The Primary Contractions

The Primary Contractions

In the Shadow of Religion
In the Shadow of Religion by Jrwooley6

Over the years on the blog I’ve talked about the primary centres for release: what Adyashanti called Head, Heart, & Gut. They’re often the primary identifications of the individual ego, what I’ve also called the 3 am-ego’s.

The head identification is the self-concept of a me. This relates to what we tell others and ourselves about ourselves. The heart is our emotional drivers of self, the energy of defence, grasping, and resistance that sustains the first. And the gut is what I call the core identity, the identification with the I-sense as who we are.

Broadly, I’ve associated their release with the openings of the first 3 stages of enlightenment: Self Realization, God Consciousness, and Unity. They had been here, with Adyashanti, and with others I know. But a lot of learning has unfolded since.

These key releases often don’t time to these stage shifts. Susanne Marie, for example, had the “gut” release with her Brahman shift. She similarly called it the existential identity. And I’ve seen people in Brahman have their heart opening so they’ve not yet come to the gut.

It seems we need enough clearing to make the shifts but how clear and deep they are varies widely.

These identifications are more on the sattva or feminine side of the enlightenment process. They are associated with the stages in consciousness but are somewhat distinct. Key is restoring balance and releasing identifications so the fullness of the process can unfold.

It’s important to understand these contractions are not usually conscious until shortly before or during their release. This is why they’re unhealed. And yet their influence is still shadowing our experience. We may recognize unconscious reactivity or attempts to control certain types of experience, for example. Most of that is from secondary contractions. Deeper themes may point to the key three.

Kundalini traditions may point to 3 key knots or granthi in the Sushumna energy channel up the spine. However, these relate more to the kundalini rise prior to awakening.

A Process
Healing is a process. Even if the core contraction has been released, there are normally a lot of accessory contractions to be healed over time.

The head release aka the core concept of a me seems to need to let go for Self Realization. But there are big variations in how complete that is.

Was there a big release with the shift or shortly before or after? Usually, such a release is accompanied by tears and/or laughter. The “theme” of the contraction may not be apparent until later.

In many cases, if the release has not happened, the shift is less clear and more inclined to get overshadowed. Too much me-sense remains. Inversely, even if a big release happens, it doesn’t indicate a shift. The shifts are in consciousness itself, not the purification or the experiences.

Even if there is a big release with a shift, we typically have lots of what I called shrapnel to process later. This is old stories and attachments that were built on that core contraction. Once the centre is gone, the shrapnel rises to the surface through life experiences. Because we’re no longer “in” it, it’s now a simple process of experience and release. For a time, this process may seem a little endless.

The Heart
Behind all these stories are the energetic drivers that push them forward and keep them going. It’s difficult to wind down some stories if that energy (emotion) is still in play. This is where the heart comes in.

First, note we’re talking about hridaya, the higher-octave heart, not the anahata heart chakra that can open much earlier, prior to awakening. Hridaya typically arises in the post-awakening descent of Shiva-Shakti into the physiology and embodiment. It wants the stability of awakening to feel safe. Often, it’s surrounded by a thick crust that needs to be broken open and dissolved. In place of fine feelings, we have protective reactivity. We’ll find old emotional baggage coming up as energy sensations or base emotions, seeking to be experienced and resolved.

Remember these are old incomplete experiences waiting for a chance to be experienced and resolved. If we learn to allow what arises, these can just wash over us in a brief wave of emotion. Now it’s been experienced and thus completes.

As these wind down, the impetus to revive the me-construct fades out.

For the big contractions, there can be layers of protection and shadow peeled off like an onion. We experience and release each layer, step by step until we reach and experience the core knot. Then that burden lifts. Sometimes, it can be like putting down a big load we’ve carried for a very long time.

All those contractions and shadow take energy to maintain. When they resolve, a lot of energy can become available.

When enough is healed, safety is felt (“mother is at home”) and the crust can fall away and the heart open. A depth and richness of emotion unlike anything we’ve experienced prior can emerge.

Greater inner harmony is reflected back to us by the environment. We experience much fuller support from the world around us and learn to trust life.

The Core Identity
Finally, under all the noise of the mind and emotions, we have the core identity. It’s a defensive contraction in the gut. This arose in the deep past when we lost our conscious connection with the Divine. We compensated by grasping at what was still conscious, our local I-sense.

We need an I-sense to function in the world and distinguish self from other. The issue is when we mistake that for who we are.

The core identity has a childhood association with our given name and is usually very subconscious until much of the above has lifted.

When it’s seen and released, there can be a sense of barbecue or burning as the gut region is the fire centre.

Recently, I realized I’ve had a convenient concept that there is a single release at the gut, with other random clearing later.

However, it’s much like the prior centres. There is a core identity release, but then there are typically many other interconnected contractions to be cleared as well. It varies how thorough the initial release is and how many other contractions remain. As long as there are significant contractions here, ancestral or past life, there is identity defence that can be triggered.

This can be why we see examples of very awake people acting out and taking things personally. And why traditions commonly recommend the awakening mature for a while. There is no instant enlightenment, even though the primary shifts take just a moment.

The tricky part is that this territory is often well hidden in shadow. We can seem clear long before we are. Behaviours may not come up until triggered by events. Or if we feel “done”, acting out may be seen as life operating through us, crazy wisdom, and other misapprehensions. The core identity is much more subtle than ego self-concepts. More like memes.

For example, I’ve mentioned the strong provider meme I had. There was a difficult period where life seemed to be fighting progress at every step. The meme was not conscious, and I needed strong challenges to see it. First, I lost the ability to provide, to play that role. But that wasn’t enough. Sufficient contrast finally came when I stepped into the white knight rescuing the damsel role. Financially disastrous but I learned. 🙂

Similarly, the meme I had around higher education rose to the surface again more recently, finally seen deeply enough to resolve. Both of these were mainly ancestral, with some karma thrown in to complete the set.

As usual, it’s not life events that cause the trouble, it’s how we respond to them. How do we respond to nature’s movements to heal and rebalance? Do we resist or grasp to try to perpetuate the status quo, including what is unresolved? Or do we allow it as it is, experience it, and complete?

The Mahamarmas
You may have noticed that head, heart, & gut doesn’t cover all the chakras. This is because we’re talking a stage more subtle, the mahamarmas.

A marmas is a subtle plexus or node studied in Ayurveda, similar to a Chinese acupressure point. The maha or great marmas are larger, more subtle centres that dominate a region.

When clear, these 3 centres associate with Shiva (the observer & destroyer), Vishnu (the sustainer & heart), and Brahma (the creator & mind)(or their feminine counterparts Durga, Lakshmi, and Saraswati) in embodying Divinity.

Slightly confusing here is “head” is where we experience our mind and it’s self-concepts. And yet mind is powered by the third chakra in the gut. Mind is a field that surrounds the entire body. We think of it as “in the head” because of the concentration of our senses there. They interface through the brain with the mind.

Equally, Shiva (observer), Vishnu, and Brahma can all be experienced in the head or any other point as they are omnipresent.

Our History
In the larger context, we’re rising out of a dark age. Life was more traumatic through that period and those shadows make healing more difficult, both in the blood line (ancestral) and past lives of the soul.

Old Vedic stories may create expectations of a faster, smoother process where healing is aligned with the stages. Yet in the current time, we typically have a lot of catching up to do after the shifts in consciousness. The more expressed a level is, the more dense it is, and the slower it is to adjust. Our physical form is the slowest.

This is getting smoother with more and more doing their healing and more and more awakening. The collective is rising, making all of it easier for all of us. But we shouldn’t underestimate how much shadow we’ve been carrying and how much it’s been influencing our quality of life. This is true both personally and collectively.

The collective has been doing a LOT of purification this year and I notice this fall, the pace of waves of purification has sped up. They’re coming faster and closer together.

This indicates excellent progress in the collective, but also intensifies the eventfulness of the world. Many are not yet able to process it all energetically, so the waves rise up as events in the world.

By the same token, we shouldn’t underestimate what’s possible based on our recent experience. As we clear our past burdens and release identifications, our reality can upgrade so dramatically, we don’t even recognize ourselves in the mirror. What’s looking has changed. 🙂

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  1. Judith

    I am fairly new to your blog. WOW, what a wonder-full education one can get just by following the links within all your postings. And your book is a perfect reference source. I look forward to your new book in process.

    Relating to the further purpose of my comment, I have found in my journey along the path that one is not the ‘doer’ of most of what is ‘done’. Our doing does not bring about our awakening, but rather we are awakened. My guess is by grace. Progress is not achieved by our surrendering but rather we are surrendered. I suspect there are possibly many other doings that are superfluous on our part. Letting go, letting be, going with the flow as they say is probably the best option, in fact the only option. Trust, patience, honesty of intent, persistence, hope and probably many other attributes we can only try to apply, but mostly the I, the me and the mine just have to get out of the way and let the Flow be the doer of the doing of the progress of the process. Am I in the ballpark here ? Are there any doings I should or must be doing along the spiritual path ?

    1. Thanks, Judith
      This is a broad map of unfolding and no one will experience all of it. Kind of the broader steps that most will have some flavours of.

      Yes, awakening happens beyond the field of doing and karma. It does indeed happen by grace but if we do things (things are done) to prepare the ground, that opening can be supported and sustained. Once we become ripe, time with the awake that we resonate with can help catalyze a shift. But still, it will happen in the context of the whole, not the individual. It will happen by grace.

      The field of activity is constantly seeking balance so apparently superfluous things can be supporting that. Also, integration can need simple activity. And the body needs some activity to stay healthy.

      On surrender, those are 2 perspectives. A person will experience themselves as surrendering but as we step out of ownership as the doer, we experience being surrendered. Some sense of letting go or allowing may still be there as this deepens.

      Yes, very well put. There is a personal process as long as there is some remainder of a person. In some ways, some value of person is required to live a human life. So there’s always a bit of that.

    1. Hi Kerri
      Yes, that can be distinctive. And it changes more than once.

      I recall after awakening, sometimes it all seemed so normal and ordinary and I wondered if it had actually happened. And then I’d see my eyes in a mirror and it would be obvious. What was looking back had changed.

  2. Carol

    Thank you for addressing this from various angels. Angles! (Ha) ) I don’t always understand from experience what you are saying and that is fine. Reading and letting it wash over me has value in loosening some tight spots. I really appreciate your willingness to share.

  3. K

    Thank you for laying this all out so clearly. I like taxonomies. I am still processing incomplete experiences – the progress is that I am recognizing that it is what is going on and don’t get completely bent out of shape by the incidents that has resulted in unresolved emotions. I am guessing the only thing I can do is effortless practice.

    1. Hi K
      🙂 To be clear, we’ll be processing incomplete experiences our whole life. That’s part of what dreams are about. Not to mention our unfolding sprouting seeds of karma and the cycles of time surfacing different things.

      And yes, that’s exactly it, we change our relationship with our history. The initial awakening also quite helps as we disentangle from that. But this continues to evolve.

      Effortless practice – in meditation, in devotion, in yoga, in life as a whole. 🙂

  4. Guru

    Thanks for this blog. It is very informative and interesting. when three centered are awakened, do we not have past at all? core identity remains to function in world. do we not experience negative emotions occasionally? is all this continuous process? can we help others in this process, as that person is unconscious about these things. I loved it when you say these shifts happen in consciousness.

    1. Hi Guru
      It’s not that the past goes away, it’s that our identification with the personal sense of I has dissolved. It can sometimes seem like it has prior, but as noted, it has layers. The past remains but no longer dominates. We live more in the present, in what is here now.

      Yes, we still need some sense of person to function, just as we need lungs and a heart. But these are not experienced as who we are. And yes, we experience the full range of emotions. In fact, we experience them more fully. But they no longer leave residues. They simply wash over us and complete as there is little to impede them.

      And yes, overall it’s a process. There are still secondary things to be cleared and much of the collective still has lots of baggage. But the quality of life climbs progressively.

      Yes, we help others in part by raising consciousness and by processing some of the collective and so forth. Further, we’re in relation with others which helps reflect any shadows that remain. Plus good friends will point out issues. That may or may not help us see them. But knowing we have a blind spot is still good.

      Some will also have specific gifts that arise, such as energy healing, understanding, being able to work with devas, administration, and so forth. That enhances our ability to help.

      Right – the fundamental shifts are shifts in consciousness and what it knows of itself through this body-mind. In other words, the point comes to know the wholeness and wholeness, the point. As the world is a great deal more than just physical appearance, there is a lot to discover.

  5. Andrea Hawkins

    Hi Davidya,
    I have an extremely charged contraction in my throat – on second thought, I think I have another one just above it. It’s been like this for 4 years, and has manifested as autoimmunity. I had an awful subtle critter wrapped around it for a while, but I think that’s gone now. Energy healers have helped me a lot (I believe I’m an empath too), but I still can’t seem to release it. Any advice? Thanks!

    1. Hi Andrea
      Welcome to the blog. Unless there was a very significant event 4 years ago, it’s likely this has been around much longer. What happened 4 years ago is that it became conscious. That means you can work on it more directly rather than through life events, etc.

      Karma is action or energy. When energy is blocked, this is unresolved karma. That this contraction is conscious likely means it’s become active (hence apparently related effects). I’ve found such things resolve as the karma completes.

      The timing of that has a lot to do with the cycles of time and what’s going on in the collective. None of this is isolated, especially the big ones. This isn’t just yours.

      I’d suggest continuing to being with it here and there to assist it’s processing. And learn deeper and deeper letting go. At some point, the opportunity will arise to get at the nub of it, the energy will surge forward and be seen, and it will resolve. Whew!

      This requires some patience as the effort to rush things or not accept what is here as it is – is in itself a form of resistance that sustains contraction. 🙂

      Yet everything has an end point in time. It would not be conscious of there was nothing you can bring to it. There is always something to learn…

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