Spiritual Transcendence without Emotional Work: Is it possible?
Let us visualize a bamboo flute.
Can you see what makes it a bamboo flute? (Is it that space in the flute? or the holes in it?)
Now imagine having a lot of kidney beans in that space inside the flute.
Now, try to blow air into the flute to play the music.
Is it playing? If yes, then what is it sounding like?
Perhaps you hear no sound or a very distorted sound.
Now imagine, if you are that bamboo flute, and what makes you the bamboo flute is the space inside you, and let us try to feel that this space is an integral part of you. Imagine that these kidney beans that got clogged in the spaces of the flute are all the old unprocessed emotional wounds and traumas that you were not able to process throughout your life, including when you were a child.
That’s how trauma manifests in our mind- when we start to believe that we are these kidney beans. We form our core life beliefs and identity around these lumps of emotional or mental wounds which operate our whole life. We filter our world and reality through the lens of those subconscious beliefs that have their basis in emotional wounds and early life traumas/painful experiences. Even if we think that we are “perfect spiritualists”, that is, we are flawless meditators or are perfectly doing what needs to be done on our spiritual path, we still have to process and dissolve these lumpy beans and address the pain-body reactions to operate in our full capacity. It is highly improbable to find anyone in the human world who has experienced an unscathed childhood. Our spiritual practice might want us to believe that we have gotten beyond it, but we still find ourselves struggling with a lot of root chakra issues including survival, security, and trust.
Do you think that without resolving this pain-body, the enlightened spiritual teachers would be here sharing their teachings with the world? It is crucial to understand how and where this pain-body exists and that the existence of this energetic pain-body might be playing a significant role in our self-realization journey. When we begin to awaken, it is a significant part of the process to understand these trapped emotions and old emotional wounds and to allow ourselves to see, witness, feel, and finally integrate them.
When I embarked on my spiritual journey, I was under the illusion that this energetic emotional entity also called the pain-body which is carrying all my emotional reactions, wounds, pain, and traumas of all the lives I have lived would just disappear. Though we acknowledge the presence of beings born on this planet who have been able to dissolve it overnight when their suffering reached its threshold – straight through this portal into a presence movement (Eckhart Tolle). But our desire to have it happen to us in a similar way overnight could reflect a subtle form of escapism stemming from ego conditioning, as spiritual awakening is not attained through just a mental-emotional desire. No matter how hard we try to escape or live in denial, the only way to move through this energetic emotional entity or pain-body is to move through the pain and to stop resisting the process, and surrender to it. It involves letting go of the illusion that there is a way to not have to deal with it.
The illusion or assumption is what has/has been strengthening the energetic emotional body or pain body. The hurtful events that we experience as children which we are not able to process, get frozen and begin to accumulate in our consciousness as an energetic emotional entity. These accumulations are further formed or are triggered through our daily life experiences. What is also important here is to understand that, as we get older, these accumulations grow stronger (depending on our further life experiences). Therefore, only becoming aware of the pain and talking about it would not essentially dissolve this energetic pain-body. To dissolve the pain-body, that is, to transform and to transcend it, requires being alert in the presence of its existence, holding that space for it, and allowing it to come up safely. It resembles an energy field constituted of the energy that is lodged within our body.
When we identify with any thought, any emotion, or any event that we have experienced in our lives, and just clung to it because of its intensity, we subconsciously make it an integral part of who we are and how we operate in this world. These accumulations (or lumpy kidney beans) disrupt the music that the life force intends to play through us. We try and create music but it feels like just noise. We sometimes start identifying with the noise as ourselves, while also feeling aversion to it. But once we started the process of dissolving these lumps of energetic pain-body (or taking out these kidney beans from the flute) and get introduced to the wisdom behind their existence, we can gradually start to discover our unfathomable capacities. This awakening through the energetic pain-body and tuning into its presence and authenticity allows us to dissolve and integrate those lumps of emotional baggages and traumas, which no longer constricts our life’s music.
Watching the body and mind is not an easy job as most of humanity is veiled in the presence of traumas and this energetic pain-body. That is why, the introduction to other devices called healing modalities or techniques before we enter disciplined meditations like Vipassana or other spiritual practices is important. Sometimes through this energetic pain-body when we start working on the healing of our traumas, this process in itself becomes a portal to a vast spiritual experience.
Modalities like the Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), Somatic Movements, Matrix Reimprinting, Shadow Work, Parts Work, Breathwork, Energy Work, Compassionate Inquiry, and many others, are devices that help us in this process of seeing or witnessing the full potential human that we were before this energetic pain body took us over and limited our capacities. These devices have proved to be very significant in dissolving the pain body and bringing us to a state of honesty, naturalness, and simplicity.
Some of us use spirituality as an escape, so as to not deal with this energetic pain-body because it can be a difficult process demanding your presence and will to heal as one of your top priorities. We see people anxiously trying great states of meditation and trying to manifest verbally what they need without doing the internal work. We experience this disconnection from ourselves when we have not stepped into the process of emotional work. We need to do our Doing Part (Emotional Work) to fully experience our Being Part (Spirituality).
Through Living Consciouslyy, we recognize the trauma, the energetic pain-body’s existence, which is also the underlying dynamics beneath most illnesses including mental and physical. We understand this interconnectedness and see both emotional work and spiritual work as complementary to each other as underneath, they both are the same.