In Core Energetics there is a notion that our patterns of relating are formed from early life experiences, in part from the suppression of our negative feelings as we shaped ourselves to fit into the world around us. This aspect of ourselves, called the lower self or the shadow, develops when we didn't get seen and soothed in moments of difficulty as we learned to adapt to culture. It is energy that becomes pinned between our true self, our essence, and the mask which we form to deal with the outer world. The lower self grows stronger when we have been neglected or mistreated and abused.
When unexpressed energy from these early moments becomes trapped in our system it either turns back against ourselves or is expressed sideways in a distorted manner; over time it leads to our habits and attitudes in life. Core works to free people individually from the lower self, the defense against our long forgotten personal pains. Change happens through loosening muscle armoring that has formed in the body, opening our lower self and our emotional expression without judgement, observing and exploring how these are linked to thinking patterns and behaviors. The change process occurs by creating a sort of chaos that allows the holding patterns to loosen and be transformed, along with this careful observation aligned with our commitment to change.
Many branches of non-allopathic medicine operate on the same principles: that instead of working toward the suppression of symptoms, healing occurs by cooperating with the system through understanding and encouraging the self healing tendencies which are found in all of nature. This includes seeking to find the original cause of the disease from deep in the system and bringing it out into the open. Healing is more than the absence of symptoms, it is the regression to and eventual resolution of the cause of symptoms. Western medicine often seeks to suppress symptoms and that has also been true of our tendency to legislate morality.
Certainly this legislation has improved life for and protected many vulnerable people in our country and elsewhere. And yet still in America much has been suppressed and hidden. And now our cultural lower self is coming back into the open. Chaos is lurking and many people are at risk. Fear and uncertainty prevail and the concerns are certainly warranted. Our old comfortable structures, our status quo, has faltered and is crumbling. It is my deepest prayer that with careful vigilance this will be but part of a deeper healing process, that we will not give way to the lower self but be able to observe it and meet it without getting stuck in reactive patterns, in self-protective measures of siding with aggressors, nor hopelessness and terror.
As we must do when working with our lower selves in therapy, let us not judge or fall into despair nor foster an attitude of righteousness. We must meet the lower self expression, establishing communication with it in ourselves and in others; we must listen, witness and find empathy. Healing requires making way for the underlying pain and old unmet needsto emerge from the shadow itself. The lower self must somehow be explored but not indulged. And be assured, we all carry lower self attitudes in the face of the recent election. We all think we are right, or are getting lost in our fear and powerlessness. All of this is merely an expression of our mask or of our lower self.
Carefully crafted responses, based on what we know about healing the individual self, can lead us through to a completely new order rather than allowing us to become mired in a bad version of the worst of human behavior and conditions. I don't know what the cost will be, nor how many generations it may take, but I strongly believe there is potential here, potential to take us into a creative and communal worldwide reality that is not yet even imagined. In my experience in my practice, that is what often happens to people's lives when healing occurs on a deep level.
We had made many strides in areas of human rights and environmental concerns that may be at risk, but we also stand on bloody ground at the hands of our forefathers. There is no room for self-righteousness and judgement, there is only room to find a new way, a new world order. I believe we must take to our own neighborhoods, facilitating safe interaction with people who think differently than us, standing up for the disenfranchised, thinking more locally and not expecting the government to do all of this for us. We must create interdependence and lean more toward sustainability.
In Core after clearing the trapped energy of the lower self and making more space in our system there is movement of the pure and creative life force from the center of our being, our essence comes to express itself. This is the emergence of the higher self that has always been there and was never lost. It was only blocked by our confused with- held energy, fused to pain and reactions we didn't understand. Charles Eisenstein recently wrote, "If we can stare hate in the face and never waver..., we will access inexhaustible tools of creative engagement, and hold a compelling invitation to... haters to fulfill their beauty."
John Pierrakos, the founder of Core Energetics called the higher self the C.O.R.E., the Center of Right Energy. Journey on with careful awareness my friends, it is time to take our personal work to the community, yea even to the level of the larger world.
The real self is the human center, the individuated life principal within each of us. It cannot die. It gives and receives generously. Through living it's potential is fulfilled. John Pierrakos