechless just thinking that my father had endured such pain just so that he could talk to me.

In moments, though, I began to feel both touched and saddened. Ultimately, I felt very, very loved. And inspired by my father's courage.

So as a guide, what could I have done? Not much more than what I did do. I met my father in his pain, without pity nor any patronizing Layer 2 philosophy. I also focused almost entirely on making him laugh.

Afterwards, although I am sure he suffered physically, I am also sure he was glad he had done it. And glad I had not made a big deal of his having done it.

My point? Connecting is everything. Why? Because the pain of aloneness is far greater in the long run even than the pain of spine cancer. Thus, both he, in choosing to delay taking his medication, and me, in my choosing to not make his sacrifice the focus, both felt rewarded. And part of an consciously chosen, connected life.

[Question 4] Do peoples' abilities to love their physically-disabled selves diminish, or increase, in relation to their age at the time of injury? What I mean is, do younger people have more ability to heal than older people?
[Answer] I assume you are talking here about people with permanent disabilities. If so, then I would think that there are pluses and minuses on both sides of the age equation.

On the down side, a younger person might have more to grieve in the way of lost youth. However, an older person might feel prematurely "useless," thus, feel no reason to live.

On the up side, an older person might have more maturity in the way of life skills with which to handle such a loss, whereas, while a younger person might be totally caught off guard with regard to how to handle such a loss, he or she might also have more resilience and ability to learn how to cope.

In either case, making connecting more important than focusing on the loss would optimize the person's recovery, both psychologically and physically. Key in this would be helping the person to find meaning in still being alive. Along with a sense of personal usefulness.

[Question 5] When people lose a part of their physical self, as a whole, are they less as a person? Or is there a compensatory increase in their non-physical self?
[Answer] Let's start with someone who is born "physically different," for instance, a person born significantly shorter than an average person. Would he or she, as a being, feel less whole than others? Often, yes, they do. Always, though? No, not always. Moreover, the difference between people who feel less than others and those who feel fine is mainly based in how completely these people can picture themselves. No picture, no self love. Very clear picture, very strong self love.

Case in point. I've met women who hated being born taller than most women. For instance, one woman told me that, as a girl, she often dreamed of having an operation to get her legs cut shorter.

I've also met women who were very happy they were born taller. They even felt they had an advantage in life.

In hindsight, I know that the difference between these peoples' very different reactions has always hinged on the woman's ability to picture herself without going into shock. In shock. No self love. No shock. Great self-love.

So would we call this self love a "compensation" for their having been born different? I would. Yes. Why? Because coming to love being significantly different than others requires people be both injured by the realization they are different and also, that they heal this BLocked ability to picture themselves. Why both? Because in order to love being different, people need have had their conscious awareness of the difference "tempered," something which happens only by healing an injury. Which brings us to your question about people losing a part of themselves.

Do people who lose a part of their physical self feel like they are less over all as a person? Most times, yes they do, at least at first. After all, a loss is a loss.

But do they then experience a compensatory increase in their non-physical self? It depends. If they heal the BLocks they have in and around picturing this disability, then yes, they do experience an increase. On the other hand, if they do not heal this BLock, then they will remain stuck in the BLocked phase of their injury. Which would mean, they would continue to feel less whole than others.

A final question might be, don't people who do not heal compensate in some way too? Absolutely. Most times, they compensate by spending large amounts of time in one or more of the Outer Layers, Layers 4 through 1. So they may spend a lot of time bitter and angry at life (Layer 4). Or they may spend long periods of time fantasizing about the day when they will finally be better (Layer 3). Or they may spend much of their time explaining to others how they have benefited from this disability (Layer 2). Or they may spend most days in the numbness of non personal existence (Layer 1).

Whatever the case, these folks will definitely suffer less. But they will also love life less too.

[Question 6] When people are in physical pain, why do they seem to have no sense of the past, only a sense of the present and future?
[Answer] John, this is a deep question and refers to one of the simplest and yet, most misunderstood ideas people have about how we experience life. Understanding it begins with knowing that we experience time in two different ways, first, as we did before age-seven, and second, as we did after age-seven.

Before age seven, we experience life as if each of our life events was being lived by a different person, each person in a separate and distinct life. In other words, before age seven, children experience what happens to them scene by scene, as if each scene was the only scene that had ever happened and ever will happen.

In essence, before age seven, children live life as if they were actors in a collection of separate vignettes, something like being an actor in a series of one act plays, each of which is about a different person's life.

This changes in children at or around age-seven, when they begin to be conscious of chronological time. What happens is, being aware of chronological time means they experience life something like that they are actors in a single movie, rather than actors in a series of separate, one act plays.

In effect, then, at about age seven, as children begin to place their life events into a time line in an effort to make sense out of their lives, they begin to experience their life events as connected strings of causes and effect stories.

As for how this plays out when we experience physical pain, what happens is, in most cases, when we suffer significant pain, we revert back to before age seven time. Why? Because at birth, we do not know about the meta-idea of pain. We literally do not expect it and get surprised every time it happens. At some point then, we all get wounded by the startling realization that pain exists. In fact, Buddha's startling realization that life is suffering may be the grand prototype for this happening to an adult.

In any case, at some pint early in childhood, we all get injured by the sudden realization that pain exists. Moreover, the age at which we experience this realization becomes our reference age for all pain. In other words, after we incur this initial BLock, whenever we experience physical pain, we experience it as if we were once again experiencing our first realization of pain. We literally feel as if we are that age once more, and have only the life skills we had back then.

Can people heal this BLocked experience of pain? Perhaps. In general, though, getting startled by pain is such a meta-injury that it is probably not possible for us to completely see past it. Nor should we try. Ideally, pain exists to motivate us into self love. Without it, we would most likely ignore a lot of our worst aloneness.

And the essence of what propels us into action? Our sense that the painful moment is the only moment we have ever had and ever will have. In other words, regressing to an age wherein time was only one moment is the very heart and soul of what makes us pay attention to pain.

[Question 7] When people are in non-physical pain, why does the future not exist, only the present and the past?
[Answer] See the previous answer, and simply substitute a non-physical pain for a physical pain. Despite the obvious differences, then, personality function the same in both cases with regard to how pain alters our sense of time.

[Question 8] When people are injured physically, to me, they often seem to become a character type "one." Are these people reverting to infancy?
[Answer] Most likely, yes. But not all people. Thus, while you certainly have more experience with physically injured people than I, John, I am not sure to what degree we can generalize your statement. What I mean is, some people do indeed become "ones" when they suffer. But some people do not.

In truth, there is probably a lot more to this than is immediately obvious to me. In theory though, what happens is, when people suffer, they regress to the age at which they first experienced this type of suffering. For instance, say a person fell down at age 16 months and in doing so, got a BLock. If this person were to then fall down and break a leg at age twenty five, he or she would probably experience this fall as if they were once again 16 months old. Including that they would temporarily become the same character type.

This idea about regression is why grown men and women can at times act like babies. They are not being cowards nor self pitying. They are simply regressing to an earlier age. Something we all do at times. Moreover, the earlier the reference age for this pain, the more people will react like babies.

[Question 9] Is the degree of vulnerability to injury related to peoples' age? What I mean is, do more severe injuries make people return to a younger state of being?
[Answer] Actually, although I have never considered it, I think you are right here. What I mean is, I think you are correct in assuming that the more severe peoples' injury, the younger their state of being. Why? Because the earlier the regress-to age, the more your state of agility diminishes. Moreover, this regressed-to age may, in part, simply be determined by how much physical agility remains, as in, the greater the loss of physical agility, the younger the regressed-to age.

Knowing what I know about how regression works, this idea would seem to make perfect sense.

[Question 10] Is regression a constructive part of the healing process and necessary for recovery? Or is it counter productive?
[Answer] By this, I take it you mean, is regressing to an earlier age constructive or counter productive to healing?

Actually, regression is probably a very positive aspect of human nature, especially with regard to healing. Why? Because were we to never regress, we might choose to ignore our needs to a fault. And end up suffering even more.

In other words, despite peoples' common admonishments that we should not act like babies, in truth, at times, we all need to act like babies, in order to know and accept appropriate levels of care.

Do it in good health, John <grin>.

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