(Composed 9 Oct 2021)
On the metaphor of the Unconscious as an iceberg, I notice:
- The huge mass under-the-surface “holds up”, supports, provides the float, for the small part that rises above the water line.
- The smallest part is the most highly prized – “the “Peak” of consciousness, the “Summit”.
- The Peak holds the volume below the surface as powerful, suspect, and possibly a threat to the structures it has contrived.
- The Peak actually thinks it is “driving the bus“, ignoring the sheer mass of the whole.
- But, what if everything that’s there has something important to contribute to the Peak?
?? How can the “Peak” and the under-water mass work together – in partnership, co-creation, mutuality??
Might the Peak’s machinations be clothing the under-water mass (like theater costumes) as the Sinister Magician, when the reality is that everything that’s there is there to help the Peak, rather than being a threat?
Might the outcome of integrating, assimilating, metabolizing, digesting, incorporate-ing with it to form a unified wholeness – be worthwhile, rather than continuing to use so much exhausting effort to hold it apart with suspicion?
What if the result would be a better, stronger, more resilient, more respond-able conscious Peak?
So, what if the Peak were not wrong, but investing in sustaining the familiar, feels-safe status quo would be to miss out on greater potential at great expense?
“Hmm, that’s interesting. But what can I do?!“, the Peak might say. “Yeah, I get it.”, I empathize.
Turns out Eugene Gendlin’s work with Focusing and the Philosophy of the Implicit points to a way forward and inspires what follows here…
So, what to do? Sit with it. Acknowledge it, just as it is. Bring interested curiosity to it. Wonder: “What’s here? What is it that is trying to wake up, trying to heal? What wants, needs, to be included that seems to be a threat? What if it isn’t really a threat? What if it holds something in my best interests? Something I’ve actually been Searching for, maybe desperately, to no avail (so far)? What if it’s been right in front of me the whole time? What if it’s in the thing I’ve been trying to get away from? What if the “reason” the largest part of me (the underwater volume of the iceberg) has kept putting it in front of me is because it’s really important, that I need it? What’s really there/here??”
So, yes, just sit with it, be with it, give it room, an open stage, to sort itself out, to find its rightful form. It starts out vague, fuzzy around the edges – it doesn’t fit into any world you already know. That’s fine! This is the right track. The vague trail does lead into that apparently tangled patch of thorny bushes on the edge of the dark forest. (What did Sleeping Beauty’s castle look like to the searcher on the outside edge of the thorny tangled 100 year’s growth? What was it that led them to venture on?)
Julius Diez’ work (Julius-Diez-illustration–010.jpg (460×276) (guim.co.uk))
Dig deeper. Find a way to invite a feeling of calm, and continue to wait. Just wait. Acknowledge (“Yes, I know you’re there.”) the impulses, the frantic voices that come saying “No No No!!! Here lies Danger!!” and remain – hold the space open, allowing that vague, looks scary, whatever-it-is, to continue (remember the Horta in Star Trek’s The Devil in the Dark etching “No Kill I” in the rock? It was a mother protecting her species.)
At some point, an image, a memory, a word – something – will come to you, a metaphor for the vague something you’ve been sitting with – (here’s the important part: ->) that comes along with a bodily-felt relief – your body will let go of a tension you might not have been aware of holding, and a deeper breath will come – all on its own, unbidden.
A shift has happened. Probably still below the threshold of language, but somehow you find that you’re different now, in some way your conscious mind can’t quite grasp, better.
Stay the course!! Enjoy the feeling of softening, the access to deeper breathing, the goodness of the feeling … something is opening up, like a flower maybe …
After a time, another something will come, another shift, yielding perhaps a more-recognizable something – something new, something you didn’t already “know”. Another level of a kind of settling, a sense of being on firmer ground.
And with the experience, the feeling, of firmer ground come more releases: less gripping, peripheral vision expanding, awareness of the environment increasing (“Where did that come from?! That object that I now realize has always been there, but somehow I didn’t see it?!”)
And the view from “The Summit” changes: this place where you’ve been standing all along is now different, brighter, with more vivid colors, sharper edges (though you didn’t realize before that they were blurred) and that vague scary territory you were facing now looks … fine, ordinary, interesting, accessible.
That’s what we’re talking about.
And that’s what I’m all about – exploring it (and benefitting from it!!) for myself, and in service to what I can bring as an ambassador, a scout, to those (who like Past Me) can’t see, feel, or find a way forward, who yearn for a bright horizon, who believe at some level, in hope, yet find themselves mired and stuck in yuck, I come to you saying: “Don’t despair. There is hope for you.”