The EGO and HIGHER PERCEPTION (cont.)
One day a storm of painful emotions arose, overwhelming me. There was a permeating fear of the emotional storm itself. Panic consumed me and there was nothing but the blind impulse to run away from the storm. But then there came the strength to turn and look at the emotions. And as the emotional storm went through the transformation process of seeing and acceptance, it was dissipated, leaving behind a sense of strength and confidence.
This composition arose in the mind soon afterward. It is of three female figures, two of which are fleeing in fear at the storm, while the third figure turns to face it, absorbing its full force and power.
About the Paintings:
Though many manifestations of the ego can be ignored, some need to be transformed by bringing the light of attention on them, especially if they persist. The following paintings rose out of such a process. I have included the description of the inner process.
I have noticed in myself that the images are not always of forms, such as the human figure; they can also be abstract fields of color, energetic lines, or effects of light. Just be aware of any images that might occur within you during your own process. They can enhance the experience, bringing added insight into your inner world, but images are not at all necessary for the healing process to take place.
The Storm II 1996
24" x 13" mixed media on gold mat board
During the transformation process of a particularly painful emotion, the image of a dying fish on the shore appeared in the mind which encapsulated the essence of the emotion. At that time, that was the only image that appeared (middle floor, the object on the sand).
After a moment, there occurred the profound shift from being totally identified with the emotional pain, to again, being the separate observer that could look at the emotion from a clear and detached point of view. This allowed the emotion to be quickly transformed, giving rise to a growing calm within a quiet center. The image in the mind then instantly expanded beyond the fish to include the figures looking at it, then a house with different levels, with open accepting hands towards the top. At the apex, a clear eye of awareness appeared. And during the transformation process the following words came which are now written on the piece:
Dying fish on the shore
I am these.
“Accept,” came the reply,
“and watch, for you live in a mystical house.
And even now the child plays
just outside your door.”
The Mystical House I 1990
14" x 9" watercolor & pastel on paper
This exercise is to be done the next time you feel some obstacle arise in you from the ego, felt as points of tension, unease or emotional pain.
Now look at it and accept it completely, embracing it and merging totally with its energy. It may go through an initial series of changes as you start to observe it, for your attention is bringing it into a clearer focus perhaps for the first time. And this light of awareness does alter it.
Once the pain is acknowledged and seen clearly, there often comes an accompanying falling sensation inside, as though you are falling through the pain. This process of moving into the emotion can be slightly uncomfortable, but notice as you go into the pain that it becomes pure energy, and it can become more and more free of a feeling of a "me," existing in its own right. If so, feel the invulnerability of this place where you can look at things with complete equanimity.
This transformation process could vary from one emotion to another. Whatever the experience, observe it with a focused detached awareness free of identification.
Keep falling until there occurs the sensation of "hitting the bottom" of the pain. Observe any transformation of the pain in the light of your awareness.
Don’t force anything; just feel a sense of acceptance, and simply observe if there is a final resolution of the pain. No matter your experience during the transformation process, the principle is the same: detached, focused awareness digests emotions and thoughts, transmuting them into energy, just as our bodies digest food for energy. And also see, if, through this process, you are shown something about yourself you did not realize before.
This image arose towards the end of an emotional transformation process. When my awareness finally stopped falling through the dark emotion inside and came to a rest, it could finally be seen clearly for the first time. At the emotion’s center was a pain arising from the sense of being lost, blind and alone. As that understanding came, the image of a blind foal instantly appeared in the mind. There was a moment of just resting with that image followed by a feeling of being embraced and comforted by a loving force. Then a deep sense of peace came along with the realization that we are not alone; we are loved and given help. And when that insight came, the image of an angel spirit instantly appeared, embracing the blind foal.
The Blind Foal 1987
38" x 24" oil on canvas