Who to Trust?


Stephen: I think that everybody in this room who has worked with themselves in the way that this work suggests, knows that you can’t start trusting your body until you get a little deeper under the resentment or the anger or the hard physical response that initially is set up in the situation that is threatening to the mind in some way.  You can start trusting it when you start having that reverberation of vulnerability or the taste of compassion or even sadness. But you can’t trust the muscles to be giving you wisdom, because they are essentially enslaved by the mind’s interpretive lens.

C.R.: You know, there is something that really bothers me, and that is the intensity and the length of time that I have felt this about myself, and I wonder what is it that just will not go away.

Stephen: There are two levels to this.  One of the levels is that the mind is conditioned.  I mean, you can put someone up on stage and put them into a light hypnotic trance and say to them “when you wake up, you are going to call yourself George”.  And in the middle of an audience with people around, the hypnotist snaps his fingers and you say “I am George” – and you do that until you are taken out of the trance.  That trance, that hypnotic trance, is plunged into the lightest level of the mind. Now when you take a child who lives through ten or thirteen years of one form of abuse or another, whether it be very, very subtle or very, very gross, the message is deeply, deeply pressed into very aspect of the deeper soul, of the deeper life, and the hypnosis is almost a complete take-over.  And that’s why it’s incredibly difficult to dislodge some of these brutally enforced hypnotic suggestions that we have been given in our childhood.  And then, if you look at it in a more metaphysical way, these suggestions have been given to you over twenty lifetimes. Then you come into this lifetime and have a real workout with family and learn something about yourself, which for all practical purposes, is completely manufactured, but it’s your hypnosis, it’s your conditioning.  It is very deep conditioning. There is a kind of curtain which one could call unworthiness, and then there is a kind of light which one could call worthiness.  And those, depending on how we have been conditioned, those forces impact us in certain ways.  We can really get caught up in unworthiness.  It’s like a force – it’s like a power.  It takes enormous will and the medicine of self respect.  The medicine of self respect and self love is not a gimmick or technique which covers something up.  It’s a life long process before we can come to the deepest state of innocence.  But we have to stay with it.

D.R.: Isn’t there another aspect where this sense of unworthiness comes up – you know – that sense of lack of self worth comes up and then we interrupt that and say “there it goes again, I haven’t really gotten anywhere.” In effect, in a sense, we pump more energy into that belief.

Stephen: Yes, when that happens, when that little configuration that you describe happens, the unworthiness is that the voice is attacking itself.  In other words, there really isn’t any distinction between “Oh my God, I haven’t gotten anywhere, I haven’t gotten anywhere – see I am still struggling with the unworthiness.”  It is  exactly the same thing.  The unworthiness that you are still struggling with, and the voice that is telling you you’re no good because you still struggling with it – they are the same thing.

D.R.: Well, what happens when you kind of laugh at it?

Stephen: Well, that’s very different – see that’s very, very different.

D.R.:  Well, what makes that possible? In one moment, there it is, and there’s a kind of pain and then you kind of laugh at it.

Stephen: Yeah. Well, that’s what I would call – you can call it a body opening, you can call it a transcendence.  You can call it Grace.  You can call it a sudden expansion.  But when you can laugh at it, when you can laugh at it warmly, you are in an entirely different space that you were before.  Seeing it and laughing at it is a very, very powerful thing.  And maybe that’s all that’s left in the end, you know, because you are so loose with it that it doesn’t grip you in the way it did before.

D.R.: You know, it comes back to something we talked about last week, in a sense, where on a higher level there is immense belief in what the mind is saying.  And when you begin to doubt every thing, even the good things, so called good things and don’t give any weight to it, in a sense, that it is kind of a freedom from that whole structure that’s causing the pain.

Stephen: That’s right.

C.R.: So, rather than pick a fragment of it, if we can begin to see that it’s totally untrustworthy, that kind of interpretive stuff, rather than some kind of factual thing like mathematics. You know, there is a realm in which we have no basis to know why something happened or what caused what.  And the interpretations we come up with are totally from the mind.  And then we act as though we know why something is the way it is and come up with a label for it.

Stephen: That’s right, that’s right.  One of the first serious considerations a person has to make in terms of their life and its conditioning – and it’s a meditation – is “why do I believe this voice?”  A very important question – What is it that it is saying?  How is it saying it?  In what way is my body responding to lead me to the kind of subservience that I have been in, in relationship to this voice?  That is when I am cracking down on myself – “I’m no good” etc., etc., – Why do I believe that?  – What did my mother say?” I mean, in the present as that voice is lodging its attack, experientially what is occurring that is giving it the badge of authority, the validity – what is occurring there?  And this is something that needs to be observed in each one of us.  Why does this seem so real?  Why do I give it validity?  Why do I assume this voice to be the voice of wisdom?  The next time that this attack begins – and everybody is pray to it – rather than even trying to deal with it or find a way of resisting it, really notice it – really notice what is going on.  And understand or begin to understand at that point, what pattern of physical thought gives it credibility.

Copyright 1993: Estate of Stephen Robbins Schwartz

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