Letting Vasanas Arise

By Steve Beckow, Golden Age of Gaia

When a vasana is triggered I become a young child again

Heck, I’m not going to let a rich occasion like this get away from me without exploring it.

In a similar situation, most company heads would deny that anything’s wrong and spin the news. But vasanas (or core issues) are my field of specialization. No, sir. Let’s dig in.

The events of the last few days, with Kauila’s site being taken down and us getting a second red screen (not like we know what caused it), have triggered a whole library of vasanas going off in me.

OK, I exaggerate. But there have been vasanas going off connected with loss, with acting stupid, with making a fool of myself, with being caught with my hand in the cookie jar, with having my doctoral thesis turned down as “unhistorical” (“cultural history” having not been invented in Canada yet), from having my request years later to write a Sociology thesis on enlightenment be turned down, on and on the reactivation went.

I have (1) never felt so many vasanas go off at once and (2) never been as aware of the process as I am now.

When so many vasanas go off simultaneously, it’s very difficult to keep them all straight.  This may be why many people find a situation like this to be “crazy-making.”

I DON’T have a vasana!

What I do is I allow one vasana the microphone at a time and listen to it until it’s done and then the next one. That simplifies everything.

Approached individually, the experience is bearable. When they’re all competing for my attention (which can only focus on one thing at a time), then I begin to panic and feel I’m going insane.

This is a time when most corporate executives would “go on vacation.”

I opened myself to the next vasana going off and felt immense sadness. But it was overlaid with so many other emotions and issues that I had to simply be with it, rather than inquire into it, (1) but just experience it for it to be completed.

My sadness was tidal and very deep. It swelled and faded away but was like a vast body of water that only the wind can stir. My breathing was sad.

“Why do I need to know about vasanas?”

I didn’t need to inquire into it. This vasana was born upon the death of my Mother in a housefire.

When I see the origin of it, it lifts.

I’m ready for the next one.

Up come vasanas connected to catastrophic losses as the loss of all this literature would be for me, if I allowed it to be. I don’t have those feelings in me but I could. I obviously have had traumatic experiences of loss in the past.

Now here is a case where two feelings overlap. Sadness and loss both originate with my Mother.

Now, both sadness and loss fade into the background. I’m ready on Mike One for the next vasana.

Feeling foolish comes up. All the times I’ve done foolish things with girlfriends. I cringe. And here I’m convicting myself of doing something foolish that could result in the closure of the blog. (That’s how my mind is working.)

So I experience foolishness and immediately see tons of photos of early girlfriends and awkwardness, gaffes, bricks dropped on my own foot…. I remember them one by one.

I don’t need to drag you through them all but you get the picture….

This is the alternative to shouting at someone, hitting them, destroying a piece of furniture, and other projections of our vasanas onto the external world.

Doing it this way we don’t shout at anyone or kick the dog. AND the upset gradually lifts. Not so with the other choice.

***

Let me turn from narrating the completion of the vasanas to a little of the theory behind it.

Alice in Wonderland is all about vasanas

In my view, we have vasanas (or lingering core issues) because we refuse to re-experience an emotion or thought that was traumatic for us when something happened to us, usually in early childhood.

If we allow ourselves to re-experience the trauma, the vasana begins to lose its grip.

Unfortunately, the more common response is to say, “You made me mad,” which is not true, and let fly at the other person.

As I said above, that’s projecting our vasana onto someone else and all it succeeds in doing is energizing the vasana which then recedes back into the sea of forgetfulness or unconsciousness, to rise again when triggered.

So here with this one-two punch, vasanas are going off right and left – feeling challenged, feeling tested, thinking I’ve let the team down, on and on the memories go and the traumatic feelings arise.

I re-experience them and let them depart according to their own timetable. That way they’re not energized and gradually begin to lift.

I notice that I really don’t like to feel the feelings that arise. My natural tendency is to run from them, divert myself, pick a fight with someone, etc.  It’s counter-intuitive just to sit with them and observe.

This process goes hand in hand with telling the truth because when we know the truth of the vasana, it tends to lift. Not only will the truth set us free, but the more truth we unconceal, the more our release.

We can use this fact to guide ourselves. Do I experience increasing relief? If so, I’m headed in the right direction. No relief? Better go another way.

The awareness of how to complete a vasana, to the best of my knowledge, is not being taught in school. Nor in university, as far as I know.

It was being taught (and still may be in some; is in others) in workshops such as est and spiritual traditions like Buddhism and Hinduism. I hope that one day it’ll be second nature to people and our long history of being a prisoner to our reactions ends.

Footnotes

(1) On inquiring into a vasana, see  “How to Handle Unwanted Feelings: The Upset Clearing Process,” December 29, 2018, at http://goldenageofgaia.com/2018/12/29/how-to-handle-unwanted-feelings-the-upset-clearing-process-2/

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