Coming Out of the Closet; or, Completing a Vasana – Part 1/2

A vasana

A reader described an old issue that completely stops her from being herself and asked for comment. Her question reflects perfect timing because the rising energies on the planet are bringing up all our old issues and so it’s the right time to discuss this matter.   The matter is what Hindus call “vasanas” or what we in North America call old issues and unfinished business.

A large number of articles from the Company of Light have been on exactly this topic.

A vasana

Dear XXX,

You couldn’t have given better expression to what Hindus call a “vasana” or what others call a “record,” “old business,” “unfinished issue,” etc.  All our unfinished issues are coming up at the moment so you’re right on time.

Perhaps I can comment on what you’re encountering.  I’ll  write at length on this topic because it’s so important.

A vasana or unfinished issue, according to people like Ramana Maharshi or Werner Erhard, is the chief obstacle to enlightenment. It exists as a wave or as movement in the mind and so prevents the stillness of mind necessary for illumination. Vasanas are known to all spiritual teachers, psychologists, etc., just under different names: records, engrams, issues, scripts, earlier-similars, stack attack, etc.

Vasanas are stubborn. They hang around forever and shape our behavior.

They reside as “sleeping volcanoes,” according to meditation master S.N. Goenka. When they are triggered, we go off like a volcano, or break down in tears, or shake in our boots. They are the chief mischief makers in life.

Here you report yourself more or less stopped dead in your tracks by fear of something not well known to you. Being stopped dead in our tracks is something that often happens when a vasana or issue goes off.  Or we get angry. People say to us: “Do you have an issue with that?” And we get angrier.

We’re often completely unaware of our vasanas or issues. Here we are yelling and someone says, “You sound angry,” and we reply, “I’m not angry” (shouting our heads off). As tension goes up, awareness goes down. So vasanas also limit our awareness.

A vasana is created when something happens to us when we’re young that is too difficult for us to simply be with and experience. We’re attacked.  We’re in a car or plane crash. We get shot at in a war zone. Whatever it may be, instead of completely experiencing the event, we balk, clam up, shut down, and then resolve never to open up again in the face of a similar event.

The mind makes a note of the characteristics of the frightening event and resolves to warn us in the future of anything that even vaguely resembles it. And when the reminder goes off, we switch into automatic behavior (fear, anger, dread) that limits our effectiveness and causes us to lash out at others, blame, judge, reject.

And then the whole episode goes back to sleep awaiting the next trigger.  And we say “I’m better now” or “Sorry for shouting at you, dear.”

What needs to happen with a vasana is that we need to allow the mind to tell us what the original, earlier, similar event is that has us be stopped dead in our tracks or in other ways acting automatically. We need it to send up a picture, thought, phrase or feeling that allows us to identify that original incident.

Then when the original incident is known to us and present for us as an emotional experience, we need to be with that memory, with all our dread, shaking. anger or whatever, until we complete the experience that we earlier blocked.

That is how to “source” a vasana, to “flatten” it, to get beyond it. Until we complete the experience we earlier refused to complete, we are “at the effect of” or a prisoner of the vasana.

I’ve written a large number of articles in the section of the site called “Preparing for Ascension,” in the righthand column on how to source or flatten a vasana. (1) I took 23 enlightenment intensives to have the opportunity to flatten some of my major incompleted vasanas or issues and I never spent such a large sum of money better in my life.

In short, that’s what’s needed to be done.

Now, having said that, there’s one more side to this.  As well as “sourcing” a vasana, you can also challenge it.  By challenging it, I mean stand up to it, face it down, and break through it. I call this “emergence.” We take the vasana on, do that which it counsels us not to do and emerge in the process.

My chief recollection of emergence occurred the moment when I hit the “send” button on an article I wrote on 9/11, sending it to every Canadian parliamentarian. I knew that by doing that I was saying goodbye to any chances of holding a job again with the federal government (I was a member of a federal tribunal before that). All my fears were up at that moment and by hitting the “send” button, I emerged from my fears.

Things like fear and all other strong emotions can be challenged and overcome. So there are two strategies to sourcing or breaking through a vasana – getting the original incident and completing our experience of it or breaking through it and emerging.

That is the work that faces all of  us at this time in which the rising energies are raising up all our old, incompleted issues to be completely experienced and transcended. On the other side of your vasanas, you will be … normal.


Just like other people. You won’t be jumping out of your skin at the prospect of your loved ones knowing what you are up to. You won’t be afraid of being yourself. You’ll just be normal … again.

I declare I am normal. I did it. I was once a nut case and I flattened my major vasanas.

Not quite the achievement we expected, eh? But a ground-breaking achievement that sets us up to be able to tolerate all that comes after, I’m willing to bet, all the way up to ascension.

(Continued in Part 2.)


(1) These articles deal with how to process a vasana:


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