I used to think that being honest and straightforward with the person I was engaging at the moment was the best I could do. I’ve been in a few relationship circumstances in which this deluded concept got me into some strange situations. It took me awhile to realize, however honest I was being, that engaging with another has the potential to turn to negative energy if I don’t consider with whom they might be engaging.
When I was young, I was once briefly involved with a woman who had told me she had left her husband. I lived in another part of the state and she came up and we got together. She seemed rather manipulative, but I thought that my obligation was to keep things straight between us. This was wrong, our relationship extended beyond the two of us. This became clear a number of months later after we had moved. Her husband showed up and there was a brief confrontation. I was dumbfounded to learn he thought she had been on vacation and that she had been lying to both of us.
Another time I was also briefly involved with another woman who was separated. I truly liked this woman, she was naive, but she was very considerate and sensitive and I doubt that she had a malicious bone in her body. Again, I thought that I was responsible only to her. Wrong again. I failed to consider her husband and his feelings. That they were separated did not excuse me from considering the potential ramifications. Again I had failed to keep the energy field clean, focusing only on my own energy as well as the nearest people I was involved with.
The bottom line is that we are free to organize the data we perceive. As I’ve written about previously in this work, the data we access is often subject to our sensory limitations, which can be compounded by our perception which is an interpretation of that data. This double whammy of sensory limitations and interpretation is further compounded by a natural tendency to have an egocentric view of our experience. As it turns out, what we see and what we organize is our experience. And to complicate matters even more, experience inexorably intertwines both cognition and emotions.
This is a natural condition as both cognition and feelings (true feelings, not thoughts pretending to be feelings, which is yet another problematic cul-de-sac) combine to enhance memory, which is important in learning. And all of this learning is especially vulnerable when the experiential field has not yet been fully formed, yet is clearly available and open to formation.
As mentioned before, this condition is known as a critical period and can be found in the embryonic stage, the late fetal stage, especially for neural development, the early years after birth, in language development, in first loves, in forming self-esteem and philosophical guidelines, etc.
Yet the double-edged sword of learning and memory, especially considering the pitfalls of data collection and interpretation, is that it can limit freedom and learning by forcing the past onto the present. Now we have a state of “reality” that potentially is not so real, yet, by virtue of the imprint created during critical periods by the interaction of cognition and emotions in experience, it seems real.
Though risking being repetitious (I think the concept is important), the problem is to find a way to create enough sensitivity that we might learn how to form additional critical periods during our lifetime that are not just biologically built-in, yet not so much that we create psychosis, which is often how such periods are interpreted after we have reached adulthood.
The ability to intentionally create critical periods and the subsequent formation of new imprints allows us to reformat the bases of experiential interpretation and our emotional attachment to it. This means that not only can we recapitulate our past by unlearning what we have experienced, but that we have reset our future probabilities. This interaction of learning and unlearning is paramount in volitional evolution.
Right now, outside of biological critical periods, we can have the potential for critical periods when the death of a person close to us happens, when extreme disease strikes, or when we suffer a broken heart. We can further create critical periods, as in the 60s, through drug use, such as LSD, peyote, psilocybin, or any psychotropic drug, or through any process that involves the breakdown and reformation of ego. However, most of these periods only tend to re-establish the existing individual and cultural frame, even if there are slight modifications. That is, mostly we explain our new experiences with the language of our old experiences which tends to only reaffirm the necessity for the old ways. (A caveat, yes, psychotropic drugs can significantly and permanently alter perspective, but they are extremely risky as they tweak the entire biology, which can leave one with a different perspective, but a damaged vehicle–and that’s assuming one survives the cognitive/biological assault. Though not as quick, it has become apparent that meditation can accomplish the same things without the risk of mental and/or physical damage.)
Further complicating the issue of creating critical periods is that society is not much help since it is generally intolerant of any attempt to move away from the existing frame of reference, which would be labeled as a loss of contact with reality (psychosis). Indeed, individuals often come to feel this way, “recovering” from loss or new experiential perspectives by the daily exposure and reaffirmation to the existing societal notions of “reality.”
In fact, critical periods are aptly named, they are dangerous. But no transformation can occur without them. Development certainly can, but not a new being. However, we can balance risk with safety if we work together, if we are creative and wise, and if we are considerate of ourselves and others and our intended destination.
We are not condemned to a self-esteem formed by age 10 or 12 (or earlier), we are not condemned to our ideas of love or lack thereof formed in our first few years of life, we are not securely or insecurely attached based just on our parent’s reactions to us and our interpretation of those reactions. We are not even biologically based; genes do not determine, they predispose–and the state of that predisposition is not static (eugenics, retroviruses, x-rays, etc.). (All right, another caveat. Yes, it appears that Huntington’s disease is genetical based and that if one has the gene, one will get the disease. But this doesn’t mean the gene determines, it means humans haven’t found a way, as of yet, to get rid of the gene or to not let the gene be triggered. And this bit of knowledge, if it comes, does not mean that humans should indulge in genetic manipulation just because we can.)
When we volitionally evolve, we must be careful, we must be deliberate, but we must acknowledge our creative input. We can configure our guides and our future, we can clean our energy field as we live, not having to rely on death or our children to keep the possibility of learning alive.
As I journey from the death of my mother and my intimate relationships, as I recognize my own misshapen energy, as I dance with my uncertainty about the future, as I wax and wane about my own creative abilities, about re-configuring those abilities that I may experience a new life, a new energy field, and a new navigational system, I think/feel how much easier the tough task of volitionally evolving would be if it was more than just the “I.” Support in transformative change, as well as the perpetuation of the old pattern, is much enhanced by the “we.” When done deliberately, the “I” will still experience transformation, but with another, the pair will have the added value of experiencing the “we.”
Thus, the principle of pair-bonding is the chance for an additional convergence of energy not available to just one. However, to remain unencumbered by this acquisition, each individual must not only have an energy that is congruent with their partner’s, they both must be adept at allocating energy to the third facet of mind (the mind that is in the present moment, open to insight, able to transform realities rather than just shedding energy and/or engaging in conditional learning or storytelling).
The downside to pair bonding is the possibility of creating an energy drain–one of the pair’s energy tapped onto and into their mate’s. Most marriages seem to act pretty much like the first two facets of mind (the energy bleed-off or the story-telling/conditional learning mind). The marriage that includes a healthy dose of the third facet of mind, increases the probability of a congruent and creative marriage.
The same principle, both the upside and downside, exists in establishing larger social connections. The convergence of energy is much more likely to birth a reality commensurate with the expectations of the group.
All of us construct one thing or another, either by default, by inefficient and inconsistent allocation of our energy, or by an impeccable allocation of our energy. In actuality, we all are in the third mind sometimes–we have been creating reality and we have been living and experiencing that creation (sometimes calling it an objective reality–if one creates a wall, forgets about it, and then runs into it, we could say we have discovered an objective reality). This is volitional evolution and we are the selective agents, we are not just driven by the forces of mutation and environmental selection of the fittest.
It is this intentional communion, the realization of that which has always been, connectedness yet individuality, freedom, yet lack of choice, creativity, yet determinism, that is all part of the paradox, and all part of Beauty.
There is strange comfort in this Beauty, separateness and scarcity seem a more obvious illusion. Yet, I’m aware of my precariousness, I feel strangely out of sorts. In between spring and summer school, I have a bit of a space and without the workload, I’m face-to- face with myself. I’ve been here before to be sure, and I do not want to simply create an explanation and continue on, I can’t face anymore of that. But I am feeling leery, like a cat in unfamiliar territory. I don’t want to go back, I can’t stay here, but I don’t know if I’ve gone too far and can’t recover (I remember my mother’s agony, and the finality of her choices, at least as it was manifested in her life).
So here I am, in the middle of places, seeking a bridge, or hoping to create one before the fall. This is not to wax negative, it is to acknowledge that what we create will develop a life of its own, and that life can and does influence us. Have I mucked up relationships so badly that I’m past the point of no return? Are my realizations too late? This seems to be fueling my heightened state of nerves.
I admit, as is evident by the content of this work, that I’m not exactly a stellar example of impeccable intent. I have to own that (it is staring me in the face). It is difficult for me, on this side of transformation, to navigate the waters of my creative potential and to constructively use the forces at my disposal. I shall not pretend otherwise, I do not have the keys to the city. And I suspect that I’m not alone. But I can put myself out there and I can ask for help. It may not be a male thing to do, but I’m a person before I’m a gender, and I’m a fundamentally playful one at that–who has not yet forgotten the wonders and mysteries of existence. I also strongly suspect that renewal and not entropy is the true nature of existence (or maybe it takes both to see anew), even if it is not always my experience. And that seeming contradiction fascinates me and makes me smile.
Time may act as an interface in creation, allowing things to unfold and be modified as they come into being. But time, where it is perceived to exist, also runs out. That is another kind of “in-between.” I am nervous; I guess I can be nervous and withdrawn and depressed or I can be nervous and alert to the Beauty. Choice and no choice again. Since I can’t help but smile at this position, even if I am wary, I think I’ll take the now of my nervousness and see what I can see.