Monday, March 28, 2011

Black Holes in the Psyche- by Deepak Chopra with commentary by Laura Harrison

Unhealed Black Holes

"We are now at the level of inner need where the spiritual concept of “I am enough” is truly critical; as long as you dwell on more superficial levels of need, as long as you lean on a stronger person to carry you through, the anxiety of separation is disguised – and that may be what you need for the moment. It takes real spiritual commitment to expose the wounds of separation hidden in the unconscious.
If you look deep enough these wounds show up as black holes in your sense of self. Like black holes in space, which suck energy out of the universe, the psyche’s black holes suck out your confidence, your sense of worth, your certainty that you can survive.

When you approach just a small one of these holes, you can experience a drastic range of sensations, none of them pleasant. Mild uneasiness and disembodiedness give way to nervousness, dizziness, nausea, vertigo, anxiety, panic, terror, and dread, depending upon how close you come to the black hole.
Sometimes there seems to be a hole in your chest or abdomen, or a suffocating pressure, as if all the air was being sucked out of your lungs. Terrible as these feelings are, they have no spiritual reality; they are conditioned reactions. Stored-up fear magnifies the experience of a black hole because of the effort we all exert to avoid existential anxiety, fears about just being here on earth.

Keeping away from a black hole seems like a good tactic, but it isn’t the same as healing. If left unhealed a black hole only gets larger until it becomes a gaping wound. The largest wound you can have is the wound of separation, the trauma of losing love, spirit, God. This is the primal black hole; it breaks you off from the source of love, peace, and joy."

--Adapted from The Path to Love, by Deepak Chopra (Three Rivers Press, 1997).

This is the primary root of our grasping at distractions, objects and other people for our happiness and sense of peace. The love we seek must come from within us, but when we believe that it must come from the outside, we are crippled, we are incredibly and convincingly bound by our own false view.

This false belief leads us to look for constant distraction from new relationships, new material items, more money, more food, more entertainment, more vices, more of whatever distracts us the easiest. We say that when we have ___________ we will be happy. But where in the new car is the happiness located? It will inevitably break down and need repair and then we'll distract ourselves by complaining. If eating ice cream is a source of happiness, then eating the whole container should make us ecstatic. But instead, it makes us feel gross, bloated, restless and frustrated. If a new relationship is the way to be happy, how come when the newness fades we become dissatisfied again? Because you can't run away from yourself, no matter how hard you try.
The "inner work" so unique to each person, must be done. We can't move to a new city, have a string of short relationships or eat away that reality. And although the particulars are so unique to each of us, it all boils down to the same basic lessons: learning who the "I am" actually is, and living in harmony with that truth.
The path takes a lifetime (or longer) to walk, but it is how we finally quench that insatiable craving for love or wholeness that is manifesting itself in so many harmful ways.
Once we get going on the journey within, truly and fiercely desiring enlightenment (the realization of the oneness of being), we begin to feel as if day by day the veils of our previous mistaken views are removed, and we see more clearly. We see more clearly, we live more fully, we become vivid and aware. We slowly heal those black holes and become luminous and whole. Perhaps the wildest part of the whole trip is that it is all about the slow adjustment of our own perception- the transformation comes from within. So too, as we find, does the love, acceptance, connection and wholeness we so desperately crave and need.  ~L.H.

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