Energy Healing Strategy for Victims of Rape

There is an energy healing strategy that can support victims of rape and abuse.

To understand this healing approach, it is useful to know something about subtle energy anatomy. In this case, it is to do with the way that the fascia envelopes every part of the body and is mirrored by a webbing of subtle energy.  

Fascia is the thin, smooth, elastic, slippery tissue that sits between muscles and the skin, and that surrounds body organs. It is everywhere in the body, enveloping blood vessels, nerves and cells.

Fascia is also the interface between the body’s physicality and its subtle energy anatomy. It is the bridge, the connection, between physiological tissue and the stuff of the energy body – prana, chi, etheric tissue.  Fascia, for example, is the interface that enables acupuncture.

In the tragic circumstances of rape and abuse, the etheric webbing – the subtle energy fascia –  around the sexual organs and anus is penetrated.

The result of this trauma may be that the subtle energy webbing, the etheric webbing, is torn and remains open after the abusive event.  The integrity of the victim’s subtle energy anatomy is therefore broken.

The victim now experiences not only the psychological and physical trauma of the abuse, but also the less visible wound of the torn and open etheric webbing. This can create an ongoing existential sense of vulnerability and anxiety. For both therapists and victims, it is important to understand that this ongoing vulnerability is not just a psychological or physiological effect. It is also in the subtle energy body that has lost its integrity.

At best, over time, with patience, calm and trust, the webbing can reform and grow back into place. The patience and kindness of therapists, friends and family are crucial.

At worst however the wounded subtle energy webbing remains open.

This can have a tragic result.  Bullies, predators and abusers may sense this energy wound and be attracted to its vulnerability to repeat the abuse. The wounding, the opening, may therefore be further enlarged, creating more vulnerability and a cycle of abuse. This is very unpleasant, wounding and can obviously be very confusing for the recipient who cannot understand why it is happening.

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This energy healing strategy, therefore, is aimed specifically at repairing the subtle energy webbing so that it reforms back into a coherent, healthy and resilient state.  

This technique is not the usual energy healing strategy of hands-on radiation that is used for example in spiritual healing.  In fact, deliberately radiating energy into the wound might make things worse. It can overstimulate and excite the area, possibly making the tear bigger.

The healing strategy that we can use here is calm, receptive and holding. It is magnetic rather than radiatory. It allows and facilitates the web to reweave itself.

It trusts that there is an underlying DNA blueprint of health — an underlying archetypal pattern of a healthy webbing that remains there despite the wound. We need to let the webbing drop back down into its archetypal pattern and reweave itself.

Our technique then is to be very gently present to the wound with calm and patient care. No excitement. No radiation except patient compassion and love.

It is as if your loving and gentle hands are under the wound, and you are magnetically attracting and allowing the webbing to sink down and reweave itself back into its healthy pattern. This requires a very light touch; no sense of urgency.

To repeat: Allow the torn webbing to sink back down into its healthy blueprint which is always there. Sense that it is reweaving. Do not actively radiate or put any willpower into the strategy.

Energy healers – Be very careful about actually touching your client.

How many healing sessions are needed? I do not know. I wish everyone a graceful and speedy healing, but we know that this may take time.

You will know if the healing is effective and the webbing is back in integrity, because the individual will now consistently feel more confident and empowered.

Victims of abuse – If you are reading this, my strong suggestion is that you do this practice when you are in a very safe, relaxed and comfortable space, perhaps in bed or curled up on your sofa. Approach the practice carefully. Maybe feel your way into it just for a few seconds. Slowly build up to a few minutes. A few minutes practised regularly over several months may work very well for you.

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I wish everyone graceful healing.

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Below you can watch a video of  this blog

Meditation for World Peace & Healing Script

There are four stages:

– Centering
– Sending Peace and Healing
– Prayers and Mantra
– Receiving Inner Peace

18.00 – Centering

We close our eyes and allow ourselves to drop down into our bodies.
Our bodies know how to be at ease.
Like sitting in your favourite armchair or sofa at home . . .
Or sitting at your favourite cafe people-watching . . .
Or out in nature watching clouds . . .
Dropping, sinking down into our bodies . . .

Move your feet just a bit to help you anchor down . . .

Notice the subtle sensations of your clothes against the skin of your thighs . . .

Notice the subtle sensations of your clothes moving against the skin of your chest and stomach as you breathe . . .

Your eyes are soft and kind . . .

Your heart warm and open . . .

And you take three or four very soft, slow, quiet breaths down into your stomach . . .

Slow and quiet now . . .

I will be silent now for a few minutes as we each settle down into our bodies . . .
And connect with each other across the landscape . . .
Heart to heart.

 

5 MINUTES SILENCE

18.10 Send Peace and Healing

Stay in the silence . . .

For the next few minutes, we send peace and healing to wherever there is conflict and suffering . . .

Calmly, patiently, we send peace and healing . . .

 

5 MINUTES SILENCE

 

18.15 Prayer & Mantras

Stay in the silence . . .

For the next few minutes we each in our own way, according to our culture and tradition, say our prayers and mantra for peace and healing. . . .

5 MINUTES SILENCE

 18.20 Receive Inner Peace and Healing

Stay in the silence . . .

For the next few minutes, so that we ourselves may model peace and healing . . .

we allow ourselves to accept inner peace and healing. . .

We breathe it in . . .

Deep into our bodies . . .

Deep into our hearts . . .

Deep into our minds . . .

We accept inner peace and healing.

5 MINUTES SILENCE

18.25 Ends

Slowly . . .
Gently . . .
Stretch . . .

Thank you everybody.
Thank you for community.
Thank you for love.

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You can download a PDF of this script here:
World Peace Healing Meditation Script

Meditation Does Not Need a Silent Mind

 

One of the most helpful insights I ever heard from a meditation teacher is this:

There are two types of meditator.

Those who require a silent mind. And those who do not.

I was in my early twenties, just beginning my meditation practice, and was confused because my personal experience contradicted what everyone was teaching, that meditators must have a silent and empty mind. In fact, many of the books and teachers asserted that an empty mind was the real outcome and reward of meditation. But that was not my experience.

Early on I had discovered that I could go into a very mellow, centered and watchful space, with my mind, the proverbial monkey-mind, continuing its chatter. I was, it seemed, one of those meditators who did not need a silent mind. But importantly, I did need to manage it.

This blog then is about managing mind-chatter and comes from my experience of practicing and teaching meditation over five decades.

The crucial factor is whether you are able to observe your mind-chatter with friendly kindness.  Compassionate equanimity.  If you can step back and witness your chatter, then your consciousness has expanded; and expansion of consciousness is one of the wonderful outcomes of meditation.

As an observer then, like a supportive therapist, you can watch with friendly interest what arises in your mind-brain. With patience, emotional intelligence and benevolence you can usefully interpret the chatter and guide it.

 

The Saboteurs of Impatience and Self-Criticism

Watching myself and many others, my experience is that the main saboteurs of managing mind-chatter are impatience and self-criticism.

These two attitudes are usually the result of bad teaching. You may well have been taught, like I was at the beginning, that your monkey-mind must be silent. So, understandably, you may get judgmental and impatient when your brain is still creating thoughts.

Much of this erroneous teaching derives from the frequent misinterpretations and mistranslations of Buddhist terms like ‘sunyata’ or Christian ‘emptiness.’ The void, the emptiness of meditation, is not a frozen space with nothing in it. It is an infinite, vast dimension, ocean and space that contains everything. It also moves and flows.

The void contains the whole cosmos, Buddha consciousness, Christ consciousness, Nirvana, mysteries and levels of awareness beyond our human understanding. It also contains us. We ourselves are in the vast ocean of the void. Nothing is excluded. Nothing can be excluded and that includes our mind-chatter.

You may appreciate too that any meditation tradition and teaching that comes out of a mainly male, militaristic, martial arts, monkish, background may tend to reflect that culture and be emotionally frigid, stern and insisting on an absolutely silent mind. Don’t move. Obey. Be quiet. Empty your mind. Be a good and obedient soldier of your tradition.

 

Anchorperson, Host and Compere

A helpful teaching here is that you can imagine your mind, your consciousness in meditation, to be the world’s best host at a great and wonderful party, the infinite party of the void.  One of your guests at this extraordinary event is your mind-chatter. As a great host, you are not just at ease with the chatter, but you warmly welcome it with friendly and supportive curiosity. In meditation you are the experienced anchorperson and compere of this extraordinary event, which is your psyche in relationship with the cosmos.

 

Your Brain is Endlessly Stimulated

Here’s a biological angle that may help us better understand our mind-chatter.

From one perspective our brains are like flowers sitting on top of a trunk, a shaft, a stalk, of nerves and chemistry. This trunk runs from the base of the spine, up along the gut, then stomach, lungs, heart, mouth, nose, ears and eyes, into your brain. This central nerve also branches out through every cell in your body, including your skin. Your brain, sitting on top of it all, is triggered into activity by endless chemical and electrical events, which are themselves triggered by endless events, experiences, stimulations, conditionings, memories, senses and perceptions – some strong, some very subtle – that arise from every part of your body.

Your biology is designed for survival, with the brain as one of its major functions, perpetually noticing and interpreting lived and felt experiences. No wonder your brain keeps churning out thoughts as it is aroused and stimulated by relationships, money, oven on or off, digestion, pains, itches, tensions and every other major and minor trigger that sends ripples through your neuroendocrinal system.

There is often too much information, overload. In particular, the brain is designed to keep functioning until there is a satisfactory interpretation and closure, so that all possible threats are ended.

All of this is to articulate that, of course, your brain keeps creating thoughts. That is its job, and it sits in a complex and vulnerable endocrinal vehicle, your body, that itself sits in a never-ending culture and society of events, perceptions and stimulations. In meditation we calm the whole system.

 

Many Strategies, One Universal State

Because of this biological reality many different strategies have been developed to help people drop into a state so that they can meditate. These many strategies include breath, movement, reading sacred texts, mantra, body awareness, emptying and more.

Whatever the tradition or strategy, they all result in a universal experience that we call meditation. This experience does not include the frigid silence of the mind.  This universal state can be summarized as including:

  • Your body is at ease and not stimulating the mind-brain.
  • Your mind-brain is at ease, maybe burbling, but not causing anxiety, tension, or impatience in your body, your neuroendocrinal system.
  • Your mind-consciousness is able to step back and observe everything, body included, with compassionate equanimity.
  • There is a sense of connection with a benevolent Oneness (there are many words and terms for this.)

 

Some Hints on Managing Mind-Chatter

This still leaves the challenge of finding the right strategies for managing the brain-chatter. Remember. The issue is not to silence the brain-chatter. The issue is to develop your compassionate and wise observer. So here is some advice, which I hope you may find helpful.

Be Friendly.
Develop your ability and your attitude to be affectionately curious and interested in what your mind-chatter is saying. This is also useful personal development that can spill over into the rest of your life. Be patient and friendly towards yourself – and others.

Contemplate and reflect.
Learn to assess whether the mind-chatter is useful. For example, perhaps you really have not switched off the oven, so get up and check. Perhaps it may be a good use of your meditation time to contemplate a difficult family relationship, or a financial problem, or your next steps in personal or professional development.

This is one of meditation’s greatest gifts. When you are quiet, at ease, observant, and with a sense of connection, you are in the best possible state for wise contemplation about yourself. Know thyself.  This is good contemplative, reflective practice.  Where better to look at the challenges in your life? You can then guide this reflective contemplation to a close when you have had enough.

Use your mind in other ways
It is very useful to know that many meditation traditions actually teach activities that the mind can practice. This is to say, do not close down your mind. Use it in other ways. Well-known practices include prayer, healing, seed thoughts and reflective contemplation.

So when you assess that you have had enough reflective contemplation on your mind-chatter and its meaningfulness, you can direct your brain into one of those other activities. It is, for example, always good to pray for the relief of suffering.

Patience
Always, always, dissolve your impatience and develop patience.

Meditate Longer
Finally, over the decades there is a consistent piece of advice that I have given to students, colleagues and to myself. If you are experiencing challenges with your practice and your mind-chatter, meditate longer. If your usual time is twenty minutes, stretch it to thirty. If your usual time is thirty, stretch it to an hour. Stretch through the discomfort and develop your skills and capacity – more love, more consciousness, more compassion.

The groove of meditation is highly enjoyable and I always smile at Yogananda’s assertion that one good meditation is worth a year of ordinary human development.

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This blog was triggered by my friend, Jan Cisek, who nudged me to look at Arnaud Delorme’s new book ‘Why Our Minds Wander: Understand the Science and Learn How to Focus Your Thoughts’ 

In the Age of Zoom Do Tribal Spiritualities Have a Future?

When meditation, shamanic or pagan groups meet online where is their actual meeting? In what dimension is their gathering?

I pose this enquiry because it is relevant to the future and survival of regional and indigenous spiritualities.

Culturally we obviously need to safeguard regional and tribal spiritual traditions. They have value, beauty and uniqueness. Their disappearance is a poignant tragedy.  

People are also understandably upset by cultural appropriation – a form of absorption and watering down – when they see, for example, a white person wearing the hairstyle, ornaments or clothing that belong to the priesthood of a tribal culture.

At the same time, there is another inevitable, evolutionary magnetic force. This is towards a global culture in which previously isolated traditions merge. This has been of great benefit, for example, in the field of world music and added huge value to the art. Spiritual and wellbeing practitioners too benefit from the practices of previously parochial spiritual cultures. Yoga and meditation are two obvious examples.

Over the longer term the major world religions, especially Christianity, Islam and Buddhism, have all subsumed animist traditions. This had great benefits as well as causing great harm.

Today online spiritual groups are creating another substantial shift. Geography and locality are becoming irrelevant in a way that is both obvious and also subtle.

The obvious dimension of the online group connection is purely materialistic.  It is just a group communicating over the internet, like a telephone or zoom conversation. This is normal physics.

The second dimension is more weird, metaphysical. People report that they are also connecting energetically and telepathically. The digital connection, they say, helps to facilitate and even amplify this subtle experience.

It is relevant that prior to the internet, many groups and individuals practised subtle connections over a distance. Abbeys, convents, monasteries and individual meditators, healers and shamans, have long asserted the efficacy and necessity of subtle energy and prayer work over a distance. I live close to Glastonbury Abbey, which I once heard described as a ‘prayer machine for the world.’

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Many people I work with nowadays say that they really enjoy online meditations, groups and courses. This is different from when I first started online teaching and many people complained about it. There was a lot of tut-tutting about technology versus ‘real’ spirituality and the loss of in-person meetings.

A few years on however, opinion has dramatically transformed. To their surprise, many people find that they value and even prefer the experience of online meetings. Covid and the lockdowns accelerated this change in attitude.

One reason for this transformation is that people, for example, doing meditation work online no longer have to deal with the coughing, shuffling and other irritations that happen in an in-person group. It is not easy to be serene and sensitive to subtle dimensions when someone close by is breathing heavily, wheezing and ruffling a cough medicine packet which refuses to open; or a latecomer in Minnie Mouse high heels clip-clops across the wooden floor; not to mention some people’s pungent perfumes, or choking on incense.

Introverts and quiet types also find that they like studying online, because they are free from the exhaustion of social interaction. It is easier to stay open and aware of subtle experiences when there is not the stimulation of other people in your space. In fact, many report to me that their meditations, healing and inner work go deeper when they work online. They assert that it amplifies their experience. That certainly tallies with my own experience.

None of this, of course, is to underestimate the healing, enjoyment and encouragement that can come from real life groups and communities.

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There is an interesting mystic and evolutionary perspective here too.

Teilhard de Chardin and then Peter Russell suggest that the network of global communications was evolving to resemble the neural connections of a global brain or global heart. This, they propose, is a huge step forward in human evolution. From geographically isolated and separated tribes and nations, often in conflict, the internet and digital dimension is now fully demonstrating humanity’s holistic connection and interdependence.

I like that interpretation, even if it is just a hopeful metaphor. I use it as a lens through which I look at the sad chaos of social networking — Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Instagram, etc.  Optimistically, I choose to see these current troubles as the birthing pains of a new global culture. Painful now, perhaps even dangerous, but something new is arising.

But here is the question that I posed at the top of this piece. What happens now to the metaphysical, magical and spiritual traditions that are rooted in particular geographies? Will cultural appropriation and the inevitable forces of globalisation mean that they disappear completely?

In my own history, I feel that my roots are deep in the Middle Eastern and European mystical approaches — gnostic Christianity, Qabalah and Sufiism. I have a personal sense too of a relationship with the traditions of Tibetan Bon, Berber and central African shamanism. Many of my close friends feel their roots in other geographies, particularly shamanism in north and south America, and Scandinavia.

To repeat my enquiry: What happens now to these regional jewels?

I found part of the answer in the last months when I interviewed Grandmother Flordemayo of the Mayan tradition and Puma Quispe Singona, an Andean medicine man, for an online Shift Network event.

Both of these teachers were born into and are rooted in their traditions. Both are loving, experienced and wise practitioners.  They also teach online. Without my prompting they had the same core message:

We are one humanity, one people.

We must learn to be still, to connect with Source, and spread love and compassion.

These two influential, indigenous teachers, deeply anchored in their cultures, truly enjoy teaching online. They celebrate the opportunity to connect with students and colleagues beyond their local geography and outside of their culture. They celebrate too the unity and the interconnectedness of all beings. First and foremost, they teach connection, love and compassion.

Teaching connection, love and compassion is not anything new in their traditions. That indeed is what they and their ancestors were imparting long before the digital world wide web.

Before the global digital revolution, wise mystics universally taught the universality of all life.

From this perspective, we can reasonably suggest that the universality of the digital web mirrors classical spiritual teaching.

People often forget that all the kit — the hardware, wireless and wiring — all derive from resources in the natural world. They are not magicked out of thin air.  They all, in another language, emerge from Gaia. Where else? The digital web is not separate from nature. I might want to criticise Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg, but I cannot deny they belong to our interdependent species.

The isolation of tribal groups and nations always meant that there was a challenging transition as they met other peoples. As I wrote above, the major world religions all subsumed indigenous traditions.  Some tribal folk, of course, held on to their old ways and fought for their local traditions and sense of identity. Others embraced the new times.

The history of what we call civilisation and the growth of the world religions, is filled with terrible persecutions and genocides, as well as with inspiring evolutions and development. We are a mixed species!

The digital ecosystem is potentially benevolent because it is inherently democratic, accessible and universal. Anyone can now make news. And that, of course, has its awful shadow elements.

But I take an optimistic stance. The world wide web and online groups enable us to be simultaneously global and local without conflict. Our sense of identity can be located one hundred per cent in the Earth where you stand; and also one hundred per cent in the global village, still on this same Earth.  We are not either local or global. We can easily be both.

When we participate in online groups, we are precisely experiencing being in these two dimensions: local and global. And for many of us a third dimension too, one that is metaphysical.

Our demons then are not globalisation or the extremes of identity politics. Our demons are the usual suspects. Greed. Insecurity. Bullying. It is these negative traits that create the real problems.

So as we integrate locality and globalism, we need also to celebrate our ethics. Connection. Love. Compassion.

Remember the call to action:

Think global. Act local.

We might add to that call another ethical mantra:

Local roots. Global compassion.

Guided Meditation Catastrophes and the Temple of Infinite Unknowing

Guided meditations can be enlightening, inspiring, boring and provocative.

Led well, they can transport the recipients into relaxation, altered states of consciousness, and provide insights and illuminations.

Led badly, they can be infuriating and sometimes funny.

For me, it all began decades ago in a London group where we took turns leading the group mediations. In one session, all of us lying down, our leader took us into a relaxed state and then guided our meditation journey to Heathrow airport. We all boarded a plane to the Caribbean and a lovely island.

‘And now,’ she said in a monotonous tone, ‘we light a fire on the beautiful beach and enjoy a barbecue, while the vegetarians wander through the jungle looking for food. . .’

Three of us immediately sat up, outraged vegetarian meditators.

In another group, the leader very slowly and carefully said, ‘And now, as we enter the airplanes, our consciousness expands . . .’

Afterwards I found out that the group leader was Dutch and had misheard their teacher’s original “and now, as we enter the higher planes . . .”

There was a similar misunderstanding when groups across Europe were leading people into ‘the greater hole’ having misunderstood ‘the greater whole.’

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The most effective guided meditations often follow a format of starting somewhere very peaceful, perhaps a lovely meadow. The meditators are then guided to a place that is very special, such as a temple. Within the temple there is usually an upward path, culminating in a column of light, which the meditator ascends. At the top of the column of light, they then meet a very special Being, who gives them a meaningful gift or insight.

There are also guided shamanic journeys where the leader, often playing a drum or backed by some kind of tribal music, takes the meditators into an altered state and into a new kind of, often psychedelic, environment.
Meet animals, plants, rivers, mountains and rocks that speak to you. Give them gifts. Be humble and make a relationship.

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Over the decades I have participated in and led many of these meditations. I have also created them, often to introduce students and friends to metaphysical concepts and beings.

I develop these new meditations when I myself am in meditation. (Where else could I possibly create them?)

Sometimes I do not create them in a deliberate and planned way. They arise as I open to a new expanded state of consciousness, and experience a perception and insight of metaphysical things I have not previously known. I am blessed by access to what Patanjali described as ‘the raincloud of knowable things.’

Recently, in my daily practice, I was blown away by a meditation experience. (Did you know that the Sanskrit word nirvana is often translated as meaning ‘blown out’ or ‘extinguished’?)

In this meditation I was deeply tranquil and spacious. At ease, empty and open. Gradually, I felt myself entering a new zone, I had never previously experienced, a new dimension of consciousness.

I had subtle impressions, intuitions. My brain-mind-psyche interpreted them as being in a kind of wonderful, subdued desert. Beige. Brown. Deep, expansive, calm.

I became aware of some kind of enormous archway. Very big. Several miles high and wide. Made of subtle brown-beige unfinished sandstone.

I was drawn through this archway into a dimension I could hardly understand. It was more serene, spacious and weird than anything I have ever previously experienced.

Again, my brain-mind-psyche sought to interpret the subtle intuitive experience. It spoke to me:

In the subtle realms you are accustomed to new colors and sounds.

In these expanded dimensions, there are also new feelings, vibrations and experiences.

What you experience as Love is just a beginning . . .

(The image is from the Hubble telescope of the Eta Carinae nebula which is 50 light-years across.)

The Metaphysics of Depression

It took me a while to understand what people were actually telling me when they described their experience of melancholia and depression.  They nearly always spoke about the purely psychological dimension of negative thoughts and emotions, often so unbearable that suicide seemed a redemptive relief. They rarely acknowledged their embodied physical experience.

But almost without exception, when I continued to enquire about their ailment, they would begin to talk about extreme physical states: sensations of unbearable physical heaviness,  sluggishness, immobility, inability to rise from bed, a glued physical reluctance to engage in any activity.

No wonder, I thought, that they should have such distressing emotions and thoughts. Their internal physiological state, their inherent biological ecosystem, was in an awful state; and this was naturally mirrored in their sad emotions and thoughts, at their most extreme inclining towards suicide

As a mystic and metaphysician, I would then always contemplate the journey of their soul. I hoped that I might intuit some kind of coherent story, framed by metaphysics, karma and spiritual purpose, that threw some light on the darkness of their malaise, on their dark night of the soul.

Yes it was obvious, as with any illness, that there was an opportunity for spiritual development. But I always advise caution here, because it can be nasty and insensitive to assert that someone’s illness is a purposeful part of their soul’s journey. At its worst, this kind of statement can be a soulless, passive aggressive ‘you asked for it’ banality. (Even if sometimes there may be an element of truth to it.)

Stepping back from the idea that depression can be a deliberate developmental stage planned by the soul, there are however other metaphysical perspectives that are worth exploring.

I approach all this tentatively, because it is an idea that is work-in-progress and also because I want to be sensitive to the suffering of those who endure depression and melancholy.

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The key angle here is to focus on the physical experience of depression that I began to list in the first paragraph: the symptoms of sluggishness, heaviness and the effort required to move, as if one were being sucked into inertia.

Notice too how many of the therapies for depression encourage movement of the body, emotions and thoughts. Notice also the medicines administered for depression; their very prescription acknowledges that it is a biochemical embodied state.

But the physicality of depression is often ignored by those of us looking for a psycho-spiritual or metaphysical understanding and cure.

There are however two metaphysical perspectives, which can provide insight.

The first is from the writings of Djwahl Kuhl, particularly in his book, Esoteric Healing, dictated to his secretary, Alice Bailey.

The second can be found in many metaphysical philosophies, but is most explicit in the Yin-Yang approach of Taoism.

In explaining illness and the possible avenues for healing, Djwahl Kuhl of course talks about the karmic element. He also discusses illnesses, such as plagues and epidemics, where individuals have no choice but to participate in humanity’s collective karma and mass events.

Djwahl Kuhl also crucially discusses the inherent impurities in the stuff that makes up the body of planet Earth and consequently the inherent impurities that exist too in our human physical bodies. We may be brilliant, compassionate, enlightened saints, but our bodies are organic and carbon-based, and therefore contain inherent impurities that we share with Gaia. The substance of Gaia’s vehicle is not one hundred per cent pure. Gaia herself has karma.

This is a profound insight for metaphysical approaches to illness and healing. Some of our illnesses have nothing to do with our personal karma and dharma, but are simply part of the reality that we exist in an interdependent physical environment and we participate in its corrupt physical elements as much as in its gifts. That is just the way it is. (Try keeping your body healthy and alive forever!)

The physical experience of depression, then, may simply be due to someone’s physical body experiencing an impurity that belongs to planet Earth.

(Below: The Schwatzchild metric; gravity bending space and time.)

Then there is a second metaphysical insight. (I apologize in advance to scholars who may see this as an oversimplification.)

The Yin-Yang concept of Taoist philosophy expresses a crucial cosmic reality that is rarely articulated in a helpful and straightforward way. This philosophy asserts a fundamental truth, that there are two great forces continuously at work and continuously in balance with each other.

Expansion ↔ Containment

Yin  ↔ Yang

Yin — everything in the cosmos is in a continual state of containment, of gravity and magnetism; of taking on form.

Yang — everything in the cosmos is in a continual state of movement and expansion.

Without gravity and magnetism – Yin –  the cosmos would have no form, no solidity, no coherence.

Without movement and expansion – Yang –  the cosmos would be an unimaginable block of inert matter, a sucking black hole of density, never developing and growing.

These two forces of expansion and containment balance each other to create all the forms and matter of life. Moreover their relationship is always dancing and in a state of transformation. They exist alongside and within each other.

At the same time, these two forces are felt in our bodies and our psyches.

Too much Yang, too much expansion and movement, and we become hyper.

Too much Yin, too much magnetism and inertia, and we get sucked into depression.

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So here we have a metaphysical perspective on depression. It suggests that the physical matter of someone’s body may be too inclined towards gravity, containment and magnetism; and has lost its balancing outwards movement of expansion and development. The depressed person’s cells and atoms are not moving and expanding in a balanced way. There is too much dense, sluggish gravity.

Why should this be in some people’s bodies? Yes, there is the possibility that it is the soul’s choice. But there are all the other more obvious reasons — ancestry, DNA, environmental conditions  — which come from being part of an interdependent species of planet Earth. Please do not get me wrong and start sending me emails stating that people can influence their vulnerability through changes in behavior and attitude. That is only too obvious. What is not obvious to many is how we share in the collective experience of the whole planet, sometimes willingly, sometimes innocently and by chance.  

Depression can be, so to speak, a natural event that occurs sometimes because our bodies are made up of matter over which we sometimes have no control. Birth and death are also indicators of this reality.

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Moreover, many people who do not suffer severe depression, do also experience cycles of melancholia, ups and downs. These are natural too and built into our biology.

Two of these cycles are very well-known.

The first is seasonal. Many people experience lows when their bodies are deprived of sunlight in the Winter; and then recover energy when stimulated by the renewed light of Spring and Summer. The warmth and rays of the sun work directly on the physiology to stimulate activity. Deprived of the stimulation, many bodies sink into melancholy.

The second cycle is the equally natural one of sadness following a period of activity or a peak of success. The body seeks balance. Having been in an extreme state of liveliness, it swings back into an extreme state of morose sluggishness. Some people, as we know, suffer lifelong swings of mood, not as disturbing as suicidal depression but nevertheless extremely uncomfortable.

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So to an important question. Can any of this approach to depression bring relief?

I do not know.

I do know however that anything that expands our understanding might in some way be useful. It progresses the conversation.

For people however who are dedicated to their spiritual development and have developed the practice of compassionate witnessing, then this approach may give them a new angle to contemplate. Possibly, better understanding their metaphysical and physical anatomy, they might intuit an insight into how they can mobilize themselves out of too much gravity into more expansion and movement. I do not know. I do however pray for the relief of suffering.

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Often my friends who suffer from depression and who have a spiritual approach, will say: I don’t belong here. I wish I had not incarnated. I want to go home.

I may then ask them about their sense of home. They always reply that home (usually in the heavens) is healing, safe, friendly and beautiful.

I find it very poignant when they say that, because I perceive extraordinary hope and optimism in their sense of home. We mystics who, fortunately, do not endure depression, are, in a way, always at home. I wish that for my melancholic friends too.