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CUTTING the Ties That Bind
Growing Up and Moving On
By Phyllis Krystal
Red Wheel/Weiser, LLCCopyright © 1986 Phyllis Krystal
All rights reserved.
THE METHOD OF WORKING
This book describes a method which has been developed to enable two people working together to tap into knowledge and teaching beyond the conscious mind of either of them. The state of mind during the work has been likened to a waking dream or active imagination, but neither of these terms gives an accurate description. Those who have experienced it invariably describe the state they are in as heightened awareness and comment on the fact that the emotions experienced are usually far more intense than those encountered in ordinary consciousness, the mental pictures far more vivid.
I must make two points absolutely clear from the start: first, the participants are fully awake and conscious of everything they are experiencing, are never in a trance, and remember in detail everything that transpired during each session. Secondly, it is not necessary to be specially gifted or psychic, that is, clairvoyant, clairaudient, or mediumistic, to do this work. The requirements for each partner are a sincere desire to seek the truth, honesty, dedication, obedience to the inner guidance, and willingness to set aside the ego, personal will and desires, and pet beliefs or biases, so that the teaching from the High C can flow through as untainted by the human vehicles as possible.
While two of us were working one day, I was given an interesting picture to illustrate the necessity of being absolutely open, with the ego as much out of the way as possible. We were, as usual, asking to be shown whatever was appropriate and timely for either of us for that day. The only picture I was receiving was of an urn which stayed firmly in front of my inner gaze and did not fade or disappear. As I concentrated on it, I became aware that it was badly cracked and chipped, and the thought crossed my mind that it would leak if water were poured into it. I asked why I was being shown this battered old urn. The answer came like a flash and really shocked me. Suddenly I knew that it represented me, and that we are all chipped and cracked. I then realized with relief that this need not affect our ability to do this work. Since we are making contact with the light within each of us to dispel the darkness of ignorance, this light can be seen even better through the cracks, and can more easily radiate out to others. From then on, I stopped worrying that I might not be adequate to work in this way or be a clear channel.
The requirements for each team of two are, first, a rapport between them, which forms the base of the triangle they will be using to contact the High C. It is also important that they be disciplined enough to work regularly and, above all, have a minimum of competitiveness or one-upmanship, since it is the inner knowledge that is being sought, not that of either partner. Differences in the personalities of two workers can be helpful, as they allow for greater polarity and lessen the danger of either one going off at a tangent. Also, such differences sometimes produce an interesting situation when each partner receives a picture or impression which, at first glance, appears to contradict the other but which turns out to contain the same message expressed differently; the messages are therefore mutually corroborative. Sometimes the picture seen by each partner separately, when put together, forms a whole message, each being but a part.
As we proceeded, it gradually became apparent that the work could be used in many different ways. From the very beginning, we were told that we must be willing to share what we were being taught with anyone who was open to it and would use it. So, in addition to the regular meetings for our own guidance and teaching, which were rather like attending a school of higher learning, we worked with various people who came to us seeking help and advice for their problems.
Sometimes one or the other of us would work directly with those seeking help, either by both tuning into the High C, or often by sharing with them from the teachings we had been given earlier. Sometimes we helped people to decipher dreams or proceeded with whatever seemed applicable for the particular person and problem. At other times, two of us would work together, asking to be shown how best to help those seeking guidance. This method was used primarily for those living at a distance or who were not available to work with one of us directly. In such cases, the results of our work were passed on to them either by telephone or letter and the recommended mental exercises or meditations explained to them. We have been repeatedly warned against taking over and doing all the work for others as this would only strengthen our mental and spiritual muscles instead of theirs.
The many and varied problems brought to our attention were often the means by which we were given new teaching on a very large number of diverse subjects. As we began to use whatever teaching we were given, we learned to trust the source, expecially when we saw the many proofs of it working in peoples' lives.
Gradually, by word of mouth, more people heard about our activities. Among them were several psychologists who would call on us to help them with some of their more difficult or particularly puzzling cases. My elder daughter, a licensed psychologist, had personally benefited from the work and uses the various techniques and exercises with her clients with excellent results. In addition, she and I meet regularly to ask the High C for further insights and instructions to aid her in diagnosing her clients' problems and to facilitate her working with them more effectively. She offers this service only to those clients whom she feels are open to the work, who give their permission, and who are willing to follow the guidance received in this way. Most of them eagerly grasp at the extra help and insight and as a result my daughter is better able to help them help themselves, which is the key to their healing and growth. They soon see how the work accelerates the healing process and we usually have a long list of requests each time we meet.
It is from this work that a pattern has emerged which can be used by psychotherapists and counsellors, and which will be discussed in detail in this book. We are hoping that more therapists will, in time, make use of the greater wisdom which is available when the High C is evoked by both therapist and client.
One situation which is invariably encountered in counselling is that of projection or transference. This is lessened when both client and therapist rely on the High C as the authority instead of on the therapist, and when both practise a visualization exercise which we have been given to reduce this particular problem. We call this exercise the 'Figure Eight' and its uses will be described in detail in the text.
THE CORE OF THE WORK
It was during one of the sessions with my daughter, when we were about to ask for insight into several of her clients, that, quite unexpectedly, the core or main theme of this book was presented.
As soon as we were quiet, and after she had read aloud the list of names of those requesting insights and we had mentally erected the triangle between us, I instantly saw, as if on an inner screen, what looked like a zoo or circus, with many cages, each housing a different animal. As I watched this inner picture, I was fascinated by the many different ways in which the animals reacted to their confinement. Some of the big cats paced nervously up and down, graceful but frustrated; some animals threw themselves against the bars of their cages in obvious rage and rebellion, frantic and frightened, desperately trying to escape. Other animals would slink into the back of the cage and curl up into a ball like an embryo, withdrawing from all participation in living. Some went on a hunger strike, refusing to eat; while others, like the bears, were performing, doing tricks and putting on a show for visitors to attract attention and to distract themselves from their boredom. Others were ingratiating, rolling over and begging for food from their keepers. As I watched such varied reactions, I wondered why I was being shown this picture and became immediately aware that people, like the animals I was seeing, are all imprisoned in cages, but of their own making. I also knew, with an inner certainty, that they can attain freedom from their cages if they so desire.
Would anyone actually not want to be free, I wondered? In answer, my mind was drawn to several people I knew who would certainly fit that category. As I looked further, I realized that many people resist any kind of change, preferring the security of an habitual situation or condition, however difficult or unhappy, to the insecurity of something unknown and different from that which they were used to handling. There are also those who protest that they want to be free, but when they are offered the opportunity to escape from their prisons they find that they do not really want freedom strongly enough to be willing to relinquish their attachments to people, possessions, desires, security, or any thing which they cannot live without. People will go to great lengths to protect their cherished dreams and desires, and will fight any attempt to show them that these are often at the root of their unhappiness.
I was next aware that, like Ariadne's thread, one must allow the process to lead back to the cause, past the smoke screen of protest by the conscious mind, to seek the key which can unlock each person's prison; for only by discovering the hidden cause of the symptoms is the healing likely to be lasting. The ego with its 'I want' and 'I don't want' is a deep-seated core which is fiercely protected, like a citadel, with anger, fear and desperation before capitulation to the High Self takes place
This surrender to the inner wisdom is the key to health and wholeness and is the true meaning of "Thy will, not mine, be done" "Thy will" refers to the will of our own High Self, which alone knows why each person is in this life, whereas "my will" is the compulsive personal will of the ego with its attachments to myriads of desires.
I realized that we are given free will, but look where it usually lands us: in cages! Until we realize that we are free only when we learn to trust the High C, we cannot really know what freedom means. The precept "Let trust in that higher wisdom storm the embattled citadel of the small self', flashed into my mind. I saw that all psychological problems and unhappiness are merely signs to point the way to the inner conflict and, if understood correctly, can lead back to its root cause. As I looked around, I realized that everyone alive suffers from some aspect of this 'sickness of separation from the High C'. Some people are more severely affected than others, some manage more successfully to camouflage it, or hide from it by resorting to various ploys, such as constant activity, drugs, alcohol, sex, television, books, or eating. How like those animals in their cages we all are! I was awed by the picture.
Then I recalled the Eastern philosophies and their insistence on desirelessness and detachment, and I saw that in our work we have been shown how to cut the ties which bind us to things, people, places, ways of life, to anything which prevents us from being free. I further realized that the techniques which have been revealed to us as we worked all these years are the means by which we can escape from our cages, and help others to do likewise.
Then I was given a brief experience of this eventual freedom and I recognized it as being identical to a level of consciousness I have attained from time to time for short periods during the work sessions, and which I have always referred to as the 'tapestry level'.
At times, when I was focusing on the images or thoughts I was receiving, I would suddenly be aware of a tremendous change in my attitude. I would feel as if I were floating freely in space in a pink glow, like a bird riding the wind, as I looked down at a most beautiful tapestry. I always enjoyed these brief times at that level of consciousness and felt I was being given a god's eye view of the world which never ceased to amaze me. I would sometimes try to go there consciously, but was never able to do so as reaching this state seems to be beyond conscious control. At first, I was also a little horrified at my change of attitude. As I looked down at man's inhumanity to man, all the wars, murders, rapes, and sorrows, I would really feel that, despite such horrors, as Browning put it, "God's in His heaven, All's right with the world!". A few minutes earlier I would have been bowed down with depression by the world scene; but at this other level I was, for a moment, free of the world and could observe it all in perspective, knowing that everything is inevitable for the very necessary learning it alone makes possible.
Seen from above, the tapestry was always very beautiful, with brilliant colours, both dark and light, all woven harmoniously together to create an intricate pattern; everything in its proper place. However, this same tapestry looked at from below, from our limited conscious view, was very different: the pattern looked blurred and indistinct as the many knots and loose ends of thread obscured the beautiful design I had seen from above, and all the colours seemed to run together. It became clear that from the High C view the real pattern is visible.
Our lives intertwine with one another's for our mutual learning, and we attract to ourselves those people and experiences we need to teach us whatever it is we need to learn. Because we cannot see beyond our limited view, the pattern seems to us to be ugly and untidy and, therefore, wrong. But seen from above, where the design is clear, all is as it is, and must be, and as we have all woven it. Even the negative aspects are inevitable parts of the whole.
Then I realized that 'even the knots are right', a phrase we have used many, many times to illustrate the point that seemingly negative experiences are often exactly what we need to push us out of our ruts and force us to grow. There is a strong tendency in most people to relax and take life easy if things go too smoothly for them. This leads to stagnation and prevents growth. It is only because we cannot see the beautiful woven pattern we are all hoping to make, but see only the negative-looking underside, that we judge it wrongly.
When I was sharing this picture one day with a young woman who had come to see me while still in deep sorrow over the loss of a loved one, she asked, from her anguish, "But wouldn't the view you describe make us all uncaring and indifferent?".
I knew exactly what she meant, because that had been my own fear at first; but experience has proven otherwise. On the contrary, it actually brings out more compassion and a greater understanding, and it reduces criticism of others, which are the only attitudes with which to offer help.
One young man who found himself at the tapestry level while we were working one day had a different reaction. He did not want to leave it and return to "the ordinary drab consciousness of daily life", as he expressed it, any more than those who take drugs to escape the tedium, dullness, fear and ugliness of their lives want to give the drugs up.
We have been cautioned over and over again that only by living in a human body in this mundane world can we work on ourselves to attain the goal of freedom glimpsed at the tapestry level. We must work to earn the right to stay there permanently. If we withdraw from life in any way, we only delay our progress.
The key which opens the door of the cages in which we are trapped is found only in the cage which itself is imprisoned in the world in which we live. The way to find the key is to dig deep within ourselves to discover where we are holding on to the bars and, therefore, to what things, people or beliefs we are attached.
As soon as I understood the significance of the caged animal scene, I realized that the instruction and tools which we had already been given over the years were perfectly designed to help all those who seek freedom from false security to release from whatever was keeping them imprisoned in a cage.
The caged animal scene is indeed the core of the work and provides the central theme around which it can be described. In order to be completely free, we need to be detached from anyone or anything which binds or dominates us, or in which we seek to find security in preference to the High C within each of us.
I then recalled that Jesus told the rich man to leave his parents, wife and home and follow him. I now understood that this does not necessarily mean to leave them literally or physically by deserting them and neglecting responsibilities which have been assumed. Rather, it appeared that it can also refer to detachment from dependence on family, which often prevents absolute reliance on the High C and the freedom to follow its will and direction instead of the will of the ego or that of another person.
Excerpted from CUTTING the Ties That Bind by Phyllis Krystal. Copyright © 1986 Phyllis Krystal. Excerpted by permission of Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC.
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