On looking like a Fool – and getting it….. by Steve Beckow


Fool 928

Steve is in Sedona until Nov. 16. Reposted from April 2011.

I’ve said on a number of occasions that, as far as I’m concerned, cleaning up our unfinished business is what we need to be doing these days and that one cannot clean up unfinished business unless it’s present.

One cannot access an upset that’s not happening in the moment. So when an upset does happen, we’d be insane not to use that circumstance to flatten what lies at the root of it. (Yayayay! I’m upset!)

Yesterday I was suddenly hit by an energetic bolt from nowhere. It seemed as if I’d explode in a thousand pieces and ignited a raft of symptoms in me that drained every ounce of energy I had and left me practically doubled over.

And then these symptoms disappeared as quickly as they’d arisen.

I’ve never had that experience happen to me before. I’ve no explanation for it. (Years later: It’s never happened since.)

I could have focused on my health and had myself thoroughly checked out. But I didn’t.

I could have become curious about mystical energy and enrolled in an alchemical society. But I didn’t.

Instead, at every point what bothered me most was how foolish I must have looked.

I looked foolish feeling as if I’d explode.

I looked foolish in the condition I was left in, not being able to remember anything, erupting in what felt like a stress reaction the moment I moved in any direction, fearful of falling apart.

I looked foolish recovering so quickly. I feared that I looked foolish at every step.

Clearly I have a charge on looking foolish and not using the opportunity of feeling foolish to flatten that charge would be … well, foolish.

But before I turn to the upset itself, let’s look at what the alternative is. If I don’t clear that upset, then I lend a fresh charge to my fear of looking foolish. I now have one more thing to add to my rap list of times I looked stupid and covered it up.

If I go that route, I sink deeper and deeper into upset until at last I become coralized, fossilized, petrified. Then all my behavior becomes automatic. I end up in a rocking chair saying, “I remember him, by crackey. Those were the days.”

But before I turn to the upset itself, let’s look at what the alternative is. If I don’t clear that upset, then I lend a fresh charge to my fear of looking foolish. I now have one more thing to add to my rap list of times I looked stupid and covered it up.

If I go that route, I sink deeper and deeper into upset until at last I become coralized, fossilized, petrified. Then all my behavior becomes automatic. I end up in a rocking chair saying, “I remember him, by crackey. Those were the days.”

Living Fossil 33

Those were the days

What I’m suggesting is the alternative to that. I’m suggesting what used to be called, in the circles I travelled in, “sourcing” the upset – getting to the source of the upset – and then clearing myself of it by re-experiencing the feelings that were blocked at the time of the original occurrence,

I call this the upset clearing process. Let me use it here to get at what’s driving my upset and clear it, flatten it, re-experience it completely.

I already know that what I fear in this instance is looking foolish. Either I’ve made a fool of myself or the cabal has made a fool of me – it matters not which. I am still driven by a fear of looking foolish. So I’ve already accomplished the first step in the process, which is to identify what the feeling is that’s driving me.

I then go on to the next step and ask myself to locate a picture, a memory, a word or phrase that identifies the original incident in which I stopped experiencing around this issue, in which I dropped out of the flow of life and began resisting.

I know that, if it’s a picture I’ll see, that picture will shoot by me at a mile a minute. Or that feeling, or word, or phrase. If I’m to catch it, I almost have to intuitively grab it with the mind. If I miss that first shot, I may as well start the process over. The mind is an obedient servant. It’ll fire up the requested image.

The first image I find to be reliable. The second or others, not so much.

And something does shoot by me. I grab it.

I see myself standing in the lunchroom of my high school and I’m doing something silly, something like having a food fight or pushing someone around. However it’s part of a general lunchtime melee. I’m not alone.

Nevertheless, the high-school vice principal comes into the room and tells me (me) to come down to his office and see him. Why me, eh? Yah, yah, why me. Right away I’m defensive.

And when I sit down, he asks me to explain myself and we get into an argument. And during the course of it, I say something stupid, like “Why did you pick me to come down?” And he replied, “You mean why am I picking on you?”

Well, yes, I did. And he’d just exposed my nefarious little move in a very much 3D game of blame, flight, and pursuit. I’d hardly even spoken to a counsellor never mind a vice-principal and I felt totally exposed in my weak attempt to excuse my behavior. I felt like a bottom dweller.

I’ve never forgiven myself that I didn’t say: “You know, you’re right. That was really stupid of me in the lunchroom. And stupider still of me to try to excuse myself afterwards.”

Fortunately I got away with a good lecture and learned from the incident. The lesson I took from that is that I can’t stand myself when I walk on the dark side. Of course at the time you think you’ll die of shame. But I did survive.

I tell that story now from the vantage point of years of processing but that foolish attempt to get out of a situation remained what Sociologist Erving Goffman would call a “deep, dark secret” with me for decades afterwards. I felt so silly and ashamed having tried to argue my way out.

So this is a vasana. A conclusion is reached: I’m ashamed of what I did with Mr. Sherman. A decision is reached: I will never tell anyone about that incident.

Now whenever anything happens that triggers memories of “foolishness,” up come the memory guards asking for ID please. No one without top security clearance is allowed to know about that incident, ma’am. Sorry.

As the twig is bent, the tree inclines. The feeling of foolishness is like kryptonite to me.

Let me now pick up the upset clearing process again – although all of this analysis has been part of it.

I turn the clock back to that moment, frozen in time and rest in whatever experience remembering the original incident triggers in me.

Unlike in the past, I allow myself now to abide the feelings that come up – foolishness, shame, regret. I let them wash through me like the wind through a tree.

Just as Jesus’s maxim that “the truth shall make you free” underpins the upset clearing process itself, so the maxim, “This too shall pass,” underpins the practice of re-experiencing the incomplete experience from the past.

I know the feelings will pass and that allows me to re-experience them. In fact I re-experience them until they choose to leave. When they do leave, I feel relief, peace.

I’m not out of the woods, but I’ve run through my first re-experiencing of the original incident below the vasana. Instead of energizing the vasana by projecting it onto someone else (“You made me mad!”), I’ve deprived it of energy by completing the experience at the basis of it.

In the best of cases, I’ve created a new track and am freed up from the old, half-remembered pattern. In the worst, I have to run through the process several times until we’ve gotten to the bottom or the heart of the experience.

This method of handling vasanas is what I’m recommending we all do. If I were to search for other words to describe how I feel on the other side of the upset, I would say that I feel restored to self, back again in the center, back in balance, with nothing to hide and nothing to defend.

When events start to speed up in the months and years ahead and all our paradigms come under challenge, this is what we’ll need to do: Clear out the old baggage by “being with and observing” what’s below the incident in question. Rather than feeling defensive and projecting our vasanas onto others, I recommend re-experiencing the original upset until the charge we have on that long-past event is drained off and we’re set free from our habitual responses.

If we process one upset after another like this, we move closer and closer to being present. The alternative is to refuse to re-experience our old business and end up as lifeless and solid as a dinosaur bone.

Shortlink : http://wp.me/p2wHrN-6eq

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s