3rd Rail Press_Island of My Life_Considering Woundedness_12Jan2020

THE ISLAND OF MY LIFE
An Original Work of Nonfiction
By: David G. Yurth
Copyright All Rights Reserved
September 2011
Considering Woundedness
French impressionist painters of the 19th Century produced splendid portrayals of Paris in the Spring. Portraits of Paris night life, replete with men and women in top hats and evening gowns, show crowds walking along misty streets amorphously illuminated by gas lights. The light cast on these scenes is often ethereal, diffuse and deeply romantic. In my favorite paintings of the period, the lights are shown to be sequential, strung with whimsical irregularity to a vanishing point somewhere around the next corner. When I think about woundedness, this set of images always comes back to me. The light sources are always burning, always casting their diffuse glow on the landscape, always present, even when no one sees them.
When our islands are first formed, two components are always present. One, the life-force power generating station, produces the energy required to sustain life. The other is a system of energy conversion and consumption elements. Some of these components convert food, nurturing and other vital ingredients into usable forms of energy. Others, the information and energy processing components, consume all available sources of energy to support growth and development. As with all the other aspects of life in this plane, there is only so much energy available in every 24 hour cycle to support our energy consumption requirements. Early in our life cycle we discover as a matter of conscious awareness that our well-being is defined in large measure by the nature, quantity and varieties of energy made available to us every day.
As a keen observer of natural processes, Darwin first articulated a stunning insight. Entire species survive or become extinct as a result of their ability to adapt to variations in the energy supply aspects of their environments. Likewise, the characteristics and traits that most efficiently adapt to this aspect of survival eventually dominate the behaviors and appearance of every species. In short, like all other living organisms, our ability to adapt to the sources of supply and fluctuations in demand for personal energy resources is determinative.
The Original Myth
What begins as instinctive eventually becomes volitional – by the time we are able to speak, we have already learned how to convert the internal signals we feel into expressions of demand for all the kinds of energy we need to survive and grow. Infants whose sources of energetic supply are impaired exhibit a wide range of common dysfunctional habits, symptoms and behaviors which persist for the remainder of their lives. A personal example comes quickly to mind.
My father grew up during the Great Depression of the early 20th Century. When he was 8 years old, his family’s farm was foreclosed. All the vegetable gardens, orange orchards, live stock, chicken pens, and hunting land they had relied on for their survival were suddenly gone. For more than four years after that, dad’s only job was to go to the river each day and catch enough fish, frogs and turtles to feed the other members of his family. If he failed to catch enough food to feed them, everyone went hungry. Hunger became such an overriding preoccupation with him that for the rest of his life, even though he couldn’t tell anyone why, he made it a habit to eat the food left on everyone’s plate at the end of every meal. He did it automatically, without needing to understand it and without being able to explain it. This behavior demonstrated as graphically as any how powerful the filters we develop in early life can become.
The imprint on conscious awareness [and a whole litany of outrageous, unreasoned behaviors] exerted by this kind of core woundedness creates a contextual filter that we believe is fundamentally resistive to remediation. The tape that played in my father’s head every time he sat down to a meal reminded him that (a) food is a precious commodity (b) which is always in short supply and (c) which may never be available again. The bias exerted by this primary filter translates inevitably into an automatic, deeply embedded way of attributing meaning to all our life experiences. In dad’s case, for example, the ‘food scarcity’ tape generalized over time to include virtually every aspect of his adult life. For him, there was never enough of anything that was essential to his survival. The originating, seminal event that spawns this experiential and interpretive bias is stored in the human psyche in the context of its emotional content. Thereafter, whenever external sources of input match the patterns transcribed into this filtering mechanism, we automatically, instinctively react in specific, narrowly defined patterns of behavior. What was once a highly-charged emotional event soon triggers an automatic response.
Interpretive Filters
Thereafter, for as long as we live, this primal bias frames the way we interpret our life experiences. Early in life, our reactions and interpretations become completely automatic. We behave in inexplicable ways in response to events, feelings or perceptions that to others most often appear totally innocuous. And we do this all our lives, without ever becoming consciously aware of it, until the automatic response creates consequences that become problematical. This is a complex matter. Early in life, we struggle to distinguish between perceived and genuinely threatening, risky or dangerous choices. Until we learn to distinguish between levels of risk, we are vulnerable to consequences we simply have no way to predict or understand. Our very survival depends on how well and quickly we learn to discriminate between what is dangerous and what is not.
Introducing the Purple Pig
When the perception of risk becomes overwhelming, we are hardwired to operate by a default mechanism. The ‘fight or flight’ instinct is part of the basic package – when nothing in our experience provides us with options of choice, we default to the primary program. We attack, run or hide. In our experiential workshops we introduce participants to a character we call the Pig. Metaphorically speaking, the Pig is a nerd. He/ she is the part of our consciousness whose primary task during our entire lifetime is to keep us safe. Somewhere, deep inside the unconscious part of our architecture, the Pig maintains a comprehensive collection of experiential tapes. When I see this in my mind’s eye, the image of Jean-Luc Picard on the command bridge of the Star Ship Enterprise immediately comes to mind.
In his breathtaking motion picture 2001: A Space Odyssey, Arthur C. Clarke portrayed the memory functions of the Hal 9000 holographic computer as a large room filled with interactive light cubes, each of which contained part of the ship’s intelligence and memory functions. Each cube contained the holographic record [sight, sound, taste, smell, touch, kinesthetic, emotional, contextual] of some memory or experience. Like the HAL 9000, perhaps 99% of the events stored in human memory [metaphorically speaking] are relegated to seldom-used memory locations. This is normal. We have experiences as we go through each moment of our lives that are interpreted as normal, casual or mundane. These unremarkable events are easily ignored or soon forgotten.
In the short-term memory department we find a collection of light cubes that are constantly reshuffled in terms of their immediacy, priority and short term risk assessment. As these cubes become outdated, they are automatically deleted, reclassified or archived in terms of lower priority or accessibility. In one part of the light cube storage section, however, there are a few cubes that are constantly being processed. These cubes are the real-time comparators. Everything we perceive, feel and do is compared with the essential reference points contained in the master set of memory control cubes.
In fact, because of the way we are architected, some of these cubes run all the time as background routines, behind the screen of current focus and our conscious awareness. As long as we live, these perceptual imprints never stop playing in the background. Freud referred to this deeply embedded collection of imprints, urges, instructions and drives as the ‘unconscious.’ His use of the term perfectly describes its operative functions – it operates 24/7 without conscious awareness or control. It is with us all the time. We never get to turn it off, even when we would very much like to.
Primary woundedness is one of the most powerful of all the holographic memory cubes. In fact, if the truth were known about this function, the original woundedness imprint contained in this aggregation of comparator cubes becomes the primary control filter and pattern recognition program thru which virtually everything we experience for the rest of our lives is interpreted. Hidden as it is, deep within the Pig’s cunningly encrypted warehouse of perceptual filters and basic imprints, this master memory cube is exceedingly well hidden and vigorously defended.
In order to even get to it, we are required to penetrate layer after layer of increasingly sophisticated encryption mechanisms. This is not about thinking. The memory of the originating event is only accessible via its emotional context – we have to feel our way through the labyrinth to find it. There is a prime time in our lives for accessing and reframing the filters embodied by the master memory cube. Between the ages of five and eight years old, after we become able to engage in abstractions but before additional layers of encapsulated woundedness have become impenetrable, it is possible to work our way through this process with optimal effectiveness and minimal risk. However, as life goes on, the layering of successive episodes of woundedness quickly renders this task increasingly difficult. In the context of our metaphor, somewhere on our island there is a secret, mysterious, carefully hidden and ferociously guarded place where all the essential experiential functions that occur on our island are controlled. To find this place, we must be able to marshal all our personal power and learn to focus it with unwavering intensity, if we are to penetrate the layers of insulation, armor and resistance we involuntarily erect to protect it.
The Pig’s job is to keep us safe. This includes safety from all outside threats as well as all threats originating from within our conscious and unconscious awareness. The Pig knows something we do not know. One of his agendas is to prevent us from discovering his most carefully guarded secret. He knows that at the center of the most deeply buried core of our Being, in that most secret and sacred of all the places on our island, a numinous Being of unimaginable beauty and power resides. This Being, the Ancient One, is the original occupant of the island we inhabit. What the Pig knows but does not voluntarily allow us to discover is that the Ancient One is the primal essence of our eternal nature. Held captive in a prison of limited sensory capacities, behind layers of perceptual woundedness and all the restrictive manifestations of duality, the Ancient One’s mission is to somehow find a way to convert the horrific nature of the human experience into a state of beauty, grace and personal actualization.
Releasing the Genie
Children at the age of three often recall what it was like during the time before they became mortal. Layered over by their emerging physicality, they increasingly lose their direct connection to the Ancient One who resides within them. By the time they have endured kindergarten, first grade and survived their early years, for most children direct access to the eternal presence within has been all but severed. Again, this evolutional pattern does not operate in aboriginal cultures in the same way as it does in modern ones. Among the indigenous tribes of Palenque, for example, children are taught to ‘hear’ the way the plants and animals around them ‘sing.’ Their role in community is defined by an experience for which modern cultures have no equivalent. In Native American cultures, the vision quest is so inextricably connected with their view of self that their cultures could not exist without it. The vision quest is a rite of passage mirrored in virtually all surviving vestiges of original cultures around the world.
The purpose of the vision quest is very simple – by leaving community and becoming fundamentally in tune with the harmonic resonances of all that surrounds them, individuals are able to reconnect with the Ancient One who resides within them. In direct conversations with the Creator, the Source, the Grandfathers, each individual discovers his own reason for being on the planet. Their role in community, the purpose for which they were born, become fundamentally self-evident. Each person is given all the support they need to discover for themselves who they are, why they are here and what they are supposed to do while they are alive.
The mechanisms of all religious and spiritual rituals are similar. Access to Source in the Native American traditions, as with all ancient traditions which rely on rituals and ceremonies, relies on physical and emotional exhaustion, consciousness-altering substances, and repetition to strip away the barriers of physicality. The exacting disciplines of yoga, the polyphonic chanting of Tibetan monks, the ceremonies of High Mass, and the altered-states of consciousness generated during extended foundational workshops all rely on the same fundamental strategies. Once the physical equipment of the body and mind have been driven to exhaustion, the barriers to entry into the center of our Being is reduced enough to allow us to commune with the Source. In this moment, we see what we really are by directly experiencing our own eternal magnificence. It’s the world of the Wizard of Oz for real.
From that moment forward, for the remainder of their mortal existence, each individual’s life becomes focused on and devoted to the fulfillment of the mandate revealed by the conversation with the Ancient One. In modern cultures, there is no process analogous to the vision quest. Instead of being empowered at an early age to reconnect directly with Source, modern cultures deliberately impose institutional barriers between us and the Source. The linguistic, cultural and institutional barriers erected by Mother Culture operate according to a single dictum: Resistance if futile. You will be assimilated.
While he was practicing the healing arts, Dr. Brugh Joy provided what he called ‘foundational’ experiences for those who participated in workshops held at his Sky High Ranch in Lucerne, California. Author and screenplay writer Michael Crichton participated in Joy’s program. In Crichton’s account of his participation in the two week program, he describes a series of workshop processes which mirror in every fundamental aspect the steps taken by native shamans to prepare members of their communities for the vision quest experience. So powerful and effective were those exercises that at the end of each two week program, each participant was required to spend two full days in the high desert, completely alone, with nothing but a water bottle and some writing materials. Their assignment for this ‘vision quest’ exercise was to find something in nature that talked to them, to engage in a conversation with it, and record that conversation in a way that could be shared with other participants before the closing of the seminar.
[Crichton’s Foundational Workshop – The Curmudgeon Cactus]
In modern times, especially in the West, some practitioners of the healing arts have developed extraordinarily effective processes for taking those of us who have been reared in the spiritual flatland of Mother Culture to a moment of reconnection with Source. Many Native Americans are involved in this work. They are sharing important rituals and rites of passage with the rest of us in an attempt to help us reconnect with the Grandfathers. The sweat lodge, fire walk, sun dance and vision quest are all processes that anyone can participate in these days. After having participated in some of these practices, I am far better prepared to deal with the Pig’s resistance than I ever would have been without them.
As a result of the utterly dysfunctional practices imposed on us by Mother Culture, we become involuntarily enslaved to the cultural surrogates for Source. We pay obeisance to religious orders that pretend to be the ‘only true’ access portal to the divine. We allow ourselves to be controlled in virtually every aspect of our lives by the institutions of Mother Culture, even when the drum beat issuing up from the very core of our Being tells us we are in terrible danger of losing access to all we came here to discover.
Before we live for long on this planet, virtually all of us have been so successfully enculturated by these attitudinal, behavioral and emotional constraints that we have little or no access to our authentic, genuine, core selves. In fact, we become so conditioned to the notion that we are obliged to appear to take on certain culturally mandated attributes that we don’t have any real idea who we are. In the context of this model, then, it is no wonder that we live lives of confusion, desperation, spiritual emptiness and woundedness. As far as Mother Culture is concerned, we are only good for one purpose – we constitute a wholly-owned, totally controlled, seemingly inexhaustible source of fuel, suitable only for driving the machinery of Mother Culture and carrying out her agendas, until we are burned out, used up and discarded on the ash heap of life.
Daniel Quinn got it just right. When mankind decided to take upon itself the right to determine who lives and who dies, our ability to maintain a direct personal, unabridged connection with Source was irrevocably severed. Today, thousands years later, we are learning how to reinvigorate our own identities and reconnect with our eternal nature. To do this requires consummate skill and an abundance of personal power. When I assert that the obstacles to self-actualization are formidable, if anything, I am understating the case. In terms of the ancient Sufi legends, this is precisely analogous to letting the Genie out of the bottle. At the core, we ARE the magical genie. Self-actualization, by definition, means setting our authentic selves free. And that is what healing woundedness is all about.
Woundedness = Dark Hole
At the beginning, we talked about the misty glow cast by gaslights over the avenues that lead us across our island. Here is another aspect of this model for you to consider. If we are consistent, the metaphor of the island needs to be coherent with respect to the notion of energy supply and consumption. When we talk about people who are really vibrant and alive, we sometimes use an idiom that suggests we can measure how alive people are by gauging the extent to which “.the lights are on.” In this context, we gauge the limits of safety by saying such things as “.punch his lights out” or “burning the candle at both ends.” We resonate with these images for reasons that will soon become apparent.
If we use this same line of reasoning to talk about woundedness, the metaphor holds. Louise Hay has made an enormous contribution to our understanding of the relationship between the nature of woundedness and physical disease. For more than 40 years, Hay has written cogently about this subject, despite the ridicule heaped on her by the mainstream medical establishment. What she says is this:
[Louise Hay – quote]
Today, we are witnessing a revolutionary shift in the way conventional medical treatment modalities are adapting to the irresistible evidence that Hay has been quite right all along. In point of fact, Hay’s notions about the genesis of illness and disease are not really new at all. More than 5,500 years ago, the ancient Hindu verses called the Vedas said exactly the same thing. The Vedas, ancient verses of Sanskrit poetry, contain a complete lexicon of all the causes of illness and disease found in Hay’s writings. They also contain a cogent description of the technologies needed to remediate the undesirable effects produced by primary energetic imbalances found in the human condition.
Carlos Castaneda, Alberto Villoldo and Miguel Ruiz have all written persuasively about the same subject. The shamanic traditions of the Olmecs and Toltecs, for example, contain a complete liturgy of causes, effects and steps to remediate illness and disease. In China, the Chi Gung ‘life force’ model slices through this apple from an entirely different point of view. In the surviving vestiges of the original cultures of Australia, illness, disease and injury are all recognized as expressions of energetic imbalance, located in specific sites in the physical body. So the concept of woundedness taking up residence in physical locations within the energy envelope of the human body is not new. What is new, however, is the notion that some among us have managed, by one means or another, to survive the process of enculturation and heal woundedness in a way that enables them to re-access Source by choice, at will. Our task, should we decide to accept it, is to figure out how this works and make it available to everyone who wants to learn how to do it.
Let us agree, simply for the sake of moving the metaphor along, that the memory of each instance of human experience that occurs on our island takes up residence somewhere in the form of a street lamp, like the ones we see in the Impressionist paintings. Further, let us assume that all of these light sources are connected to the same primary source of energy supply. They all consume energy, all the time. But if we are balanced and healthy, the amount and kind of energy we consume is balanced with the need to keep the machinery of life working properly.
If the model can be relied on, it is consistent to suggest that there are some baseline functions, some ‘light emitting sources,’ if you will, that are essential to our well-being. The autonomic functions all require energetic support – heart beating, lungs breathing, blood moving, cells absorbing oxygen and burning fuel and eliminating waste, conscious and unconscious functions, cellular reproduction and tissue repair, disease fighting, waste filtration and elimination – all these baseline functions operate all the time. When any one of them ceases to function properly, we experience the physical sensations we have come to refer to as ‘illness.’ We get sick. We have disease. We are not well. When the ‘lights go out’ in the central processor units or any of the essential subsystems, we die.
If life were just a matter of consuming energy from suitable sources to sustain simple physical functions, we could aspire to be viruses, bacteria or amoebas. But we are more than that. Sentience is a high order energy consumption and recycling function. And because we are more than the outward appearance of our physical stuff, we require sources of energy beyond simply physical nutrients. As we go through this process called ‘healing woundedness,’ we will encounter these other kinds of energy under controlled conditions, so we can learn how to recognize and harness them.
In the meantime, let’s get back to the model. On this point, all the original cultures agree. In order to sustain life, we require a minimal, finite amount of energy every day to stay alive. To the extent that our sources of supply satisfy only the basic requirements, we remain focused on satisfying our survival instincts. This phenomenon has long been recognized as the primary function of Maslow’s Pyramid of Needs. When the sources of supply exceed the basic requirements, we are able to spend increasingly more time and attention on higher order needs. As Daniel Quinn has aptly demonstrated in his description of the habits of original cultures, only a small part of each day is spent gathering, raising and preparing food, making clothing, building shelters, maintaining security from outside threats and so on.
After the work has been done, enough energy is still available to pursue more fulfilling needs. These pursuits are manifest in the form of arts and crafts, expressions of thought and values, exploration of new places and the expression of new ideas. Indeed, if we examine the rise and fall of the Hohokum and Anasazi cultures of the American Southwest, we find indisputable evidence of how this plays out. So long as our basic needs are satisfied, we are able, because excess energy is available to support it, to pursue higher, more actualizing agendas. In the modern context, then, if we can develop strategies for managing the finite amount of energy available to us every day, we can at least sustain the minimal requirements for life with consistency. In modern medical parlance, this balance point is referred to as ‘healthy.’
If Louise Hay is right, however, our original woundedness imprint predisposes us to behaviors that create tension, stress, conflict and injury to both our physical and emotional selves. As Carlos Castaneda correctly posited, each time we experience unresolved injury or conflict on our island, this emotional contents of each such experience actually takes up residence in some physical part of us. Unlike the healthy lights that sustain and drive us toward balance and actualization, the instances of woundedness become energy sinks, indiscriminately absorbing energy from all the surrounding light sources, diverting it to supply the intrinsic energy consumption requirements demanded by each instance of woundedness. This perverse aspect of our architecture has been known for thousands of years, so this is nothing new. Original cultures handled such things by empowering each other to engage in personal and communal practices known to remediate unresolved issues. Acupuncture as practiced in China performs the same function as the shaman of the Native Americans – both serve to balance energy and focus the life force to erase energetic imbalance and cure illness, repair injury and mitigate the effects of unresolved anger and conflict.
In the ancient Chinese cultures, village physicians [shaman] were supported by their villagers for as long as everyone enjoyed good health. When people became ill, the villagers withheld support until the shaman found a way to return them to health. This is precisely the opposite of the model imposed on modern cultures by the institutions of allopathic medicine. As far as the metaphor of the island is concerned, woundedness can be defined as an absence of energy. It sheds no light, contributes only limited value [e.g., an awareness that we shouldn’t ‘go there’ again], and robs energy from essential life-giving functions sited in nearby locations. I view these sites of woundedness as ‘black holes.’ They are the energetic equivalent of the black holes of particle physics which suck energy and destroy the balance of everything around them.
I like this analogy because in both a physical and metaphysical sense, black holes operate in much the same way as tornados and hurricanes. As a matter of relative magnitude, we may be able to survive the existence of a few little energy sucking vortexes scattered along the banks and backwaters of the stream of life – in point of fact, we can live our whole lives without ever becoming aware of them. But when a big dust storm blows across our island, creating dust devils that temporarily blur our vision and demand our attention, we certainly do become aware of them. Once in awhile, however, the black hole energy sucking equivalent of Hurricane Katrina blows across our island, unbidden, unannounced and unanticipated. The death of a child, the trauma of divorce, serious physical injuries, loss of job, the ravages of war, natural disasters, and other catastrophic events create permanent devastation on the landscape of our islands. Like the aftermath of 9-11 or Hurricane Katrina, the energy sink created by the repeated catastrophic avalanche events that are part of life and living continue to exert profound, long-term effects on our islands for the rest of our lives.
Energy Sucking Strategies
If our model is properly constructed, it follows that the long term effects created by each instance of woundedness takes root somewhere on our island. The energy-sucking effect left in the wake of such events continues to literally suck the life force out of us forever after, until the day we leave our island by dying. As we look back on the course of our lives, we can see the landscape of the islands we have created. What we do not see, because we seldom look for it, is the way woundedness occupies our time, internal space and attention. Recapturing the essential life force that is involuntarily diverted to satisfy the energy-sucking demands of our woundedness is the objective of this whole undertaking.
In our culture, we engage in all kinds of strategies for diverting energy from outside sources to satisfy the demands relentlessly exerted by our uncontrolled energy-dissipation needs. In his book “The Celestine Prophecy,” James Redfield hits the mark in this regard when he describes the half-dozen basic energy-sucking scenarios we adopt to steal energy from each other to fill up these inner energy deficits. He refers to these energy-sucking behaviors as the ‘control drama.’
One of the specific exercises that follows later in this book is a process that gives us a way to actually ‘see’ what we do to steal energy from others. While it is unlikely we can totally eliminate this behavior from our life experience, it is also true that we can exercise significant conscious control over what we do and how we do it. In addition to the behaviors we inflict on each other, there are behaviors we resort to when the energy deficit created by our woundedness becomes too painful to endure.
Because we do not have direct access to the Source of our Being, at least in a fully conscious, actualized sense, we engage in all kinds of perverse behaviors to ‘fill up’ our empty energy tanks. Consider how we live – we are conspicuous consumers of everything around us. Mother Culture teaches us that we are superior to every other form of life in the natural order, separate and distinct from all other inferior forms of life, and from each other.
We make war on the planet and each other as a way of satisfying our energy demands. We clear-cut the forests, deplete the fisheries, hunt the buffalo and whales and other species to extinction, bury nuclear waste under the ground, contaminate the soil we grow our food in, pollute the air we breathe, despoil the water we drink, and generally foul all the ecosystems of the planet without regard to the ultimate consequences. If global warming is a consequence of these behaviors [and there are some legitimate reasons to question about how true this assertion may be], we may actually cause our own extinction as a species. In that event, life as we know it may simply cease to exist.
We manufacture substances that numb the pain and mask the symptoms of our woundedness. These substances are frequently more damaging than the causes they serve to mask. As a culture, we manipulate and exploit each other, rob and cheat and steal and murder, maim and prey ceaselessly on one another. In short, our collective woundedness has become so chronic that few of us can even get through the day without taking a pill, having a drink or taking a toke of some substance or another that masks, anaesthetizes or numbs the pain and discomfort we feel. As a society, we are really in trouble.
Life doesn’t have to be this way. The fact that this set of conditions is part of the islands we live on, however, means we are compelled to find ways to alter this part of the landscape, one island at a time. Sometimes life appears to be so hugely fearsome, so utterly impossible, that our lives are constantly tainted with hopelessness and despair. In order to prevail and maintain control over us, Mother Culture desperately needs us to wallow in the despair caused by this set of beliefs. If any of us really get free, if any one of us actually figures out how to reconnect by choice with Source, if any of us finds a way to give each other hope by facilitating a strategy that has universal application, Mother Culture as we know it will cease to control us.
Coming Home
In this sense, then, healing woundedness is an exercise in liberating ourselves and each other from the destructive ravages of Mother Culture. In our experiential seminars, we introduce participants to the concept of ‘Coming Home.’ Enya’s evocative music resonates through us all when we arrive at a state of consciousness allowing us to momentarily experience the extraordinary magnificence that burns at the Center, at the core of each of us. We have learned that there is a way to reconnect with Source. It involves healing our woundedness one black hole at a time. Every huge undertaking is comprised of a sequence of simple, elemental steps. By dealing with the problem in a systematic way, one element at a time, we can quickly begin to liberate enough life force to fuel the increasingly difficult challenges that necessarily follow.
At the outset, I wrote about taking control of the process by deliberately deciding how to participate in the process of exploring and reshaping our islands. Controlling the space, controlling the process, creating safety, consistently owning the choices and focusing on the little tasks at hand are the first, essential baby steps to beginning our work. When we have thought carefully about this, we inevitably come to the place called the ‘jumping off point.’ Cliff divers, bungey jumpers, sky divers all demonstrate how powerful our choices can be when we are prepared to own them. Simply deciding to begin is for some of us such a daunting prospect that we cannot even take this first step.
The Pig has a lot to do with this. We will have some one-on-one, up-close and personal conversations with The Pig before we go much further. For now, though, the primary consideration is to find a way to create enough safety for ourselves to enable us to take the first definitive steps towards healing. Here is where we begin. Our objective is clear. One step at a time, one aspect at a time, starting with easy exercises, we’re going to begin the process of finding and shutting off the black holes that have begun to overrun our islands. Each time we succeed, we will liberate energy and bring healing to a place on our island. Like athletes preparing for a marathon, it is time to set our intention. But unlike running a marathon, healing woundedness is a process, not an event. If our model is correct, it is much more akin to dancing than to running a race. This is not a competition. There is no winning or losing and there is no clearly-defined goal line. It is not a war, either with ourselves or anyone else. Rather, this is the beginning of a lifelong exploration of our inner landscape that is unlike anything we have ever experienced before. At some points along the way we will need to find mentors, shamans and teachers to help us on our way. In some cases, we will perform these roles for each other when we encounter obstacles we cannot surmount alone.
Of one thing we can be absolutely certain: at the core, in our heart of hearts, there is absolutely nothing wrong with us. If we set out to heal woundedness for ourselves, we cannot do it wrong. We will discover how to do what works for each of us, one step at a time. When we are fatigued we will rest. When we are focused on something that requires sustained concentration and effort, we will find the power we need to become utterly laser-like until we are satisfied with the results.
As we succeed in progressively dismantling the network of black holes that rob us of our life force and personal power, we will discover a new sense of wellness. As we become accustomed to the rigors of the journey we will find new sources of vigor and strength we did not know we possess. Until the day we leave our islands, we can come closer and closer to liberating the Ancient Ones who reside within us. Some of us will actually succeed. When we do, we will know how to combine with one another to create an entirely new kind of life experience. We have seen glimpses of it in the dream time. One day, we will go there together.