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fear-1Quietly sitting in a meditation group, a question was posed by one of the members. The question asked what significance fear has in our lives. At first it seemed like a simple question but upon deeper consideration I realized that it held tremendous influence over the way I and others felt. This led me to attempt to, first, define the feeling.

Most sources defined fear as sensing and reacting to danger. But now this led me to search out the meaning of danger. The earliest meaning I could find comes from the 12th century French dangier meaning “the power to harm, mastery, authority and control.” So, essentially, fear and perceived danger are a sense or belief that we are somehow out of control or in a Fight or flightposition where life and others have power over us. Why would being out of control evoke such an intense feeling? Granted, fear is a primal feeling and involuntary reaction innate to our animal natures. But that only relates to the immediate and impending physical consequences of survival. We as humans know fear as having a much wider and more powerful influence over our daily lives. So, where then does this power come from? I believe that it is trained into us beginning with our earliest ability to think.

As children and before our metal capabilities to think are developed, we have not yet developed the discrimination between self and other so what we feel deprived of or  assailed by only seems to register as a feeling of pain or discomfort to which we simply react by crying. At that point the fear response, other than concerning our primal survival, has not yet formed as we need to have the experience of pain or discomfort, pair it with the perception of a threat coming from outside of ourselves and then create a retrievable memory of it. Memory is solely a function of the mind existing in linear time. Until we develop the capacity to think, that dimension has no relevance to us yet and hence no memory. Yet, at that age, having the experience of pain or deprivation creates a future trigger response in our animal natures to its next occurrence. Once the mind is formed and time is perceived, fear can now have a solid perceivable reference point for which it can generate feelings about future circumstances. So what are we actually saying? That animals gain an instinctual bad-feelingfear through the experience of immediate circumstances and that humans gain this too but we also develop ability to project far into the future and create fear based on “wouldn’t it be horrible if” through the power of our minds. In short, animals can feel fear in immediate circumstances but we humans have also learned to project it way into the future.

Our next question, logically, must be “how and why would we learn to do this?” I believe that our tendency to do this comes from being trained to believe that we must control ourselves and our circumstances if we are first, to stay “safe,” and, second, keep our personal world in a static state through the belief that circumstances can remain unchangeable. Even in light of the fact that we honestly know that security is an illusion, and this is still an unconscious knowing for most of us, we still consciously hold an irrational belief that the world can be animal masteryheld in a static state and that we should be able to control the rest of the world and others in it. But now, we have to ask “where did this irrational belief come from?” The answer is that we’ve been taught by our parents to expect to be able to control our circumstances. As children, how would have been able to know any different? At that age, we simply accept it as fact because our parents tell us it is so. What’s sad and disconcerting is that many of our parents still believe that this is so as they were taught to believe this by their parents.

At this point you’re probably asking yourself what fear has to do with eclipsing the heart. Right? To understand this we must first recognize that the heart uses feelings and intuition as its medium of exchange for communication. We first feel and intuit and then thinking is used to put it in a comprehensible form we can recognize, explain, create a judgment about (preference) and then commit it to our memory. What we think is an afterthought. While feelings and intuition are innate to humans, thinking, or our mental facilities, are all learned. This occurs after we are born through our exposure to the physical world within the landscape of time (past, present and future). In other words, we come into this life with feeling and intuition fully in operation already but skill in thinking must be acquired and developed before it can be used.

Feeling and intuition, the heart’s non-descriptive form of bringing our attention to something, is forever delivering us urges and impulses that are neither comprehended nor explained until they are subjected to the separative discrimination of the mind. Feelings arise in a moving wave and intuition occurs in a flash. It is not until the mind springs into action that they become “solidified” as a judgment of preference specifying whether we’d like to approach or avoid the experience expressed by them.

strategy-1As our mental capacity develops more and more and our childhood physical world begins to take dominance over who we are and what we pay attention to, our feelings and intuition slowly become submerged under the monumental weight and emphasis on thinking. Thinking gradually becomes the strategic and dominant force determining virtually all the choices we make. When our mental functions change the channel to fear, it short circuits all of our considerations for how we choose to act…or not with “wouldn’t it be horrible if.” Our feelings and intuition no longer even have the opportunity to have an influence other than the fear generated by the mind through “wouldn’t it be horrible if.” In this way fear totally eclipses the heart. Other feelings and our intuition are still there but essentially crushed under the weight of our fear invoking mental gymnastics.

Granted, the fear that’s triggered by fight or flight encounters (innate animal survival instincts) is essentially unavoidable. But the fear that’s generated by our “wouldn’t it be horrible if” is something that can be reprogrammed. Remember, it’s only a mental perspective that has been trained into us. It can also be replaced by reprogramming ourselves to say and feel “wouldn’t it be great if.” All we have to do is consider the beneficial aspects of whatever circumstances we feel intimidated by. It’ll take work and time but in the long run the physical and emotional benefits far outweigh the tension, anxiety and stress triggered by the “wouldn’t it be horrible if.”

soulmates-2I’ve written previously about soul mates and past life connections. But I’d like to cover more deeply the characteristics, dynamics and flavor brought to us through the recognition of our past connections. I‘d also like to clarify a major misconception about what soul mates are and how best to recognize them. Whether you believe in reincarnation or not is not as important as the effect these kinds of feelings and connections may have on you regardless of your beliefs about it let alone dealing with the dynamics of any type of recognition.

Before I begin it would be prudent to give you my take on what a soul mate is as distinguished from a simple past life connection. A soul mate is a past life connection with whom we’ve had a profound experience. It could be as lovers, enemies, parents, children, mentors or anyone with whom the experience shaped our lives and attitudes in an important way. Upon meeting in this life there is a depth of “knowing” them with a strong sense of familiarity as if we’ve known each other for years usually including unexplained feelings of safety, comfort or trust. They often come into our life during a crisis period giving us grounding and support and then leave when the worst is over. Yet, our arch enemy will also fit the bill but with an unexplained sense of danger, discomfort and a distrust of their actions and intentions. Simple past life connections are similar but without the profundity, intensity or unexplained qualities that are elicited when meeting our soul mates. There is simply recognition of having an indescribable feeling of familiarity as if we should have something in common through the connection but being more nebulous and much less defined in terms of our personal feelings and intuition. Past life connections may also be family members other than nuclear, personal associations and connections coming mostly from peripheral past life experiences.

The most common misnomer is that soul mates are impassioned lovers that reconnect in a current life and that once found all aspects of the new relationship will progress without incident. This is a frequent belief held among westerners in that our mindset sees life as a series of challenges needing resolution and that once these challenges have been met, difficulties will cease and the rest of life will end as in a fairy tale. But we must remember that life is a process and not a destination and that if our life continues, there are bound to be more challenges simply by virtue of the fact that we all continue to grow and evolve.

samurai duelAlthough soul mates can be returning lovers, this is not as often the case as we might think. The intense connection felt by the impassioned lovers can also be felt between arch enemies. In this we need to understand that arch enemies are just as tuned in to each other as impassioned lovers are. This tuning in occurs through intensely, even obsessively, directing an abundant amount of our attention to our lover or our enemy. Energy builds just like money in a growing investment. It must also be realized that if our attention occurs within a setting of emotional immaturity, the lovers can shift to being arch enemies on a dime and vice versa. The soul mate connection is one of energy and feeling not of circumstance. Yet, circumstances are simply the medium for the energy to express itself through. The recognition we sense between people is through our feelings and can range between tsunamically overwhelming feelings or simple impressions that are brought to the surface of our awareness. And those feelings are usually triggered through a simple act or circumstance.

It’s common knowledge that if we have an immediate reaction to someone upon meeting them that our feelings will always give us an accurate measure as to how good or bad they will be for us in the long run. We’ve all, at one time or another, found ourselves saying “I have a good (or bad) feeling about this.” From that point, and if our mind believes that our original assessment might be in error or that it threatens our personal image or security, the mind will come up with Rationalizeany number of rationalizations to either confirm or deny the validity of those first impressions. In this case and more often than not, when we let the mind have the final say and it disagrees with our first impression, we almost always end up regretting our final decision. But here, we’re not too concerned with how good or bad they are for us but if the impression triggers a past life connection. The biggest difficulty for most people is in separating animal magnetism from past life recognition. Most people assume that the magnetism is somehow a past life connection. This usually occurs with people who are not subtly tuned. But, if we’ve done sufficient work on ourselves and have learned to discriminate the coarser vibrations from the subtler ones, we usually can tell the difference.

In lieu of the fact that so many levels of information are presented on our first meeting with someone, I think it’s safe to say that it’s easier to determine past life connections after the initial acquaintance has taken place and the relationship has had a little time to become comfortable and familiar with both people. Once this occurs it becomes easier to discriminate subtler differences in the impressions and feelings we pick up while relating. Essentially, the more intense and often overwhelming energies have settled and an emotional equilibrium has stage set-2returned putting the discrimination of feelings on a much more refined basis. This sets the stage for the actual dynamic that occurs triggering past life reflections. I use reflections instead of the word memories since memory usually refers to the storage of mentally assessed experiences. Spontaneous past life reflections happen in the much more subtle and intangible field of intuition while sometimes coupled with a feeling. Because of the subtlety of the connection, our combined physical senses, which usually determine if an experience is real for us or not, are not involved in the recognition of past life experiences resulting in our wondering whether we are simply making up what we perceive or if it had actually occurred. Past life recognition usually occurs through only one sense at a time. This enables clarity. The key to working with these impressions is to prevent the mind’s involvement and its tendency to combine our physical senses, thereby, reading only our intuitive and feeling perceptions through one sense. Once the mind becomes involved in the process we tend toward “fleshing out” the impression with what we think the meaning or experience must be according to our standards for assessing physical reality.

Past life regression-1When working with a hypnotherapist and regression, keeping us free from embellishing what we recognize is one of their jobs. This way the image remains true to the original impression. Linear thinking is antithetical to intuition and feeling. Yet, the human mind will always struggle to put what we know and what we perceive into linear terms so it will be able to use it in the processing of our physical world. This now leaves us only with the possible avenues for triggering past life impressions and feelings.

The dynamic is simple. The link occurs between our current relaxed awareness, often in an alpha state, with the past experience. It can and usually comes by way of one sense like a touch, a word (vibration), a phrase, a scent, a sound, a tune or any other perceived stimulus that somehow resonates with circumstances encountered in the past life experience. This is often Deja Vuperceived as what many call déjà vu. But déjà vu usually arrives through a combined sensory trigger.  The past life reflection usually occurs only through one sense. The trigger works the same way a memory is triggered but with the mind out of the picture, deeper impressions are more able to come to the surface. For example, if one person is caressing another and a very relaxed state is induced for one or both, an impression may come to the surface of either one or both the caresser and person being caressed. The act of caressing reverberates or echoes the past life experience and a resonance between this life and the past is enabled through the caressing. In the same way that a combination of flavors may bring us back to memorable times in our childhood, that same combination of flavors may also enable the surfacing of a past life experience attached to those same flavors provided our mind is briefly “out of commission.”

Any singular sensory experience may be enough to trigger a past life impression but we must be in a state where the mind and our current world doesn’t intrude or overshadow the impression with earthly qualifications and mental rationalizations. Similarly, it is like being in a crowded room with everyone loudly talking making it virtually impossible to hear a whisper. But if everybody is whispering, it is much easier to perceive more subtle sounds.

ScrutinySo, in assessing soul mate potential, we must be careful in our discrimination so we don’t fool ourselves or talk ourselves into believing that any feeling of familiarity is an indication of a soul mate when perhaps it is simply a past life connection. As with anything else, clear and concise discrimination is the key to our inner awareness.

missing-the-trainWhat we hear, see, feel and intuit from our experience is not perceived in the same way for each of us. For some of us tangible experiences provide the most clarity. For others, what is heard is more important. We all perceive in what we might call different modes. There are four of them. Each of them has a “format” of qualities that allow us to relate to others more effectively either through our senses, feelings, thoughts or intuition. When we relate to another person in the same mode the connection between us is dynamic and catalyzing in terms of how we perceive and understand. When it’s not and as the other person is speaking, we’re left with guessing as to their meaning as if we’ve been left standing on the platform while the train just whizzes by. For many people recognition of this aspect in our interactions is most often well below our threshold of awareness. Yet, all we can say is that we somehow “connect” with them more easily and deeply than anyone else. For others where we don’t “connect” we find ourselves saying that we simply had no idea what they were trying to say.

radio-stationWorking with modes is like tuning into a radio station. There are sometimes when we’re locked on to the frequency and other times it seems that we’ve just drifted into static. It could be said that each mode is a type of “headspace” unto itself requiring us to tune into the other person’s wavelength if we are to effectively understand or “grok” them. (grok is a term used in the book Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein meaning to fully comprehend meaning on all levels and in all modes).

ListeningModes are important in that for some relationships the rapport is extremely strained and trying. For others it is fluid and easy. It’s easy to understand how the majority of our rapport in relationships is largely dependent on the degree to which each of us are able to allow ourselves to listen to each other separately from our own agendas and issues. But in recognizing our own expressions and those of our partners as coming through different modes, a higher or subtler form of listening is necessary. Its requirement is that personal agendas most be either worked through or set aside in order to navigate perceptively in differing modal interchanges. In the same way that being in a noisy room will drown out the words of a whispering companion, having an agenda will overpower our awareness through distraction to the point where we become unable to perceive gentler undercurrents. Lack of this capacity often can make or break our ability to communicate deeply and effectively beyond the simple words of what is being expressed. We might say that this is one of the methods of being able to “read between the lines” but is dimensionally different in that the process involves harmonizing with the perceptual undercurrent of our partner.

The modes I speak of were first publicized through the work of Carl Gustav Jung. For the sake of clarity and brevity I will paraphrase and simplify much of what I’ve learned. Not to do so would tie our brains in knots, especially, if we’re unfamiliar with his perspectives and work.

Jungian TypesOf the four modes through which we express and perceive, senses, feeling, thought and intuition, each has its own particular “flavor” of expressing and perceiving. So we’ll be on the same page when I say expression, I’m referring how we project energy and information. When I say perceive, I will simply mean how we receive, transmute and customize that energy and information so it resonates with what we have already learned, experienced and currently understand. Another way of saying this is our perception and projections are a function of the filters operating in our personal interchanges, namely, through our modes. As an example, we’ve been told that rose colored glasses can totally change how we perceive someone or something. We can comprehend more fully what I say simply by observing how we feel when we look through sunglasses of differing colors. We actually “feel” what we’re looking at differently. Let’s look at the modes and how they filter what we perceive and project.

Sense Receptive or Expressed - When our physical senses are the primary baseline through which we receive and assess our world, we tend to perceive and think of our experiences and circumstances in terms of what we believe to be tangible and, therefore, practical. We tend to be in the moment along with the feeling mode. One might say that, “If I can see it, feel it, taste it and touch it or smell it, it’s real enough for me.” We find our truth in the world through our senses. We are the scientists of the world, the statisticians, the engineers and any of those of us who require “proof” in the form of physical and tangible evidence to gain our belief and support in who we are and what we do. Since we operate based on sense verification, we tend to wait for the world to provide that to us before we will even consider investing ourselves. As a result of this we tend to be more cautious and premeditative than other modes in all that we do and say.

Feeling Receptive or Expressed - When our feelings are the receptive or driving force we might not even “go there” if what we feel doesn’t somehow mesh with what we feel or what might be assumed to be an uncomfortable or displeasing force. Feeling is an intangible, elusive, fluid and empathic and an involuntary movement within us. We are the artists, musicians, performers, activists, social workers, humanitarians and any career that takes our life direction and callings from an internal feeling. Thought may be involved if only to clarify but is often bypassed due to the intensity of the feeling or occurs after the wave has passed.

Like in the sensing mode, we perceive in the moment but often “percolate” our feelings until they surface in our awareness in a way that “feels right” for our comprehension or “grokking.” The dominating catalyst in our assessing rests in our recognition and alignment of and with the movement or current of what we’re feeling. Comparing with elicited memories gives us a language to use in order to convey to others what we feel in terms of prior events and circumstances. Our perceiving and recognizing a change of flow is our primary consideration in our process for discrimination and the memories simply provide reference points to convey a comprehended meaning. When we assess, the process becomes all absorbing to the exclusion of all else. Those of us who use other modes can gain a vague understanding of a feeling person’s process through descriptive words such as penetrating, instinctual, psychically sensitive, suspicious, permeable, textured and enveloping.

Thought Receptive or Expressed - When our thinking is the primary mover, all that is perceived is, first, converted to language, and then applied to a search for worldly intellectual and recognizable patterns with which we can align, validate and then direct our individual experiences and actions. We are the philosophers, writers, educators (systemic), theorists, mathematicians and intellectuals of the world. We are emotionally detached and feelings are considered irrational and are, essentially, ignored. Our primary operative space rests in abstraction gained through a process of distillation. Our actions are almost never a function of being in the moment and every action taken or anticipated is structured and planned before ever being acted on. Any choice becomes an arduous process involving weighing, measuring and assessing experience for its potential to align with the most advantageously known format or structure. Words that best describe us are: abstract, rational, mental, pre-emptive, theoretical, comparative, separative, conceptual, timed, planned, strategized and logical.

Intuition Receptive or Expressed - When intuition is the primary mover, we live more in the moment than any other mode. Thought is rarely part of the process. We may or may not actually hear you speaking. As you do we receive flashes of you or someone like you in complete scenarios much like multidimensional photographs but straddling the barriers between past, present and future. We receive everything as a complete multidimensional “picture” and then plunge into fleshing out what we’ve seen. Like a dream, linear explanations are often useless as they lose the depth of the experience as we attempt to squeeze our multidimensional flash into a linear timeline. When we act, we go from receiving the intuitive flash directly into activity attempting to create or manifest the complete “picture” of what we’ve seen in the flash. We are the composers, architects, psychoanalysts, inventors, quantum physicists, chefs and designers. Words that describe us are experiential, impulsive, active, immersive, self-trusting, conceptually inclusive, comprehensive and aligning rather than directive.

What dreams may come-2Essentially, sense and thought based rapports are tangible formats and feeling and intuitive are intangible. This accounts for which of them are in the moment and which are time based; which are timeless and which are time constrained. When we mix formats, not only are the modes out of sync but the time formats they filter through are also. For example, we’ve all heard the comic routines about the logical husband and the emotionally based wife. One is tangibly based, the other is intangibly based. Is it really any wonder why it is so difficult for them to understand each other? Rational and irrational are exchanged in comments to and about each other as if one or the other is inferior. But the truth is, both are viable but through different kinds of reception and projection. This causes massive problems in what is understood and what is assumed about each other’s intentions and perceptions. What one expects of the other, the other has no clue as to what is meant and vice versa.

BootiesUnfortunately, our culture has had a predilection toward assuming that the modal difference is present due to gender determination. Over the years, this expectation has been changing and the lines between have been blurring our ability to know what to expect from either sex, especially, with the growing influence of unisex “standards.” This change has been forcing us to look deeper than at our gender and surface appearances, slowly evolving us toward becoming a lot more sensitive to the subtleties of our differences and similarities. Of course there are still older “holdouts” left whose personal security lies based in their traditional assumptions about the sexes perpetuating the colloquial “battle of the sexes.” But as the older generations die off, the younger generations, who have not been as strongly indoctrinated in the older assumptions, will move quickly past the old prejudices and insecurities and focus more on the subtler similarities and differences in individual communicative rapports.

My-Way or highwayThe way to accelerate and facilitate our own ability to sensitize ourselves to and recognize these subtle similarities and differences is to first, uncover and work at moving past the agendas generated by our own personal insecurities. This will remove the loud voices in the room so we can hear the whispers. And then second, listen for the type of syntax used to describe how others experience us and their world. Sense and thought based personalities will describe their world in terms of reality, proof and what they can physically sense or conceptualize. Feeling and intuition based personalities will describe their worlds in terms that will seem fluid, irrational and intangible. Our key to perceiving the difference is hearing words such as, “I hear or understand what you’re saying” or “I feel the difference.” Listen carefully. The words chosen to describe their experience will tell you everything you need to know about your relationship rapport and how to tune into the individual modes of others. Good luck! It’s an interesting and challenging exercise in paying attention.

Before we are born, there is no sense of self. There is no awareness of any “difference” between anyone or any thing. In this “space” (if we can call it that), to be aware is the “part” of us that escapes definition. It is the ”space” which many call pure “being.” Some call it “soul.” Some call it “God.” In this “space,” if one awareness, perhaps you, feels; all other awarenesses feel what you do since there is no separation; we are all one within the ocean of being. This is the essence of empathy. It is an UNawareness of separation, of “being at one.” Since there is no separation, there is no choice. It simply ...continue reading