The path to awakening includes the question: “who would I have been, but for the damage I’ve taken in life?” Stress that your body and mind can handle actually triggers growth. Excessive stress (known as “strain”) causes breakdown. The trick is to expose yourself to stress but not go over that line more often than you can adapt to.
How do you know? Well, the Russian statement on it is that as long as you have proper posture, smooth breathing and relaxed musculature the stress is not interpreted as “strain” by your organism. Thus the efficiency and effectiveness of disciplines like yoga and martial arts for transforming human beings.
And what are the symptoms of strain? Especially strain that hit you during your developmental period? (Prior to puberty is absolutely atomic. But prior to adulthood–being self-supporting–is overall critical).
Well, I offer the following notion. In a “primitive” human hunter-gatherer tribal situation, (how we evolved) the typical tribe member:
- contributed to the community. Was a healthy cell in the “body human”. Hunting, gathering, mending, caring for children, cooking, cleaning, building, etc. Everyone pulled together.
- Mated, raised a family or contributed to the raising of families
- Possessed the physical dynamism capable of running, carrying, hunting, avoiding predators, etc. Eat too much? You slow down and become less capable of hunting, gathering, and moving in general. The problem was self-correcting. Look at a herd of animals. There is no huge variation of fat/skinny. All share the stress and rewards.
How does this relate to our world? IMHO, transferring these basic ideas to our world, I propose that for 99% of us this means:
- The capacity to create goods and services we exchange with our communities such that they see and appreciate our value, and reward us with money. This might be maintaining social infrastructure, providing resources, healing, or interpreting reality through art. The capacity to handle your finances and save a percentage (at least 10% is a standard advice) of every paycheck.
- Finding love and bonded relationships that last long enough that we COULD have raised a family within it. We don’t need every human being to reproduce. But we DO need every human being to make the world a better place for children. There is no “zero” point. Either you contribute to that safety, or you detract from it. There are countless ways to do this, but choose your side.
- Being healthy enough to work hard all week and party on the weekend. You would find your own body attractive by your standards. A healthy, sensual physical animal.
I suggest to you that if you don’t have all three of these things, it represents damage. Conflicting instructions. Negative values imparted by family or society. Fear. Trauma. Abuse.
In other words, just as you can detect the presence of an invisible planet by looking at the perturbations of the orbits we CAN see, if you have damage in one or more of these arenas, it is reasonable to suspect that there are negative factors pulling at you, often unconscious. The ego will try to say “no! I’m fine” because it is not real, and when you make real change, it dies and is reborn. And “everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die.”
I cannot prove that the above is “true.” I can say that if not, it is the most useful lie I’ve ever seen. How can you heal? Start with loving yourself, and move from there to creating an avatar representing your child self, and stream the love there. Accept the pain and grief of being what the rest of humanity is: flawed, imperfect, magnificent in potential. Love enough to release guilt, blame and shame. Use the ANCIENT CHILD, or another program of inner work. Or just do the work, and surround yourself with friends and family with whom you can honestly share your struggle.
Let’s make 2015 the very best year ever. We’re all alone in this, together.