This article is published here with the permission of Dr. Sidra Stone
Exploration into the human psyche is a relatively new field in modern times, starting with Freud in the late 19th century -- that's only about a 100 years.
Since its beginnings, the field grew slowly offering deeper insights into human nature; it expanding widely in the 1960s.
Drs. Hal and Sidra Stone are pioneers in the field. They created a modality called Voice Dialogue. I heard about it from a dear spiritual teacher, Shakti Gawain, who valued this work and recommended it highly. I have experienced it and find it extremely helpful.
In this article, Dr. Hal Stone gives his perspective on healing, looking back on decades of experience.
We have had few opportunities to hear wisdom from an elder deeply and earnestly involved in understanding human consciousness for such a long period of time, hence, Dr. Hal's insights and perspective are invaluable.
I am deeply grateful that Dr. Stone so generously offered his wisdom by writing this article, "What I Know Now." Thank you.
For me, my dreams express a new and deepening phase of where the Aware Ego process moves us in our evolutionary journey of consciousness. I feel over these past few months that I am leaving something behind as I am being gently pulled into a new kind of experience where knowledge as I have known it in the past no longer feels relevant to me.
In the simplest way that I can express what I am feeling, I can say that at this point in my life I know less and less of what has been. I would like to share with you some of what comes to me now, at this moment of time.
I know now that “I am.” I know that “Life is.” I also know that there is a life eternal – not as a place to strive for but just as a reality to know. I know that this life we live is of immense importance. Many believe what we do here on earth is just a dream or that it doesn’t really matter because it is of no importance – because it is simply a projection of our ancient energetic ancestry. Do not allow the passion of our lives to be turned into nothing! What we do and how we do it is essential to the higher order planning that has created the reality in which we live. We were not embodied on this planet in order to spend our lives trying to get dis-embodied.
I also know that Bonding Patterns are forever - like breathing - and that our relationship to them changes also – Thank God. I know you will all be pleased to know that Sidra and I are fully involved in our bonding patterns with each other because the vulnerability of aging throws us into them in ways we never could have understood without being here. They belong because they are part of life. They are part of the “I AM” of our existence.
Try if you can to not get lost in Voice Dialogue. It is a most remarkable methodology for activating the Aware Ego process and it is available to us forever. If you get too lost in doing it the right way there is a real danger of becoming imprisoned in the thickening cement of dogma. A soul-based creative system of work will always support the passions we share for experiencing our own unique self-revelatory process.
I also know that if you try to be more loving or try to be more compassionate to solve life’s issues you will be building garbage dumps in the sky. When you try to love, then you bury your disowned energies and they surface in unexpected ways to do their mischief in the world. When you try to love, then the parts of you that don’t love go into hiding. This is one of the reasons why judgmental selves become so strong in so many people who see themselves as caring and loving human beings. You can only shovel so much garbage under the carpet or into the basement -- or even hide it in good deeds. Ultimately it begins to smell. (And this is certainly a goldmine for us therapist types and pretty well guarantees us adequate financial security.)
I know that we must embrace the darkness that holds so much of what we feel is unwanted and objectionable inside of us while, at the same time, we learn to discover and feel the natural love and compassion that is there. So instead of trying to be anything, just forget about trying to be loving, trying to be compassionate, and trying to be forgiving! Instead, just keep embracing the oppositional energies that are constantly operating in our lives. It is this process that leads to the development of an Aware Ego Process. It does take a good bit of time and work to enter this process but it is certainly a guarantee against boredom. And you will be amazed at what happens to you when you get used to stretching your arms wide in both directions and living with - and learning to embrace - all of the oppositional energies that live within you.
I know that when you listen to people talking, you don’t just focus on the content of what they are saying. The content is often (but certainly not always) quite secondary. Instead, try focusing on who it is that is speaking in the other person. What Self is talking? Now this is indeed a different way of relating to the world of relationship.
Going along with this kind of understanding I would encourage you to learn about the energetic interaction that is happening between you and other people. It is an eye opener and life is forever changed. Saying I love you to someone while you are energetically present and saying it when you are not energetically present are as far apart as two things can possibly be. How I wish all of us could use this awareness in our relationships!
I know also that our judgments are one of the greatest gifts we have, once we learn how to use them consciously. What you judge in another person (or thing) is what you have disowned in yourself. It sounds so simple but remains such an enormous gift to all of us. It is like a lantern that can light our path in the dark once we know how to turn it on. After all, you can’t turn off the darkness but you can turn on the light and the lantern of the conscious use of judgment is one of the strongest contributors to the unfolding of our consciousness process.
Judgments live in every nook and cranny of our being, so you will be working at this for this lifetime and I suspect long after. As our judgments lose weight in us, then love and compassion gain weight. We don’t have to try to find them. They emerge in the loveliest process you can imagine. So many people try to get rid of judgments because they think and feel that they are bad. The reality is that these judgments only get bigger inside and take up more and more space. So instead of disowning our judgments, we look at the judgment and see what it is that we are disowning. Then we see how we project onto other people the demons and/or the angels that live within ourselves.
I know that illness is one of life’s greatest teachers. I know, too, that everything that befalls us in life can be a great teacher. There are many lanterns that are now available to us to help light the many paths that we follow and many guides and fellow travelers to accompany us on our journeys. We are indeed fortunate to live in a time when the consciousness process is valued! We have so many lantern developers that provide us with so many options towards self-discovery.
The consciousness process, in whatever form it may take, is really worth all of the work and time that we can give to it. If at all possible be sure that you separate over and over again from your Critic and your Pusher as you get older. Add to this the need to be on intimate terms with your own core vulnerability and really know how to use vulnerability in a conscious way. This means learning how to feel vulnerable and how to express your vulnerability in a conscious way, through the Aware Ego Process.
Vulnerability expressed through our victim self does not get rewarded by anyone around us - it just opens us to further victimization. And disowning vulnerability maintains a life of isolation that most people don’t even know they are living. Vulnerability expressed in a conscious way can move mountains and change all of our relationships dramatically.
I know that death is not the end just as, in its own way, birth is just a different kind of beginning. Sidra’s willingness and ability to manage all of our professional and personal activities has allowed me to continue to move through this process and that is an amazing gift that has been given to me.
I have no idea what physical difficulty will come next. I have begun to feel as though I have been setting a world’s record for things that can go wrong with the body in one lifetime. I have lived on and off the edge for many years and I can say to you in all honesty that I am happier now than I have ever been in my whole life - more at peace than I ever have been in my whole life. I can’t guarantee that I will feel this way a month from now or one day from now. We are what we are, whatever our fate happens to be.
And at this time of life we both rest comfortably into the deepest understanding of "what will be, will be".