David Hawkins, "Healing and Recovery" writes about Catastrophes and Crisis.
"Acute catastrophes are the times when we make great leaps, when we face them directly and fixedly say, "I will not veer from this spiritual work." Now we are really confronted with truly spiritual work. It is not reading some pleasant-sounding phrases in a book or looking at some happy picture. Instead, we are right in the thick of it, in the teeth of it. The teeth of spiritual work occur when we are confronted with that which we cannot avoid. It is the direct confrontation that requires a leap in consciousness."
"These are the golden opportunities that are priceless if we see them that way, if we are willing to be with them and say, "Okay." The willingness to go with them, no matter how painful it may be, enables a giant leap in consciousness, a real advance in wisdom and knowledge, and awareness. That which we read about in books then becomes our own inner experience."
"There is something below the emotionality that is experiencing this energy out for a person. It is literally being handled by something far greater than one's personal self. If only the small personal self were present, one would be swamped and obliterated by the energy released during these experiences. One survives the experience because there is something greater than the personal self that is more capable of handling them."
"The trick of the mind is to not see that. It tries to change what goes on "out there", tries to figure it out, and then falls back on the intellect and finds that the intellect is not going to resolve this kind of problem. When we have dropped a big oak log on our foot and broken all the bones across the front of the foot, what is needed at that moment is our readiness and willingness to handle what life presents. Having the tools and the willingness brings about very rapid healing."
"There is the awareness in acute overwhelm that we really can handle the experiences. Part of the panic comes from the realization that what we think we are - our powerless, limited self - is no match for the power of this experience. That is precisely what is going on - the limited individual, personal self cannot handle the overwhelm. this is the precise spiritual value of it. What do we really want to change about the experience? We will see that what we want to do is change how we feel about it. What we can know is that the feelings will come and go. The even is not going to bother us after the feeling state. All that we have to experience through is the acute upsurge and energy of the emotion. The events will take care of themselves."
The desire to change what occurred and how we feel about it have to be surrendered. The confrontation is there, and all we can do is say yes to experiencing it through, no matter what the nature is, such as a death of a loved one, divorce, separation, an acute emergency, or a catastrophic injury. All bring about a taste of shock that is the same, no matter what is the precipitating event. The shock is the sudden realization of our powerlessness, the fact that the will has met a brick wall, that we are stoppable and have been stopped, and that the personal will cannot have its way."
Therefore, the shock and realization of all this is the same in all the experiences, along with the fact that it is unchangeable and permanent. That is the shock. It is as though we come up full speed against a brick wall, and every time in life when we do this, it releases the same energy field."
"If you have been through more than one of these experiences in your life, you can look back and realize that this is so, and that each time the state of shock was the same. The experience and sequence were the same. There was the experience with the feeling of sudden numbness, the state of disbelief, and then the unleashing of all the negative feelings."
"When we look at the negative feelings precisely and at some of the experiences we have had, we realize that we experienced all of this. We experienced the totality of that negative energy field. In the morning it would be present, and in the afternoon it would still be present. In fact, within a minute's time, we fluctuated back and forth. It is like a scintillating energy field in which the form of the emotionality is flickering from anger to resentment, to self-pity, to jealousy, to getting even, to revenge, to hate, to hating God, to hating oneself, to blaming the family and society, to blaming the government and laws. The mind wildly races around in this negative energy field. We can see the diffuseness and formlessness of it. It is like a basketful of negative energy, and we only have to hand the basket, not all the little things that flicker around in it."
"We only have to handle the 'all' of it. When we see that it is decompressing the 'all' of it, it moves us rapidly through it and out the other side. We see that it is an inescapable experience, and we must have the willingness to surrender to the work that has to be done now. How can we tell when that work is finished? When we suddenly come out into that inner state of peace."
"We know that years later people continue to have resentment and anger and are still caught in some aspect of that negative energy field because the events are not handled in the first place. The person was unwilling to sit down and handle them until completed. People are unwilling to do this because of the pain involved and because they do not know the techniques to use."
"Every time they go at it, they again start trying to change the events in the world and handle the thoughts. The intellect and the mind try to figure it out, and the person runs into the same impasse. By not having an effective tool with which to handle events, the work remains incomplete."
"What happens with the incomplete work and the emotions that were not released? That which is left undone begins to express itself in emotional attitudes and in the body in the form of illness. The unconscious guilt that was not let go of over the catastrophe that happened many years ago comes forth through the autonomic nervous system and the acupuncture energy system and connects with something from the mind. The energy field of the intellect of thinkingness is in the 400s. The energy field of guilt, fear, or anger then couples with some belief system in the mind about a particular illness that results in a physical illness. In psychoanalysis, it would be called psychosomatic, and in this case, the contribution of the psychological element is on the surface and quite visible. The end result of the unresolved emotional healing of a catastrophic experience is often an illness that may occur many years later. the grief that was left undone at the time of the death of some family member twenty years earlier, for example, may now express itself as a heart attack."
"A thing has been handled when we feel at peace and complete with it. It no longer recurs or brings up pain when we think about it; we feel satisfied. There may be regret about having to live through it, but somehow we come out on the other side of it as a different kind of person, and with that knowledge, there is a certain sense of peace that lets us know it has been handled now. Catastrophic experiences are the seeds, the very essence, of the ultimate spiritual experience. Within it and following it to its very center core, totally walking off the cliff in complete abandonment, the full surrender to the experience is the very see and core of that which the spiritual seeker has been searching for all along."
"With many catastrophic situations in ordinary life, there is an incomplete resolution of the experience, along with a lack of awareness of the jewel-like qualities and opportunities within the events. We are overwhelmed by the 'whatness' of them and look in the wrong direction. The mind also gets a secret payoff from the negative emotions (e.g., attention, self-pity, drama) plus indulgence and martyrdom, etc."
"Many times when drugs are introduced, altered states of consciousness occur, and the person is taken to the emergency room. What could be a crucial spiritual discovery is covered over with a band-aid, and the family tries to distract the person from the spiritual work."
"The essential aspect of the spiritual benefit comes from running directly into the experience. There is a saying in Zen to "Walk straight ahead, no matter what," so when this catastrophic experience comes, it is beneficial to center oneself right into the core of it, say "yes" to it and experience it through."
"There have been catastrophic experiences in my life where band-aids were available, and I refused to accept them because by then I had learned the value of experiencing them through. The band-aids really prevent the experiencing through of what might be called 'hitting bottom'. The concept of hitting bottom, which is well known in handling many serious problems, such as alcoholism, means to let go completely."
"In an acute catastrophic situation, the mind tries to cling to that which is familiar. It tries escapism, distractions, tranquilizers, drugs and alcohol, and various other ways of trying to ameliorate the situation rather than face it directly and work through it."
"The essence of a catastrophic situation is total surrender to the discovery of that which is greater than the personal self. The experiencing through completely of the catastrophic brings us into a connection and realization that there is something within ourselves that has the power to sustain, no matter how catastrophic the experience appears to be. As a result, we come out the other side of it as a greater person with the awareness that there is something within, that there is a Presence, a quality, or an aspect of life within that has the power to sustain us through the most seemingly impossible situations."
"If the catastrophic experience is not worked through completely, there are certain residuals. It is like we have only halfway fallen off the cliff. Some people think they walked off the cliff, but actually we find that they were secretly crossing their fingers and hanging onto some little outcropping or lifeline. The abandonment to God was not really total, so a doubt remains, and out of that doubt is the residual of, for example, grief or fear of the experience. If we do not experience something greater than the personal self, when going through the experience, we may end up with a limitation, a certain crippling, and inability to go beyond a certain point, and the willingness to participate becomes limited. The person who says, "I would rather live a limited life than face that kind of experience again. I would rather never love again than to love and lose." The saying is, "'Tis better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all." The experiencing of lovingness puts us in touch with our Self, that which is greater than our own limited, small self."
"The complete resolution brings us into conscious contact with something that is greater than the personal self. Many people who have tried to attest to the fact that when they surrendered the small self to something greater than themselves, they came into contact with that which they consider to be 'real'. That personal inner experience of spiritual reality takes one from book learning to a profound inner conviction. Out of this inner conviction comes the willingness to re-enter life again, to participate in it, and to take the risks and chances."
"What is the inner experience of hitting bottom? It comes out of the feelings of hopelessness and despair; the person's small self is saying, " I of my own self, cannot handle this." The person surrenders out of the hopelessness, and from that comes the willingness to let go, the surrender to something greater than oneself. At the very bottom, in the pits, one realizes and accepts the truth, "I, of myself, my own individual personal self, my own ego-self, am unable to hand this. I am unable to resolve it." It is out of this defeat that victory and success arise. The phoenix rises out of the ashes of despair and hopelessness. It is not the despair and the hopelessness that are of value, but the letting go and the realization of the limitation of the small self. In the middle of the catastrophe, the person says, "I give up. I cannot handle this," and then may consciously or unconsciously as God for help."
"Due to the law of free will and nature of consciousness being what it is, it is said that the great beings that are willing to help all of us are waiting for us to say "yes." It is the sudden turning from the bottom of the barrel to the willingness to accept that there is something greater than ourselves that we can turn to. When the person asys, "If there is a God, I ask him to help me," then the great transformative experiences happen that have been recorded throughout history from the very beginning." David Hawkins.
Wow. I know it is long, and if you are still reading....what I can say is this is all true. When I found myself in the middle of something far too big and I too small, did I then find a Self, I wasn't even aware of. A soul, a connection to God...or I found God. It was in the midst of pure hopelessness and despair...when I took the free fall over the edge that It caught me.
Photograph by Hannah Jukuri