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Families ~ Blessings Or Curse?

Families ~ Blessings Or Curse?

 

In the first post of this little series I looked at the pros of cons of mothers on the development of our fledgling psyche. Interestingly most folk have kept their comments to themselves after reading it. Perhaps I have unearthed a pain not yet reading for the Light. Perhaps the post was way off mark. Anyway, today I wish to look at fathers and how they influence our psycho-spiritual makeup.

Contrary to popular myth it was the women folk who ruled the roost within the human communities of ancient times. The warrior Amazons of folklore representing a hidden truth that the modern male prefers to ignore. Somewhere in the dark annals of history a shift took place and men rose to the top of the tribal pecking order, at least in theory if not altogether in practice.

Today we again live in a time of flux where the relatively recent social order is once again shifting. Women are once more emerging from under the male dominance of social norms. It is difficult being a mother and indeed a father in such a whirlwind of social change, no matter how beneficial it may prove to the future of mankind.

Having said this, I wish to look at fathers in light of the traditional Middle Eastern take on fathers, one that prevailed in 1st century Palestine at the time of  the Nazarene. Such social norms greatly influenced the religious take on God, pushing the concept of the Divine feminine to the edges of acceptability or into the so-called heretical realms of goddess worship. Yeshua’s contemporaries perceived God as a Father due to their belief that fathers were the source of life. This Divine Source  was by their definition in control as of right. The One who provides the gift of life wields the authority to govern it. Middle Eastern fathers were thus perceived as governors in their own home and as such to be honoured and obeyed.

This model of fatherhood was left unchanged by the developing Christian movement as it spread westwards. Today our Western view of fatherhood is slowly changing but vestiges of the old hierarchical order still cling to our daily family affairs.

So what of our fathers? How have they shaped our psycho-spiritual development. Let me first start with the negatives. Absentee fathers are the plague of our modern world. Willing enough to sow their seed in an act of sensual pleasure many ‘dads’ aren’t so keen on hanging around for long. Many of our inner feelings of abandonment and loneliness can be attributed to the absence of an authenticating male parent. No matter how well our single mothers pour their love and nurture into our fledgling psyche-souls there is a wee gap. At the risk of appearing sexist, I believe that fathers who run away are depriving their kids of something deeply valuable. It is one thing to be loved by a single parent; it’s an altogether different level of assurance to have two parents, both present and engaging in a mutual love. The world appears to be a safer place for those of us fortunate enough to have been raised in such an environment.

Of course many fathers hang around but might as well have left. Fathers who are severely dysfunctional imprint disorder and confusion onto the psyche-soul of their deeply observational kids. Violent mood swings or emotional apathy are vicious psychic wounds that remain with us well into adulthood. Unaware of how messed up our fathers really are we give them the benefit of the doubt by believing ourselves to be at fault. Our childhood reasoning goes something like this: “If I take the blame, then  dad will love me”. Such faulty programming goes with us into life as we seek the approval of further father-like figures, whether future husbands or work-place bosses.

Of course some fathers are dysfunctional in an altogether way, attempting to micro-manage the life of their child.  Discipline and training are the cover stories for what in essence is a form of bullying. The bullying dad who makes his son or daughter do the right thing is a deeply insecure individual, most likely a victim himself of past parental abuse. In this camp we often find the religious zealot who believes that it is his duty to instil the fear of God into his offspring. Nothing of course is further from the truth, but many fathers use God as their cover story for emotional and often physical abuse.

So enough of the bad news! How can a father aid our healthy psycho-spiritual development. Well, obvious as it may seem, he must be a man who is secure enough to change and admit his own frailties, even to his children. If he has frozen on his own path of discovery he will do the same to his kids. Above all he will be a channel of unconditional love, even as one who sets out boundaries for his children. The children must know that they are loved not because of their performance but just because they are.  If dads can convey and model this to their young families then they have sown a seed within their children’s psyche that will bear much emotional health in adulthood.

A father who understands the keys of human development and adjusts the manifestations of his love to suit his child’s stage of maturation is a wise man indeed. For the loving boundary setter of early childhood must morph into the dependable supporter as his growing child sets of on their own journey of Self-discovery.

Above all, the father who believes and trusts that Divine Love is within and authenticating  the life of his child has the right idea. At times of suffering and pain, the good father will be helpless. It is in such times of turmoil that there is nothing left to hold onto but One who is All in All. It’s not easy to believe, for the pain of fatherhood can be psyche-shattering at times. As I stood over the open grave of my wee baby son Ben, back in 1984 I gave him over to the One from whom he’d come. It was as painful as hell but it was the only way. To do otherwise would have been a one way trip to insanity.

So, if  you’ve been deprived by a lack of input or indeed damaged by abusive acts of a loveless man what is one to do? Well, the best plan is to call a spade a spade and get those inner memories out into the open. Left in denial they only fester away and manifest in mental health issues or physical illness. Find an external authenticator, one who can reprogramme those inner tracks of hurt with unconditional love. For some of us this requires therapy or the listening ear of a deep friend, for others serious reading and a willingness to delve into that place of rejection that we’ve never wanted to visit.

May Abba,  the Cosmic Parent of the Nazarene and all mankind, guide us on the Path of inner healing and peace.

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The 'S' Word

The ‘S’ Word

 

Let’s face it. Christians tend to be slightly obsessive about their ‘S’ words. I can understand their fascination with the word Saviour even though the Nazarene never actually applied it to Himself. The ‘S’ word I wish to tackle today is Sin. Please let me reassure my readers who aren’t big into sin that I’m not about to bludgeon you or condemn you in what follows. You can rest easy for my old Bible bashing days are well and truly over. No, rather I want to free the term out from its religious wolves clothing and look at it with a cool and hopefully rational mind.

For religious or spiritual devotees there lie two great temptations along the Way. We can either unknowingly make sin, or the fearful avoidance of it the focus of our faith, whilst claiming the very opposite or air-brush it our of our belief system altogether by believing that it doesn’t exist in the Oneness of all.

Both are pitfalls that multitudes of believers or alternative spiritual seekers fall into on a fairly regular basis. Before I go on, I’d better show my spiritual hand by declaring that I believe Divine Love to be the over-riding Reality upon which we are designed to focus. Such a Love does and will have its way for communion with its created offspring, frail desire crazed humanity.

So what is this sin which has launched a fleet of brutal condemning sermons down the millennia? Well, the Aramaic term hataha, as used by Yeshua is rooted in the world of archery. It was shouted by an attendant when an archer missed the target in an archery competition – it also implies that the archer isn’t to fall into despair but instead take another shot. The word can also imply a wrong choice at a road junction – one has sinned when the wrong or inappropriate path is chosen. This certainly leads us away from a morality based meaning as adopted by most religious believers.

Let me dare to explain this concept of sin as a human malfunction, a seemingly natural tendency to miss the target of unconditional love, the very essence of Divine Source itself. In psychological terms may we interpret sin as the default setting of ego, our fear driven protector that always lies close to hand. Throughout religious history sin and evil have been theological bedfellows. Of course we have a common perception of evil that is a world away from the original Aramaic term. For Yeshua and his listeners evil or bisha   suggested a fruit-growing analogy. It was used for fruit that was unripe or alternatively rotten. In other words, the fruit was out of sync with its true programme for ripeness. This explanation can help us understand the puzzling story of Yeshua supposedly cursing a fig tree that hadn’t born fruit at the appropriate time. Seen in this light ego always seems to misinterpret our circumstances within time and space, fuelled by its paranoia of impending doom and destruction.

So what am I saying. Well, I reckon that sin and its twin evil are functions of our ego. This ego or wounded psyche-soul was, in its original state, a gift for protection in our space-time, an early warning system of threat to our physical survival. How did it end up skewed and malfunctioning? Well I believe that the traumas that we all experience in early childhood and beyond have caused havoc with our original psychic default settings. The withdrawal of unconditional love by our nurturers was a massive shock to our developing sense of Self and security, resulting in an extremely over active and war footing based psyche. This fall is, I believe, what lies behind the Eden myth – ‘hath God said….’ is the doubt that enters the human psyche as we are wounded by those who hereto have been our protectors and benefactors. All inappropriate acts of hitting back at perceived enemies stem from the our broken or dysfunctional ego, who has replaced Divine Love based on the early evidence of our infant or indeed womb-based experiences.

Is there any way of escape from this state of hyperactive dysfunction or sin?

I believe so.

The Nazarene came to restore and realign our psycho-spiritual default settings by welcoming ego back into the Oneness of Divine Love.

More to follow.

 

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Two In One

Two In One

‘Experientially, we’re all both paradoxically unsaved and saved.

Just depends on whether we’re presently tuning into the fear fuelled illusions of ego or the perceptive inner Voice of Spirit Breath.

A duality within non duality if you like.’

Dylan Morrison

I don’t know about you, but some days there seems to be a lot of little me‘s kicking around inside this person that I call Me.

No wonder we get stressed out as our inner selves fight and argue like a bunch of  schoolyard kids fighting over the last candy bar.

Often our inner world reflects our outer world and all its conflicts. When we appear to have enemies without we have enemies within and vice versa. Bizarrely it appears that there are no boundaries as far as relational tension is concerned.

So what comes first? The outer or the inner?

May I suggest that our inner community of little sub-personalities birth or attract our outer sources of conflict. Please let me explain.

Our internal family of me‘s comprises the ‘ego’, that collection of little defenders, linked to our autonomic fight, flight or freeze nervous system. They perceive themselves to be the protectors of an illusory self that doesn’t really exist. These little guys or gals aren’t evil, just highly dysfunctional, misinterpreting the signal from our outer world that bombard them on a daily basis. Like some gang of Japanese soldiers who believe World War 2 to be still raging in the jungles of the pacific islands.

I reckon that this little inner defense force was recruited in infancy and early childhood when we encountered trauma for the first time, usually the withdrawal of unconditional love from our parents or other trusted adults. But that is a topic for another day.

So where does that leave those of us who claim we have been ‘saved’ by the person and mission of Yeshua bar Yosef, known in Christian lingo as Jesus Christ. Well let me first say that there are many facets to this restoration or ‘salvation’ to use a much overworked and clichéd religious word, dripping with much misinterpretation. Whatever this experience entails, it is indeed most certainly that, an experience. Anything that only resides in the conceptual grey matter of theological argument is not what the Nazarene was all about. Our restoration or realignment with Divine Source must be an experience, something that I believe we can feel in the caverns of our inner world. Now of course many will recoil from subjective experience, choosing instead to place their trust in the doctrinal statements of a head based faith.

Such a retreat from the subjective experience of Divine Love would be an anathema to the Nazarene and his Jewish contemporaries. The God connection, whatever it is, must, if anything, bring a subjective realignment to our total selves; body, psyche and spirit, including our central nervous systems.

Simply put the Nazarene welcomes and reconnects our ego gang of misguided defenders with the Source of All, the one referred to by him as Abba. The experience of homecoming is a standing down of our ego army, an acknowledgement that the illusory war is over and that it’s safe to lay down the weapons of self-destruction.We awaken to a new reality; that All is well and shall be well. Nothing, not even the perceived threats of our inner or outer worlds can separate us from the embrace and sustenance of Divine Love.

Ego, in all its fragmented parts is welcomed into the Home of Divine Love to meet the One that it claimed to protect for all those angst ridden years – namely our true Self, that spark of the Divine Fire that is truly us. Under the guidance of a reformed Will the two inner communities can grow into One. This is the essence of space-time salvation or wholeness healing.

Of course the stored memories of conflict can still reactivate false alarms, causing our ego components to man the psychological ramparts but still, things are different. We can quickly return to barracks realising that the threat is a phantom threat, a trick of a mind that defended itself for many decades.

So paradoxically we are dualistic creatures, often switching between the default settings of ego and Spirit. Yet as we grow in the Way of the Nazarene, we shall see that in Reality All is One, the Presence in which we live and move and have our being.

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In the last post we saw that once our subpersonalities have been loved into the open, reliving the pain of their traumatic birth and welcomed without condemnation into the family of our psyche that psychological healing takes place.

This process usually takes place initially in the presence of an authentic unifying centre – an unconditionally loving counsellor or friend who replays the role of  the ‘parent’ figure in the initial formation of the individual’s psyche. The psyche is given, if you like, another opportunity to form as originally planned by its Source. The deeply buried subpersonalities are welcomed but rewired to play their enriching role within the totality of the hereto painfully fragmented psyche.

Does this mean, however, that the individual becomes permanently dependent on the external authentic unifying centre for their future sense of well-being, like a child who never develops to a place of individuation from  its parents?

Thankfully not. Such a non-judgemental ‘parental’ role is temporary, similar to the jump leads needed to start a car’s engine when the battery is flat. Who then replaces the external authenticator to host the developing family of the psyche round the table of  acceptance?

To answer this let’s first look at two aspects of our being:

The Psyche or Soul

This is the part of us that comes into being through our interface with the external world, particularly our conscious sense of ‘I’, our self-image reflected onto our psychic screen by those around us. Ideally, but rarely this psyche ought to be a genuine, if earthed, reflection of the essential aspect of our Being, viz our Higher Self or spirit.

Spirit or Higher Self

This aspect of who we are is the original essence planted into ‘us’ by the Creative Source or Divinity behind the Cosmos. Timeless and unchangeable this is our lifeline, our contact point with the Divine and  the Love Energy that keeps the whole Cosmos running. Indeed this spirit or Higher Self is the imprint of the Divine Spirit on our humanity, a reflection, if you like of the Godhead itself.

Simply put, in a perfect world our soul or psyche would be a reflection of our spirit Higher Self, which in turn would be a reflection of  our Divine Source. Thus would Divinity paint itself on the canvas of  humanity, earthed in a multitude of unique representations that reflect the fathomless nature of its Being.

So who takes over the job of authentic unifying centre in our psychological healing, the host of our reintegrated subpersonality meal?

The answer is simple if strangely puzzling to the non integrated ego. The Higher Self begins to emerge from its previously hidden position in our Higher Unconscious, the home of our spiritual/intuitive nature.

With its constancy and connection to the Unconditional Love of the Divine it is well placed to fulfill its original role as authenticator of  the soul Self. Rather than taking our sense of psychic Self from those around us it is this new revelation of our Spirit Self that quietens our previously tantrum prone survival subpersonalities, integrating them within a reborn psyche.

Once we realise that the previously fragmented ego is no longer  the hiding place of our much sought sense of peace, we can tap into the Wisdom of our Higher Self or spirit, the missing link with Divine Source and its unconditional Love.

Yeshua, the Second Adam, was the incarnation of such a Divine flow of Love and Energy. Perfectly aligned within Himself and with the Divine Father he showed us what we’d been created for – intimacy and communion with a non condemning Creator.

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In the last post we saw how the reintegration of the subpersonalities within our fractured psyche is the path to psychological and spiritual healing. Yeshua ate with the diverse outcasts of His day: similarly we are to learn to embrace these broken parts of our psyches and welcome them Home.

How are we to practically do this?

Once a subpersonality is identified by observation, we can start a dialogue with it. Ideally this is done in the presence of an authentic unifying centre.

What or who is such a centre?

When the initial fragmentation of the developing psyche took place it was in response to the withdrawal of unconditional Love by a parent or significant ‘other’. If this Love had not been withdrawn then the parental figure would have fulfilled the role of  an authentic unifying centre; a role that is vital for the health development of the young psyche. Unconditional Love maintains the unity of the psyche despite the pressures that it faces.

In the healing of the adult, but subpersonality – ridden, psyche such an authentic unifying centre proves vital, replaying the initial role of the adult’s parent.

Who can operate as a unifying centre?

In theory anyone who operates out of unconditional Love. Practically speaking though an experienced therapist or counsellor may be the first one to participate in the role of a ‘healing parent’.

The safety of unconditional Love enables the previously hidden and fearful subpersonality to emerge from the Shadows of our unconscious. Such love enables the little one to express its energy and pain, the core of its character and its reason detre.

How can this subpersonality manifest?

I believe such a subpersonality screams out for recognition. Prior to the Presence of unconditional Love its manifestation was that of a wounded animal, always wary of danger and further rejection, ready to attack in defense before scurrying off back into the Shadows of our pain.

In the Presence  of unconditional Love, the subpersonality comes out of hiding and expresses its nature through emotion, bodily sensations and often visualisation. Under the guidance of a trained therapist the history of the survival personality can be brought into the Light without any fear of rejection. Like the gushing of a new oil well, the healing of such a survival personality can be dramatic and almost instantaneous.

Once the pressure cooker of buried emotion is released the subpersonality is ready to take its place around the psyche’s table with all its healed compatriots.

Who is to host such a meal for the soul?

The answer to that comes in the next post.

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In my last post in this series we looked at the initial step in dealing with our survival sub-personalities viz observation.

Once we can identify a number of these ‘mini-me’s we are on the road to receiving healing.

As we saw previously many of these little defensive personalities within have been created through trauma, often mimicking the behaviour of our parents that we believe will cause them to love us. This bondage to the self of ‘the other’ is, I believe, the root of much of our psychological pain.

Where then does spirituality come into this healing process?

One unusual characteristic of Yeshua was Hs willingness to eat with the social outcasts of His day, with those commonly referred to as ‘sinners’ by the establishment’s religious power-brokers. Annoyed by the Nazarene’s transgression of their fellowship code Yeshua’s critics continually tried to drag Him back into line regarding their status-quo morality and so-called  orthodoxy.

A key to Yeshua’s world view and the Kingdom that he proclaimed was social and spiritual integration.

I believe that such welcoming integration is the principle of all healing, spiritual, psychological and physical.

So what are we to do with the sub-personalities that we’ve recently identified as part of our psyche?

Firstly we are to recognise and welcome them as part of  ourselves. Imagine a scene in ancient Palestine where Yeshua is lying on a couch, eating with prostitutes, extortionists and the general ‘lowlife’ of His day. Yeshua saw something deeply appealing and valuable, yet often wounded in His fellow guests. The road to their healing lay not in religious demands but in eating in the Presence of unconditional Love.

The same holds true for our fragmented psyche with its  strong survival sub-personalities. Each of  them has a light and dark side that contributes to our survival under stressful replays of their original birth trauma.

When I slip into my ‘father’s’ withdrawn sub-personality I exercise a form of detachment to avoid the rejection I perceive coming my way. Such a detachment has its plus side. Violent verbal or physical exchanges will probably be avoided. On the negative side the detachment leads to a lack of engagement with the issues involved and constructive dialogue.

Once the pluses and negatives of our sub-personalities, unearthed from the dark layers of our subconscious are identified we can welcome them into the ‘family’ circle that communes without condemnation or self judgement. Another step to healing has been taken.

What are we to do with the often demanding energies of the now identified subpersonalities?

More of that in the next post.

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