(Continued from Part 1.)
Some secrets are entrusted to us; some secrets we freely come upon in the course of our work.
Some people blackmail us by threatening to “disclose all.” Given that I grew up with a physically violent father who once threatened to send me to boarding school if I disclosed the family’s “dirty little secret” of violence towards my Mom, I once swore that I would never keep others’ secrets or have secrets about myself. And here I am at 2:30 a.m. this morning choc-a-bloc with secrets.
When I have a reading with Archangel Michael, he gives me information that helps me to orient in a situation, but regarding some of it, he’ll ask me to keep the matter private.
Whether necessary or not, we pay a price for keeping secrets.
Let’s turn now and look at that price.
The first price we pay is in turning our memory into a locked file drawer. If too many secrets are loaded into it, we start to have a vacant look on our faces. My Dad had that look. I used to describe him as a nebish, a Jewish term for a person with a blank expression, a ghost.
The second price we pay is in the stress created by making sure we don’t divulge the secrets we’re keeping. This stress translates into muscular tension in the body, which is triggered whenever we get close to divulging the secret.
This muscular tension results in a lowering of awareness and I think it’s that sense or feeling of my awareness being lowered by the secrets I’m carrying that has me want to scream.
Our awareness goes up when we’re relaxed, say, after meditation or listening to music or walking in nature, and it goes down when we’re busy and stressfully remembering which information we can convey and which information we cannot.
As the blog expands, and as Archangel Michael communicates more and more matters that cannot be divulged right now, I find myself in a position that runs directly counter to one of my core issues (that I’ll never keep secrets). Then stress results.
The other side of the coin is the alteration in performance caused by someone else revealing our secrets. That can start a war in which the one whose secrets are divulged defends him or herself by “setting the record straight,” which may involve them telling a self-serving version of things to protect their own image from the damage the revelation of the secret caused.
The other day I warned my team members that I was about to give a self-serving version of a particular incident that happened while I was traveling in another city, which would maximize my own helpful role in the matter and minimize another’s contribution and maximize their destructive role and minimize mine.
Why not warn them? My self-servingness is obvious to all who hear me. Why not be upfront about it?
Let’s look at what Werner Erhard and his team say are the costs of keeping secrets, or what they called “withholds.”
What is a withhold? Communication Workshop leader Jed Naylor said of them:
“Withholds are statements your survival seems dependent upon not delivering.
“Withholds are statements that recur and recur and recur, the statements that grab you when they do recur. They limit participation.
“Withholds are statements that you feel compelled to justify.” (1)
Withholds prevent completion, limit participation,
Jed says: “A withhold that’s been activated is the same as a button that’s been pushed.” (2)
A withhold signals or reveals “a missed experience.” (3) We keep secret that which we don’t want to experience, don’t want to experience, again, etc.
The only thing that gives such power to withholds is the fact that we refuse to communicate them. Werner Erhard said of his own family:
“What was real [in my family] was not spoken about. People did not discuss what was really going on with them. Yet their dirty little secrets were dirty only because they were held as secrets – and indeed secrets which they held to be dirty. People demeaned their own experience.” (4)
“Withholding = deadness,” est Trainer Ted Isen once said. (5)
A favorite trick of ours is to share part of the truth but not all of it. Est Trainer Julia Dederer joked:
“The real trick of the mind is to tell 80% of the truth and not share the whole thing. Not only did you shag your poodle but you let her go down on you. You didn’t tell them that part.” (6)
In not sharing our withholds, she said, we make ourselves and our listeners smaller.
“The real difficulty with a perpetration/withhold is that you diminish yourself and the other person by considering him or her too small to get the communication. You make them small.” (7)
What keeps us withholding is fear. Jed Naylor observes:
“Why withhold? Fear could be the fundamental source. The bottom line is fear of not surviving. When you draw out the string of pictures, the last one is ‘you’re dead.’” (8)
Those who identify with the body fear the oblivion of the body dying; those who identify with the soul fear the oblivion of the soul dying, being captured by dark forces, being blown apart in a nuclear explosion or being flushed down the cosmic toilet all the way back to nothingness as, say, Nazi Irma Grese was. (9)
(Continued in Part 3.)
(1) Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, est Communications Workshop, Oct. 1980.
(2) Loc. cit.
(3) Loc. cit.
(4) Werner Erhard in W.W. Bartley III. Werner Erhard: The Transformation of a Man; the Founding of est. New York: Potter, 1978, 31.
(5) est Trainer Hal Isen, Six Day Course, 16 Nov. 1980.
(6) Workshop leader Julia Dederer, Nature of Reality Course, Jan. 21, 1983.
(7) Loc. cit.
(8) Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, est Communications Workshop, Oct. 1980.
(9) “The woman is a black magician and will be ‘liquidated.’ She had to incarnate first.” (Philip Gilbert through Alice Gilbert, medium, Philip in Two Worlds. London: Andrew Dakers, 1948, 107-8. [Hereafter PTW]
“The most evil, Irma, was absorbed at once into what is her kind, a descending whirlpool of, as it might be called, sewage. They tell me that there are, very, very rarely, entities who get so low that they can only descend – and be liquidated. We don’t like to think of it here. She has a strong will and there was need to exert power upon her – her aura was the foulest I’ve yet seen, or smelt… Yes – to us, the aura gives off a certain usually faint ‘odour,’ pleasant or otherwise. Dogs can sense this.
“Irma was an ‘old soul’ in the bad sense – she had been forced to re-incarnate as a last chance.”(Philip to his mother, Alice Gilbert, in PTW, 197.)