Empathic Protection

Originally published May 21, 2015 and updated June 3, 2017

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Most children are empaths. Many people are empaths and sometimes this is a matter of degree. If we begin to think as the empathic ability as a continuum then sometimes people are highly empathic – highly sensitive and sometimes less empathic perhaps due to circumstance and/or better boundaries. However in every social group there may be one or more empaths that may function as checks for both conscious and unconscious emotional patterns within a particular group.

A client who was an empath asked me how she could keep out “bad energy” or “negative feelings”. How could she protect herself? This is a good question. No one who is an empath stays in a feeling place all the time. We go into our intellect as a way of protecting ourselves from the suffering of the world and from our own suffering.

Emotion is analogous to flowing water.

No one can stay in the heart one hundred percent of the time without breaking down. The best parts of ego allow us to balance emotions with the intellect. It is possible for an empath, stuck in fear for example, to begin to rationalize judge and exclude others shifting themselves from the heart into the mind and using the intellect as a fortress against emotions. A person overwhelmed with emotion could be fearful, defensive and react in anger if they are unaware of the empathic abilities. Other empaths may seem to attract nothing but negative energy from others (see Shadowcatchers below) and this may originate from being scapegoated as a child and accepting the role as an adult. Balancing mind and emotions requires attention and the use of thinking to identify emotions in others and our selves. Once we engage the mind to identify emotions we can develop a plan of action to help us cope with others’ feelings (see example below).

Most people who are empathic sponges would like to keep bad stuff out and let only the good stuff in, that’s only natural.

 

The best defense for empaths is flow.

 

Let it flow through you. A metaphor for flow of emotions is a fast flowing stream, waterfall or river. Emotion is the empaths currency. Emotion appears, we sometimes process it and then it goes. Empaths ability to feel others’ emotions and identify these emotions can be developed into a skill and can trigger responses in empaths that remind us of woundings from the past. As soon as you realize you are triggered remind yourself that you wouldn’t be able to recognize the trigger unless you were ready to deal with it.

If the empath can answer these questions when feeling others’ emotions then protection becomes simplified somewhat:

  1. Does this feeling I’m feeling belong to me? (Does it originate with me?)
  2. If YES, decide whether to deal with it in current time or postpone it until you can deal with it.
  3. If NO, then either let it flow through you quickly and ground it down into Molten Core of Earth, or offer it to be burnt up in the sun, or create a column of light to the left or right of you and put the emotion or set of emotions in the column of light.
  4. If MAYBE, it’s likely that the emotions that you’re feeling are similar emotions than the persons or persons producing them and you have lessons to learn here or you feel triggered. Ask that Spirit separate your feelings from the others and then deal with the feelings from the others as you would in #3 and /or in #1.

Many times the four-question method above may not be possible. When we encounter others’ emotions we may be overwhelmed with their emotions. Their emotions may trigger similar emotions in us. Part of our abilities as empaths is recognizing the common threads of emotion that bond humans together. Two common emotions that humans feel are grief and love. Feeling love in another or in others feels good. Feeling grief can be problematic. Part of the problem is that grief can spawn feelings such as sadness, anger / rage and these can turn into depression sometimes. Recognizing when you are triggered and dealing with the trigger is a first step at diffusing overwhelming emotions.

There can be two kinds of empaths for the purposes of this piece.[1] If you are reading this and feel you are an empath then you are on the path of a Conscious Empath. However there are unconscious empaths. These people become overwhelmed without knowing the reasons and sometimes blame others or become depressed. Their childhood traumas may be so complicated and their self-images so solid with walls instead of boundaries that their empathic abilities overwhelm them and prevent them from seeing triggers. They cannot process the overwhelming emotional onslaught without help. Usually some of these people feel they don’t need help.

You may also be a Shadowcatcher.

You may be a magnet for others shadows. Shadowcatchers may be absorbers of others unconscious projections. Essentially a shadowcatcher feels the shadow of another or shadows from groups. I noticed this when I was a participant in a healing circle. The facilitator asked for loving and healing energies from the group through coming forward – for a laying-on of hands or from our spot in the circle. Immediately I felt a surge of resentment and anger that was overwhelming. It happened many times until I realized what I was feelings was not coming from me. And as soon as I grounded it out I felt the love and was able to participate in the healing circle.

Sensitive people always attract less sensitive people to them especially if one or both parties are not conscious of their sensitivities. In psychology this is called Projective Identification.[2] Our culture often brands sensitive people as “weak” when in fact the opposite is true. I grew up in a stiff upper-lip Yankee family where tears were rarely shed. My Mother would shame me for my tearful behaviors by saying – “You’re too sensitive.” Often it was she who was projecting feelings onto me that I could express and then she would shame me for having done so because she did not want to acknowledge the feelings in herself. When sensitive people become aware of their sensitivities and can name their feelings and take responsibility for them with “I feel” statements then merely on the psychological basis feelings can be owned and the blame/shame game can be reduced.

If you are an empath that becomes infected with the shadows of others and these shadows blend with your emotions, then problems can become severely compounded. As a child and survivor of ritual sexual abuse that had been repressed I was severely depressed and passively suicidal for all of my teen years. When the memories of abuse began surfacing in my 40s I was able to begin to deal with the feelings and slowly work through the most arduous territories of the abuse. Every person on the planet has grown-up in a dysfunctional family to one degree or another. If you played the role of an empath in your family and that particular family was highly dysfunctional and negative then its likely that you may be carrying your family shadow and are acting out what had been passed on to you. There are three paths of approach that may help with your healing:

 

  • A daily spiritual practice that includes working on developing a non-judgmental and compassionate observed of your behaviors, thoughts and emotions (feelings)
  • Therapy
  • A visit to a healer to assist in removing possible ancestral beings stuck in your electromagnetic field.

 

I have been engaged in a daily spiritual practice for over 40 years and more intensely during the flashbacks of the abuse.

 

 

[1] The range of empathic abilities: https://lonerwolf.com/what-type-of-empath-are-you/

 

 

[2] Shadowcatchers in psychological terms: http://drs-oleary.com/Projective_Identification.htm

 

A practice of saying “thank-you” from the heart

As a recovering perfectionist I learned how to receive compliments and let go of doubt, low self-esteem and the constant need to be perfect in just a moment.

I was attending a Gurdjieff (Spiritual) School in the early 1980s. We were organized into groups for the first semester based on type. I was in a group of individualists who were creative, inventive loners, not playing well with others and had a cynical / angry / awkward edge to each of us. Our team / cooperation skills weren’t very good and so we were assigned to repair a truck gather wood while other groups worked on construction projects – finishing a greenhouse and building a loafing shed, and working on building a house. Our lack of teamwork and inexperience became evident when cooking a dinner. Our first dinner cooked by the ten of us for ourselves and 30 other students was a disaster. The appointed manager didn’t know what he was doing. But we improved.

After Thanksgiving I was manager for a meal. A woman from a group that made the best dinners approached me just before an evening class and congratulated me on doing a good job. I started to say that it could have been better (or perfect). Her reaction to my self deprecation was disappointment. In that moment I felt her praise, took it into my heart, looked her in the eyes and said:

                                                   Thank-you.



I saw that she was warmed by my acceptance of her compliment. This demonstrated an important principle of energy exchange.
It demonstrated a cycle of giving and receiving. When we work to accept a compliment in a heartfelt way we allow ourselves to receive a gift from another. When we say: “Thank-you” and look the person giving the compliment in the eyes we honor that person and acknowledge their gift with tender loving kindness. They gave us a compliment from a place of love and we have returned that compliment in kind. Giving and receiving is not a closed loop, it opens and allows energy to build.
The logical end of giving and receiving is a new economy based on community, cooperation where all are included…

Hope for Peace and Justice for All – the long haul

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In 1982 I experienced a gradual awakening as if I was emerging out of a cloud. I realized that the world was “Upside-Down” meaning that peace and justice existed only for those with the money to pay for it and that war was good for business. Later as a result of my desire for truth and a spiritual reconnection with planet Earth I came to see that justice needed to include the planet as well as all the peoples of the planet.

I didn’t know my place in this life-long movement, only that I needed to be a part of this vision for a better world for all.

My quest lead me to California to study Vipassana Meditation with a 90 year Cambodian Buddhist Monk. I felt called to become a healer, but my rational reductionistic thinking got in the way at that time.

In 1985 I began work in a Crisis Residential Treatment Center for people without money (or with SSI disability) experiencing a mental illness difficulties.

In the course of my work there I uncovered the alternative healer in myself and surrendered to this avocation.

I have worked in alternative non-profit Mental Health in California for nearly twenty years as a part of team working to assist those in crisis to have more meaningful lives. Many of our clients would come back. Some have gone on to meaningful and productive lives, others have died some by their own hand and some by disease. People without hope, living on the streets respond to a home-like environment and the care given by the team to begin the process of respect each individual deserves.

Working both as a Crisis Residential Counselor and as an alternative healer there are many times that I don’t or haven’t know the results of my efforts (or the team’s) and I continue to work for this because its the right path.

I recently retired to continue to pursue an alternative healing practice full time

A Primer ~ Autogenic Training

EssenceFlameEternalThe best way to learn Autogenic Training is through a teacher, guide or an instructor (an instructor has been practicing AT for many years but has not yet mastered it). AT without a teacher or instructor can be dangerous because of ego’s desire to meddle and build illusion towards self-aggrandizement.

Think of this piece as a teaser or introduction. Then look for a teacher, guide or an instructor.

Autogenic Training begins with self-observation that builds towards the formation of a Witness Self. The Witness is a cultivated dispassionate observer that can be described as “I was beside myself”, allowing us to perceive our selves with clear neutral pictures (perceptions) without judgment or opinion thus allowing divine compassion to enter and a clear picture of all our selves.

Self-observation is difficult to write about because we have no specific language for its description. Beginners often confuse self-observation with ideas, inferences and get distracted by associations which become mind-games. Self-observation requires participation from the mind, awareness of your body sensations, and your emotional state.

 

Here is an outline for starting:

 

  • Pick a simple physical activity to observe such as rinsing a dish, putting your key in the ignition and starting your car, opening a door.

 

  • Begin by relaxing your body.

 

  • Choose your pinky finger on your non-dominate hand to begin (I’m right handed, so I choose my left hand, my left pinkie finger.)

 

  • I allow sensation to gather in my pinkie finger by feeling its weight. This may appear as a warmth, tingling, energy running through the pinkie or an awareness of physical sensation there. Go lightly allow this to happen don’t force it to happen.

 

  • Once the sensation is established allow ten percent of your attention to rest in your pinkie finger while engaging in the simple physical task.

 

  • Allow yourself to be aware of your physical, emotional and mental state while performing the task in this way.

Share your observations with your teacher, guide or instructor. Always use first person – present tense when sharing you observations (remember “the past” are memories that exist in the present). For example – I notice…

See also – Struggle – It’s Not what You Think: https://psychesweather.wordpress.com/2016/05/09/struggle-its-not-what-you-think/

 

Earth as friend – all beings sacred

imagesHumans are mammals living within a larger living being – Earth. Another way of thinking about the context of ourselves within the planet is the planet within us. We are host to many parasites, to cancer cells mostly inactive, bacteria and so on living symbiotically with us. Most of us have forgotten that we are animals and we have lost our connection to our home – the planet that sustains us. It isn’t enough to think about a connection to Earth and be connected. Thinking keeps us in the realm of thought and the mind. Thinking about being connected to the planet may be a romantic notion that continues to keep us disconnected. It is thought and the technology of thinking mainly language that has aided us in our disconnection from Earth. The nature of language and how we have used it has laid the groundwork for the objectification of Earth as a thing. Modern Capitalism has defiled Earth into resources or things.

 

Our bodies are ordinarily grounded to Earth. But we are not always present in our bodies so the grounding visualization is ideal for feeling a connection to Earth and having a personal relationship with her. Due to our focus on and in our minds we don’t have much awareness of our bodies and how they relate to one another and the environment both human-made and nature. We treat our bodies as vehicles of consciousness and thus make our bodies things to be used. Experience becomes objectified and we are cut off from our bodies, our emotions and even from our minds. The disconnection spreads to see people and earth as things. We become more easily manipulated and eventually enslaved from this kind of disconnection.

 

Earth: At the core of Earth is an iron ore crystalline sphere rotating four degrees faster than the surface of earth as it floats in the liquid magma at Earth’s center. Surrounding the magma is the magnetic core. Surrounding the magnetic core are all the layers of rock divided by volcanic fissures. The Iron Ore crystal contains the codes for all organic and in-organic body-beings in the biosphere. The Iron Ore is earth’s heart because it allows life and the magnetic field (aura) to exist. By connecting to the core on a daily basis one can develop a personally intimate connection with earth that goes beyond words.

 

This is a sacred process. When we feel Earth as mother and friend the threads of sacredness spread out to include all beings organic and inorganic. Sense, feel and envision our planet as a friend and our participation with Earth as a harmonious celebration of life.

An Intuitive Look at Thoughtforms

In Tibetan Buddhism a thoughtform or tulpa arises from the mind which creates illusory states often referred to as realities.EssenceFlameEternalSri Aurobindo reports that Modern Humans do not have the ability to think in complete thoughtforms. As a result of incomplete thought forms negative thinking manifests in lower vibrational environments as violence, war, murder and death. If a random negative thought occurs in us and we don’t take responsibility to stop if from entering into the stream of the world then it seeks out a lower vibrational reality to manifest itself.

 Most thoughts do not originate with us. It is extremely rare for an original thought to arise in us.

The question remains then if an original thought is rare where do all these thoughts originate?

Most of the thoughts we think are recycled passed on to us from our parents (and previous generations et. al.) and born from dysfunctional behavioral patterns based on fear instead of love. Lower vibrational thinking based on fears are easier to accept due to our neurological hard wiring and biological survival instincts. This kind of thinking and the emotional correlates make it easier for it to bond with the body’s thoughts and habits. Fear based thought is held by the body for the purpose of survival and harks back to human’s pre-language survival behaviors. Fear is a useful emotion when it alerts us to an immediate danger. Fears in modern civilization are often separated from immediate dangers and produce a neurotic impulses from which arrives anxiety and increasing stress.

“New Age” thinking though useful is predicated on the illusion that we are capable of original though and free will or free choice. Examples of this paradigm of logic can be found: https://psychesweather.wordpress.com/2016/03/15/a-conversation-about-ego-and-unconditional-love/

The Dali Lama and others who meditate report that the best time of day for the practice of meditation is at 3:00 am. The reason – when the mind is quieted it is increasingly receptive to the noise of the thinking of others. Most people who sleep at night – the cycles of sleeping are deepest at 3 am, and the noises of others thinking is quieter at that hour. Quieting of the mind for meditation can occur more readily at that time. Meditation allows for a quieter mind allowing the nature of peace and expanded consciousness to be perceived by us. Meditation is the beginning of making space for the practice towards mastery and generating complete thoughtforms.

The neurological basis of thought is an electrical firing of energy across a synapse connecting with another synapse. The electrical nature of thinking fills our aura or electromagnetic field with the residue of our thoughts each with distinctive charges. Our biology creates an electromagnetic atmosphere around us that varies in size anywhere from 6 to 12 feet in terms the most personally charged field. Other more subtle fields can range from 25 to 100 feet in diameter and “sit” outside the personal field.

When we interact with many others we come in contact with the matrices of thought and shared thinking with others. This could be referred to being “psychic”, but it is not. It is not psychic because we have been sharing this chaos for so long it is difficult to tease out individual thoughts for two or more reasons: 1. There are too many thoughts to differentiate one from another. An automatic screener has developed in us and manifests unconsciously; 2. Receiving one thought of many thoughts triggers an association based on our ego’s constellation of previous thoughts and received thoughts are then mistaken for original thoughts. When we live in a sea of thoughts that are invisible absorbing the matrix of thinking that has existed since the technologies of language were first put to use then we create an illusion that we are original thinkers and continue to make assumptions that are built on the platform of language and ego.

The chief purpose of spiritual practices and disciplines are to assist individuals in developing essence and unifying the fragmented and wounded voices within (that make up ego) while bringing essence to a level of mastery. It is only then during the process of unification towards mastery that the field of thoughts and so-called original thoughts can be seen as recycled materials. Once the student begins to see this then the beginnings of accountability can take hold around thoughtforms.

When we begin to see evidence the ego as illusion and feel an insatiable thirst for wholeness of our Being then essence work can start and grow towards mastery. It is only then can incomplete thoughtforms be stopped through a process of taking responsibility for thoughts, emotions and somatic reactions. This is a monumental task and not everyone is up for the extent of work that the quest for mastery requires.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The spiritual purpose of ego

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Ego – the part of the mind that mediates between the conscious and the unconscious and is responsible for reality testing and a sense of personal identity. (New Oxford American Dictionary). Most religious and/or spiritual precepts define our spiritual selves in a wide variety of ways. The spiritual is universal and transcends ego to include greater consciousness. Ego – and here included – is relegated to describe the spiritual which is often ineffable.

The spiritual side of our nature is often left fallow and underdeveloped because our attention is outward in the world of stuff, things and the temporary desires of ego. Meditation and other spiritual practices allow us to look inward and connect with our spirit and allow this part in us to grow and mature.

Many secular people think that the ego must be destroyed to let the Spirit side of us flourish. This, of course, is impossible. We need ego to interface with the politically social world with its rules and meta-rules, and manage the mundane of our lives.

From the point of view of a developed Spiritual Self the ego provides conditions of human existence – or lessons that define the parameters/conditions of having a body and being in a human society. There will always be lessons as long as we dwell in a physical body. This is the good news.

When we accept that the ego will always be there and we develop an ego that has integrity then the work between our Spiritual nature and ego can begin. The friction created between Spirit and ego can be used to help coat our light bodies with more light. This could be called the work of consciousness and transcendence of ego while under the conditions of our physical bodies. Fortunately we return from these higher states of consciousness with more energy to continue the work to let go of the artifices that are ongoing obstacles to the great consciousness.

Ego Life versus Eternal Life

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Ego life is something we all know and have been inculcated with since birth. Ego life is built upon the invention of time and language. We have concluded that we are free from within ego because ego creates illusions that we are free. Once one has a taste of a being life perspective a transcendence of time begins to reveal an essential truth – eternity.

Ego is dependent on the finite and yet pretends the finite is infinite. Being is founded on consciousness and is sublimely infinite and devoid of the context of content. Eternity from an ego perspective is thought of in a linear time matrix. Eternity from the ego point of view may be thought of as living forever. Children equate eternity with life after death in perpetuity in heaven. Eternity and Being spring from the Now in which past and future dissolve as the convenient illusions into an expanded present now. Describing this Being / Now is extremely difficult because we are bound by language, words and concepts all of which belong to a world of the finite and things or content

Moving beyond content is letting go of attachment. Since the nature of our human experience is about becoming attached to the content of life. For example – I identify as having a gender, a sexual orientation, a son, having parents, a nephew, a grandson, a position in society and culture, a race, job status, yearly income, mortgage payments, husband, father, grandfather and the accumulation of other possessions – things etc. and so on… Moving beyond attachment or letting go attachment is no easy endeavor.

In the 1960s early LSD experiments approached from the sacredness of life were the beginnings of the transcendence beyond ego and self to a larger view of reality. People like Ram Dass left the LSD movement behind embracing his Guru the Maharishi and realizing the “Be Here Now” dynamic. Many others took up practices of meditation as a way of transcending ego and feeding essence instead of merely ego.

One of the many times I experienced Eternity of the Now was on the Plaza in downtown Sonoma, California during the early 1980s. It was twilight during a Peace Vigil where I stood with others for peace. It was windy and cool in October of 1983. Someone lit a candle I was holding. The wildly flickering flame became still. I stared near the blue of the flame and the radiance of heat between the wick and the blue of the flame. I felt the core of my being or essence. As in all epiphanies I felt the eternity of the now in that moment and I felt my being aligned with the eternity. It wasn’t a linear eternity as in the-life-after-death of living forever in heaven it felt much bigger than that intersecting many realities. Even now as I write these words, they scarcely describe the awe and immensity of the experience. It was so simple, boundless and simultaneously ego shattering. [There is a vortex on the Sonoma Plaza and like all vortexes – it moves somewhat.]

The spiritual practices that I had begun in 1975 had laid the foundations for a rich understanding of being and /or essence. In 1980 the group I trained with at a spiritual school practiced an exercise called the Expanded Present Moment Exercise. We “went back 10 years” to the linear present of Spring of 1980 and experienced this as an expanded present moment. Then we “went forward 10 years” the spring of 1990. On the day of the exercise 10 years earlier that day passed in linear time in 1990 – I said: “I get it”. It was the experience of Being.

In the future we cannot know content in the same way as we know the memories of our past. We can know our Being. Knowing Being we have an opportunity to work on and develop being. Being work is the foundation of all inner or spiritual practices.