Recapitulation

Rich

The Living Force
In 'The active side of Infinity' by Carlos Castenada, Don Juan gives a description of a practical method of clearing out the clutter to find negative personality traits. It seems like a worthwhile exercise to do, I just wondered whether anyone has had positive experiences from attempting this:

"The way sorcerers perform the recapitulation is very formal," he
went on. "It consists of writing a list of all the people they have met, from
the present to the very beginning of their lives. Once they have that list, they
take the first person on it and recollect everything they can about that
person. And I mean everything, every detail. It's better to recapitulate from the present to the past, because the memories of the present are fresh, and in
this manner, the recollection ability is honed. "Divide it by years, by
occupations, arrange it in any order you want to, but make it sequential, with
the most recent person first, and end with Mommy and Daddy. And then,
remember everything about them.
 

Seeker 1313

Padawan Learner
It has been a while since I had read this, but I believe the purpose of the execise was not only to recall the person and events associated, but to recapture power lost during the interaction. In other words every interaction we have with others involves an exchange of power on some level----The sorcerers are simply relating an exercise in which they are able to reclaim lost power.
 

nf3

Padawan Learner
Rich said:
In 'The active side of Infinity' by Carlos Castenada, Don Juan gives a description of a practical method of clearing out the clutter to find negative personality traits.
The 4th way method is less formal but more effective because it specifically targets the past events that result in our negative programming. Rather than going over EVERYTHING in your past, you wait for emotional shocks to occur naturally and then kinda trace them back to the key event or even just a general theme of your past.

The topic is discussed, among other places, in this thread: http://www.cassiopaea.org/forum/index.php?topic=2832
 

Rauno

Padawan Learner
The next is a chapter from a strange book called "Encounters With Nagual" by Armando Torres

Recapitulation

When revising my notes, i discovered that another topic Carlos repeatedly referred to in his talks was the concept of recapitulation. He claimed that it is the exercise to which sorcerers dedicate most of their time.

Once he remarked that, in spite of the energy drainage we are subjected to through social interaction, we all have an option, because the sealed of nature of our luminous configuration allows us to restart from zero any time, and to recover our totality.

"It is never too late", he said. "While we are alive, there is always a way of conquering any kind of blockage. The best way to recover the luminous fibers we have lost is by calling our energy back. The most important part is to take the first step. For those who are interested in saving and recovering their energy, the only way open to us is the recapitulation.

"A sorcerer knows that if we don't go for our ghosts, they will come for us. For that reason he leaves nothing unresolved. He recounts his past, looks for the magical joint - the exact moment when he was involved in somebody's destiny - and applies all his concentration to that point, and unties the knots of intent.

"Sorcerers say that we live our life from a distance, as if it were a memory. We spend life hooked, hurt by something that happened thirty years ago and carrying a burden that doesn't make any sense anymore. 'I don't forgive it !' we scream, but it is not true, it is ourselves we don't forgive!

"The emotional commitments we make with people are like investments we have made along the way. We must be completely insane to leave our heritage thrown away like that!

"The only way we can become complete again, is by picking up that investment, reconciling ourselves with our energy, and dissipating the heavy burden of feelings. The best method the sorcerers have discovered for this is to remember the events of our personal history until we have completely digested them. Recapitulation takes you out of the past, and inserts you into the now.

"We cannot escape having been born as bored -flicks-, nor having invested most of our luminosity in making children or in maintaining tiring relationships. But we can recapitulate; it cancels out the energetic effects of those acts.

"Fortunately, in the realm of energy, things like time and space don't exist. So it is possible to return to the place and to the same moment when the events happened, and relive them. It is not very difficult, since we all know well where we are hurting.

"To recapitulate is to stalk our routines, subjecting them to a systematic and merciless scrutiny. It is an activity that allows us to visualize our life as a totality, and not just as a succession of moments. However, and although this may seem strange, only sorcerers recapitulate as an exercise; other people only happen to do it by chance.

"Recapitulation is the heritage of the old seers, the basic practice, the essence of sorcery. Without it, there is no path. Don Juan used to disparagingly refer to apprentices who had no recapitulated as 'radioactive'. Don Genaro would not even shake hands with me, and if i touched him accidentally, he would run to wash himself as if i had infected him. He said i was full of dirt and it was seeping out through every pore of my skin. With that comedy routine, he installed in me the idea that recapitulating is an elementary act of hygiene.

In another lecture, Carlos referred to a kind of luminous stagnation, which he described as a fixation of our attention that blocks the flow of energy. He said that this happens when we refuse to face facts and try to protect ourselves by hiding behind evasive actions. Also, when we leave pending matters unresolved, or make commitments that ties us down.

The consequence of that kind of stagnation is that the person ceases to be himself. When being pressured by the chain of decisions that he has made during his life, he can no longer act in a deliberate manner and he becomes entangled in the circumstances. This situation can escalate to the point of mental or physical illness, and can only be resolved through recapitulation.


He maintained that, in essence, to recapitulate consists of making a list of wounds caused by our interactions. The next step is to travel back to the moment when the events took place, in order to reasorb what belongs to us, and return what belongs to others.

"The warrior begins rewinding his day. He reconstructs conversatons, deciphers meanings, remembers faces and names, looks for shades and insinuations, dissects his own emotional reactions and those of others. He doesn't leave anything to chance, grabs the memories of the day one by one and cleans them through his breathing.

"He also examines entire chapters and categories of his life. For example, partners he has had, houses he has lived in, schools, work places, friends and enemies, fights and happy moments, and so on. The ideal thing is to attack the task in chronogical order, from the most recent memory until the most distant that it is possible to evoke. But in the beginning it is easier to do it by topics.

"A very profitable form of the exercise, accessible to all of us, is the fortuitous recapitulation. If you think about it, we are constantly recapitulating. All memories which conform to our internal dialogue can be called that. However, we evoke them in an invlountary way; Instead of stalking them in silence, we judge them and interact with them viscerally. That is pitiful. A warrior takes advantage of the opportunity, because those memories seemingly random, are warnings from our silent side."


He pointed out that to recapitulate, no special conditions are necessary. We can try the exercise any time, any place; wherever we feel moved to do it.

"Warriors recapitulate when they are walking down the road, in the bathroom, when working or when eating; whenever it is possible ! The important thing is to do it."

He added that it takes no definite posture. The only requirement is to be comfortable, so the physical body doesn't demand attention or interfere with the memories.

"However, sorcerers take the exercise very seriously. Some use wooden boxes, raised platforms, closets, or caves. Others build a seat in the highest branches of a big tree, or dig a hole in the ground and cover it with branches. A good practice is to recapitulate sitting on the bed, in darkness, before lying down to sleep. Any means that isolates us from the environment is good for formal recapitulation.

"Once we have located an event and recreated each of its part, we have to inhale to recover the energy that we left behind and exhale fibers that others deposited in us. Breathing is magical, because it is a founction that gives life."

Carlos explained that this kind of breathing should be accompanied by a lateral movement of the head, which sorcerers call 'to fan the event'.

Somebody asked him if it is necessary to breathe from right to left or vice versa.

He answered:

"What does it matter? It is energy work; there is no fixed pattern. What counts is the intent. Breathe in when you try to recover something, and blow back all that doesn't belong to you. If you do that with the totality of your history, you will stop living entangled in a chain of memories and instead, you will be focused in the present. Seers describe that effect as facing facts as they are, or seeing time objectively."


They asked him what we have to do with our memories once we locate them; whether it means to examine them with some psychoanalytical method or something like that.

He answered:

"It is not necessary to do anything in particular. Memories will find their own course, and luminosity is reordered by itself through the breathing. Just try it, make yourself available; the spirit will tell you how to do it.

"Recapitulation starts from inside and sustain itself. It is matter of silencing the mind, and our energy body will take control, doing what is a delight for it to do. You feel well, comforted; far from draining you, it gives you rest. Your body perceives it as an inexplicable energy bath.

"But you should have the correct attitude. Don't confuse the exercise with a psychological question. If what you need is interpretations, go to the psychiatrist ! He will tell you what to do to continue being the idiot that you are. Neither should you try to find a 'lesson'. Stories with a moral only exist in children's books.

"Recapitulation is a specialized form of stalking, and should be undertaken with a high sense of strategy. It is about understanding and putting our existence in order, seeing it as it is, without remorse, reproaches, or congratulations, with total indifference and a spirit of fluidity, even of humor, because nothing in our history is more important than anything else, and all relationships, in the end, are ephemeral.

"The important thing is to begin, because the energy we recover from the first intent will give us the power to continue recapitulating more and more intricate aspects of our lives. First, it is necessary to go for the strongest investments, which are the most harrowing feelings. Then we go for those memories that are buried so deeply that we though we had forgotten them, but they are there.


"In the beginning, recapitulating can be hard work, because our mind is not accustomed to that discipline; But, after closing the most painful wounds, energy will recognize itself and we become addicted to the exercise. In that way, each particle of light, which we recover, helps us to gain more.

"The moment you begin to prepare to volountarily unravel the plots of our personal history, you will be taking a decisive step."

Responding to another question, he said that recapitulation doesn't have an end; it should last until the end of our days and beyond.

"I stretch my fibers every night while remembering what happened during the day. This way, my list of events stays updated. But once a year, i give myself over to a more complete and total exercise, for which i move away from everything for several weeks."

He warned us that, just because it's a daily practice, we must not see the exercise as a routine.

"If we don't recover the totality of our energy, we will never achieve the power of our decisions; there will always be a backround noise, a foreign command. And without the power of his decisons, a man is nothing.

"Reliving events is ideal, because it cleans the wounds of the past and clear up any congestion of the energy conduits. In this way, you break the fixation of other's people gaze, you expose the patterns of people's behavior, and nothing can hook you again.You become a sovereign being; you decide what you want to make of yourself."

Another question concerned the effect of recapitulation on awareness.

He maintained that the exercise has two main effects.

"The immediate effect is that it stops our internal dialogue. When a warrior is able to stop his dialogue, he tightens the relationship with his energy. It liberates him from the obligation of memory, and from the burden of feelings, and leaves a residual energy that he can invest in enlarging the frontiers of his perception. A warrior begins to appreciate the real thing, not the interpratation of it. For the first time, he comes into contact with the concensus of sorcerers, which is the description of a reality inconceivably integrated.

"It's normal that a warrior at this stage begins to laugh at anything, because energy provides happiness. Thanks to his recapitulation, he is happy, overflowing, jump like a child. On the other hand, he begins to become a fearsome person, since, having his luminosity intact and his life clean, decisions will no longer be an obstacle for him. He will decide what is necessary the moment he wants to, and that, to other people, is scary.

"This is also the time when the warrior requires an extra dose of sobriety and sanity, because without it he would take unnecessary risks, endangering both his own security and the security of others.

"Another effect of recapitulation is that it works as an invitation to the spirit, and makes it want to come and live with us. In other words: To remember our past is the most effective method to unite the physical body and the energy body, which have been separated for years."

He went on to say that sorcerer who has managed to compress the thickest part of his energy is in a state where he may intend a feat of perceptual prowess: Intending a copy of his life experience, in order to deceive death.

"That is the final objective of recapitulation: To create a double, and get ready to leave. You don't have to be a sorcerer to understand the importance of all this. To die in debt is a pitiful way of dying. On the other hand, to have a double to offer the Eagle guarantees that you will be able to continue ahead.

"The fight of sorcerers is heroic. Recapitulating impeccably the content of their lives, they pick up the fibers which drained their attention, and return to those they have known all the attention they have given them. In that way, they arrive at a state of balance which allows them to leave with all their awareness. Their memories, coherent, refined, and integrated, work as an independent being, which serves as a ticket they hand over in exchange for their awareness. The Eagle accepts that effort as a payment, and steps aside. Our replica is sufficient to satisfy its demand.

"Seers see that moment as an explosion of energy which aligns their encapsulated awareness with the totality of emanations out there, and their assemblage point expends infinitely, like a vortex of light."

In another talk, he referred to a method designed by the new seers, which can be helpful in the exercise of recapitulation.
He stated:

"One of the task of sorcerers is to constantly analyze the insinuations of the spirit. For this purpose, they often use a book of memorable events, a map of those occasions when the spirit intervened in their lives, foreign them to make decisions - volountarily or involountarily."

He explained that the advantage of this technique is that when we write, we detach ourselves from things and events, at least to a minimal extent, and thus we are able to focus on them with more objectivity.

"It is not about describing our daily routines, but of being attentive to the strange moments in which intent is manifested. Those are magical junctures, because they produce changes and they put us face to face with the meaning of our existence."

As requested, he gave us some examples of this kind of events.

"Although signs of the spirit are a personal matter, there are ordinary events that in general mark people's life, like being born, choosing a career, interwining your destiny with another person, or having children. Also illnesses and serious accidents, because they establish a nexus with death. For those who have the fortune of finding a conduit of spirit in the shape of a nagual, this is, certainly, the most memorable event of all.

"The interventions of intent are precursors, very significant memories for a warrior, and they can be used as reference points of where to start when one is exploring episodes of personal history. It requires speed and clarity to select them and to synthetize them, extracting the personal stuff and leaving the magical essence. When properly done, they become what the new seers call abstracts centers of perception, a matrix of intent, which a warrior has the duty of deciphering."
 

Rich

The Living Force
nf3 said:
The 4th way method is less formal but more effective because it specifically targets the past events that result in our negative programming. Rather than going over EVERYTHING in your past, you wait for emotional shocks to occur naturally and then kinda trace them back to the key event or even just a general theme of your past.
the formality of recapitulaition is the attraction for me. It is a clear activity with defined goals. I find it difficult to conceptualise the practical 4th way activities without practical demonstrations in a face-to-face group setting. There may well be an aspect of laziness on my part about this and an excuse for me not 'taking the plunge'. I suppose i confuse myself over how to self-remember and depression as a stepping stone. The latter seem very similar to the quote from Rauno
Rauno said:
being attentive to the strange moments in which intent is manifested. Those are magical junctures, because they produce changes and they put us face to face with the meaning of our existence."
I think this is where i need to dig deep and motivate myself. It is easy to go through a list of recommended books, tick them off as 'read' without actually DOING (as I see Ark write frequently). Is it the case then in attempting 'the work' one should focus on 'depression as a stepping stone' to achieve that first victory? or am i simplifying things?
 

anart

The Living Force
Rich said:
I find it difficult to conceptualise the practical 4th way activities without practical demonstrations in a face-to-face group setting.
It's interesting you should say this considering that your 'Marital conflict, children and the work' thread is an example of '4th way activities'. In this thread, you've received a very gentle, supportive mirror, but a mirror nonetheless. You've basically been told that your own self-importance has led you by the nose into a situation where the General Law has come to the forefront to knock you around a bit. Your understanding of this dynamic and application of what you've learned from it has, according to what you've said at this point, made quite a beneficial difference.

So, perhaps, you're seeing it in a face to face manner and not even realizing it.

One of the things many things that are fascinating about this Work is that it's not shiny - it's not cool - it comes with no ribbons or bows or groovy magic abilities - it is Work - on oneself, for oneself, to serve others, and it happens in the crucible of one's own life, how it is today - not how it might be tomorrow. Funny, that - no shiny charismatic 'born again' shell - just Work to remove all that crap that's accumulated since you were an innocent kid, in order to give the real you a chance to become who you are. fwiw.
 

Rich

The Living Force
anart said:
It's interesting you should say this considering that your 'Marital conflict, children and the work' thread is an example of '4th way activities'. In this thread, you've received a very gentle, supportive mirror, but a mirror nonetheless. You've basically been told that your own self-importance has led you by the nose into a situation where the General Law has come to the forefront to knock you around a bit. Your understanding of this dynamic and application of what you've learned from it has, according to what you've said at this point, made quite a beneficial difference.

So, perhaps, you're seeing it in a face to face manner and not even realizing it.
You are very right. The advice received on the marital conflict thread was absolutely invaluable and now that you say it, I can visualise that yes it was akin to me asking a group face-to-face. By viewing my own behaviour objectively and modifying it, there were immediate results and it also lead me to read castenada's 'active side of infinity'. I suppose I was treating that thread as 'therapy' in the way one might approach a psychotherapist (as i had been suggested to do) to deal with THE problem or main frustration. Having built up the courage and awareness to formulate the main difficulty i was having (marital conflict), I was interpreting the advice given as help to get back on track to working on the fourth way. Like a nudge back onto the right tracks (I don't know why i keep using train analogies). I didn't appreciate this was a fourth way activity as such but a means to free up the barriers that are affecting my progress.
 

Azur

The Living Force
In addition to anart's post, you should consider this. Your quote:

Rich said:
the formality of recapitulaition is the attraction for me. It is a clear activity with defined goals.
Is it possible you are seeking, or building a buffer here? Recap is a good thing, but are you truly doing it for what it is for, or seeking a refuge or a distraction?

I have been in your (from I read) exact situation, Rich, and I will not tell you about it. It would distract you from what you are going through. See it through. You are going to burn, and your mind will offer all sorts of "anchors" for you to hang onto. And you will probably take one, or more of them, and it will still feel wrong, although a temporary respite, like a cheap salve, will wear off.

It is almost like this: you are on one of those rickety wood plank rope bridges, swaying in the wind, behind you is your honey, your child, and your ideal of life, and also 100 fanatical tribesmen with poison arrows, coming down bearing on you. You look back, and everything you know is back there, your wife, child, family, everything! But you are fleeing those damn tribesmen, or you WILL die.

You look forward, and know not what is there, your thoughts only on what you may lose or leave behind.

If you decide to cross that bridge, and not turn back, to acquiesce, to appease the tribesmen, you will find on the other side, waiting for you, in all likelihood, your wife and your child.

And when you do, you will SEE the difference. Same people, clearer perception, and I might add, better appreciation for what it is.

You being on the bridge, as you are now, is the upward stroke of the hammer. Crossing the bridge, and I mean really crossing it, is the downward stroke.

A little effort goes a LONG way.

God speed.
 

Laura

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
It seems quite obvious that any individual who wishes to pursue esoteric studies ought to have a clean and fully functional and most of all HEALTHY psyche before he goes wandering off into unknown realms. After all, if your psychological state is such that you cannot deal effectively with your everyday life, how can you possibly trust such a psychological state not to mislead you in studies where you have fewer solid landmarks or feedback mechanisms to guide you?

And so, the very FIRST order of business in any esoteric work is to get psychologically healthy. That's basically what the Gurdjieff "self-remembering" and Mouravieff "introspection" and Castaneda "recapitulation" is all about.

Sure, it can be referred to in nebulous ways such as "the work of sorcerers" and "recapturing energy" and so on, but it can also be talked about in very practical, scientific, modern terminology with definite examples and techniques for accomplishing this important work of knowing your machine, cleaning and adjusting it so that it works properly, and preparing oneself for more "interesting" esoteric work.

"Recapitulation" as formulated by Castaneda was, I think, a take-off on Gurdjieff's "self-remembering." Boris Mouravieff states the matter in a rather practical way:

Mouravieff said:
Homo Sapiens lives immersed in his everyday life to a point where he forgets himself and forgets where he is going; yet, without feeling it, he knows that death cuts off everything.

How can we explain that the intellectual who has made marvelous discoveries and the technocrat who has exploited them have left outside the field of their investigations the ending of our lives? How can we explain that a science which attempts everything and claims everything nevertheless remains indifferent to the enigma revealed by the question of death? How can we explain why Science, instead of uniting its efforts with its older sister Religion to resolve the problem of Being -which is also the problem of death - has in fact opposed her?

Whether a man dies in bed or aboard an interplanetary ship, the human condition has not changed in the slightest.
Happiness? But we are taught that happiness lasts only as long as the Illusion lasts... and what is this Illusion? Nobody knows. But it submerges us.

If we only knew what Illusion is, we would then know the opposite: what Truth is. This Truth would liberate us from slavery.

As a psychological phenomenon, has Illusion ever been subjected to critical analysis based on the most recent discoveries of science? It does not seem to be so, and yet one cannot say that man is lazy and does not search. He is a passionate searcher ... but he misses the essential; he bypasses it in his search.

What strikes us from the very beginning is that man confuses moral progress with technical progress, so that the development of science continues in dangerous isolation.

The brilliant progress that has come from technology has changed nothing essential in the human condition, and will change nothing, because it operates only in the field of everyday events. For this reason it touches the inner life of man only superficially. Yet from very ancient times it has been known that the essential is found within man, not outside him. [...]

Esoteric philosophy concerns man as he is: the investigator is the object of his own studies. Starting from the constatation that man is unknown, his target is to make himself known to himself - as he is, and as he might become under certain conditions. [...]
Etc, etc.

Gurdjieff had his methods. Mouravieff wrote about these methods in a slightly different way. Castaneda either "borrowed" many of these ideas and re-framed them in a "Southwestern shamanic context" with his own "spin", or actually found traces of the same ideas there. I tend toward the former supposition based on the timing and discussion with someone who knew him.

Our own approach is more strictly along the lines of Gurdjieff and Mouravieff and a bit of Castaneda with a kick. Gurdjieff and Mouravieff and Castaneda all talk about a man needing to know himself, to know his "machine," to observe it, to engage in "introspection" or "recapitulation" or "self-observation" and so on and so forth. We have taken this to the next logical step and utilize the terminology of modern psychology. In our searching for validation of these ideas, we have found that there are actually studies and books written about various aspects of human psychology that service these very ancient traditions remarkably.

Gurdjieff talked about "buffers" and how they are created. It's clear that Castaneda's "recapitulation" was supposed to be a means of dealing with buffers though Castaneda's presentation of many things was sorely lacking in clarity. He tended to "mystify" the whole thing. That is unfortunate. A lot of people follow after the Castaneda "way" because of this very "mystification." It sounds so - well - "esoteric" and they don't want to accept the simple fact that the first order of business is to deal with your own psychology in a very basic and practical way.

Have a look at what Gurdjieff had to say about "buffers" and keep in mind that he is talking about the many "programs" or thought loops that become inculcated into us from childhood due to our experiences and familial and social "conditioning." These programs, or thought loops, are the same thing that Castaneda refers to as the "Predator's Mind." I wrote about this sort of thing extensively in The Wave in more modern psychological parlance.

Gurdjieff said:
"You often think in a very naive way," he said. "You already think you can do. To get rid of this conviction is more difficult than anything else for a man. You do not understand all the complexity of your organization and you do not realize that every effort, in addition to the results desired, even if it gives these, gives thousands of unexpected and often undesirable results, and the chief thing that you forget is that you are not beginning from the beginning with a nice clean, new machine.

There stand behind you many years of a wrong and stupid life, of indulgence in every kind of weakness, of shutting your eyes to your own errors, of striving to avoid all unpleasant truths, of constant lying to yourselves, of self-justification, of blaming others, and so on, and so on.

All this cannot help affecting the machine. The machine is dirty, in places it is rusty, and in some places artificial appliances have been formed, the necessity for which has been created by its own wrong way of working.

"These artificial appliances will now interfere very much with all your good intentions.

"They are called 'buffers.'

" 'Buffer' is a term which requires special explanation. We know what buffers on railway carriages are. They are the contrivances which lessen the shock when carriages or trucks strike one another. If there were no buffers the shock of one carriage against another would be very unpleasant and dangerous. Buffers soften the results of these shocks and render them unnoticeable and imperceptible.

"Exactly the same appliances are to be found within man. They are created, not by nature but by man himself, although involuntarily.

The cause of their appearance is the existence in man of many contradictions; contradictions of opinions, feelings, sympathies, words, and actions. If a man throughout the whole of his life were to feel all the contradictions that are within him he could not live and act as calmly as he lives and acts now. He would have constant friction, constant unrest. We fail to see how contradictory and hostile the different I's of our personality are to one another. If a man were to feel all these contradictions he would feel what he really is. He would feel that he is mad. It is not pleasant to anyone to feel that he is mad. Moreover, a thought such as this deprives a man of self-confidence, weakens his energy, deprives him of 'self-respect.' Somehow or other he must master this thought or banish it. He must either destroy contradictions or cease to see and to feel them. A man cannot destroy contradictions. But if 'buffers' are created in him he can cease to feel them and he will not feel the impact from the clash of contradictory views, contradictory emotions, contradictory words.

"'Buffers' are created slowly and gradually. Very many 'buffers' are created artificially through 'education.' Others are created under the hypnotic influence of all surrounding life. A man is surrounded by people who live, speak, think, and feel by means of 'buffers.' Imitating them in their opinions, actions, and words, a man involuntarily creates similar 'buffers' in himself.

'Buffers' make a man's life more easy. It is very hard to live without 'buffers.' But they keep man from the possibility of inner development because 'buffers' are made to lessen shocks and it is only shocks that can lead a man out of the state in which he lives, that is, waken him. 'Buffers' lull a man to sleep, give him the agreeable and peaceful sensation that all will be well, that no contradictions exist and that he can sleep in peace. 'Buffers' are appliances by means of which a man can always be in the right. 'Buffers' help a man not to feel his conscience.
We have found that dealing with the issues of Narcissism and psychopatholgy in our world is the clearest and most direct path to dealing with programs, buffers or the "predator's mind" in man. Most human beings in the world are narcissistic and most of us are raised by narcissists. The world itself - society, culture, science, religion, etc - is heavily influenced by psychopathic influences and these influences are one of the reasons that most potentially healthy people become narcissistic - it is a defense - a system of buffers.

And so, as we are raised in a psychopathic/narcissistic world, we also grow these buffers that separate us from our true self, and that force our machine to use up vast quantities of soul energy just to keep running at all.

And so, we approach the problem in a very pragmatic and practical way. A person can do nothing until they are psychologically healthy and this means removing buffers, mentally going over the machine in a careful and thorough way, cleaning it, re-wiring it and most of all, having new experiences that help with this re-wiring process in an environment where this is possible.

We begin by assigning reading tasks. You have to have the information, data, the understanding of your machine before you can even observe yourself and have a clue what you are observing. There are a number of contemporary works that serve this purpose beautifully - much better than reading dusty, archaic tomes with uncertain terminology, or "mystified" popularizations that are designed to attract followers more than they are designed to really help the individual in a practical way. The "Big Four" books that must be read in this order are:

1) Trapped in The Mirror by Elan Goulomb
2) Unholy Hungers by Barbara Hort
3) The Myth of Sanity by Martha Stout
4) The Narcissistic Family by Stephanie Donaldson-Pressman and Robert M. Pressman

This will give a person a good working knowledge of their buffers and what to be looking for when "self-remembering", "introspecting" or "recapitulating". Without the information in these books, you are basically just wandering around in the dark trying to figure out what this or that "esoteric term" might mean.

Then, of course, you need to really understand how the world got to be the way it is so that you have all these issues, and that involves the study of psychopathy. Studying psychopathy is useful for another very good reason: when you finally clearly see the traits of the psychopath "writ large," it helps you to identify traces of such influences in your own make-up. Psychopaths are like caricatures that help you recognize something by its most pronounced features, just like the drawing known as a caricature.

So, in short, if you wish to "recapitulate," you need to begin with the books listed above. That way you will have a much better idea of what you are doing, what you are looking for, and WHY it is important, not to mention why doing so actually "frees up energy."
 

Azur

The Living Force
Laura said:
"'Buffers' are created slowly and gradually. Very many 'buffers' are created artificially through 'education.' Others are created under the hypnotic influence of all surrounding life. A man is surrounded by people who live, speak, think, and feel by means of 'buffers.' Imitating them in their opinions, actions, and words, a man involuntarily creates similar 'buffers' in himself.
To add to Laura's post, this section is important with regards to the subject of "sincerity" as mentioned in related posts. It is crucial to understand that when you are being "insincere" to be considerate to others, that you are NOT doing so via a buffer.

It has to be a process of weighing every time. If it is automatic, you should inspect it postmortem to see why.
 

Rich

The Living Force
Thank you Laura, you have given me some very helpful guidance. It is greatly appreciated. I have just ordered those books.
Thank you Azur, I enjoyed reading your analogy and I think I do understand what you mean, of course this will be clearer soon. I will work on my insincerity - already i notice i get carried away sometimes, sort of run away with what i'm saying so that it is automated and a regression into my old behavior. horribly smug and aloof. it is effort to break this and there is no resting and basking in the small victories.

*edit*
Azur said:
You being on the bridge, as you are now, is the upward stroke of the hammer. Crossing the bridge, and I mean really crossing it, is the downward stroke.
Interesting imagery, yesterday I had pictured myself straddling a gigantic pendulum that had been steadily swinging out to where i am now from the beginning of my life. Now it is at its maximum and about to swing back.
 

stardust

Jedi Master
Rich said:
In 'The active side of Infinity' by Carlos Castenada, Don Juan gives a description of a practical method of clearing out the clutter to find negative personality traits. It seems like a worthwhile exercise to do, I just wondered whether anyone has had positive experiences from attempting this
Several years ago, I've attempted to do it: frankly, make the list of all the people you 've met in your life is already a huge work. It was impossible for me to recall all the names, faces and places. I've tried to recapitulate those I've remembered, and I've let all fall down after a couple of weeks. It asks an incredible time and I've not the impression today that it brought me more knowledge or energy. ( but it is my own experience and perception and maybe the technic is good for someone else)
If it would have been the case, I should have seen with what kind of psychopathic person I was living!

In fact, it was the kind of thing which strengthened me in the idea to stay cut from the world. If interaction with people = loss of energy, so I should not go in the world... Oh I've lost a lot of energy, even so, because "the vampire" was just next me...

It is in the interaction with the others that I can better understand who I am, how i can react like a automate, what are my fears, on condition that I observe me. Sometimes I am horrified at what I feel, think or react. I tell me that it could be the kind of things that my ex would feel, think or react. So I take a time to think about it, take some distance, and try to see if it is really in me or if I 'm under the "predator" influence. But the purpose is not to say: Oh I'm under evil influences, it is not me, no, no, it is not me!
I will not shift the blame on my "narcissistic family" for all what I am.
Recognize and understand the dark side inside of us.

I would like to say to Rich that, I'm quite sure that there is so much good material here, that it is not necessary to give a too great importance to a specific technic which ask a very long time in specific conditions.
Apparently, we haven't enough time...
 

Rich

The Living Force
stardust said:
Apparently, we haven't enough time...
sure, time is short but we just have to make maximum use of the time there is. Are you being defeatist?
 

anart

The Living Force
Stardust said:
I will not shift the blame on my "narcissistic family" for all what I am.
Recognize and understand the dark side inside of us.
This is a bit of a 'sticky wicket'. It's my personal understanding that my parents did the very best they could do, having both grown up in very dysfunctional families - yes, it was a narcissistic upbringing, but my understanding of that imparts no blame on my family for it - it simply was the way it was, and on some level I chose to be there.

The value in this understanding is in observing myself and my own behavior and which parts of that behavior stem directly from that narcissistic upbring. It seems, in my case, that once the light of understanding - real understanding - shines on my own inner processes and outward behavior, there is no need for blame. Blame doesn't even enter the picture - only a 'figuring out why and how' and then fixing it. I can't spend my life blaming those who've hurt me - it would take forever - but I can work toward understanding why what happened did happen - and applying that learning to myself and how I live my life.

It's true that we very likely have not much time left - but, somehow, I think we all have whatever time we might need in a certain sense. If not, there is always next time - after all, time doesn't exist, right?
 

Renaissance

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
stardust said:
Apparently, we haven't enough time...
sure, time is short but we just have to make maximum use of the time there is. Are you being defeatist?
I think stardust was basically saying there's not enough time to use our energy in inefficient ways - which was the same as 'maximum use of time.'

Anart said:
Blame doesn't even enter the picture - only a 'figuring out why and how' and then fixing it.
Not wanting to blame might also be used as a means of repressing emotions of sadness, anger or such that can be useful to feel during consternation of a situation. So perhaps blame and 'not-blame' can be seen as similar forms of denial.
 
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