In psychology, we have identified a number of sources of error terms (things that mess up what we are trying to study). I think we have inadvertently done a good job of proving that consciousness creates. For example, the placebo effect describes the spontaneous healing that occurs when people are given a treatment that they believe will help them, even if what they are given has no therapeutic properties at all. There are also perception errors, whereby a person will interpret an ambiguous object based on preceding beliefs. So when you show the illusion of a the Old Young Woman Optical Illusion, you can influence a person to see an Old woman by showing them pictures of old women before hand, or vice versa for the young woman. This has been known for a long time, but we rarely speak about how that is a very tangible example of how reality is created, and hardly objective at all.
Quantum physics speaks of the Observer Effect. In science, the term observer effect refers to changes that the act of observation will make on a phenomenon being observed. As such, the observer needs to be considered as part of the system being observed. So, whether we look at social science or physical science, we recognize that something in our beliefs and understanding will impact that which occurs and is being observed. In other words, what we think and believe manifests in our reality.
Quantum physics aside, this shows up practically in many of the approaches psychology uses for counseling. Often, a client’s stories and assumptions are tested for logic. If you believe someone tried to hurt you, why do you believe that? What happens if you stop taking it personally? What happens if we change the context or meaning you assign to something that happened? We find that if you reframe something, the emotional experience can change too. For example, if you hold a belief that you are not good enough, and you overhear a conversation between two sales people that goes like this “I knew she wouldn’t buy that dress”, you might believe they have decided you don’t have the money for the dress. If you hold a belief that you are selective, you might interpret it as a sign that they understand your specific style preferences. Both are viable interpretations, and your reality will be driven by your own thoughts.
More and more I have been clearing out old false beliefs as they come up for me, and they are coming up fast and hard. In my childhood, I developed a few beliefs driven by the violence and instability of my household. I believe that Men Leave. I believe that if I am not in control of things, something bad will happen. I believe that I cannot trust men, and that they will disappoint or hurt me.
So, as I look back, I brought all of those beliefs into my marriage with Bhikku. Coupled with his own similar and reinforcing beliefs, we have been unable to trust and connect in certain ways. In others, we are divinely guided and inspired, for which I am grateful.
I knew from my experiences at The Shake that all those beliefs now show up as a form of Betrayal Consciousness, and they are now showing up with the Magus. I could argue that in practical terms, our relationship is too unusual, our expressed values are too different and that of course I have good reasons to feel insecure and not trust him. But that is not the consciousness I have decided to be, so that way of thinking does not serve me any longer.
The Magus and I did some profound work together on Sunday. It was spontaneous (we were sidetracked from our plans by rain) and so I did not have time to prepare myself for the energy work that would occur. In that process, I experienced love and trust and openness in ways I have not experienced before. (I don’t even let my students practice Reiki on me because of my false beliefs around trust!). I was not in control, and a flood of negative self talk took over. I felt myself pull inwards and at times, I was not participating as deeply as I can. And since the Magus is as good at energy as I am, he was aware of it and it impacted him as well.
The more we spoke, the more afraid I became. He wanted to talk with me about an experience of his, which is an unusual thing for him to initiate. I became very very worried. I felt Betrayal Consciousness rising, and worried I would resort to my old patterns of rejection and withdrawal of him. I used my best tools (thanks to my brilliant counselor) and thought I was ready to calmly show up and talk when The Magus was ready.
He began to tell me the story of how a woman he enjoys learning with and sharing with crossed a boundary with him, and he didn’t expect it or know how to react. He was working through those thoughts when we did our work on Sunday. They had a few important conversations where the boundaries were reset. During that process, some of his concerns were that what happened with his friend must not effect me or our relationship.
So here is what I heard: a woman he has an interest with showed up intending to move the relationship from friendship to romance, and the Magus not only didn’t stop her, he didn’t tell me, and was clearly open to something happening with her. He was telling me now because he wanted to be honest and I have told him I cannot stay if he is in another similar relationship. There you go – I opened and trusted and loved and all that did was speed up betrayal. I stood up, and said goodbye.
The Magus is most usually the sane one between us (not always, but thankfully our crazies don’t trigger the other person’s crazy), and in this case, the look he gave me as I said goodbye melted the part of me that is soul. As I stood at the door with all my rage firing up (think spitting goose running and hissing at you), I knew inside me I was wrong. I just knew. I also didn’t know how I was going to drain enough adrenaline to have a loving conversation in line with my consciousness. So I left for a while to cool down. I really didn’t want to come back, but I did, and to show you how incredible the Magus is, he let me back in peacefully, lovingly, with an open heart.
I listened again. I can’t say I was kind – I said things that were still projections of betrayal…a betrayal that didn’t happen. But if you watched me that night, you would believe that the Magus had run off and married this woman over the weekend.
So what happened? My beliefs were fully and completely triggered. I was vulnerable from the positive side of opening myself in a new way with the Magus and had stuff triggered from the “good” day. And I was loaded with my lifelong false beliefs about men, and experienced a traumatic betrayal that didn’t happen. I actually made him try to PROVE to me everything he said. And again, with his usual love, he patiently did just what I asked. What makes me the most ashamed, and there is plenty I am not proud of in this false belief of mine, is that this gentle Aspie who struggles with social norms, had been presented with a very challenging set of social circumstances by his friend that required very fine social discrimination – something he is not good at. And instead of compassionately supporting that journey, I attacked him. This Magus, who has shown up as love over and over and over…I attacked him.
If I was not ready to address these false beliefs before, this absence of love from me for a man who has been pure love for me is NOT OK. It just can’t stay. I will take on the ego death not because of the Magus (he deserves my love on this, but he knows I must reject ego as my truth, not because of him), but because the truth he reflected to me in his eyes was the Soul Me that he can see. And when I look at the Soul Me versus this Ego Me, I have a clear sense of how false that Ego Me is.
Do you know what he said after all that? He asked me what I needed, held me and loved me. So while one set of thoughts needs to change, I am grateful beyond words for the consciousness I have, he has, that moved us to today.