Many thanks to the readers who wrote in and contributed to saving me from a very rough month.
A core issue usually has subsidiary issues, held together by some glue.
The glue is a strong and unpleasant emotion such as shame, fear, hatred, etc.
How can an issue be composed of issues? Doesn’t make sense.
Well, picture a deposit of mud after a flood. It’s pure mud. It doesn’t matter if you pick up a tablespoon of it or a bucket, it remains pure mud. An issue is like that.
Let these mud cells divide – mitosis, to use a second metaphor – and each new cell is again pure mud, through and through. That mud is the same strong emotion (or unwanted condition) that all the issues share.
They also contain the same program to resist, resent or revenge ourselves upon someone or something we don’t like. (1)
None of them takes into account that what we see without is what we have within (by the Law of Above and Below, Within and Without).
We’re seeing our own reflection in the mirror that the world is. But that isn’t part of our usual mindset.
Basic to this viewpoint is that we don’t take responsibility for what happens to us. So we think that what we see without has nothing to do with us.
Eventually, if we don’t clear our Marley’s chain of issues, it drags us down to a hell of imbecility. We can end up having an issue with everything, in which case complaining becomes a rigid identity.
One of my favorite cartoons pictures a man in a rocking chair, pulling on his corn cob pipe and nursing a beer.
If we don’t clear our issues, one way or another, we can get fossilized or coralized or get sclerosis of the heart and brain.
A synonym for an issue is a vasana, a term Vedantists used. (2) I use the term vasana to hook the discussion up to the spiritual as well as the psychological side of things. (3)
One can see a vasana or an issue as a file we’ve opened in our memory bank marked “top secret” and “action, whenever required.”
The minute a thought triggers us we fall into role – offended, angry, belligerent, etc. We saw with me that vasanas can cluster and grow in intensity – to explosive proportions.
It took something as massive as the vasana that was triggered a few days ago for me to see what a Number One core issue is – all the resistance, resentment, and vengefulness I feel around subjects associated with being behind the eight ball.
We often wonder why people arrive at great insights in the midst of great tribulation. For me, it’s partly because the great tribulation triggers such massive issue-volcanoes that we either succumb to them or get through them, with rich insights – that otherwise would have remained hidden – being the harvest.
And even in the face of dire circumstances, I found myself for a moment being willing to hold onto the issue rather than following a new insight that promised to have the whole thing disappear. Seeing the huge boulder as composed of sand bonded together by a glue held the key to the vasana’s release. And yet at the moment I saw it, I said, no, I don’t want to go there yet.
Yes, I do want to go there. Now. To be rid of shame and all the kinks in personality and the suffering that holding that point of view brings on me, I do want to escape. I’m happy that this situation raised the matter to my awareness.
This is not the time or the place for me to feel shame about being penniless. We’re in the phase of Ascension known as Accountability where a transition in power is taking place. This event is not one to be missed.
I’ll continue to mine this rich vein of learning – because educationally it is rich. Now when I go down to the Carnegie Center in the Downtown Eastside for a meal, it’ll be for the same reasons as them.
And without shame.
(1) I thank Werner Erhard for that wording.
(2) See for instance “Vasanas” at http://goldengaiadb.com/index.php?title=V#Vasanas_.28Latent_Tendencies.29
(3) Ultimately we have to expand the point of view that Western psychology has, past the confines of the empirical-materialist model, to embrace spirit, the unseen, our immortality, the law of karma, the centrality of love, etc.