The inner journey has its own special rhythm. Sensing and responding to this rhythm prescribes the quality and depth with which our process unfolds. Rhythm is an act of creation. It forms a gestalt of background and foreground. For example, in speech we may become sensitive and receptive to the silence between the words; in visual art we may refine our sensitivity to the space between the forms, the shapes, and the colors, and in sculpture we may allow our attention to dwell on the distances, the gaps – what has been taken away to create the artistic expression, the discrete emptiness that augments and makes apparent the concrete statement of form.
After crossing the Threshold, in the preparation for the second stage experience, we may experience a resounding emptiness prior to the new creation of our refined conscious awareness. This inaction complements the intensity of the transformation. As we embrace it fully in acceptance and surrender we skillfully occupy the period of gestation that augurs great change. A miracle of life is in the process of being born in us and we do well to remain quiet internally and externally. Occasionally we may experience deep elation, as we gather our strength and refresh and nourish ourselves, and feed our inner being through self-reflection. Remaining empty and receptive, we let go of our investment in the outcome, deepen in our awareness through meditative awareness and mental neutrality. Experiencing emotions without reacting to them, and harmonizing ourself we arrive at a sense of inner unity. During our waiting we let go into emptiness repeatedly until we are still, peaceful and timelessly centered in our being.
Personal Relationships after the Threshold Event
What of our relationships, friendships, and our connection to the people who inhabit our lives after the Threshold event?
In our new center everything should look different to us after the crossing. From the point of view of the transformed self how could it be the same? It isn’t and yet those relationships which were founded on authenticity and participated in second stage qualities already, in the first stage of awakening, appear if anything even more clearly, loving, supportive, and genuine. They are real now, because they always were. After a while we may have the experience of “seeing through” or discerning from our new self-perspective that some of our relationships have been outlived. A friend may not be able to accept us as we are. We may have an abiding sense that we no longer in all conscience need or want or need them in our life. We may simply realize that certain acquaintanceships, friendships, and alliances have come to a natural end and are now over.
The therapist supports and facilitates the “right” response whether it be acceptance, ongoing development, ritual ending, or an organic sense of completion. She is present for the client in this as well as all his relating to the ramifications of personal transformation. Authenticity, compassion, and heart-centeredness are the watch words always in the second stage of awakening… so in making decisions and following them through, and in responding and acting with friends and acquaintances let these three basic themes of second stage awakening guide you in your own life and in your work with your clients.
Relatives and Recognition
We should but didn’t include relatives in our discussion of relationships after the Threshold. More than any of the people who inhabit your life, relatives are the ones least likely to recognize, let alone acknowledge and least of all honor, your transformation. I therefore encourage you not to look for confirmation among relatives, unless you have an unusual extended family. There is no need to blame them of course. They are simply accustomed to you being you and a little inner transformation (seen from their perspective) will not shake their need to be certain that you are you… not somebody else and not a further developed you – let alone a transformed self.
The client seeks and should find confirmation and support for the transformational experience and event in her wise, skilled therapist. For a time the therapeutic relationship may be the exclusive source of such support. The reason is perhaps obvious: those who have crossed the Threshold are the only ones who are able to recognize others who have crossed the Threshold.
This is a truism that has many precedents. Soldiers recognize fellow soldiers even out of uniform, prison inmate the same, Alexander Technique students tend to hold their bodies and walk in a certain way (it is called “use”) and gravitate toward one another (possibly because the rest of us are so physically compromised and uneconomic in our “use”). Finally, to take a personal example, as a young psychotherapist in my thirties I recall standing in a group space before a one-off therapy group that I was facilitating was about to start when a woman approached me and said, “I presume you’re Richard.” Taken aback because we didn’t know each other and no photo or likeness had augmented my notices for the group, I said, “How did you know? She replied, “Because you look just like a therapist.”
Richard Harvey is a psycho-spiritual psychotherapist, spiritual teacher, and author. He is the founder of The Center for Human Awakening and has developed a form of depth-psychotherapy called Sacred Attention Therapy (SAT) that proposes a 3-stage model of human awakening. Richard can be reached at [email protected]
Richard Harvey is a psycho-spiritual psychotherapist, spiritual teacher, and author. He is the founder of The Center for Human Awakening and has developed a form of depth-psychotherapy called Sacred Attention Therapy (SAT) that proposes a 3-stage model of human awakening. Richard can be reached at [...]