The Consciousness Alchemy Glossary
Language shapes our thoughts. What we can put into words, we can conceive and understand – at least intellectually. Without words, we’re groping for concepts out of our experiences without any way (short of telepathy) to communicate to others our conclusions. Worse, we may not even have a method for communicating our realizations to ourselves.
The process of turning experiences into words and communicating with ourselves and others about our experiences is integral to the long-term retention of our realizations and our ability to reflect back on what we’ve experienced.
This glossary is a collection of phrases and words that have established meanings that I believe greatly enhance our ability to internalize valuable lessons and communicate more effectively with our loved ones. If you’ve read Stranger in a Strange Land, you may appreciate the idea of calling this The Martian Dictionary. Other titles I considered included The New Age Glossary, and, Mind and Emotions Glossary. I’ve chosen to call it The Consciousness Alchemy Glossary because these concepts are highly useful when talking about consciousness alchemy practices, such as my process, Perspective Alchemy.
Defined Terms | Page Navigation
Define: Abandonment Trauma
Abandonment Trauma — In the most extreme cases of abandonment trauma, a parent leaves the household or dies when their child or children are young, creating a sense of loss that is so large and unfathomable to the child that they can not cope with it at the time, creating splits in their personality between protector aspects and vulnerable aspects. These individuals, baring incredible healing experiences, grow up to have an anxious attachment style (or an anxious-avoidant attachment style).
In more mild, every-day scenarios, one or both parents are busy, withdrawn, emotionally unavailable, and/or punish their children by distancing themselves. While this may seem negligible, the individual who experiences continual outgoing boundary violations will experience abandonment trauma that colors all of their adult relationships, again, resulting in an anxious attachment style.
Related Article Segment: Infancy/Toddler Trauma
The flipside of abandonment trauma is enmeshment trauma.
Abreaction — Similar to catharsis, abreaction is emotional expression related to old traumas. In abreaction therapy, a client is hypnotized and then led back to traumatic experiences in order to release any emotional reactions that were previously repressed (and thereby held on to). Abreaction is an integral part of many forms of consciousness alchemy, including The Completion Process.
Accept — To acknowledge something as a true statement of what is. Approval, while needed to foster genuine forgiveness, is not required for acceptance. Acceptance is a willingness to step out of denial. It is vital to accept where you are, to see yourself with as few filters as you can manage, so as to enable you to move in the direction you most want to go.
Addiction — A perceived need.
Related Article: The difference between needs and addictions.
Affirmation — Mantra.
Agape — Unconditional love.
Attachment — There are various different ways to use the word “attachment.” To attach something is literally to somehow fasten, conjoin or link together with something else. In the context of consciousness alchemy, attachment is about an emotional connection created through perceived investment. For example, if you invest a lot of time, feelings, and resources into a relationship, you'll feel attached to that relationship. This form of attachment is called material love.
Your beliefs are a form of attachment. Your identity is made up of many, many attachments. The feelings that you call love are made up of many attachments when we're talking about anything short of unconditional love.
Define: Attachment Style
Attachment style — Psychology recognizes four attachment styles (anxious, avoidant, anxious-avoidant, and secure) found in adults that relate to how they interact in their romantic relationships as well as with their families and friends. Each of these facets is a scale. Few people fall squarely in the center of one of these four styles, and few people apply the same style to all of their interpersonal relationships uniformly.
You can determine what attachment styles you have with various figures in your life by taking the attachment style quiz found on Your Personality.
Define: Anxious Attachment Style
Anxious attachment style — The anxious attachment style is characterized by anxiety and preoccupation. An extremely anxious person in a relationship is likely to call their partner frequently, always want to know where their partner is at all times, and be with their partner as much as possible.
Someone who is only mildly anxious may be highly devoted and romantic, yet perhaps a bit obsessive in relationships, prioritizing their primary intimate relationship above all else in their life – including their own other needs and desires. Two individuals with a mildly anxious attachment style can have a very deep, loving relationship and feel happy, safe, and connected together. Over time this sort of relationship can heal the original wound, bringing both parties closer to a secure attachment style.
An anxious attachment style is developed in response to abandonment trauma, which is characterized by outgoing boundary violations.
Define: Avoidant Attachment Style
Avoidant attachment style — The avoidant attachment style is characterized by avoidance and dismissiveness. An extremely avoidant person in a relationship is likely to avoid all confrontations, avoid ever sharing their feelings, and avoid situations where they might feel trapped by their partner in any way.
Someone who is only mildly avoidant may be highly independent and strong, yet perhaps a bit distant in relationships, as if you can’t quite get close to their heart after years of partnership. Two individuals who are both mildly avoidant can experience a relationship that feels very companionable and easy, but may both have an occasional feeling that their relationship is somehow shallow.
An avoidant attachment style is developed in response to enmeshment trauma, which is characterized by incoming boundary violations.
Define: Anxious-Avoidant Attachment Style
Avoidant attachment style — Some people are both avoidant and anxious, which is known as “anxious-avoidant,” “fearful-avoidant,” or “disorganized.” Someone who is severely anxious and severely avoidant may have extreme double-standards in their relationship. For example, they may seek to know where their partner is at all times but never let their partner know where they are or what they are doing. They may demand that their partner give them constant verbal reassurance to help with their own insecurity, while still maintaining a level of distance to protect their vulnerability.
Someone who is both mildly avoidant and mildly anxious may find relationships a tiresome blend of feeling stressed, yet still distant. Someone who is mildly avoidant and extremely anxious may be characterized as having an anxious attachment style if their behavior is dominated by preoccupation and anxiety, or as having anxious-avoidant attachment style if their behavior swings toward avoidance or dismissiveness regularly and significantly.
Like the other three attachment styles, anxious-avoidant can show up in hundreds of different ways. Not only does the amount to which someone feels anxious or avoidant vary, but the specific behaviors people engage in to deal with their anxiety or avoidance vary tremendously.
An anxious-avoidant attachment style is developed in response to experiencing both enmeshment trauma and abandonment trauma. Of course, most people experience at least a little of both. Whether or not your abandonment/enmeshment trauma impacts your behavior significantly as an adult is determined by how well you have healed and integrated after your trauma. Complete healing is most likely to occur if you experience long-lasting, healthy, healing relationships that prove to all parts of you that healthy, emotionally safe relationships are possible.
Define: Secure Attachment Style
Secure attachment style — A secure attachment style is characterized by a sense of emotional safety in relationships. If you feel secure then you’re not worried about what your partner is doing or who they are with because you trust them and you trust your connection with them. A secure person doesn’t have a need to engage in a control drama.
A secure person either healed from any enmeshment trauma or abandonment trauma they experienced as a child, or they never experienced very much of either of these to begin with. In today’s modern world full of punishment-and-reward parenting, finding someone who is totally secure is rare (or unheard of). Finding someone who is relatively secure (in comparison to everyone else), of course, is possible.
A person with a secure attachment style can be in a relationship with someone who is mildly or moderately anxious or avoidant and provide a healing experience for that person just by being their secure selves. By being transparent, kind, and open, their anxious partner is soothed and feels safe. By being flexible, accommodating, and respecting boundaries, their avoidant partner is soothed and feels safe. However, someone who is extremely anxious or extremely avoidant will likely find a secure partner infuriating. An extremely anxious person may feel that a secure partner is too distant and not loving enough. An extremely avoidant person may feel that a secure partner contacts them too often or wants to talk things through too much.
Belief — A belief is something that you believe to be true at a deep level. Beliefs can vary from one aspect of yourself to another. Your subconscious beliefs are the core, critical beliefs, and they may or may not be consciously recognized. Common subconscious beliefs include:
- “I must be highly financially successful in order to have people who love me in my life.”
- “If I fail to impress others I will not be able to get the recognition, appreciation or resources that I need in order to feel happy, safe and fulfilled.”
- “If I do not follow-up on my past investments I will be impoverished, foolish, and alone.”
- “I must work hard to earn respect.”
- “I must suffer in order to be worthy of companionship.”
Boundary — Physically, a boundary is something like a fence that separates two pastures from one another. Emotionally, boundaries are what create your identity. Boundaries are what make you feel individually you. If your favorite color is blue and someone else says, "No it isn't, your favorite color is pink," that is a boundary violation. They're invalidating your sense of self. As an adult, you may have a strong enough sense of self that their assertion rolls off you without any hurt, but as a young child these sorts of boundary violations are common and highly detrimental to healthy development of boundaries. The example I just provided is an example of an incoming boundary violation.
When you are in a relationship with someone and have a tacit agreement to always be there for one another when hurt, if the other person walks away while you are crying you will experience an outgoing boundary violation. It will feel painful not just because you are hurt and alone, but because they are violating your sense of self.
Codependence — Contrary to what the term sounds like, to be codependent is to have a co-parasitic relationship with someone, where you both gain something at the other’s expense. This overused, misunderstood concept is commonly used to shame people with anxious attachment styles for being “too needy.”
There isn’t actually any such thing as a co-parasitic relationship. A relationship can be ultimately unhealthy (obviously), but it isn’t needing or wanting something from your partner that creates the unhealthy dynamic. A healthy, consciously loving relationship includes needing and wanting things from one’s partner and being transparent about it.
The term “codependent” is often used as a catch-all phrase for an unhealthy relationship. Much of what makes a relationship unhealthy is actually the denial of desire. By pretending you don’t need or want anything from your partner, your needs become (or remain) subconscious, causing you to engage in subversive, manipulative, narcissistic behavior in order to get your needs met.
In reality, every healthy relationship involves interdependence, which is what the term “co-dependent” sounds like it ought to mean. “Co” for mutual, and “dependence” for needing something from the other person. If we think in terms of “mutually needing” something from one another, that is the basis for all meaningful relationships.
Related Article: Why is it so Hard to Make Friends?
Codependence is a misleading name for a misleading concept, and hence, I recommend avoiding it. If a relationship is unhealthy, I suggest calling it “incompatible” and giving some thought to exactly which “needs conflicts” are making it incompatible.
Conscious — To be conscious of something is to be aware. This is not the same as being consciously focused which is to be so completely present with something that one is growing rapidly closer toward grokking. This is not the same as your perspective, which is a collection of your beliefs, feelings, ideas and concepts. This is not the same as thinking or feeling, because you can have thoughts and feelings of which you are not conscious.
Consciousness is simply the scope of your awareness. There is another common usage of this term where consciousness is synonymous with universal consciousness or god. We already have plenty of words for god, such as universe, source energy, creator, and so forth, so that definition of consciousness reduces our vocabulary for communication rather than expanding it. However, the connection between awareness and source energy is an association with great merit.
Define: Conscious Focus
Conscious focus — This is your point of awareness; it is where your attention is at any given moment in time. Your conscious focus can be focused on a feeling, a thought, or a perception of your external surroundings. Conscious focus is a longer (but sometimes more clear) way of saying presence.
Define: Conscious Love
Conscious love — This form of love is not to be confused with what the Greeks called pragma – a longstanding love where roles are well defined and spats are rare and unheard of. While pragma can be conscious, often longstanding love is about established roles that avoid conflict. Conscious love doesn't worry about avoiding conflict; conscious love seeks to understand and create true unity.
Conscious love is what develops when one evolves out of material love through self-examination and revelation to one's partner time and time again over months and years. Each facet of what you believe, need, and desire must be brought into the light of your conscious awareness and then, in turn, grokked by your lover, and they must do the same for you. When this process is complete, you've achieved a completely conscious love.
Most relationships are dominated by material love that is somewhat conscious, but not very conscious. Relationships that are highly conscious will be able to point to double-standards in the relationship without embarrassment or guilt, for example, and be able to work toward creative solutions as a couple. Conscious love can be material love, but usually the more conscious the love is, the more the love between two people has ascended to spiritual love.
Conscious love is defined by its communicative, open, exploratory nature. Love can be conscious even if it is somewhat resigned or heading down the path of the disillusionment phase. However, relationships on the path of disillusionment are almost invariably less conscious than relationships on the path of dream harmonizing.
Define: Consciousness Alchemy
Consciousness alchemy — Any practice that expands or shifts perspective through a deepening of conscious focus or presence. Yoga, qi gong, tai chi and many other moving meditation practices increase presence through attention on carefully chosen body movements and breathing. Meditation increases presence through stillness, sensory deprivation, inward focus and often through imagination.
Zen activities, such as painting and gardening, increase presence through perception of beauty, creative actions, repetitive movements, and immersive sensory experience. Hypnosis and neuro-linguistic programming increase conscious focus through internal exploration and internal shifts of information.
Read more: Consciousness Alchemy.
Tantra — Tantra could be considered a form of consciousness alchemy, or consciousness alchemy could be considered a form of tantra. The term tantra, in the Indian traditions, means any systematic broadly applicable “text, theory, system, method, instrument, technique or practice” relating to the expansion of presence with one's internal or external experience. This sanskrit word literally means loom, warp, and/or weave. The metaphor of weaving implies the interweaving of threads of traditions and teachings. The practice of tantra could also be considered a practice of creating consilience.
Consilience — Creating consilience is done by linking together principles from different disciplines and/or evidence from independent sources for the use of forming a comprehensive theory or understanding. Consilience is not the same as consensus, or consolidation, although these are both related concepts. My (Raederle's) concept of consciousness alchemy is actually a form of consilience; consciousness alchemy encompasses psychology, consciousness, brain function, and emotions as they pertain to changing emotional, mental, and physical patterns in desirable ways.
Neurological processes (neuro-)
Behavioral patterns learned through experience (programming)
Define: Control Drama
Control Drama — The Celestine Prophecy outlines four control dramas that humans engage in. As the name – “control drama” – suggests, each of the four control dramas has its own sort of drama to it, and each vys for control in a different way.
- Intimidators control others by threat.
- Interrogators control others by judging and questioning.
- Aloof people control through reservation and withdrawal.
- Pitious (“poor me”) people control through guilt-tripping.
Our culture purports to be non-violent, and thereby frowns upon intimidation – controlling people through threatening words and body language. However, these other forms of control can be just as violent.
For example, people with enmeshment trauma will tend to use being aloof as a control drama. They will claim they are following the golden rule and treating others how they wish to be treated – by leaving them their space. However, the golden rule fails us miserably as a species. Those with enmeshment trauma almost invariably end up with those with abandonment trauma, and thereby their aloofness is felt as painfully (or even more painfully) than intimidation would be felt.
People with abandonment trauma can be intimidators, interrogators or pitious; they are rarely aloof. Since this form of trauma starts in infancy, it is quite common for “poor me” to be the control drama of choice, as it most closely resembles how a baby seeks attention: crying out for help.
Most people use all of the control dramas at some point in their life, but have a preferred control drama that they use in their day-to-day interactions. One way to expand your behavioral repertoire is to attempt to use the control dramas you usually don’t use and see what happens. (Be careful when you choose to do an experiment like this – trying this tactic with your boss might not be good for your bank account.)
It is important to utilize awareness of control dramas to improve your behavior. Recognize that using awareness of control dramas to shame someone else for their behavior is yet another control tactic that ultimately hurts the other person. Whenever possible, use authentic, vulnerable communication to get your needs met.
Define: Cultural Creative
Cultural Creative — The cultural creatives are innovative movers-and-shakers who are at the leading edge of growth within society. Civilizations have cycles – development, maturation, and decline. During decline the prevailing culture is stagnant, such as in the dying culture that we have today. It is the cultural creatives (also known as the creative minority) who are giving rise to a new living culture – a new civilization with a new way to live.
Related Article: The Cultural Creatives.
Define: Disillusionment Phase
Disillusionment phase — In relationships there is a known phenomena at the beginning of the relationship known as “new relationship energy.” Following this period of time there is a phase known as “disillusionment.” This phase is often thought to be inevitable, but it is not. The disillusionment phase occurs when a couple begins to discover how much their partner is not what they thought they were. You begin to realize they aren't so perfect. Maybe they are not “the one” you thought they were. Perhaps they are not your “soulmate” after all.
The disillusionment phase is powerful and painful. Many, many relationship-related songs are all about this phase of the relationship. Many relationships do not survive this phase.
There are several common time frames for this phase to occur:
- 3 Months – Relationships enter disillusionment early when they are passion-focused, deep in taṇhā, shallow, and are unable to foster vulnerability. One or both parties are unclear about wants, poor at communicating their needs and wants (even to themselves), and incapable of being fully authentic.
- 8 Months – Disillusionment occurs as a result of increasing arguments in a conflict-avoidant couple that does not know how to resolve disagreements while honoring themselves and each other. The couple does not know the difference between compromising and real solutions that work for both of them simultaneously. The couple prefers to focus on doing fun things together rather than delving into the emotional meat of the relationship.
- 2 Years – The relationship is fairly conscious, communicative, deep and flexible, but lacks strong enough spiritual love and/or shared divine objectives to continue to feel a soulmate connection.
The disillusionment phase occurs as a result of stepping off the path of love and onto the path of pragmatism or despair. The path of despair is often alleviated by ending the relationship. The path of pragmatism is often a very conscious and logical choice, but often leaves the heart behind to ache behind its walls. The alternative to the disillusionment phase is the dream harmonizing phase.
Dissociated — To have your internal multitudes in a state of non-communication so that different aspects of your life (lived by different aspects of yourself) feel like entirely different lives. Dissociated aspects of self can have trouble recalling things lived by other aspects of self. Poor memory is a common side-effect of having many split-off selves that are lacking strong intrapersonal communication.
When people say they are “feeling dissociated” they often mean that they feel “detached from reality.” This sense of detachment is a coping strategy being enacted by the subconscious, causing the conscious mind to feel distant from sensory experiences and emotional experiences. This sense of distance and detachment is made possible by fragmentation.
In the context of consciousness alchemy it is important to remember that a feeling of dissociation literally comes from an internal lack of association between fragments of self.
Fugue — Similar to being dissociated with oneself, a fugue is a state of being where you lose awareness of your dominant identity. In a fugue you may halt your usual activities, flee your typical safe-haven environment or activities and engage in something that other people would call “out of character” for you. A fugue is a form of trance.
Define: Disorganized Attachment
Disorganized attachment — This is when the parent(s) or parental figure(s) are so antagonizing toward their child that the child develops a mixed association of love and hate. The parental figures give a mixture of incoming and outgoing boundary violations, giving the child both abandonment trauma and enmeshment trauma.
In psychology this is considered a rare condition, but this disorder falls on a spectrum, just like the narcissist spectrum.
Almost everyone has a touch of disorganized attachment. This is because you depend on your parents for survival as a child, and so maintaining their love and affection for you is synonymous with survival. Because of that, you have to make yourself out to be the “bad guy” in situations where your parents are angry. At first, you may be resentful. You may rebel, but inside there is a voice asking: “What is wrong with me? Why can’t I be the good person I’m supposed to be? Why are my actions upsetting the people who care for me?”
Disorganized attachment is an attachment style which is also known/framed as an anxious-avoidant attachment style.
Define: Divine Objective
Divine objective — An goal, dream or plan that feels intrinsic to your life's purpose. You know that someone or something is “right” for you when they resonate with your divine objective. This concept is explored in the book The Celestine Prophecy when it talks about your life's purpose. It describes your mission in life as being the reconciliation and exaltation of the combination of what you learned and experiences from each of your parents. Knowing your divine objective does not require reflecting on your parents or care-givers as a child, but it will most likely become aided by it. You can have multiple divine objectives, or just one at a time. The key characteristic of a divine objective is that you feel compelled toward it even in the face of obstacles, trials, windfalls, and obligations. Even years after you thought a dream had died, it resurfaces when the time is right. That is when you know it isn't an idle dream, but a divine objective.
When you complete a divine objective you feel a great sense of accomplishment. You will want to share your joy, but you will not need to because your sense of completeness resonates within your heart. You will feel your horizons have been expanded and you will soon find a new divine objective in life, usually after a period of peace. If a new divine objective does not surface quickly, it can lead to some existentialism and doubt. This is okay. Enjoy the fruits of what you have brought to pass. Find your trust, gratitude and faith. Meaning will come.
Define: Dream Harmonizing
Dream harmonizing — This is the phase of the relationship that occurs after new relationship energy if the couple has the ability to stay “on the path” together. Dream harmonizing is about synergizing your talents, divine objectives, skills, and resources to form a singular momentum. Instead of two individuals who will assign roles to function optimally independently of one another (pragma), you become a true team where complete authenticity, trust and synergy create a dynamic dream. You both still play to your individual talents, as you would in a consciously loving, material relationship, but the difference will show in how you feel.
|Dreams:||“My partner doesn’t understand my dreams or care about them.”||“My partner and I are each individually responsible for our own dreams and our own happiness.”||“My partner and I share the same dreams. We're equally invested in them together."|
|Conflicts:||“We argue all the time, but we never resolve anything.” Or: “We don't bother fighting anymore. Or talking.”||“We rarely argue, and when we do, we always find a compromise.” Or: “We never argue. We're too considerate.”||“We disagree often. When we do, we drop everything and discuss the matter until one or both of our hearts shifts and unites with the other.”|
|Time:||“We see each other whenever.” Or: “I want to spend more time with my partner, but they want their space.” Or: “It seems we never have much time for one another.”||“We communicate about our schedules and make sure we spend quality time together regularly.”||“We prioritize connecting with one another. Nothing matters more than boosting each other through shared time and conscious focus.”|
|Expression:||“I often feel like I'm walking on egg-shells and am never sure if my thoughts are welcome with my partner.” Or: “I’d like to talk to my partner, but they never seem to understand what I have to say.”||“We make time for talking about all the important things.”||“There is nothing more sacred than the space we create for one another to fully express ourselves.”|
|Giving:||“I give to them, but they don’t give back.” Or: “Giving to them is exhausting, so I've given up.” Or: “I give, but only when they give to me first.”||“We communicate about our needs and try to meet each others’ needs as best we can without draining ourselves too much.”||“Giving to my partner is never a burden because it is energetically identical to giving to myself.”|
|Sacrifice:||“They never sacrifice for me.” Or: “The entire relationship feels like self-sacrifice." Or: "They constantly sacrifice everything for me to the point where I'm scared to speak, lest they hurt themselves more for my so-called gain.”||“We each take turns sacrificing, always trying to choose which of us makes a smaller sacrifice, so that overall, the relationship gains.”||“There is never a need to sacrifice anything. When we come to a conflict of interest, we talk until we both agree whole-heartedly about our mutual direction. Even if it takes twelve hours of communication, or staying up all night, we come to a place where our wants and needs are united.”|
Define: Dying Culture
Dying culture — Dying culture is a set of values that puts productivity before happiness and resources before people. It is a fear-based culture based on the sense of lacking or shortage, also known as taṇhā. Dying cultures flaunt bodily harm such as substance addiction (food-eating competitions, excessively drinking, etc), piercings, over-endurance (sports) and even displays of pain resistance. Dying culture shames people for not engaging in bodily harm so that those who abstain from meat, alcohol or drugs are called derogatory names or even physically abused.
Dying culture worships mastery of mind over feelings, mind over pain, and logic over emotion. Dying culture dismisses intuition and worships scientific establishments (usually without any awareness of what studies are corporate-funded and which are independent). The alternative? Living culture.
Related Article: Living Culture Movement.
Emotion — The emotion is the physical part of the feeling. An emotion is comprised of chemical reactions in the body that cause you to have a physical experience of a feeling.
Define: Emotional Destitution or A Sense of Lacking
Emotional destitution — A pervasive, underlying sense of lacking. In the Buddhist tradition, the word for this is taṇhā. This sense of shortage arises from childhood where needs were continuously unmet. In homes where “money doesn't grow on trees” is a mantra, the belief of world-wide resource shortage is a natural outcome. A continual feeling of “this is not enough” no matter what you materially achieve will repeatedly manifest more shortages.
The Buddha identified three kinds of taṇhā:
- Kama-taṇhā or lust — A craving for sensual/sensory pleasure. This lust can also extend to power and is often coupled with intense attachment to particular beliefs. In sign language a connection is drawn between lust and thirst as well: the gesture for lust is the same gesture as thirst, simply repeated a second time.
- Bhava-taṇhā — A craving for an immortal identity. This is the sort of passion that drives people to create a legacy, or to chase superhuman abilities.
- Vibhava-taṇhā — A craving for a release from pain, often in the form of desiring non-existence. This desire is what drives suicide.
The movie The Secret covers the core concept of taṇhā thoroughly, showing how our negative beliefs about “not enough” creates our reality of “not enough.” This underlying emotional destitution creates a chronic fear of missing out (“FoMO”), giving up, running out, and falling short. This is what causes people to hoard belongings and stay in jobs they hate. The underlying belief in limited resources, ironically, is what causes people to use up more resources.
When an individual believes that they personally won't have enough to provide for their emotional and physical needs, they continually amass more and more wealth trying to fill that void. When the void isn't filled, they need to amass more. The idea that there isn't enough energy, for example, is what drives the people who own oil companies to keep drilling. By creating an economy that is dependent on a single resource they manifest their own internal destitution on a global scale.
The real solution for this is deep internal work – consciousness alchemy. Individuals must confront their fear by going into it and deeply feeling all of it, accepting it, and embracing a new set of beliefs.
You can go into learned patterns (like taṇhā) and begin to unravel them using the process I teach in my book Perspective Alchemy.
Empath — someone who keenly perceives other people’s emotional state even in the absence of obvious sensory cues. An empath is generally the most extreme form of a codependent. While all healthy humans experience empathy for others within appropriate contexts, an empath is someone who feels attuned to other people to the exclusion of being able to focus on themselves. People who call themselves empaths often have difficulty differentiating between their own feelings and other people’s feelings and will confuse their intuition with projection at least occasionally.
While being able to “turn on” a heightened degree of empathy and perception when you need to is a powerful skill, usually this is not what we’re talking about when we refer to someone as an empath. Or rather, when someone refers to themselves as an empath – as usually it is a self-proclaimed title rather than a label applied by others. Those who apply this title to themselves are usually deeply fearful, distrustful people who learned at a very young age that they must be attuned to the emotions of others at all times in order to stay safe. Empaths are the children of narcissistic, unpredictable parents. Empaths had to learn to predict the unpredictable, so they learned to be hyper vigilant with their attunement.
Define: Enmeshment Trauma
Enmeshment Trauma — Experiencing one or more parental figures who do not allow you privacy, boundaries, space, or individual opinions that differ from theirs. Enmeshment trauma usually includes being gaslit, invalidated, and shamed. The trauma can be mild and/or occasional, but it can also be severe and/or chronic. It is still called enmeshment trauma either way, but the effects will correlate to the severity of the childhood treatment.
A mother creates enmeshment trauma in her son when she continually commits incoming boundary violations. She makes her son’s reality revolve around her and her feelings at all times, invalidating her son’s experiences. She shames her son if he feels differently than she does. If her son tells her that he likes a particular movie or book which she doesn’t like, she might say, “No you don’t, you hate that.” This invalidation is a form of gaslighting.
This particular mother-son dynamic is surprisingly common and what causes so many men to be afraid of intimacy with a woman as an adult; they believe (subconsciously if not consciously) that to be with a woman means to give in to her every demand. A man with this belief can only “be himself” and “have himself” if he is single, because he believes women are impossible to please unless he violates his own sense of rightness.
While more stereotypical in men, this complex can happen in women too. It is also possible to have enmeshment trauma and abandonment trauma at the same time. In fact, most people have some of each, but one trauma is usually dominant in the sense that it has more impact on your behavior. Your dominant form of trauma will lead to your primary attachment style. If you primarily have enmeshment trauma, your behavior will primarily be avoidant.
Enmeshment trauma can exist for part of a person, but not for all of their personalities. A woman might have a part of her that feels intimidated by closeness, believing that it will only result in being steamrolled by their needs, and she might have a part of her that learned that she could be the steamroller in order to get her needs met, and yet have a third part that genuinely believes in the possibility of both parties communicating until a result is achieved that makes both parties feel validated, loved, and fulfilled.
Ergodic — The traditional use of this word is in econometrics and signal processing; a stochastic process is said to be ergodic if its statistical properties can be deduced from a single, sufficiently long, random sample of the process. The reasoning is that any collection of random samples from a process must represent the average statistical properties of the entire process. In other words, regardless of what the individual samples are, a birds-eye view of the collection of samples must represent the whole process.
Conversely, a process that is not ergodic is a process that changes erratically at an inconsistent rate. In living culture, ergodic is used to describe the nature of time and the universe itself. Each moment in time is ergodic because it contains all future and past within that moment. Each strand of DNA is ergodic for the human it is within at a simple level, and of the entire universe at the multi-dimensional level.
Exalt — In terms of consciousness alchemy, to exalt something is transform it into its highest equivalent. A skilled liar could exalt their ability, honoring their desire to be deceptive while simultaneously doing something they feel good about, by becoming a statesman or a diplomat for a cause or country they believe in. Someone good at manipulating others could exalt their ability by becoming a hypnotist to help people stop smoking, lose weight, and improve their interpersonal relationships. A highly cynical or paranoid person could exalt their cynicism in a line of work as a troubleshooter or safety evaluator.
Define: Fear & Excitement
Fear — Fear is a broad term that includes anxiety, a chronic sense of shortage, jealousy, envy, terror, anger, embarrassment, shame, and guilt. Generally, fear is considered a negative emotion which does not feel pleasurable.
However, many things we generally consider good contain an element of fear, such as excitement. Without fear, excitement is just happiness. It is the sense of risk – potential loss – that turns it into excitement.
Feeling — A feeling is the essence of an experience in its raw form. A feeling is what you experience before judging, before identifying, naming or labeling. It is the perception, the sensation, the experience. A feeling is the counterpart of an emotion – the aspect of emotion that is non-chemical, non-physical.
Colloquially, the perception of temperature, kinesthetic experiences and proprioception are all referred to as “feelings” as well. In our effort to become more accurate with our speech, these sorts of experiences are best referred to in their specific, respective terms.
Fragmentation — Fragmentation is a result of trauma. When you’re unable to cope with something consciously, then you begin relegating experience to your subconscious. You become split between the part of you that could cope and the part that couldn’t. This is the process of fragmentation – the splitting of the self into compartments.
When you experience the same trauma chronically, you develop a coping mechanism or collection of coping mechanisms to handle that specific experience. As these coping mechanisms become increasingly isolated aspects of your being, they take on their own personality.
When these compartments are completely walled from one another, you have a split-personality disorder where you literally have no memory whatsoever of what you did while you were a different personality of yours. While split-personality disorder is rare, its milder cousin is the norm.
Faulty communication and/or distance between interior selves is dissociation.
Over time you might decide that a certain interior self is your favorite, and choose to only access opinions and beliefs from that singular aspect of yourself. When you do that, it is called selective identification.
Define: Golden Rule
The Golden Rule – The idea that you should “do unto others as you wish them to do unto you.” This rule miserably fails us. Introverts do not want the same treatment as extroverts. Those with abandonment trauma want exactly the opposite treatment as those with enmeshment trauma. Those who are punctual and plan-oriented want something very different from those who prefer to be spontaneous. Even preferences such as going to bed early versus going to bed late can create wild misunderstandings when merely relying on “the golden rule.”
In truth, the golden rule isn’t golden. It’s more like rusty iron: you might be able to use it for something in a pinch, but you won’t adorn someone you care about with it. On the contrary, to really love someone you must really understand what love means to them. You must speak to them in the love languages that matter most to them. In order to be romantic you must understand what means something to the other person. You might be able to guess and be charming enough to “win” someone initially, but a lasting soulmate connection requires dream harmonizing – an alignment of understanding, values, and priorities.
The golden rule won’t give you meaningful relationships. At best, it’s just a tool you can use to help give you a rough outline of how to treat strangers before you get to know them. At worst, it can sabotage your relationships by allowing you to discount the genuine differences between you and someone else.
Grok – To go beyond simply knowing about something, understanding something or feeling something. To grok is to comprehensively, experientially know something. Grokking includes knowing about something, feeling about something and understanding something as well as experiencing it on a multi-dimensional level.
In order for something to be fully grokked, all of the associated information also must be well understood. To grok means to take something so completely as part of yourself that it is like drinking water – the experience enters every cell of your being and becomes synonymous with being you. Grokking can be achieved through the following steps. For the beginner, each step is expected to take weeks.
- Intellectual: Focus on everything you know about a given person, object, or concept. Learn everything you can by studying it, reading about it, observing it and writing about it.
- Feeling: Spend time simply being with your object of study. Do not try to learn about it. Shut your mind off and just observe what sensations you get in its presence.
- Meditation: Reflect on what you know and feel about this person, object or concept in complete stillness without interruption until the full pattern fits with utter completeness and you feel no separation between it and you.
The intellectual phase is only complete when you can answer any question someone asks about the given topic with full confidence that you know the answer. If you chose a tree to study, for example, and someone asked when it blooms, or how tall it is, you should know the answer. The feeling stage is complete when your senses have become completely intimate with your query; you will be able to identify it visually from a photograph of a small part of its whole; you will be able to identify it by its smell and the feel of its skin, bark or outer covering; you will be able to identify it by the sound it makes when laughing, blowing in the wind or splashing. The meditation stage is complete when you feel able to fully resonate with what it means to be this person, object or concept. This last stage is the hardest to judge.
For an expert, the first two stages (intellectual understanding and feeling) can be gained through the meditation stage.
Groupthink – Making decisions based on what is and isn't acceptable within the group. When people groupthink, they lose their individual dreams and determination. A groupthinking person is less likely to be creative or to think for themselves. A groupthink society is vulnerable to being overtaken by a leader who tells people what is morally correct and what is not, thereby controlling the behavior of the populace. Groupthinking is seductive because it allows individuals to give up their own personal responsibility for the outcome of their actions. By “doing the right thing” – the socially accepted thing – they don't have to worry about whether what they are doing is actually something that feels good to their own moral compass.
The phenomena of groupthink is a predictable outcome of cultural socialization. When mother culture tells us what our family structure should look like, what dreams we should aspire to, what kinds of achievements are meaningful, what kinds of sacrifices are honorable, and so forth, it leaves little room for an individual to follow their own highest calling – especially if an individual's true calling takes them in opposition with cultural norms and beliefs.
Healer – Deep healing from an intuitive healer takes place when the reciever consents to place its higher self within the healer and the healer is capable of recieving the higher-self's energy patterns. The healer then uses this highly resonant, intuitive state to guide the reciprocant's conscious focus into the places where their loving attention is most needed.
Define: Heart Wall
Heart wall – This is a barrier built against intimacy. If a heart wall can not be taken down in a relationship, the relationship will be barred from experiencing a soul-mate connection; while pragmatic relationship roles can still work nicely, and some degree of conscious love can taken place in a left-brained axis, the relationship will be stunted.
Heart walls are put up as a result of trauma. The process of integration helps make you feel safe to let down your heart walls in situations where you truly are safe to be vulnerable and be yourself.
Identity — What you consciously and subconsciously believe to be a part of yourself. Beliefs are central to creating your identity. Who and what you love is also central to your identity. Identity is a construct of ego – it is an image of oneself. Alan Watts says, “This chronic tension in Sanskrit is called sankocha – contraction – the root of what we call the feeling of ego.”
Define: Incoming Boundary Violation
Incoming Boundary Violation — This occurs when someone violates your boundaries by coming toward you with their words or actions. (In contrast to an outgoing boundary violation, which is when someone violates your boundaries by moving away from you with their words or actions.)
If you have a boundary of personal space that extends a foot around you, and a stranger steps into that space to hug you or speak to you, or worse, to yell at you, you will feel a sense of violation that has to do with them coming toward you physically.
You can also have an incoming boundary violation emotionally, like when a parent shames you and tells you that your feelings are inappropriate for the situation. When a parent does this throughout your childhood, you develop enmeshment trauma. For more about how enmeshment trauma and abandonment trauma interact, see outgoing boundary violations.
Define: Inner Child
Inner child — Your inner child is an aspect of you that is deeply in tune with being playful, easily awed, filled with wonder, and feeling innocent. These capacities are often hidden beneath trauma that are stored within our inner child aspect. Releasing trauma from your inner child can be done through a variety of shadow work processes.
One such practice is writing questions to your inner child with your dominant hand (usually, your right hand), and then writing replies from your non-dominant hand (usually, your left hand) on the opposite side of the same sheet of paper. Then, no matter what your inner child tells you, you write with your dominant hand: “Thank you inner child for telling me that.” The force of your gratitude strengthens your connection between your consciousness self and your inner child.
Because of socialization, most people have repressed their inner child. However, some people have not. It is even possible to find people whose protector personality (dominant façade) is their inner child.
Integration — In the general sense, to integrate is simply to combine two or more things into one thing. When it comes to consciousness alchemy, integration refers to bringing multiple aspects of self into intrapersonal communication with one another.
Integration within the internal multitudes does not entirely dissolve the individual aspects, but it does cause them to stop acting alone. This is very desirable outcome because the aspects of self that act alone are not acting on your best interests in a holistic way. An isolated aspect may only be interested in your momentary comfort, but have no cares for your long-term commitments, love-interests, or dreams, and another isolated aspect may only care about your romantic relationship(s) but not care at all about your experience of pleasure or joy from moment to moment.
Aspects of self become isolated from one another as a result of trauma. The aspects of self that are wholly subconscious and never see the light of conscious attention are not able to communicate with the other aspects of self. These aspects may only emerge when drunk or in dreams. Sometimes these aspects are so thoroughly hidden that the only clue of their existence comes in the form of attracting the same kind of person into your life over and over again. If you keep attracting narcissists, for example, it is a sign that a part of you with narcissistic tendencies is wholly repressed, wholly isolated, and in dear need of integration with the rest of your personality.
Integrity — As the selves become more cohesive and cooperative, you find yourself to be a person of integrity. You become less hypocritical. You begin to walk your talk. You begin to talk your walk. As your inner selves integrate, you find your external life also integrates. Parts of your life that didn't fit in begin to drift away and parts of your life that lend depth, meaning and value to the rest of your life begin to take on more prominent roles on the stage of your life.
You can measure your integrity by noticing how much your external world differs from your internal world. The tricky part here is learning to see the hidden aspects of your internal world that you've hidden specifically because they would mess with your overall self-concept. In other words, parts that you didn't know how to integrate in the past become so dissociated that you lose all awareness of them over time. Red flags begging for integration include: nightmares, health problems, dissatisfying love life, low energy, and poor memory.
Interdependence — Humans are a social species, and as such, our relationships are naturally interdependent when they are healthy and mutually beneficial. Soulmates and soulfriends are definitionally interdependent.
Define: Internal Multitudes, Inner Committee, Congress of Self
Internal multitudes — Your self includes many aspects – your protector personality, your inner child, your higher self, and the many parts of yourself that are left incomplete, stunted by trauma.
These internal multitudes can be called your committee, your congress of self, your polylithic nature, your polyself, your polybeing or simply your various aspects of self. These selves can operate as isolated, closed-off, subconscious aspects, where they manifest your reality from the dark and leave you wondering how your reality could possibly be a reflection of yourself. Or, they can operate in concert with other aspects of yourself. The process of moving your isolated aspects of self into the congress that votes on your behavior is called integration. Integration is the goal of many consciousness alchemy practices and almost all shadow work.
Related Article: I am Multitudes, Not Monolith.
Define: Intrapersonal Communication
Intrapersonal communication — Communication that takes place within an individual. Intrapersonal communication is a communicator’s internal use of language or thought. This internal dialogue is essential to integration within the congress of self and is a key component of many consciousness alchemy practices.
Intuition — A guiding feeling from within. This guiding feeling can be generated from the subconscious or supraconscious in response to a wide array of sensory input or experience. The experience of intuition works like this:
- You see, hear, smell, taste, perceive temperature, feel kinesthetically, or feel proprioceptively.
- Your conscious, subconscious, and supraconscious compile what you are experiencing through these senses.
- Your internal selves determine which incoming input is most relevant to your current path of manifestative energy. (Scientifically speaking, the limbic system in your brain scans the sensory inputs for threats and directs the hypothalamus to release hormones accordingly.)
- Your internal selves send back a sensory experience (an internal visual, a ringing in your ears, a burning in your nose, chills, a sense of vertigo, etc) in response to the sensory input that is a concise and complete sum of what you need to know about the experience you’re responding to. This sensory response is your intuition.
Listening to your intuition simply means being profoundly present with your responses. It means noticing when you ear suddenly starts itching and taking the time to figure out what message is hidden in this experience. What is the itching in response to? You must move past your deflection, “Oh, my hair was tickling me,” and recognize that all experiences are internal or external signals that indicate something. Nothing is arbitrary.
Define: Jamais vu
Jamais vu — a French phrase meaning never seen. It refers to the phenomenon of experiencing a situation that one recognizes, but nonetheless seems very unfamiliar. This can happen when doing a repetitive task for a very long time and suddenly recognizing a sensation or aspect of the experience one has been overlooking the entire time.
This eerie feeling can also occur when suddenly noticing the way everyday things feel or sound, such as noticing the word "the" after having used it so automatically for so long that its use became invisible to one's experience. Jamais vu is sometimes called the opposite of déjà vu, but it is really more like an inverse than an opposite.
Jealousy — This is a form of fear where you feel so threatened by what is happening (usually at a mostly subconscious level) that you wish to deny the person or people involved the experience they are having.
Jealousy differs from envy, which is simply the state of wishing you were included, or wishing you had something too. Being envious does not include the desire to deprive someone else of what they are experiencing.
Define: Kinesthetic, Kinesthetic Empathy & Proprioception
Kinesthetic experience — Feeling touch upon your skin or within your body.
Kinesthetic empathy — Feeling as if you are being touched in empathy with what you are seeing.
Proprioception — The detection of movement. This is what allows you to know how your body is moving and where different parts of your body are in respect to one another.
Proprioceptive empathy — Watching another person move – such as watching a dance performance – and feeling as if your body is moving as they are.
Temperature perception — Detecting heat or the lack of heat (cold). This is a different perception than kinesthetic sensations. Some people are born without the ability to perceive temperature, but still feel texture. A friend of mine who was born this way describes the experience of chewing an ice-cube: “It’s like chewing on a rock.”
Left-Brained — To say that someone is very left-brained is to indicate that they prefer to use logic, analysis and thought above their sensory input and feelings.
Through consciousness alchemy we’re moving toward a more integrated mind which is capable of using both analysis and intuitive feeling with great accuracy and efficiency.
More about the left and right hemispheres of the brain under right-brained.
Define: Living Culture
Living culture — A new culture arising out of the desire to form a more loving, understanding, integrated culture that embraces healthy lifestyle choices, individual needs, and the importance of feelings.
Related Article: Living Culture Movement.
This is in contrast to the dying culture which puts self-destruction on a pedestal – overworking oneself, eating chemically refined foods, heavy drinking, substance abuse, pretending you're fine when you're not, etc.
Love – In its deepest, soulmate form, love is to include something as part of yourself so fully that you can include the values, beliefs, experiences, memories, needs and desires of the other individual, being or object as equally relevant to your life as your own. When you love something or someone, its best interests are inseparable with your best interests. To love something means that you will do the best you can to grok the thing you love and thereby give it love in the way it receives love best.
For example, aloe verra plants are loved best with small amounts of water and much sunlight, whereas goldfish are loved best by full submersion of water, whereas humans may not need you to give them water or sunlight but may need your presence and focus.
Define: Love Languages
Love Languages are a concept coined by Gary Chapman in his book The Five Love Languages. In my own work, I have found a sixth love language that is equally important as the other five, and sometimes a primary love language, particularly among people on the autism spectrum such as myself. The following definitions are my own, and somewhat tweaked from what you will find in Gary’s work.
Words of affirmation – Saying things to someone verbally that affirms their sense of rightness, goodness, wholeness, and/or worthiness. These words might be “little nothings” or they could be highly specific compliments.
Quality time – Spending time with someone that feels good, meaningful, and connecting. For some people at some times this will sound like a deep conversation, and for other people or other times, this will look like a quiet tour of a museum or beautiful neighborhood.
Gifts and money – Material tokens that show that the other person is willing to invest in you in the physical realm. For some, this includes financial support. For others, the only gifts that have meaning to them will be the hand-made kind, such as a love poem or a drawing. This is often a large part of material love, but it isn’t always.
Service – Acts of service which relieve the other person from having to do a task, such as washing their car.
Touch – Physical touch which may include massage, sexual stimulation, or grooming, depending on the individual and what feels best to both parties.
Listening and Understanding – This requires time to listen, presence and focus on the concepts the other person is communicating, and reflection on what they have said. And to actually demonstrate that this understanding has occurred, words or actions must reflect that back. This is particularly important to people who have felt chronically misunderstood and silenced in their lives.
Manifestation — An event, action, or object that embodies the energies of past thoughts and emotions. In other words, manifestations are the results – or symptoms – of previous thoughts, feelings and actions. Curiosity and gratitude are the two primary forces behind positive manifestation.
The Law of Attraction — Like attracts like. Thoughts, feelings, and actions are the loudest occurrences – the things that manifest most powerfully. Passive things (such as inactive rocks) also manifest, but in much slower and more subtle ways. The manifestative response to what we think, feel and do is directly proportional to our entire being at a conscious, subconscious and supraconscious level. Many people disregard the law of attraction simply because they are not taking into account the powerful manifestational power of their subconscious attitudes, beliefs and feelings.
The Law of Attraction is sometimes called The Law of Mirroring or The Law of Association.
Mantra — A mantra is repeated phrase with sacred connotations, somewhat like a prayer. Mantras are used like affirmations – to retrain your brain in positive ways. Mantras, like affirmations, are best utilized when you believe what you are saying. If the mantra is too unattainable, the subconscious mind will reject it. Affirmations/mantras that you don’t believe can backfire, causing a negative feeling and a negative impact. Be sure to select a mantra that makes you feel a “zing” of emotional wellbeing every time you say it. One of my mantras is a sacred truth that was revealed to me in my early twenties: “Presence is always the answer.” A simple western mantra that I often use when I need a little pep is, “I can do it.”
To use a mantra, simply take a meaningful phrase and either hear the words in your mind or say them aloud (or both). If you smile the moment you hear the phrase, that is a good sign that you’ve chosen a good mantra for you.
Define: Material Existence
Material existence – This refers to our existence in three dimensions. There is material gain and material wealth such a money, food, shelter, and other resources. There is material love, which refers to the kind of love that is normal for us as three-dimensional, conscious-animal creatures. There is "the material plane" which refers to all three-dimensional aspects of our perception and existence.
For many people, material existence is all they acknowledge, despite experience that has the potential to teach them otherwise. Even for spiritual people who spend much of their lives dedicated to experience beyond the material plane, our lives as conscious-animals – humans – is primarily a material experience.
Define: Material Love
Material love — Material love is the natural, basic form of love that comes easily to humanity. It contains an element of possessiveness, predation and awe. Material love does not fully grok the object of one's affections and thereby does not fully express, experience or give love in the way it would most be comprehensively expressed, felt or given. That is, material love usually falls short of understanding each other's deepest needs and meeting them in a conscious way. It is a primarily unconscious love – a natural inclination that is unexamined. Material love can remain material after examination, but it begins the process toward conscious love.
Material love could also be called attachment. Most parents in our developed countries do not experience spiritual love or conscious love for their children. What they experience is a profound level of attachment derived from their investment in their children. This causes a close identification with their children, which mimics the higher truth of including someone as part of yourself when you deeply, spiritually, consciously love them, but doesn't quite get it. Simply being identified with someone causes you to project what you like, want, need, hate, honor, and value onto that person. It causes you to assume that what is good for you is good for them. Attachment makes you believe that the so-called golden rule is good enough.
Material love relationships can still thrive if they become at least modestly conscious relationships or closely follow agreed upon roles.
Maya — Most simply, maya means illusion, and most literally, it means to measure. Sometimes called "the smoky mirror," maya is the concept of the distortion we perceive through our preoccupation with measuring time, distances and substances. In our fixation on the material plane we lose the key essence of what we are. Maya encompasses creation, worldly prosperity, and material love. All of these things are good, but they are also all fleeting experiences that fall away as we progress in our spiritual growth.
Metamour — Your partner’s partner. A common term used by polyamorous people when referring to their relationships with their partner’s partners. If a man, Paul, has two wives, Stacey and Sara, and a girlfriend, Cara, then each wife and the girlfriend all have two metamours. If the girlfriend, Cara, gets a boyfriend, John, then John and Paul are metamours of each other, just as Cara’s metamours are Stacey and Sara. Cara might have another metamour if John also got an additional girlfriend. Someone is only your metamour if there are love (amour) relationships involved. So if Stacey sleeps with her friend Kevin one night, that does not make Kevin the metamour of Sara or Cara.
Define: Mother Culture
Mother culture — The dominant culture that you’re a part of. This term comes from the five-star book Ishmael, by Daniel Quinn. Daniel details how mother culture influences all of our choices, all of our ideas of “right” and “wrong” and how these preconceptions lead us astray. Mother culture is the primary influence that shapes most people’s beliefs and thereby their perspective and identity. In order to transform the dominant dying culture into a living culture, we must first get to the root of what our mother culture has taught us and how we have internalized what we learned into our identity.
Narcissism – To be a complete narcissist in every way, someone must be so preoccupied with protecting their traumatized core that their protector personality is constantly pulling all attention, energy, and focus onto themselves. The classic ways of doing this include: playing the victim, hoarding conversation space, continually interrupting to bring the focus back to the narcissist, feeling entitled to exceptions, violating other people’s boundaries, copious protection of their image, egomania, guilt-tripping, and extensive manipulation.
Few people are wholly narcissistic, but virtually everyone has narcissistic qualities because virtually everyone has traumatized aspects of self which they are valiantly defending with a façade of self-importance. Narcissism has a central theme: covering up one's painful insecurity with as many positive labels and dramatically successful occurrences as possible. These positive occurrences may include guilt-tripping you into rescuing them from negative situations, building you up as their hero, only later to tear you back down if you do anything they choose to label as betrayal.
Covert narcissism can masquerade as being a highly giving person; it isn't until you've been around long enough to see that all the gifts come with strings of obligation attached. Narcissism can hide in a person who claims to "love women" and is highly romantic, insightful and charismatic. By being a generous lover, a narcissist can hook your attention and energy and later rely on you to suit their needs even after they've stopped giving you attention.
To call most people narcissistic would water-down the use of the term as a personality archetype, and thus I suggest simply saying that almost all people have some narcissistic tendencies. Many parents try to dominate their child's personality to fulfill their own yearnings. Many people interrupt conversations to correct others shamelessly. Many people will repeatedly shift the conversation back to themselves, especially when they're in a lot of emotional pain. Many people will be slow to take a genuine interest in other people, focusing first on their own interests when it comes to a budding friendship. Many people will induce guilt in others in order to get what they want.
It is important to recognize that almost all narcissistic behavior is rooted in subconscious motives. These behaviors are generally glossed over in a given individual's mind with rationalized explanations. These rationalizations are often true at the surface level, but are masquerading as the whole truth when they are only about two percent of the truth. The root motive behind narcissistic behaviors is almost invariably a deep sense of emotional destitution.
Needs – Anything that causes you significant suffering to go without is a need. You can’t stop having the needs you have simply by wishing them away, although you can often substitute the traditional method of meeting a need with an unconventional method.
Ironically, wants stem from needs so directly that most wants are literally needs. Your wants evolve and change most effectively when you actually meet your wants – the same way needs may evolve and change when you meet a need. The only difference between a want and a need is that a want is often a cover-up. You may “want” a bowl of ice-cream, but that want may stem from a few different needs such as needing vitamin K2, emotional comfort, and a sense of deserving. If these underlying needs were met in another way, the “want” for ice-cream would go away without eating ice-cream.
If it is impossible to make a “want” go away without meeting it specifically, then it actually a need.
Relevant (Short) Article: Needs versus Addictions
Define: Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP)
Neuro-Linguistic Programming – Similar to hypnosis, NLP is an approach to communication, personal development, and psychotherapy created by Richard Bandler and John Grinder. The title of this modality breaks down like this:
When applied effectively, the principles of NLP can be used to allow people to acquire the exceptional skills of another person, or to overcome a problem such as a phobia or physical disorder.
A key concept from NLP is representational systems. Understanding how these work helps unveil the inner workings of our brains.
To learn more about this modality, I recommend the book: Frogs into Princes by Richard Bandler and John Grinder
Define: New Relationship Energy
New Relationship Energy – This is the very beginning of the relationship where you're excited, passionate, and feel incredibly alive when you're with your new partner. Everything feels possible when you're with this person. You can talk about anything. You feel free to be your whole self in a way you do not feel around others.
This phase of the relationship feels integrative, inherently right, intrinsically good, revitalizing, and age-reversing. It feels that way because it is that way. As you become more integrated through your interactions with this person, you free up energy within yourself. You become more yourself as a result of this person, and thereby have more of yourself available to yourself. This gives you a resounding sense of purpose, direction and energy to live life.
New relationship energy leads in two possible directions. The most common phase of the relationship after “NRE” is the disillusionment phase. The other option, which is much more rare, is dream harmonizing.
Non-Monogamy – Simply meaning to not be monogamous. This could mean being officially single but having several on-going casual, intimate relationships. Or this could mean being a swinger, being in an open relationship, or being polyamorous.
A non-monogamous person may be the non-committed type who flits from one interest to another, or they may be someone who is committed to more than one person. Someone who identifies as non-monogamous may even be essentially asexual, and seek no monogamous partner even while simultaneously seeking some other form of non-sexual, romantic relationships.
Define: Open Relationship
Open Relationship – This form of non-monogamy is a blanket classification for all monogamous relationships where you’re allowed to have sex outside of the relationship, but not allowed to create other emotional commitments outside of the relationship. One form of open relationship is swinging.
Open relationship agreements vary. Here are some examples of agreements that people in open relationships may have:
- You can have sex with others, but you always come home at night to sleep in the same bed together;
- You can have as deep a relationship as you want with others, but don’t tell me about it, don’t let me catch you with them, and don’t break commitments to me;
- You can have sex with others, but you have to tell me all the details of the sex;
- You can have oral sex with others, but not vaginal intercourse;
- You can have sex with others, but only if I’m there too.
When the agreement includes full transparency and the ability to engage in multiple relationships simultaneously in the open, then it is no longer merely an open relationship, but also a polyamorous relationship; polyamory means “many loves,” not just “many partners.”
Define: Outgoing Boundary Violation
Outgoing Boundary Violation – In contrast to an incoming boundary violation, an outgoing boundary violation is when someone close to you – someone who is “supposed to” be there for you – withdraws from you and creates a sense of abandonment in you.
It is important to note that the part of this term that is “outgoing” is the person who is violating your boundaries; the boundary violation itself isn’t “outgoing.” Both forms of boundary violation are felt within your being, but one is about a violation going inward, and the other is about a violation that is felt because something is going away, or is outgoing.
Outgoing boundary violations are common in upbringing with parents who feel “too busy” to give their children full focused attention, even when the child is distressed or feeling highly inspired. Parents who regularly create a sense of abandonment in their children create “needy,” anxious people who are desperate for someone to genuinely see, hear, and feel them. These needy people tend to be attracted to people who match their parents – people who endured enmeshment trauma and are avoidant and afraid of real intimacy. This creates a dynamic where the “needy” partner continually tries to get closer to their “distant” partner, and the distant person becomes more distant because they are experiencing the same trauma they got from their primary caregiver – enmeshment trauma. Meanwhile, the “needy” partner then becomes more needy because they are experiencing the same trauma they received from their primary caregiver – abandonment trauma.
Our dominant culture recognizes obvious, incoming boundary violations such as sexual abuse. Our culture tends to fail to notice outgoing boundary violations, yet both are equally damaging. When a partner storms out because they don’t want to have a painful, yet critical conversation with you and you feel hurt by this, you’re experiencing an outgoing boundary violation.
Pain — Pain is inevitable, but it does not have to be experienced as suffering. Pain is a message saying, Pay Attention INside. Pain can become another fascinating, exciting experience that is part of a rich, fulfilling life through conscious focus. Pain is a powerful consciousness tool for moving deeper within ourselves and understanding ourselves.
Perception — To perceive is to take in sensory data from your external or internal reality. This data can come in the form of sounds, temperature, skin-sensations, feelings, images, smells or tastes.
Define: Perspective & Paradigm
Perspective — Your paradigm. The lens of identity you view the world through.
Polyamory – Literally meaning "many love," polyamory is the philosophy or state of being intimately involved with more than one person at the same time. People who identify as polyamorous generally are seeking multiple romantic relationships. Because polyamory is not what mother culture teaches us, generally those who seek polyamorous relationships are also seeking consciously loving relationships. Polyamory is distinct from swinging and open relationships; while all three are forms of non-monogamy, polyamory is different in that it involves loving multiple people, not just having sex with them.
People who identify as polyamorous often still struggle with jealousy about their metamours, but due to the nature of having multiple relationships, they're thrown into constant contact with their shadow aspects of self and are usually much more conscious about the cause of their jealousy and how to constructively handle it.
Pragma – This term comes from ancient Greek, referring to a sort of love that can be associated with roles, barter, pragmatism, and duty. This form of love is often downplayed, shamed, or belittled in our modern culture. First-world countries tend to laud romantic, passionate love, and put down the less-glamorous pragma.
A lover experiencing pragma is very attached to one’s partner and their best interests in a very rational, realistic fashion. They are thinking of terms of relationship longevity, lifestyle compatibility, and mutual goals. This kind of thinking is highly productive, and it is why many countries have been very successful with arranged marriages. In some cases these arranged marriages did result in a romantic, passionate, whirlwind love experience – also known as new relationship energy. More commonly, however, arranged marriages lead to pragma.
An experience of pragma is a sense of security, duty, contentment, and status. One is highly aware of the barter happening between oneself and the other, and one is content with what one is giving and what one is receiving in the arrangement. For this reason, pragma is actually a form of dream harmonizing. While it can be thought of as the “lowest form” as pragma tends to be very static, it is still a valid form of love that makes many people very content.
Someone seeking pragma will tend to have particular relationship expectations. They will know what role they want to fulfill, and what role they want the other person to fulfill. Traditional gender roles gave society a backdrop for successful pragma to occur in most relationships – as long as both parties were happy with their assigned gender and its role. While many find this concept confining, those who experience pragma find this sort of arrangement very pleasing; they enjoy a deeper sense of security because they and their partner share important values that tend to remain stable for life.
While pragma doesn’t tend to be very romantic, it often contains much tenderness and compassion. Both parties think about one another whenever they make any important decisions, and they each grasp the other person’s core values, needs, desires, and expectations. Because of this, pragma contains powerful elements of conscious love. Yet those who choose pragma are often not interested in their personal growth; they are usually more interested in the trappings of life in general, giving their relationship strong elements of material love as well.
Presence – To be present with something is to give it your full conscious focus. Being "present" is often a glorified aspect of meditation, yoga, and other forms of consciousness alchemy. Being present is the opposite of doing something out of habit.
Define: Protector Personality
Protector Personality – Sometimes known as a façade, a protector personality is the part of you that you show to the world. You may have several – one you show to your family, one you shown when you're aroused sexually, one you show to social media, one you show to your boss, and so on. These aspects of yourself are real and genuinely you, which is why it is dangerous to use a word like façade, which has taken on the connotation of being fake.
Your protector personalities are simply the aspects of you that you have decided are the best ones to interface with other people in the life situations you encounter. Your hidden personalities will generally be hidden even to you – that is, they will be subconscious – unless you are pro-actively engaging in consciousness alchemy on a regular basis.
Protector personalities are called "protectors" because they are there to shield you from the shame, recrimination, rejection and other hurts you believe you will experience if you show the hidden parts of yourself. These protectors can be selectively identified with any age, any characteristics and any period of your life; they exist based on what your perception of "most acceptable" or "most beneficial" was as a child.
Psychoneuroimmunology – When you study of the effect of thoughts on your body, that is psychoneuroimmunoloy. Particularly, this is the study of certain behaviors and thoughts which lead to better disease resistance, i.e. the strengthening of your immune system.
Define: Relive versus Recall
Relive — To relive a memory is different than to recall a memory. Usually, when someone recalls a memory, they have an internal sensory representation (an image, smell, sound/word, or feeling) that gives them some data about what happened in the past. Recollections are subject to more misinterpretation and error than relived memories.
When reliving a memory, it will occur in your mind’s eye the same way it did originally: from first-person viewpoint. If you’re seeing yourself or the situation from above, you’re not “all the way” into it yet. When you relive a memory you may experience time-jumps, or you may experience it at the exact pace it originally occurred (although this is rare).
When reliving memories of being a baby you may not have visual data at all (as babies don’t see very well), but you will have a series of feelings and sensations.
Reliving memories is a crucial part of many healing modalities, including abreaction therapy.
Some teachers, such as Marisa Peer – a mindvalley expert on affirmation and reframing – suggest not reliving memories, but only reframing them. However, this warning pertains to compulsive reliving of memories that doesn’t include any therapeutic process to relieve triggers. Some people relive memories over and over again without actually doing any shadow work to defuse the memory’s tension and pain. In these cases, reliving the memory is a plea from the subconscious, essentially begging for an effective catharsis to take place. In these cases, I highly recommend using my process, Perspective Alchemy to address it.
Define: Representational Systems
Representational Systems — Neuro Linguistic Programming teaches us that there are three primary representational systems that our minds use to define our experiences to ourselves within our minds. These systems are kinesthetic, visual, and auditory.
Our modern, first-world cultures are heavily visual and so most people have developed primarily visual representational systems. Visual people, like myself, tend to store memories and information based on visuals. This means if I want to hear a waterfall in my mind, I will call up the visual of a waterfall first, which will enable me to find the auditory memory of water falling which is indexed under the visual. The same is true if I want to hear dice rolling. I imagine the dice rolling visually, and the sound comes along with it. If I want to smell or taste a lemon, I visualize the lemon and this gives me access to its smell and taste.
If your primary representational system is kinesthetic, you might feel the texture of a lemon peel to access its image, smell, and taste. If your primary representational system is auditory, you might call up the sound of someone’s voice in order to get a visual of their face.
Resentment — This emotional state occurs when one feels there is something unfair about the situation. Unfairness comes from failed expectations, a sense of powerlessness, and experiencing taṇhā.
Some complex emotional states, such as resentment, are created for a subconscious motive. In the case of resentment, often the underlying motive is a need to feel entitled. By feeling entitled to one’s reactions, one doesn’t have to feel shame or guilt about one’s reactions, which can provide enough relief and freedom that it is worthwhile to intentionally (at the subconscious level) decide to hoard a sense of resentment.
Resistance — This vibrational/emotional state occurs when one feels that the pain one is enduring (emotionally or physically) is too dangerous to be present with. Resistance is the common modality of modern culture; it shows up in beliefs such as “you must work hard in order to achieve anything in life.” Why does culture teach you that it has to be hard? The word “hard” automatically implies resistance. If you push on a rock, the hard surface of the rock will resist you.
Yet, consider people who genuinely love their lives. Do they find it to be hard to live their life? People who love their lives live in a state of non-resistance. Joyful lives are full of inspiration. The momentum of inspiration causes energy to flow naturally, easily, and without strain. “Hard work” refers not to a particular activity, such as cleaning toilets or moving rocks. “Hard work” refers to a state of mind. If you’re experiencing something as “hard work” it is because you are in a state where you are resisting something. What you resist can be as small as needing to pee. It is harder to drive a car, lift a rock or clean a toilet if you are constantly trying to avoid the sensation that is telling you: “Bladder full! Bladder full!”
Resistant vibrational states of being come in all sizes. Releasing resistance is learning to relax our grip, our need to be right, and our need to be controlling. Releasing resistance comes from building faith in the universal energy which never fails to flow through us. It is then that we unlock our most potent, powerful selves. Becoming less resistant is very much aligned with the path of becoming more integral. As you find your integrity, you stop waging war with yourself, you stop resisting yourself. As you stop resisting yourself, you stop resisting the universe. As you stop resisting, so do others stop. As we all stop resisting we find ourselves in a state of world peace.
Right-Brained — To say that someone is “very right-brained” is to indicate that they prefer relying on sensory input and feelings above their capacity for logic, analysis, and thought.
The right side of the brain is responsible for very different functions than the left side of your brain. The right side of your brain looks at pictures as a whole, opposed to the left side, which looks at sequential steps to make a whole come together.
Imagine that you’re driving. The right side of your brain gauges the placement and number of cars on the road – although it does not count the cars. The right side of your brain notices relative speeds and the width of lanes. The right side of your brain looks at the whole scenario and tells your body what to do. This is how we can drive “automatically” while still having a conversation with a friend in the passenger seat.
The right side of the brain is what notices our position in space – it is proprioceptive. Interestingly, one of the things people most often recall when it comes to an event is where they were. For this reason, there is a technique called the “memory palace” where people imagine they are storing things in a particular place within a palace that they invent in their minds. This technique uses two of the three primary representational systems: kinesthetic and visual, so it is predictable that this would be an effective technique for cataloging memories intentionally.
The right side of your brain understands object functions. If the right side of your brain was inactive and you saw a pencil and a piece of paper in front of you, you wouldn’t know what to do with the pencil and paper. The left side of your brain would be able to tell you that the objects in front of you are a pencil and a piece of paper, but it wouldn’t tell you how to use them.
If the left side of your brain was inactive, and you were in the same scenario, the right side of your brain would tell you how to use the pencil and paper, but it wouldn’t define to you that the two objects in front of you are a pencil and a piece of paper. Furthermore, without the left side of your brain you would not be able to comprehend symbols such as numbers or letters and so you wouldn’t be able to write.
Every person uses both sides of their brain every day (unless they’ve having a stroke that is causing one side of their brain to shut down). However, people tend to more heavily utilize one side or the other. Our first-world, modern culture tends to favor the left-brained functions more highly, and thus, most people utilize the left side of their brain more heavily, even during tasks where it would benefit them to utilize the right side of their brain more.
Through consciousness alchemy we’re moving toward a more integrated mind which is capable of using both analysis and intuitive feeling with great accuracy and efficiency.
Romance — Oscar Wilde says: “Deceiving others. That is what the world calls a romance,” and Oscar is on to something. Romance is all about the positive side of manipulation. Putting your best foot forward, learning about the other person's needs, dreams, hopes, desires and preferences, and using that information to show yourself to your best advantage. Doing something romantic is about knowing the other person's tastes and playing to that as perfectly as you can. It is highly enjoyable to have someone be genuinely romantic toward you.
The downside of romance is how disillusioning it feels to enter a stage of the relationship where the romance is gone and your partner now focuses on other things besides wooing you. This is called the disillusionment phase. The alternative to entering this phase of the relationship is to begin dream harmonizing.
Sapiosexual — Broadly, to find someone who is intelligent attractive or appealing is to be sapiosexual. At least, that is how this term is generally used. However, this would apply to anyone who requires their partner to be of similar intelligence to themselves (or better) to be interested. A more specific and useful definition of this word is that a sapiosexual is someone who is genuinely aroused by being taught a new concept. These people definitely exist, but we're talking about one to ten percent of the population instead of half, which makes it a more useful distinction.
Define: Selective Identification
Selective identification — The process of choosing to identify with a limited portion of oneself. For example, great teachers (gurus, prophets, etc) choose their highest notions of what it means to be a guru or physically manifested human being and they selectively identify with only that paradigm and lifestyle. This discipline is used to great advantage as singular focus rapidly excels expansion for a limited portion of self, such as one's potential for material wealth, fame, or even one's ability to experience pleasure.
The failing in this practice is that it involves shutting out countless aspects of self which you have previously chosen and have not integrated. These unintegrated, abandoned aspects of self continue to manifest from your subconscious where their negative feelings create negative reflections in your external reality, forcing you to face externally that which you have rejected internally.
The aspects of self that you show to the world – that you have selectively identified with – are known as your protector personalities.
Define: Sensory Deprivation
Sensory deprivation — To exclude any of the senses. This could mean being blind-folded or secluding oneself from sounds. Full sensory deprivation would mean stillness in a temperature-neutral space without light, sound, smell or tastes. This is often an aspect of consciousness alchemy techniques to enhance conscious focus on other experiences outside of the senses that are being shut out.
It is known that blind usually have extraordinary hearing because of how intently they are always listening for cues about their surroundings. When you cut off all of the senses you use to tell you about your external world, you automatically become tuned in to your internal world.
Define: Sensory Input & Sensory Output
Sensory input — To see, hear, smell, taste, perceive temperature, feel kinesthetically, or feel proprioceptively. These seven senses can be experienced as internal or external. Sensory "input" refers to external sources of these experiences, but each of these senses can be experiences entirely through imagination. Proprioception can occur without movement, and visualizations can occur without looking at the external world. While the phrase is rarely used, these internally-generated experiences can be called sensory output.
Sensory output — Imagination (internal vision), soundination (internal hearing), odorination (internal olfaction), tastination, sensination. These experiences are all generally put under the blanket of "imagination," despite imagination specifically indicating "to have internal images." The word "imagination" gets a bad rep. In truth, there are no hallucinations or "unreal" experiences. All experiences are entirely real to the one experiencing them. This is why video games are so widely enjoyed and played – to the mind, they are real experiences that offer an opportunity for growth and feeling even when the external reality seems bland and lacking in stimulation. Sensory output is the language of intuition.
Define: Shadow Work
Shadow work — This is a subset of consciousness alchemy specifically dealing with exploring your subconscious. It is called shadow work because it pertains to the aspects of yourself which are not easily seen – the parts that are in shadow. In this analogy of seen aspects and unseen aspects, your conscious awareness is the light. By consciously focusing inward, asking probing questions, and listening for intuitive responses, you become able to hear more parts of yourself than you were before.
Shadow work encompasses a great many consciousness alchemy techniques, such as voice consciousness. It does not include consciousness alchemy techniques such as yoga and tai chi. A practice such as yoga is about strengthening your connection with the present moment, the sensations in your body, your ability to focus on your breathing, your flexibility, and so on. All aspects of yoga are geared toward strengthening, limbering, and increasing your capacity for deep presence. In the analogy of "shadows" and "light," yoga is a practice of strengthening your light – your conscious focus. Shadow work is about using that light to reveal your hidden parts, which may include your inner child.
Shame — To feel ashamed is to compare yourself to your own standards and fall short. These standards are created through the socialization process of the culture we’re raised by. In other words, we learn what is condemned and what is celebrated in our society, and then we adopt these standards and feel shame if we can not live up to them. Individual standards vary somewhat within the culture depending on the prominent influences in your personal upbringing, but generally, these standards arise from our childhood. Changing these standards requires careful examination of what they really are, accepting them as truth about ourselves, and then carefully crafting new standards that we want to hold for ourselves.
It is important to recognize that the standards you are holding yourself to are a personal truth in the sense that these standards are part of your current identity. This doesn’t mean the standards themselves are “reasonable” or “right” or “justified.” Accepting the standards themselves – the standards by which you have made value judgements about yourself – is a first step in a path to accepting yourself in a fuller sense (which, somewhat paradoxically, means shifting the standards so as to reduce your burden of shame).
Shame versus Guilt
Shame is a chronic experience for people who associated doing something unacceptable as being unacceptable as a child.
A child may accidentally hurt a pet, such as the family dog. A parent can inflict guilt or shame depending on how they respond. For example: “Doing that will harm the dog. Please show compassion and do only things which will be good for our dog,” and “You inconsiderate child! Didn’t you realize that would harm the dog?” The former is educating the child; the latter is shaming the child. After the child understands that they did something that caused harm, they will feel guilt.
Guilt is a temporary feeling that occurs when you feel you’ve done something regrettable.
Shame is when you believe there is something wrong with you.
Guilt can lead to inspiration to do better in the future. In contrast, shame is often so paralyzing that there is no ability to do anything.
Soulmate — A soulmate is someone you share all aspects of yourself with. With a soulmate you are not afraid to share vulnerable parts of yourself. Soulmates are sometimes “found” and the dream harmonizing phase happens automatically. More often, soulmates decide that they are soulmates (usually while still experiencing new relationship energy) and then commit to making it true by making concerted efforts to maintain a passionate, aligned, compassionate, understanding relationship.
Soulmates definitionally share conscious love, as their deep grokking of one another leads to lasting, evolving connection.
However, despite popular misuse of words, soulmates do not generally experience unconditional love. Because soulmates must grow together, it is possible for one partner to break their connection by refusing to grow or by growing in an entirely different direction which does not meet the needs of their mate. One could argue that if they remain in love with one another (despite a necessary break-up due to growing in different directions) that their love was/is actually unconditional. However, love can only be maintained in its deepest, soulmate form when both parties continue to strive toward total grokking (understanding) of one another on a day-to-day, week-to-week basis. If they “grow apart” then they are no longer resonating with each other and grokking each other as they previously did, and so their love has changed even if they still have strong feelings for one another that they continue to call love.
As I’ve written in many places, including here, the term love covers many experiences. Most centrally, colloquial use of the word “love” actually refers to attachment. It is common for a deep attachment to remain after soulmates go separate ways, and for them to say they still “love” each other. That’s completely correct usage of the term in our culture. However, it is important to know that attachment is only one facet of a soulmate connection, and attachment is definitely not synonimous with unconditional love.
Soulfriend — A soulfriend is just like a soulmate except that you don’t have a sexual relationship with them. Sometimes a shift in sexual desires or needs causes a soulmate to transition to a soulfriend who remains in the household as part of the family.
Define: Spiritual Love
Spiritual love — This can also be called four-dimensional love, priestly love, monkish love, soul love, or higher love. This is not unconditional love (which the Greeks called agape), but rather a love that is without jealousy (possessiveness), roles, bartering. Spiritual love has a strong foundation of trust. Spiritual love differs from material love in that it is inherently more conscious, more giving, and less fearful.
A couple that experiences primarily spiritual love will feel assured that their partner has their best interests at heart and will act in accordance with what is best for both of them. The love in the relationship will feel strong, secure, and more constant than that in a relationship that is primarily material. A couple that experiences mostly spiritual love will automatically strive for conscious love in their relationship because their partner's wellbeing will be of the utmost importance to them.
Subconscious — The thoughts, feelings and experiences that you chose at one point, and then rejected and repressed either as they were happening or later. Everything in the subconscious is a barrier between the conscious self and the supraconscious self because of the energetic drain of holding the subconscious in subspace.
Suffering — An experience where there is pain and resistance to that pain. It is the resistance that creates the ongoing agony. Suffering is created by avoiding, denying, dismissing, belittling or escaping from pain. If you successfully "escape" from an emotional pain in your conscious awareness, then the suffering continues in the subconscious where it continues to impact what you manifest in your physical reality.
Suffering is entirely a matter of resistance. When we resist pain, we suffer. When we flow with pain, then we feel the pain, we grieve or whatever else we need to do to become fully present with the pain, and then it passes. When we resist, it continues no matter how we try to run from it.
Supraconscious — 'Supra' is a Latin prefix indicating “above” or “beyond.” The supraconscious is a term used by Jungian psychology as a part of the unconscious mind that is collective, a product of ancestral experience. Supraconscious is also a term used by Joan Grant to refer to the higher self.
Just like the subconscious, the supraconscious contains knowledge that is not readily available to the preoccupied conscious mind. While your supraconscious is part of you, it is not part of your ego or identity. Your supraconscious is a vast reserve of knowledge-energy with the distinct imprint of growth-expansion directing its manifestive power.
Swingers – This usually pertains to a couple that seeks sexual interaction with other couples by swapping – or swinging – partners for an evening. Some swingers regularly swap with the same couple. Others only swing with new couples by attending large swinger gatherings. This sort of relationship is one form of open relationship/non-monogamy. One of the critical rules that most swingers have is don't get emotionally involved.
While the couple is okay with sharing their lover's body, they are not okay with sharing their heart, time, emotions, etc, beyond the sexual adventure of an evening. Swingers often experience intense jealousy that they intentionally stoke through swinging, which they find titillating. Often a swinger couple will have more passionate sex with each other after having had passionate sex or foreplay with other people precisely because of the exciting dose of jealousy/fear they've just experienced and/or are still experiencing.
Swinging is not a form of polyamory.
Thinking — To think thoughts is to judge, label, visualize, remember, or analyze. In the context of material existence, thoughts happen in the mind. Their primary function is to give us conscious tools for survival. Creating judgments allows us to avoid what we dislike and go toward what we like. Judgments are our default defense mechanism against harm.
Thoughts as defense work like this: “That hurt, I judge this particular thing that I did wrong to be the cause of that hurt, thereby I judge this action to be a bad action, and therefor I choose not to do it again.” This is thinking at the survival level. Thinking, when integrated with feeling and conscious focus, can become a process at the thriving level, where your thoughts are aimed at creating a reality of joy, pleasure, fulfillment, curiosity and anything else you choose to experience, rather than simply avoiding that which you experience as harmful.
Trance — States of trance are a ubiquitous experience. When one is deeply focused, one is in a trance. One could say one is entranced by one's work, project or creative pursuit. A “formal trance” is a state induced by a hypnotist where a participant will recall or not recall what happens during the trance based on the hypnotist's directions. Depending on the trance, your conscious focus may be expanded, or contracted. You may be entirely focused internally, or focused externally.
Simply listening to another person speaking is a form of trance. Reading a book or an article is a form of trance. You know the trance state is broken when you suddenly notice you need to use the bathroom and you've needed it for a long time, but you hadn't noticed. A state of trance alters your awareness of your sensory input. In a formal trance, often the subconscious is closer to the surface, or even speaking directly. In these cases you may not recall the trance experiences consciously even if you are not directed to forget because the experience will automatically be dissociated with your usual, conscious self.
Trauma — Trauma occurs when your sensory input experience is too overwhelming for your conscious awareness and is thereby relegated to the subconscious. Trauma is the experience of suppression. Minor traumas are a daily experience. If you see something in a movie that you're uncomfortable with letting yourself feel, then you are being traumatized by the movie – you're moving your experience of that part of the movie to your subconscious.
Traumas that seem like they ought to be trivial in impact can have long-lasting repercussions. Specifically, developmental trauma – which occurs when we're babies and toddlers – is something which impacts us for our entire lives. Left entirely uncared for, developmental traumas cause lifelong disabilities. Mother culture recognizes overt traumas such as being raped and physically abused, but it entirely overlooks the long-lasting impact of more subtle woundings – such as being forced to eat foods that your body is telling you are wrong for you as a child.
Unconscious — The processes that are unconscious differ from subconscious processes in that our unconscious mechanisms and experiences are not repressed. What separates the unconscious from the conscious is merely a matter of training our conscious focus on that which was previous unconscious until it becomes conscious, at least for a time.
While subconscious experiences can be unveiled through conscious focus as well, there is the further hurdle of releasing resistance or fear relating to uncovering what is locked in your subconscious.
Define: Unconditional Love
Unconditional love — Agape. God's love. Source energy. This sort of love is not fully achievable in a sustainable way in our human form, but we come much closer through conscious love and spiritual love. It is agape that Christ used to heal lepers.
This encompassing, source-energy love is a vibration that knows no lack/taṇhā, no fear, no loss. A person in a state of pure agape can levitate, heal, walk on water, time travel, leave their body behind, and pass time without aging.
Vulnerable — Being vulnerable emotionally refers to being able to expose sensitive aspects of ourselves, such as our inner child. Bringing vulnerable, hiding, stagnant, and/or afraid fragments of self forward in deep conversations with a trusted friend or soulmate is essential for creating trust and for dream harmonizing.
Want — A want or desire is something you crave, wish for, hope for, and seek out. A want is generally perceived to be different from a need, however, wants and needs actually have very little difference. See: need.
- Borderline Personality Disorder
- Needs versus Addictions
- Developmental Trauma
- Intuitive Eating versus Cravings
- Voice Consciousness
- Living Culture Movement
- I am Multitudes, Not Monolith
- Consciousness Alchemy
- The Cultural Creatives
- Why "Just Be Yourself" Doesn't Work for Introverts
- The Startling Truth About Being Self-Centered or Narcissistic