When we’re not accepting life as it is, there’s two ways we respond:
– grasping or attachment, trying to hold on to what we want.
– resistance or avoidance, pushing away what we don’t want.
This doesn’t mean we don’t work to make things better. This is about how we are with what is arising. It’s more effective to experience fully and seek solutions to challenges. Avoidance doesn’t lead to resolution or solution.
Our laws of nature (natural tendencies) determine how we meet life. With anger or force? With anxiety or fear? Or with avoidance? (These relate to the gunas, which I’ll be writing about in another article.)
Attachment and resistance are both stored on the various levels or koshas, depending on how we’re resisting. Are we resisting with the mind? The intellect? Emotions? Physically? If long held, contractions spread into neighbouring layers.
For example, if we repress anger as unacceptable, it will build up and leak out in irrational reactivity. In time it will poison our mind and our body too.
Some people store their energetic resistance in their possessions. This is most noticeable with people who can’t let things go (hoarding) or have objects they keep hidden.
For example, one day in deep meditation, I realized my old daytimers in the basement stored a load of stress from when I carried them years before. It was time to let them go.
I recall an old talk where Maharishi suggested we toss our clothes in the Atlantic on the way home from a long retreat for similar reasons. We’d purified the stress, but it was now saturating the clothes like old sweat. (laughs)
When a stored contraction releases, we may find physical sensations arise. The actual stress may be physical, or that may be a side effect of a contraction on another level.
The etheric level, what I call the layer between the physical and emotional (energy) body, is also a place we may experience sensations, especially those with a powerful charge.
When we have strong purification, if we gently put our attention on the energy or emotion, the attention may be drawn somewhere in the body. Resting the attention there, we experience the sensations of release. Heat, cold, twitching, movement, and more are possible.
Most obvious is the emotional or energy body. Contractions and attachments are common here. Major ones can have layers of contraction to release, with a pressurized “knot” in the centre. Peeling the layers is likened to peeling an onion. It seems to clear, then another round comes up until we clear the core.
Our contractions can go back many lifetimes in either our soul’s journey or our ancestors. Sometimes, we choose a life because the two are related. We can heal our own journey and our ancestors. We repay the gift of this life to our family and heal collectively.
I get the impression India used to express emotions more freely, leading to less contraction in this area. They talk about this less, going more into the mind. Yet it’s often where we Westerners need the most work. 🙂
The mind has more complex dynamics. When identified, the ego seeks to control experience. The ego knows it’s not in control (our higher nature is the master) so it creates stories and drama to distract the mind and fool itself.
When distorted by an identified ego, the mind channels its desires (energy) to fulfil these narratives and confirm the illusion of control. These can become addictive behaviours that are called Vasana.
We have held concepts and beliefs. These can generate stories the mind regurgitates as required. Just watch what you tell people about yourself and your experiences. As Byron Katie would say, “is it true?”
We have habits, subconscious programming. This helps us do routine tasks like talk, walk, and drive. But it’s also used by the above to auto-generate narratives or keep the drama going. They call these Samskara, impressions or grooves that channel our experiences.
When we don’t recognize our deeper nature, the intellect casts about for a master. It finds our childhood sense of separation from mother and identifies with that as the self. Because we now identify with this sense of separate self, we also identify with experiences we want to hold on to and narratives that confirm it (confirmation bias).
Memory can get clouded with narratives.
This process also causes the intellect to be associated with the mind rather than what is stable and unchanging in our deeper nature.
The resisted contractions of the mind gradually produce sludge in the subtle geometry of the intellect kosha. This gums up our template and reduces clarity.
Life moves in vast cycles, intertwined seasons we could say. Certain cycles will bring certain kinds of experiences to the surface, triggering flavours of what is unresolved in us, our unresolved karma. Depending on the time and our own laws of nature, different periods will bring distinct qualities of experience, as I touched on in a recent article.
As we heal and disengage our attachments and stories, the opportunity arises to recognize our deeper nature. With further progress, that nature can wake up to itself here, and Self Realization dawns. Ego attachment falls away and we can much more rapidly and deeply clean out the remaining storage.
We cease being possessed by our possessions and our past. We shift to living in the present, automatically.