Crisis and Loss: Doors to Natural Self

Most people prefer to stay within the familiar boundaries of their known world—a comfortable place for the identity. However, sometimes life will impart them a shattering blow, whether it is a personal loss, a failure, or a devastating illness. This event destroys the edifice upon which the identity is built. In such moments, the identity’s comfortable world crumbles. These catastrophic moments in life allow the suppressed content of the subconscious to flood the mind, brain and body. We become overwhelmed and lost. We feel a sense of disillusionment as we realize that the social and cultural values we held dear are limited and give us no real understanding of life. Once this devastating realization sets in, we may fall into despair.

For most people, recovery from a devastating life event involves rebuilding the structure of the identity. We try to incorporate the event into the way we view the world, by making it a part of the narrative of our life. This is a healthy strategy in many ways, because it allows us to begin functioning in the world once more. However, by merely rebuilding the structure of the identity we are actually losing a precious opportunity for natural growth.

In order for us to progress further beyond the bounds of the identity’s structure, we have to face our subconscious. Conscious life is only a small part of our total existence. It’s like the tip of the iceberg, while hidden underneath is a vast ocean of human experience. Here lie feelings of guilt and anger; memories of trauma, failure and despair; wounds and scars from painful events of the past and above all the fear of dying and living. But this mysterious ocean of human experience also includes light, insight, creativity and joy—the most precious gifts of the subconscious. These treasures can be discovered when we enter the dark world of the subconscious and illuminate it with the light of consciousness. We can then transform its energy and integrate it into our daily lives.

So we see that a shattering experience of disillusionment can actually become the catalyst for great natural growth. We become vulnerable and receptive, acquiring the sensitivity required for change. When we reach this level of sensitivity, then the distraction and protection provided by the identity is no longer effective. If this process is allowed to take its own course, it leads to mind-body union. A second birth occurs within us as we are born into the wholeness and well-being. We become creators and recreate ourselves. We start living in our Natural Self.


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