Dick: So N, what would you like to talk about?
Cl: My semantic reality, one that I tend to get caught up in a lot, is one where I am not in my heart. I sabotage my own process. Or I do negative thinking. One of my funny little mantras that comes anytime I take something to eat that I know I shouldn't, I say, "I may as well put a hole in my head." And then I eat it anyway.
My mother forgot my birthday, and sort of forgot me at Christmas too. She buys a Hershey bar and gives us a check every year, but then she also bought little things for the others.
Dick: Can you pity your poor mother? In other words, can you look at her with compassion?
Cl: Yeah. As a matter of fact, I become her at times. I feel so much pity for her that I don't feel my own anger at what she does. Or at other times, I feel her anger, and feel she must be mad at me for something too.
Dick: You talk about anger as if it is a permanent part of you. It is not. That is something that comes and goes. If you are feeling compassion toward her, you won't feel your anger toward her simply because you won't have any anger toward her. And don't let anyone tell you that you are supposed to have anger toward her. If you do have anger toward her, and you are blocking that and refusing to admit it, that is not healthy. But you don't have to be angry in order to be healthy. Don't let anyone kid you on that. And you can look on your mother truly with compassion, you won't feel any anger with your mother at all, and you will feel much more at peace. Don't think you are supposed to be angry with your mother just because she has problems that hurt your ego.
That would be the objective from on high: somebody who has no interest in this, no personal interest. They would say, "Your mother has problems of her own that keep her from expressing her love in many many ways. She is concerned with her problems. She is blocked by them. And in doing that, she forgets to do this, or neglects to do that which offends your ego, then you have problems, not with your mother but with your ego."
Don't blame your mother. If your mother has sort of semi-forgotten you at Christmas or on your birthday, and you feel bad, don't say that your mother is making you feel bad. Don't try to lay that trip on her. She has problems which cause her to neglect you. She is neglecting you but you are the one who is responsible for taking that show of neglect and turning it into hurt feelings. Do you see the difference? Do you understand?
Cl: Intellectually, but I don't think I get it.
Dick: Intellectually is where you start. Don't sell intellectually short. Intellectually you see that your mother cannot make you feel any way. You are the one who makes you feel any way, by what you make of what she does, right?
Dick: So don't loose sight of that fact. And just because your ego gets the upper hand and you can't control your ego, don't kid yourself into thinking, "Oh, Mother is making me feel like this." You are still making yourself feel that way. Your ego is making you feel that way. And it is perfectly all right to make yourself feel miserable, but don't blame your mother. Do you know what the poet laureate of Kansas wrote about that, don't you?
Oh Mother Dear, my herring red,
That floats upon the sea of all the troubles and ills
that happen unto me,
What would I do if you were gone?
How then could I explain the things
that happen unto me?
The torment and the pain.
Mother is a good red herring. You know what a red herring is? A false scent, one that they use to throw the hounds off, it is a false trail. And that is what mother is. And you can use her to explain all your bad feelings and so on. And aren't you lucky to have your mother dear who is such a good red herring, because is she were not there, then who would you blame for it? Who would you blame for it? Right?
Dick: How then would I explain, not the things that I do, but the things that happen unto me, this torment and this pain. Torment and pain do not come out of nowhere and happen unto me. Torment and pain are not something that a unthinking mother nails me with. Torment and pain are something that I manufacture inside myself out of something that comes in. And just because I am using this to manufacture it, don't blame this other person. I don't have to manufacture that. I am the one who does it.
This is the first principle of gestalt therapy. It is called taking responsibility. Taking responsibility does not mean that I am to blame for things that happen. It is not a matter of blame. It is a matter of asserting my autonomy. I am not the victim. I am the one who creates these feelings inside of myself, I turn them out. You capische?
Cl: So when I experience the pain after something like that happens, I just experience it and let it go?
Dick: You experience it. You let it go. First of all, what is pain? Pain is the anguish of trying not to feel something. So when you say that you feel this pain, instead of talking of this pain, this pain, this pain; go into the middle of this pain and say, "Exactly what is hurting me? And how am I hurt?" Now if someone hit you in the foot with a sledge hammer, you would say, "Somebody hit me in the foot with a sledgehammer and broke my foot, and I can't walk, and it is very painful."
But if someone forgets to pay you a compliment, or says something that hurts your feelings, you have not been hurt with a sledgehammer. Your feelings have been hurt. And you ask the question, "How is my ego bruised by this?" So she forgot me at Christmas time, why should that be painful for me? Why should it?
Do you know why it is painful? Because of your disappointed expectations. Remember this as a maxim: Expectation is the mother of disappointment. And disappointment is the mother of pain. So when she fails to live up to your expectations, you feel pain. Why should you? Because you read into that, something that you read in not that she is sending, you are reading into it, "She thinks I am not important enough to remember." Isn't that true, something like that?
Cl: I guess more my sense of it is that she has difficulty in expressing something else that is going on with her.
Dick: Then you wouldn't feel pain, you would feel compassion. I am talking about when you feel pain.
Cl: Well, I still end up getting choked up, and tight, and weepy, and that kind of thing. Emotionally, it is worse that the kind of loss that comes with grief, because it is like, "I don't exist."
Dick: That's right. The statement that you get is, "N doesn't exist." Right?
Dick: You are making that statement, though. You read that into what she does. You read that in.
Cl: So I come back fighting? I do too (exist) !
Dick: No. Not at all. You come back and say, "Mother dear, I feel a lot of compassion for you that you have so much pain and fear, that you don't have time to remember me. That you are so overwhelmed and so burdened with pain and fear."
You don't come back fighting. Come back fighting is just re-asserting your projection.
Cl: And laying more guilt on her.
Dick: And laying more guilt on her. What is happening right now?
Cl: My throat is tight.
Dick: Okay, feel the way you are feeling right now. And tell me, what image comes to mind? What does this feel like? Like what?
Cl: Like somebody is choking me.
Dick: Okay, see that! Can you see it? See it and keep looking at it, and allow it to change into something else. What does it change into? Take your time. Now don't you try to change it N, because you would just come up with something that would be baloney. You can't do this logically.
Cl: (laughs) That sounds like something my father would say, "baloney."
Dick: Keep looking at this image of someone choking you and what is the opposite image? Let yourself experience it. What does it turn into? Take your time. Don't rush it. It may take awhile. Don't get to that point where you say, "Nothing is coming. I am not doing it right." You are doing it fine. The way you do it is that you wait until it changes. But you keep looking at the image of being choked, keep focused on that, just keep looking at it. If it slips away from you, bring it back, bring it back. And all of a sudden in will be different. You will see something different.
Cl: The light coming in the window years ago when I was in the hospital and had a tracheotomy.
Dick: You see that light now?
Cl: I can feel the breath in the back of my throat.
Dick: Do you see the light?
Cl: Uh huh.
Dick: Look at it. And already you can hear the change in your voice, right? She has changed already, even before she told us. Look at the light. You can see it right?
Cl: And feel it.
Dick: And feel it. Okay, just stay with this. Just stay with this light coming in the window. Feel the breathe. How does that feel to you?
Dick: What is happening to you as you continue to look at this image of the light?
Cl: There is a straining in the back, but I don't feel the push against here (indicates the front of her throat)..
Dick: You don't feel the push.
Cl: And the breath is going forward(indicates her lower stomach).
Dick: Your breathe is going all the way down to your pelvis. Feel that happening. Just feel that happening. And give yourself up to the light, to this image that you are having right now, with that feeling. Give yourself up. And turn all of your problems, your problems with your mother and all the other stuff, turn it over to this image, which is actually in itself an entity, like an angel, that guards you. Turn it over to it, and feel your body, and as that image takes over, becomes autonomous and that's the key word. As it starts to be autonomous, self generating, no longer something that you have to force, but something that is generating itself.
You will experience relaxation going throughout your body. And you may feel it in your hands, your chest, your shoulders, your feet, the back of your head, your forehead, your jaw. You may find your jaw relaxing so completely that you start to breathe through slightly parted lips. Just experience this image, and give yourself over to it. That's right. That's right. And let yourself experience some of the other things that are happening at the same time. The change in your breathing pattern, you can feel that can't you? And as your breathing pattern changes, your heartbeat slows down, perceptively, maybe three or four, maybe as many as ten beats per minute. Maybe from 72 all the way down to 64, 62, something like that. And as that is happening, your blood pressure is lowering slightly. And that happens because you are now experiencing a shift in your autonomic nervous system. Your autonomic nervous system. From the sympathetic to the parasympathetic.
That is all part of the increasing relaxation. The dissolution of tension. Part of the slowing down, part of the letting go. Your brain waves are changing. Because as you slow down, you go from beta waves, from 23 or 24 hertz cycles all the way down to 18, 16, 14, and then you switch over to alpha waves: 13, 12,11, that is alpha. And you may even go below ten, eight, seven. At seven you have already entered theta. And there you are certainly have allowed this image to become autonomous, self operative, this image of the light. So that it is operative automatically. You may find your thinking slowing down. You may become more and more relaxed. And in place of verbal thinking: in place of comments, questions, analysis, comparisons, all that kind of stuff, questions and answers couched in words; you may begin to see images, and feel, feel with the images, the feelings, the sensations, that make them a real living experience. Do you see the light? Do you see the light coming through the window?
Dick: And you feel the blessed relief in your whole body, don't you? As you begin to experience a sense of safety, as if this light in some way is taking care of you. Not just giving you what you need, it does that. Not just protecting you, it does that. But leading you, leading you along the path that you need to follow for your own spiritual development.
And remember what spiritual development is. Spiritual development is not physic phenomenon. Spiritual development is finding your self fulfillment is something other, something greater than your ego. It means that you are no longer at the mercy of your own egotistical thoughts which automatically rise up in you. Thoughts which give rise to expectations, which indeed are the outcomes of expectations, that your ego must be assuaged, and polished, and comforted, and remembered. Instead of those ego concerns, you can begin to come to a place of compassion. Instead of fighting and striving to get more and more and more satisfaction for your ego, you can begin to start to find the richness that comes when you are coming from a place of compassion, for those whose fears and pain and problems make them less fortunate than you. They are not able to come to a place of compassion, you are. Who has the better life? And you can feel, you can feel how much better off you are, being in the light. That's right.
And you simply continue to experience yourself in the light, the blessed light, that comes through the window and comforts you. And not only comforts you, but protects you from all evil, including the evil of your own little ego. Protects you from evil without and from within. And also leads you on the path, the spiritual path, that ennobles you, and frees you. Just experience what this is like. To have this light, and feel how grateful you can be that you have it. Because not everyone has it.
Dick: Well, younger sister, how are you? How do you feel? If I was going to be playful, I would say, "Did you see the light?" A beautiful image, and I was there, and felt the strength of it. It was like waking up and suddenly coming out.
So you have this image to use. And particularly when you recognize in yourself that you are feeling unappreciated, or overlooked, or not being considered, any stuff like that. Look at this image to get in touch with what you really are, because this is not merely the image which is given by Apollo to help you and to heal you, but it is also is something that tells you what you really are. You are the light. You are the light. Do you feel finished for now? Thank you, you really gave me a lot.
Q: How did you direct N to have the image?
Dick: I told her to stay with the image of being choked. And told her to stay with it and not give up. Because that is where it is. The seed of your salvation lies in the field of your damnation. You just embrace it. You embrace it by going into the middle of it. You don't hold yourself back. You just take it in and stay there. That is what I am trying to emphasize. You stay there. You do nothing. You just keep being choked and asking yourself, "What is the opposite image? What is the opposite side of this coin. And you don't say, "What would it be?" You don't try to figure it out. You just stay there and wait for God's grace, the grace of God. Of course it could be a Hebrew or Christian God, even Apollo.
You know how the Hippocratic oath goes? Are there are physicians here? Yes. Do you know how the Hippocratic oath opens?
"I swear by Apollo, the god of medicine, and by Hippocrates, and by Aesclepius, and by Hygeia, and Panacea, and all the gods and goddesses, to uphold and support to the best of my intelligence and ability this oath and this covenant."
Isn't that pretty close? Yeah. So as a western physician, when you were given the degree of Doctor of Medicine, you took that oath, you swore by Apollo, right? The god of healing.
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