Monday, January 7, 2019


     The culmination of normal, healthy human maturation has been referred to as awakening or enlightenment. A sadly common impediment to healthy maturation is dissociation, which we apparently all do, to some degree.

     “Although enlightenment is no more mysterious than many other human experiences, such as our ability to love or to create, it is more rare. It only occurs as we reach a particular degree of sensitivity or openness to life. … many people are capable, with some practice, of … the realization, or unveiling, of a subtle dimension of consciousness pervading our own being and everything around us as a unified whole. It is the experience of the luminous transparency of ourselves and our environment, and the fullness and vividness of being the occurs with it.

      Meditation practices show that there is a potentially spontaneous process toward complete enlightenment. Just by sitting and doing nothing but breathing, the body and mind unwind toward the balance and openness of fundamental consciousness. … this spontaneous process is impeded by the bound childhood pain and psychological defenses that we hold in our bodies, (but) this binding can be released.” 
       Judith Blackstone. “The Enlightenment Process. A Guide to Embodied Spiritual Awakening.” Paragon House, 2008.

     "Although dissociation may originally have been a way of staying in relationship, what is most crucially at issue in dissociatively based psychopathology is the collapse of relationality – both interpersonal and intrapersonal (or interstate). Dissociation, as a state of being divided and as a chronic process, is ultimately a barrier to relationality, both within and between selves.
     Because self-states exist in relation to significant others and to other parts of self, they have different agendas. This divided agency, which results in the experience of being pulled in different directions (and, in cases of more extreme dissociation, of being taken over) is ultimately weakening and fatiguing. Another consequence is that because the dissociative system is one that seems to have worked, reliance on dissociation and the attachment of parts of the self to each other may at times be greater than reliance on or attachment to any real human being outside the system. One severely dissociative patient explained to me that because her life had been so unbearably painful, dissociation was a magic formula,’ the only thing she had ever had to rely on. It had always been there for her, and, at that time, she wasn’t about to give it up. Although this is an extreme example, I believe that this patient’s dilemma of an addictive proprietorship over her dissociative solutions is one she shares with most of us. The way we do this and how much we do it may differ, but I think we do it all the same.” 
       Elizabeth F. Howell. “The Dissociative Mind.” Routledge, 2008.

     “There may be fear involved in releasing the psychological defenses that obscure our realization of fundamental consciousness (awakening), because (psychological defenses) have given us a sense of safety and power. We may think that we will cease to exist without them. But we do not cease to exist. The process of releasing our defenses and opening to fundamental consciousness reaps an unmistakable deepening of all our human qualities, such as our ability to love, to think, and to experience pleasure. We have a felt sense of coming to life – of becoming fully born – within our body.”
       Judith Blackstone. “The Enlightenment Process. A Guide to Embodied Spiritual Awakening.” Paragon House, 2008.

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