(Concluded from Part 1.)
Rather than defaulting to love in social situations, I most often come into them always-already defensive.
For most of my life, defensiveness was habitual, my default modality, my happy hunting ground. “Never fall asleep,” I hear my Dad saying. “Always be on guard, on alert,” the merchant mariner home from the Second World War repeatedly told me.
And, given that Dad was violent, I did always need to be on the alert. This was a survival skill. There was actual empirical evidence for the wisdom of this course of action, once. Just not now.
The fear of what’ll happen afterwards usually stops me from letting down my barriers, the drawbridge of Fortress Me.
That fear defines how I most often show up in social situations. In the niches available in a group, I choose the defensive niche – soldier, protector, rescuer, etc.
Remaining alert and defensive are command-level messages in my control center. They exercise control over my behavior when I’m not aware of them running in the background; that is, when I’m on autopilot.
When I’m aware of them, I have choice again and can choose to come from love and let people in, as hard and awkward as it is in the beginning.
So I don’t enter into social situations coming from love. I see it. I get it. It’s not just intellectual knowledge: I experience/see it and realize/get it.
What to do with the vasana? Never mind the issue at the heart of it, which will take longer to deal with than the vasana.
One thing we typically do if a vasana goes off is that we resist it for one reason or another, swallow it, and allow it to go back down again, energized, ready for the next outburst.
A second fairly common response is to project it onto the poor bloke standing in front of us who doesn’t have a clue what’s happening (and neither do we). That’s what I did. Again in the end the vasana goes down, energized.
A far less common response is to be with it, experience it through to completion, and allow it to eventually depart, as Jesus described in his article, “The Third Way.” (1) That’s the way I prefer. I say it works, having used it for decades.
In fact it could be said that there’s nothing to “do.” Simply be with and observe a vasana or sleeping volcano when it goes off. Ask the mind where the origin of the upset lies and be with whatever it sends up – a word, a thought, an image – until the experience of that original incident is completed.
Rejoice, as Jesus said, because when else would we have a chance to relieve ourselves of this unwanted condition except when it erupts? One can’t work with a vasana as long as it’s sleeping. Only when it becomes reactivated and goes off can we see it, be with it, explore it no matter how repugnant, experience it through to completion, and let it go. (2) This is how we unravel the knots that bind us, as Jesus explained. (3)
In summary, this is the vasana, the core issue, the record that’s gotten reactivated in me at this moment, in this time of intensified clearing: I don’t enter into social situations from love, but from defensiveness. It’s now up to awareness and I’ll let awareness do its work of dissolution.
I assert that only our vasanas or core issues and the habits they give rise to stand between us and our native (sahaja) state of bliss. That’s my hypothesis in this particular adventure in consciousness we call Ascension.
(1) “Jeshua: The Third Way” via Pamela Kribbe at http://goldenageofgaia.com/spiritual-essays/on-processing-vasanas/jeshua-the-third-way/.
(2) One cannot miss a vasana or sleeping volcano going off. When it erupts, it commands our attention and won’t let go until we do something with it.
(3) “Jeshua: The Third Way,” ibid.