Friday 3 April 2015

The Risen Christ and Tortured Mice

Since this is Easter I have been thinking about approaching one's very core in respect of learning about the praxis of biofocusing. I've worked on this notion for some years now, and some very surprising things have fallen into place. One is that the majority of people don't enjoy approaching the core of who they are. They might even say they do, but they don't. A lot of folk live a lifestyle of entertaining themselves and distracting themselves, not going too near the core because the core isn't deemed to be relevant. Even more folk live trying to survive on a daily basis, and I don't mean emotionally. They have to hunt for food and water.

But what is the "core"?

It has to do with what you prioritise and what prioritises you. These two perspectives contain the active and passive aspects of bio-focusing: focusing on your aliveness, and focusing from what makes you alive.

Philosophising about being alive isn't the purpose. Responding to being alive is more like it. I grew up in a conservative, evangelical Christian environment where my real response to anything was unacceptable from the word go. They taught me that unless I got saved I would go to hell. They assured me that if Jesus returned, and I wasn't saved, the rest of my family would be raptured away, and I would be left behind for the devil to sort out. Frequently, before I was eight years old, I tip-toed down the passage, alarmed by the silence, fearing that the end had come, and went to my parents' bedroom to find out if I could hear them breathing in their sleep. For most of my life I have struggled to come to grips with that terror.

I have come to realise that the story of Jesus shouldn't have that effect on anyone who seriously studies it. Last year I found myself facing that old terror head on. It has taken me a full year to recover, but I will never be the same again. All my life I have been learning flat-out so as to manage that terror by sheer cogitation. I failed in that endeavour. That stark fear had been managed, not eradicated. By coming at the story of Jesus from every angle I could find, I desperately wanted to control the fear that the story produced in me. I became an expert in narratology, a professor of literature and a multi-disciplinary academic of some repute in a few small circles of academia. None of this helped.

Jesus doesn't hurt anybody. People do, and even when they mean well. Were my parents bad people? Absolutely not. Did they mean well? They did. Then why did they mould my emerging emotions into such terror and rage? They had no idea that this was happening. How could that be possible? Because they were responding to being alive in respect of being focused by where they came from. They didn't come from an easy era or comfortable family backgrounds: two world wars, the Depression, a father lost early in life, a mother lost early in life, being shunted around from pillar to post as a child, going from house to house, fianlly being brought up by an aunt because of a father who felt it was his mission to travel the world to save Catholics from a lost eternity, beginning with Spain and ending in Chile.

Many default emotions are destructive, having been set up quite unconsciously. The consequences can last a life-time. I have been fortunate. I won't go into too much detail in how I understand the story of Jesus now, but the following statement is relevant: the Spirit of the Risen Christ is for real, and this Easter I am prepared to state my commitment the felt reality of this.  The words are inadequate to describe what I mean. The idea that we get one shot at being alive and then it's heaven or hell is plain wrong. Goethe said that he had been around a few times and expected plenty more. It doesn't happen in a row. Read the blog on focusing on time. Read Eben Alexander. Read Brian Weiss. Read Mira Kelley. Read the Bible. Read what you're taken to, and let your neurons do the processing and make the connections. The Spirit of the Risen Christ doesn't belong in a church which is usually the heart of utter boredom and pretence. The Spirit of the Risen Christ is utterly intermingled with the sub-atomic surprises of each atom of your body, long before the molecules and cells do their thing. The Spirit of the Risen Christ is more you than you realize. And no magical thinking is required. Amputation of intelligence is also not required. Best of all, you don't have to become a Christian and adopt a role.

It's unfortunate that the Christians have not been that good at setting forth the story of Jesus and proclaiming Christ. In fact, quite a few of them have been downright vicious, cruel, malicious and evil in the ways they have used, edited, re-written and otherwise manipulated the Good News. Yet the story remains, and has a lot to do with aliveness, which is the core of bio-focusing.

The lesson in all this is that the good we intend and the good we do are not always the same thing. What we focus on as priority has its birth in a pattern of emotionality which is a mix of chosen attitude and default attitude. While parents may urge children along the path of what they believe to be good and true while actually harming them, politicians almost always encourage nations towards self-destruction, and we still play the voting games. The science of medicine has made huge progess which has helped millions and millions of lives out of misery and early death, yet experimentation has depended on torturing mice as well as other animals.

C.S. Lewis once explained that the fastest way forwards might be the longest way back, and in many cases, personal freedom can only be achieved if you go back to where the wool got tangled, and take the time and find the energy to make the way straight.

I don't believe it's possible to achieve this on your own. Emotions can reach pitch-dark places such as in the cockpit of an aircraft which is taking everyone on board to their deaths on purpose, and on beaches where ISIS followers decapitate captives. The spirit of humanity needs to be rediscoverd in the Spirit of Christ before humanity disappears for ever, and this can happen only on a volunatry basis, by listening to personal stories which have not dared to surface for one reason or another. 

Instead of freezing me into fear and terror, the people who influenced me in such a way should have encouraged me to go forth, be fruitful and multiply over all the earth. But who can tell what might have happened to me then?

As I have come to understand, the Spirit of the Risen Christ, moves us towards humility and compassion and gives us the power to make miracles happen. If someone were to challenge me by asking me which is the more important, the life of a mouse or the life of a human, my answer would be that life is indivisible. Like Nicholas Berdyaev, I believe that there is no such thing as individual salvation. The soul of planet earth is one, and the message of Easter includes the reality of freedom from personal trauma and the recogntion of a greater purpose.

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