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Notes to Transformation

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Notes to Transformation - Chapter 3 - Being Born


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All existence is made from energies. Energy, by its nature, flows and changes freely, coagulating and dispersing like a mountain mist. Some of these processes are slow, and some are lightning fast. The energies collected in rocks take longer to alter than those in muscles, flowers hold their form longer than emotions. Indeed, emotions and mental activities are among the most fleeting forms of energy: As Buddha said, "a million thoughts pass in the beat of a butterfly’s wing".

The baby registers every event as energy and sensations. He sees auras and devas and sometimes other psychic phenomena. He has no sense of himself, but is merged as one with his mother and everyone around him. He feels her joy, her fear, her anger and her weakness as his own. Thus the totality of his mother’s emotional makeup becomes part of the baby’s identity, even in small things.

Emotions in adults have been civilised and controlled. Instead of flowing freely and spontaneously, our anger, hate and jealousy hide within us like compressed nodules waiting to explode. These immobilised nodules I call ‘energetic closures’. We recognise the nodules in others and call them a personality. The way she shakes her head or flicks a finger, the tone of her voice when speaking of him, the disarming laughter that deflects criticism -these personal traits are what we see of the energetic nodes that have gone into her creation.

Closures are free-flowing feelings which have been blocked and immobilised. Most of us would recognise that we put tremendous effort into holding them in, and are often deeply ashamed whenever they break out. Being energies, they still radiate on everyone round about and, as babies are sensitive, some of these closures will be permanently imprinted onto his growing psyche. As a baby responds to emotions and sensations long before his mind can discriminate or use language, whatever is imprinted at this time creates the ground on which the mind will have to function. Few other factors will be more important.

This is typically how it happens. The baby is asleep and peaceful but his mother becomes anxious from something she heard on the radio. The baby feels this anxiety and wakes up fretting. Mother hears and, anxious something may be wrong, goes to comfort him. This discharges her anxiety and, as she calms down, so does the baby who goes back to sleep. Mother believes she has comforted her baby, but in fact the baby has collaborated in comforting his mother. The mother’s energetic node is already inducting a matching pattern in her baby.

In another example, Wendy is shopping with her baby Sarah and sees something that triggers anger in her. Sarah picks up this change in energy and becomes fidgety and uncertain, and may throw her dummy out of the pram. Wendy, needing to discharge her anger, picks up the dummy and scolds the baby. Sarah is now being attacked directly, and starts to cry. So Wendy picks her up and both are comforted. The process of energetic induction begins as Sarah merges with both Wendy’s pattern of anger and with the method of discharge that brought her comfort. Week after week Wendy will repeat this pattern, though the situations may change. One may occur in the shops, the next when visiting grannie and another looking at the telly, but there is a common energetic sequence behind each one. Sarah gradually acquires a set response to this often-used pattern of her mother’s. As she gets older this response may become a primal influence in developing a ‘cool’ demeanour where she is incapable of revealing her anger. This major component of later behaviour started in small everyday interactions between Sarah’s connectedness with her mother and Wendy’s own complex egoic energies.

This phenomenon has many disturbing implications. In taking on the energies of her mother Sarah has, in a sense, inherited Wendy’s closures. In the deeper layers of her personality Sarah is not living only her own life, but also the life of her mother, and since she ‘inherited’ in the same way, Sarah is also taking on aspects of Wendy’s mother before that, and older generations long forgotten. This is called karma by some. Parents may continue to induct their closures on their children well into adulthood, and even after they die.

None of this behaviour is deliberate or conscious. Yet it inducts energetic closures of the most profound kind, and there is absolutely nothing the parents can do about it. The mother’s influence is generally more important than the father’s. Even if the man was absent he would still be present in the child’s growth through those energetic patterns in the mother which chose that man. For example, mother may have been a giver who married a taker. This father hardly need be there for something of his energy to effect the baby, because her need for a taker in the house will cast this baby, willy nilly, into the same complementary role so she can go on giving.

As the infant separates from his mother he is likely to attach to some of her energies to prolong the final moment. Though the mother may feel she has given so much of herself to her child in love and effort, she is very unlikely to have been changed in any fundamental way. But it is entirely different for the baby, for his primal energetic patterns were open to being influenced at the deepest level.

By the time he is a couple of years old he may contain more of his mother than himself. Not that this self is unimportant. We are given a certain mix of characteristics and essence qualities from the beginning. Each of the children in a family will evolve differently as their individual energetic patterns and the effect of their birth permit. A strong-willed baby will react differently to the supermarket situation than will a tender one. A baby with a curious nature will not react in the same way to a jealous father as a baby who accepts easily. Each child will respond to the energies impacting on him differently, depending on his original nature.

In the baby, feelings and sensations flow easily in the open space of the psyche. They come into being and are expressed or responded to, and pass away as easily as they have come. The interaction of free energy with the baby’s original mix of qualities is not unlike the water-laden air which creates what seems to be a stationary cloud as it passes over the mountain, whereas in fact the cloud is being continuously formed and dissolved as the air rises and falls. Over time the closures inducted from the baby’s carers tend to congeal his flowing energy into nodes. The quick mobility of his being becomes restricted into structures which thereafter direct his responses. When accessed in session these closures feel like alien presences inside that can be sensed as we would sense an object. A major task of our work is to bring awareness to these primal closures so they may be released. As the energies are freed we begin to feel that experiences are occurring within a vast inner emptiness. This achieves something akin to some Buddhist meditations which lead to the experience of our nature as space.

"There is just open space. Our most fundamental state of mind, before the creation of ego, is a basic openness, a spacious quality." Chogyam Trungpa


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