How the illusion of separation plays out in the therapy room - and why its' time to explore your TRUE NATURE
As a 'Psychologist' who had just awakened to True Nature (Nondual seeing), the whole therapeutic paradigm fell apart for me. None of it made sense anymore because all the therapies that I had learned were grounded in the belief in the personality and the personal story to be the ground to work with. All believing in the ego, the person, something I discovered didn't exist, and that in believing in it ALL problems are created through the illusion of a separate false self.
Discovering Nondual Therapy has not only supported me during 'Spiritual Emergency', but gave me a ground to do my work again, allowing me to pick back up the tools that I had learned, and to learn more too, all within the context of our shared beingness.
I also believe all therapy and therapists to be driven by the very best of intentions and that these intentions alone - through the warmth, love, and unconditional positive regard that plays out in most therapy rooms, has the power to rise above, below, and within, any apparent illusion. In addition, all therapeutic genius arises of and from the ground of being. There are amazing therapies out there and those now unfolding on the cutting edge are all appearing as more and more grounded in the recognition of consciousness as universal to all of life.
I also see, and have experienced, a beautiful opportunity for both the 'therapist' and the 'client' to heal ourselves, and our culture, when we collapse the roles and honor the Genius flowing through our experience as the present moment.
Who is stuck? What isn't 'working'?
The illusion of separation and belief in the false 'separate' self functions on a number of false conclusions drawn about the nature of reality. One of those is that life is made up of separate 'things' and that those things are 'fixed'. This is an appearance that occurs when we look through the lens of thought, which labels reality. Another of those beliefs is that there is a past and a future. Another of those is that this false/separate self can control or manipulate 'things' to its liking (based on pushing away some of this moment and trying to hold on to some of it, depending on preference).
Now. Just to be clear. The false self is indeed this. It's false. It can't 'do' anything, it doesn't exist. AND consciousness is free to dance in this illusion of 'free will' should it 'choose' to - until it sees that well, it can't. It gets 'stuck' in its own illusion - this is suffering. Suffering is simply trying to change this moment from the perspective of a separate self. As True Nature - nothing needs to change, it is already changing and True Nature is whole, complete, safe, and untouched by any experience. There are no 'problems'. If a 'problem' is arising, we can be guaranteed that it is the false self in play, resisting what is here and now. Trying to do the impossible.
Trying to change some 'thing' that only exists in the illusion of something that doesn't exist (this is the ego).
You can check this out now if you like. Just take a look around and find something that 'you' don't like. It might feel like it is on the inside of 'you' or the outside of 'you'. It might be a static 'thing', a happening, an emotional experience. Now, try to get rid of it...
You can't right?
What we, awareness, pay attention to, appears. This includes ignoring it - this is a very powerful force of attention.
Maybe we could try to hide it, change it, or put it 'out of mind'. But we know, if we are being really honest, that it is still here. Because we're paying attention to it. Ignoring it is just as much attention. If we are trying to get rid of it, it stays. So, what does the ego (separate/false self) do? It THINKS (because that's all it is and so all it does) about some time in the future (which only exists in thought - the future is a thought) when it won't be here, and what it can do here and now, to make this so. Suddenly that thing that it doesn't want to be here is denied, rejected etc. - the ego has become identified with it and simply because of this, it is energised further and so 'remains'.
What we can be sure of though is that whatever 'it' is will change. Every 'thing' does. All experience does. But the more we try to 'change' something with our will by trying to negate it or get rid of it, the more it remains, as life reflects it in its' many forms - until we turn to look at it wholeheartedly, without trying to get rid of it, then - we see the illusion and it disappears.
It's here for bloody good 'reason' as a teacher to us - a reflection. So we're better off lovingly taking a look and listening to it in Honoring. It's trying to find its' way home to beingness/belonging - True Nature - and it knows the way. Yet we set goals believing that we know better in our attempts to get rid of it.
If there is a sense of the past (as is the case with 'trauma' in the form of intense thoughts and feelings) it is arising NOW. It is arising NOW because it belongs here. It belongs here because there was a time when it was pushed away (by the separate/false self (our mothers, fathers, ourselves, our culture) because it was believed that it didn't belong here. It isn't the 'traumatic event' that creates the ongoing suffering, it is the fact that whatever emotional experience arose inside of you when the event took place was rejected or shut down, in the name of survival. - and then we go to therapy and in our best attempts to make it belong so we can get rid of it, we reject it more. What we resist, persists. Any goal to try to get rid of it is going to keep it here in one way or another, and the more intense the original experience was, the more it will 'remain' until it gets the unconditional love that it needed all along.
Our shared beingness.
(consciousness/awareness/God - there are many names for it).
This IS the Love. This IS the Safety. This IS the Belonging.
We NEED it here, because it has something very important to show us, to give us, something that we have been searching for our entire lives.
If the illusion of separation is the ground of the 'therapy room' this results in both the 'therapist/coach' and 'patient/client' believing that the 'person' or 'personality' is the ground of the work, that is flawed or needs to be fixed or altered in some kind of way and that there is a 'person' or 'people' in the room with some form of special knowledge or control. The illusion of the separate/false self is grounded in fear and lack and so there is the energy of this in the room, resulting in a subtle sense of negation in the form of fear and desire. There's ultimately nothing 'wrong' with this. This simply being known (rather than denied/negated) is enough, hence the power of the therapist's own 'self-awareness' for the effectiveness of the work.
The belief in the separate self births the attempt to cancel/select/drive experience. This inadvertently tightens the identification that we can have with our struggles (the 'stuff', thoughts, emotions, that we want to be rid of). We only try to change or hold onto the 'parts' of experience that we are identified with (believing that our experience is what we are) as well as shut down the Genius that is flowing in the experience of expression in shared beingness - the true 'healing', although there really is nothing to be 'healed' ('healing' is just more resistance, and yet of course, in love, we do not want to suffer and we want to work in a way that reduces suffering). This is why things can start to feel really 'stuck'. There is a shared belief (goal) that there is a 'better' somewhere else (likely bound in the cultural view on how things are supposed to ideally appear), that this experience of Here and Now is 'not good enough', creating resistance to the here and now (in many very subtle ways) and so creating more and more distance from the sense of True Nature, as the 'not good enough' belief is supported in mind.
The therapy itself becomes 'lost in thought'.
Thought is trying to fix thought, through labeling and analysing, trying to change experience in a way that is different from how it is already changing. Thought (ego) runs on imperfection and this very common 'not good enough' belief is trying desperately to feel safe. But it can't be safe - it's a thought. That's all it is. It's changing constantly.
This mirrors our current cultural view and is what creates so much tension and problems in our society, especially in relationships. Your suffering is a reflection of this and the difficult past experiences that you have had that are resulting in the mental and emotional experience you are experiencing now, are also a reflection of this.
YOU. ARE. GENIUS
In all therapies, regardless of the 'technique' being used, the power is in the relationship, the shared beingness (True Nature) which is always here and NEVER CHANGES. This IS safety. Our shared beingness is the only non(thing) that we can rely on. Because it is NOT changing. We are NOT (limited to) our thoughts. We are shared being. Recognising this IS the healing.
if there is some 'thing' here then we can be guaranteed that it BELONGS here, whether we like it or not.
How can we know this?
Because it is HERE!
If some experience isn't supposed to be here then where are we going to put it?
Outside of Here and Now?
And so any therapeutic goals, that are formulated around the illusion of separation - are likely going to result in more suffering/resistance in the long term, and likely a bucket load of 'stuckness' if we are trying to change an expression of a traumatic experience (moods, emotions, thoughts, behaviours) that is desperately needing to belong here - in the openness of shared being - which is all that was needed in the first place and created the original 'rupture' (likely early in life, on repeat, for those of us who are struggling today with intense emotional and mental experience in a society that is constantly trying to negate experience so that we can 'fit' a certain path. A path driven by the belief in the false self desperately trying to find the way back to love (shared beingness). Which is here and now - no need for future goals. There is nothing to fear, or desire, all that is needed is here and now.
If goals are in the room, they are in the room. It's not about negating these either, it's simply about exploring them in a different way.
Nondual therapy calls on this understanding, knowingly, as the ground of the work and explores the nature of our shared beingness with a deep curiosity for all experience expressed and arising, knowing that it belongs here for a reason and should be respected and revered as such - without getting caught in ultimate belief in the story of separation (how the past was labelled through the lens of the false self - and relabelled in the present through the same).
We explore together in unity what is arising here and now without trying to change anything (it is already changing).
BEING WITH experience in this deeply surrendered way, recognising that all is arising as this one single consciousness/awareness (intelligence) that we are IS the Healing. There is nothing to fix, you are already perfect (you are Perfection itself), and your experience is already changing. There is no 'me' and 'you' - we simply are. AND within every loop of thought (and associated feelings) there is really special medicine. Exact medicine. Magic!!
Excerpt from my upcoming book (whenever that may be):
"Now, here’s the thing. Thought is not your enemy. Thought is you. All is you. Thought IS beingness and within every thought there is a 'route' to this recognition. It’s, again, all about how we place our focus. Rather than attempting to turn away from it completely (suffering), we can look at it in a new way.
I discovered this during my first Nondual Therapy session with Nic Higham (The Wholeness of Experience) and it was an experience that I will be eternally grateful for. I was suffering massively in my attempts to find my way back to mySelf, experiencing insanity because I could not stop getting lost in thought, yearning for God and feeling complete despair in the experience of such profound 'lost love'. I felt extreme rejection and this was deeply painful. Rejection, to the nervous system, is felt to be the same as receiving a knife in the belly, the pain is the same – and I was bleeding out. I hated thought, hated it, and was trying to run and run and run from mySelf, as thought, as if my life depended on it. And I knew, I knew, I knew the Truth! Why am I still suffering?? – this was my loop.
In that session Nic, whilst honoring my pain, said to me something along the lines of “yes, but we can trust thought too, there’s wisdom in it, we can follow it”
Mind blew, and I started to sense True Nature slowly starting to pour through my experience.
I listened intently as Nic described the premise of Nondual Therapy, and how within every thought pattern we can find a loop that is pointing us back to our True Nature. He described the nondual qualities and, although my mind wasn’t fully online to the concept, I could FEEL all of this, knowing it to be true, and suddenly seeing how my connection with the natural world had been guiding me, through the qualities, since that period of panic, psychosis, and suicidal ideation whilst I was on the allotment back in 2016.
In that session, simply through expressing and inquiring with Nic in this way I felt mySelf again as Belonging, Truth, Trust, Relief, and Gratitude. Immense Gratitude.
We can attempt to ‘reject’ thought completely (suffering). We can attempt to study our ‘beliefs’, see the falsities in them, and come up with new ones in an attempt to get what we want (suffering). There's nothing 'wrong' with suffering but there is an alternative. We can explore thought, wholeheartedly, explore its' nature, exactly as it is here and now, in love, and follow the way home – to where we never left."