“If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.”
Walking through the wildness of nature, we notice the unctuous dripping of the sap from the old pine trees. The amber essence of the tree oozes out, falling on a silky thread like a teardrop in slow motion. There is the shock of separation, and a convulsion of the substance left behind into a sphere. It is a timeless incense of the soul of the tree, a healing effusion of amber, leaking where the tree’s bark is broken.
Do you recall as a child first seeing the fresh redness of your own blood? This life- giving effusion of crimson truth, tasting salty and real, is both estranging and strangely familiar. Here we are, alive again, bleeding in human flesh. Children can accept the essence of it, it’s only later we learn to forget.
“You can crush a flower with your foot, but you can’t get rid of its scent,” writes the Lebanese poet Khalil Gibran. He was referring to our multidimensional nature in which our essence – the perfume of our being – stays in another kind of time. When outer forms are crushed, broken, or lost, the perfume of our True Nature is released.
Trauma is a psychospiritual event in which one dimension of reality breaks to reveal deeper layers of the self. In trauma, there is both rupture and rapture. There is the agony of breakage, and there a revelation of that sentient essence of ourselves that can never be broken.
This exposure of the essence through trauma is the revelation of what we will call the “Amber of Trauma”. The Amber of Trauma is the healing elixir of our True Nature as revealed when the surface reality splits open. It offers sense to nonsense, purpose to futility, direction to delusion, compassion to pain, and a clear light of wisdom to the torrents of rageful despair that run through the undercurrents of the modern psyche.
Is trauma an "unnatural" event? Or is it part of some natural process, a corrective energetic function in the human psyche, a mixture of development, evolution, and fate? Are shock, rupture and the process of integration and resilience part of our naturalness? To answer these questions, we must visit the laboratory of direct experience. Each of us must look within to explore into the sentient depths that are awakened and the reverberations that play out throughout the psyche.
When our reality is ruptured, and when the shock seems unbearable, what is it in us that is wounded? The mystery is in the scream of our innocence; the torture in our care; the fury of our sense of truth; the indignation of our passion; and the relentless yearning of our love. It is found in the strange, impersonal stillness a moment after an accident; or in the uncanny sense of peace that descends even as wars are raging.
Trauma matters because the location of trauma is that core of ourselves where consciousness suddenly awakens. In this, what looks like disaster reframes as a pathway of healing potential. The potential is found in the truth of it. It is found in the irrefutable exposure of what is here at the core of consciousness, beyond all shadows of form.
Trauma is a psychospiritual event in which the shock of unbearable pain propels us into another kind of time and another kind of space. The habitual form of ourselves disintegrates, and for a while there is an energetic chaos, a mental confusion, and a conceptual reset of the very nature of reality.
In a traumatic event, our regular life is disrupted by shock, suspending the energy of what was felt into another dimension of experience. States of unresolved trauma are found in the hell-loops that circulate where the traumatic experience could not be integrated into the whole. Rather there is a social pressure to come back to stasis, based on consensual patterns of behavior. The one that has undergone an explosion is tempered to return as soon as possible to the “normal” world, and this of itself sustains and consolidates a state of inner fragmentation.
This bumpy, enforced and often intrusive process of integration adds other layers of horror around the unprocessed trauma vortex. These can include the sense of impossibility, exclusion, fakeness, lack and neglect, shame, denial, and isolation. These secondary sufferings substantiate the energy of trauma still more, and it can often seem therapeutically that these layers constitute the trauma itself. Constantly replenished by secondary sufferings, the trauma vortex becomes self-perpetuating. An enormous amount of vitality is spent on sustaining the split – or in what we would call “keeping it all together”.
The residue of trauma lives in a parallel dimension within the field of experience. Coming there can feel like falling through a trapdoor into a haunted basement, or like being locked into a nightmare out of which it feels impossible to awaken. Trauma can taunt us with flashbacks, and moments where we are gripped by the terror of “bottoming-out.” It can bring blind-spots, compulsive thoughts, paralysis, numbness, compulsion, and obsession. It can flip our happy day into a paranoid hell and can rob our sleep of any kind of rest.
Above all, trauma shapes our attitude to life, hijacks our direction, and contracts our naturalness. It reforms us according to precepts of suffering and fear, recreating our psyche in shapes we would never choose. When our movement is motivated by fear, threat, and dread, it becomes an expression of it. Our capacity for joy, happiness, peace, and purpose is suspended for later. But as tomorrow never comes, we lose belief in these deeper treasures of the heart altogether. Our value system spins around survival, and we unwittingly bankrupt our hearts.
Each one of us is to some degree traumatized, in a normalized state of rupture from our True Nature. Pretending to represent sanity, this traumatized state involves paradoxical beliefs around individuality, conformity, separation, and wholeness. It is deeply materialistic and founded on the idea that the self is always separate and that value depends on its utility: if you “do” something great as seen by others, then you are great. This traumatized conditioning frames naturalness as danger, and fear and obedience as psychological health. It prioritizes knowledge over the unknown and thought over direct experience. We are running a software of suffering through the magnificent organ of the brain, and it seduces us into the belief that this is “real” life.
It is a healing inevitability that the same energy of unprocessed shock and trauma that created the normalized condition of fear, is that which will rupture it again in attempts to reset the system in naturalness. That is, we will be shocked again and again in our sense of reality, until the pathway is cleared for the sense of reality to truly come to life.
Trauma is part of the natural process of creation, yet in the human dimension, the suffering component of it is confounded, prolonged, and perpetuated, partly through social coercion. Trauma is endemic to our collective human state. If you believe you are personally free of trauma, then this book is not for you. As you will discover in these pages, the very belief that it is possible to be individually free of trauma, is a belief born of trauma.
What we can promise, is that in the process offered through Nondual Therapy you can find freedom within all states of trauma and from your personal traumatized normal (your unique “Traumal”). This is because ultimately you are not a separate self. No thought, feeling or physical sensation defines you. You are not your personality. Indeed, what appears as personality is a loose network of paradoxical coping patterns, defensive strategies, and short-term desires. Although you are alive as a field of experience, no experience can own you. You are the conscious awareness and the Nondual Source that is able to sense all experience. It is from this source that all the healing and relief of trauma will come.
In a way, there is a clear logic. If your personality is broken, how can it define you? If reality has collapsed, how could it have been real? With broken personalities, collapsed realities, and serial switches in identity, we are still here, alive. Our very ability to suffer the carnage of disillusionment shows that we are not the illusion, but the space through which all forms appear.
We are not what happened to us. We are not the changing thoughts, feelings, and emotions. We are the sentient life that can experience all this in the here and now.
The task of the Nondual Therapist is to support the clearance of the pathways to the depth of all we truly are. You are not a “thing” living in a flat dimension. You are not an object, either physically, psychologically, or mentally, therefore you cannot be ultimately broken. Out of this wholeness, you can experience breakage, just as the sun witnesses the breaking of the clouds. But the sun is not the cloud, or the landscape, it is that which enlightens the whole from another dimension of time and space. Your consciousness is like the sun, and where it shines, whole aspects of experience become revealed as inextricably entwined with the beauty of the whole.
The sun is rising. Cracks appear in the dense layer of clouds on the Eastern horizon and an amber light is bleeding. It is the glow of another dimension, far beyond the cloud, temporarily obscured but always present. Through the rupture in the sky, the radiance of a universal light appears. It is an outbreak of light from the dimension of space in which the vast, life-giving sun is always shining.
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