On the occasion of the following experience, I went to see a hypnotherapist for a past life regression. Mostly, I was intensely interested in finding out if my experience of this state would be very different from my own meditations. I suspected that suggestion from another person might make my visions more distinct and maybe even more coherent and less metaphoric. I certainly found that going into a trance state came much easier than usual and that ease has marked me ever since. Perhaps I didn't have to convince myself quite so much that I was actually there. By the time the regressionist had finished telling me how he was going to put me there, I was there. I distinctly heard giggling in the back of my mind but waited patiently for him to catch up.
He suggested I take an elevator downward. I'm guessing that was to deepen the state of restful vigilance. He asked me to tell him what I perceived and actually expressed surprise when I told him.
"I'm in a big bucket plummeting down a well." I took a guess at the increasing amount of distance from the light above me and described the slatted wooden bucket before it stopped at the bottom without a noticeable jolt. It had come to rest at a wooden platform and I strode purposefully down the steps to a stone corridor as if I knew what the heck I was doing. The corridor became more cave-like as I walked its length. Even after receiving instruction to find a doorway and pass through it, I doggedly traveled its length. Sometime before my external guide lost all patience with me (I hoped), I discovered an opening in the wall so large that the term door would not have occurred to me. Passing through this sharp turn to the left, I immediately found myself in an open field in bright daylight. Only its brilliance helped me realize that the underground passage had been a bit gloomy. A fair metaphor for a sizable portion of my inner life, but I digress.
The regressionist (this is getting awkward, let's call him Rick) asked me to look at my feet and report what I saw.
"Moccasins," I said. "A gift from a friend." The image of a lovely woman appeared and faded in an instant but the feeling of deep lovingness lingered sweetly. I did note the delicate painstaking detailed beadwork in a swift glance and then looked up.
I faced a sunny hillside which was grass-covered (short spring grass) and sported a single wizened looking tree. At Rick's suggestion, I approached the tree and felt the urge to sit at its roots. Immediately, an eagle landed in its branches and regarded me quietly. Comfortable with this image after much exposure, I smiled in acknowledgment. I think my body in its easy chair smiled as well, but I can't be sure. While I pondered this sensation, a little mouse crawled into my hands and I held it in my lap. I reported this, and Rick suggested that I ask the mouse what information it had for me at this time. The mouse responded in a rush of pure feeling and nearly blinding motion. It chased its tail madly for a moment with a wave of anxiety which washed over me. It demonstrated a total preoccupation with survival in its dance on my hands. I could easily identify with its oppressive appetite. It was voracious! The overwhelming fear it expressed was another matter entirely. As wave upon wave of this fear washed through me, I had to struggle to maintain my composure. It would take me some time after the session to come to terms with the lesson this fear holds for me. In fact, even a few months later, I am still uncovering new insights about it. By the time the mouse had left my hands and scurried off into the grass, I was pretty shaken up by its emotion and more than ready to move along in the vision sequence.
In recent months, I have been engaged in actively attacking my fears head on. I have been determined to eradicate them and almost giddy to discover that often they need only be faced squarely to be chased away like a schoolyard bully. I am now amazed at how crucial fear can be to my own survival. It can bring me back into physical form like no other stimulus. It can even help me to hold consciousness in the trance state when the rush into oblivion seems certain. Fear helps me to stay grounded, in other words. Fear is not universally negative as I had presumed. The more I identify with my little mouse, the more I come to appreciate the value of its pervasive fear. We all need to bring to balance our inner and outer lives. To do this seems to require a kinder relationship to the fears which often drive us. Most of them come from the primal instinct to survive and this instinct comes directly from our spiritual selves. It is a basic motion of the spirit into flesh. The trouble comes from the lesser traumas we attach to this primal urge. "Nobody loves me," and other layers of fear get attached to the soul's basic urge to survive, and they become as traumatic as an actual threat to our next breath. We need great discipline to separate these two vastly different responses to life. It may help to remember that the purpose of survival is not to defeat death (or even to be afraid of it) but to thrust joyfully into the physical world. At its very root, fear is not even fear. Then again it may not be helpful at all! That is kinda metaphysical isn't it?
In retrospect, the presence of Eagle over my head in the tree during this exchange with the mouse seems more important than I had at first realized. Perhaps its purpose there was more than just as a predator to stir the mouse to action. I do have a tendency to wander in ideology and lofty thoughts, and only the practical necessity of staying alive brings my attention back to the mundane world. Sometimes, anyway!!!
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