Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Essay: The emotions of transformation

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The emotions of transformation

From the book: Chum for Thought: Throwing Ideas into Dangerous Waters by David Satterlee

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Chum For Thought:
Throwing Ideas into Dangerous Waters

The emotions of transformation

[With appreciation to the research of Susan Cook-Greuter]
The language, concepts, and vocabulary that people use forms the filter through which they see and understand the world. At higher levels of development, you become aware of this process. You are more-able to stand back and observe, not just everything else with dispassion, but your own actions, reactions, emotions and motives as well. You can enter the ego and see that you are playing this game or that game and be a genuine witness to your own struggles.

At first, you feel suspicious of this new perception. You don’t understand it well enough to defend it. It feels threatening and disturbing. Your foundation of assumptions has begun to crumble. You become aware of more of your mental processes such as creating explanatory stories and drawing conclusions. You begin to question all of the stories that you have previously created to explain things. But gradually you become more comfortable with the process of watching your mind at work.

Once you can begin to see yourself reaching the limits of previous understandings, struggling with inadequate ideas, and struggling to sort things out in a new way, there is a joyful satisfaction, an uplifting glow as you feel yourself
transcending a critical cusp. You feel a little more vital, alert, and awake; saying: “AHHH.” Something totally “else” has opened to you. The struggle has ended as you allow yourself to flow into it. There is a new calmness in being able to watch everything happen and being able to choose to engage or not engage. A new faith emerges that you can remain grounded, without feeling threatened, trusting and accepting without proof, that most things are just fine, the way they have to be, where they are, what they are becoming, at this time.

As age advances toward death, there is a greater sense of holding, rather than moving. Although the prospect of death, like a premature loss, can still be frightening, there arises a curiosity and a mild anticipation. Although the prospect of dying produces a personal regret, it is inevitable and necessary. Another premature loss, becoming senile before dying, seems an even greater, tragic, and more dreadful threat. The body should drop away when the” self” departs. In any event, your departure will be only a minor adjustment in a cataclysmic universe rumbling with emergent potential.

At one stage, you struggle to understand and analyze increasing complexity and higher levels of perspective. You begin to see regular patterns of structure and how objects and ideas relate to each other.

In another stage, you begin to see regular patterns in the dynamic flows of information and relationships. With an increasing grasp of complexity, the details begin to drop away, leaving pulsing clouds of being that, from a broader perspective, reveal new objects, structures, and patterns.
The realization occurs that you are but a minor mote in a minor mist at the minor end of a minor domain.

The realization occurs that, standing as a witness beyond all that is within, you are not separate from that which seemed within or without; you flow with the totality of all flow. Nothings flows without you flowing as well.

You are flow.

Flow is.