I completed the vasana (1) Tuesday cognitively, but I was not able to avoid also completing it Wednesday emotionally.
The wall of emotion came up Wednesday morning and was so massive I had to simply lie on my bed and hold the experience.
But then I took a leaf from a colleague’s book and began breathing the emotion, which was centered at the back of my throat, into the violet flame in the heart and out again transmuted into the universe. That worked and I thank that colleague for the strategy.
It reduced the vasana to a seed, which I’ll need to process as well, lest it blossom again into a full-fledged vasana.
What I’d like to do to finish up is review the lessons I learned from the experience because these are emotional survival skills.
What I went through illustrates a number of things.
One is that that our initial statement of a vasana may not capture the vasana.
I said that I felt driven to be at work. Yes, that’s true. But who would have suspected, from that initial statement, that there was a huge vasana connected to frustration underneath it?
The moral is don’t expect our first cut to be exact or even close to what’s actually happening. Just work with that cut and uncover what lies underneath it, whatever that may be.
A second is that I see again why not to reach conclusions or make decisions on the basis of a vasana or for that matter on the basis of our own feelings either, so many of which come from vasanas. I felt frustrated at the slow pace of things and I do feel frustrated. That I can’t hide and wouldn’t want to.
But do I somehow believe that the Company of Heaven is not doing all it should, could, and can do? No, I don’t believe that.
I walk the fine line between giving voice to the vasana for the purposes of seeing where I’m at at this moment and then testing out whether what I say is true or not. And I don’t get the truth of what I saw while in the vasana, even if it was useful to give it expression, to see where I’m at.
As I see it, we tend to make right whatever we say. Once the words are out of our mouth, we tend to defend them. Do I intend to make right what I say under the influence of a vasana? No.
Nor do I want to accept any conclusions I reach or act on any decisions I make while in a vasana.
The most common misinterpretation we make of a vasana is to think that we’re standing on principle. I’ve very seldom found that to be a true statement.
The situation also showed me that vasanas don’t go off in a way that’s at all convenient. They have their own implacable timetable – both in going off initially (rumbling) and then in bursting forth in their full-fledged glory (erupting) – at which point they’re available to be sourced.
In my state of being, I was filled with dark feelings. If I was not at least a wee bit cognizant of what was happening, I might have made a total scourge of myself, like Attila the Hun, for no reason that anyone could explain, including me.
I’d be projecting my vasana onto others, saying “they made me angry ” or whatever. I’d be picking a fight. I wouldn’t see that a vasana had been engaged that has nothing to do with present company or present situations but is buried in the distant past.
And I’d have no idea that the condition could be sourced, what to do to source it, or that there might be stages. Or layers. Or false starts, a need to go deeper, etc.
It also illustrated anew for me the inverse relationship between tension and awareness. In dealing with other people at the onset of a vasana, just when we need our awareness most, tension goes up and our awareness goes down.
We can’t rely on such strategies as “remaining aware” or “taking the observer position” when in the heart of a vasana exactly because our awareness diminishes.
It’s as if we’re on our own when a vasana goes off. The more tools we have at our disposal to know that we’re in one and manage the journey through it, the more we restrict the damage we’ll do in getting through it.
The situation I faced also shows that a vasana will not necessarily lift completely on the first go round. It can be really dug in.
Nor can we command the vasana to surface. Nor can we complete it if it hasn’t surfaced.
That’s why I shout hallelujah when a vasana goes off because then it can be completed. At no other time can it be.
The situation further illustrates that vasanas are not logical. They work by association. The situation we face today resembles the situation at the heart of the vasana in some important way. But that’s its only connection.
And logic won’t work in sourcing the vasana. Awareness will. Experiencing it through to completion will. Giving it away can work. And transmuting it, evidently, works as well.
I notice also that I went through several cuts. When I used to listen to people in my Sociology doctoral work (before the vision I experienced in 1987 drew me away from my university career), I would listen for the first cut, which was the facts of the story; then the second, cut, which was the emotional truth or impact; and then the third cut, which was making sense of the whole thing and looking for loose ends or successive layers.
Once the person was out of the vasana, I wouldn’t send them back into it by asking questions. That might undo the good that was done. I would let them go immediately and they’d fly out the door to tell their partners what they’d just seen.
The puzzle became a picture for them and the truth had set them free. Very few people ever saw the contribution of listening. It’s a humble role.
I’m also seeing that there are layers to this vasana. I already see a connection to another vasana and will explore it at my leisure.
But that’s enough for this go-round. I hope I’ve illustrated the manner in which a vasana, or upset, or emotional outburst, whatever you want to call it, is sourced or completed. I still see it as a useful art and wait for the day when it’s no longer needed.
(1) “Sourcing a Vasana with Awareness,” June 25, 2014, at http://goldenageofgaia.com/2014/06/25/sourcing-a-vasana-with-awareness/.