FMBR Editorial: Nov, 1986
A recent FMBR presentation which included the therapeutic use of meditation on a cocoon of white light to protect against "threat from the outside" has prompted the following comments. For me, the primary issue is: do we empower our fears or do we empower our resources in such a process?
I believe that we each draw to us that which mirrors our beauty and that which resonates with our blindness or "traps". And that is how we evolve. That "pressure" which we may want or need to protect against in some moments is our teacher. Defenses serve us by allowing us some choice in where, when and how we encounter our fears. But, the lesson contained in any problem does not come to us until we begin to experience and understand our choices, conscious and unconscious, within that context. I have used a cocoon of white light (or similar meditative visualizations) to "step around" fear of "evil" or grotesque thoughts. Later I have found that those fears are based partly on fears of "evil" or grotesqueness within me, and partly on my own negative judgments on aspects of how the system (creation) works. With those recognitions, I have more power -- the power of simple choice. And my fears have less power, they are really of my own making.
As an example, at a Foundation meeting, when we were led through the meditation involving a cocoon of white light, I could not stop there. I could not stay with that sense of needing protection. After the cocoon had been set up, my attention "wandered" to the quality of light and the space within the cocoon. Then to the source of that light, then to qualities of power, compassion, and clarity in that source. I felt "at one" with that source; those qualities became embodied within me. (The cocoon faded.) There was a sense of "silliness" in the idea of needing protection. I recognized that I have some power to choose, to say "yes" or "no." While I did not feel "all-powerful", I knew I was at a good place, a place to be if I had a challenge to face -- a good place to be in any case. There was a quiet serenity in the knowing that I am not attracting problems to me. The kind of threats just discussed could be easily handled with a simple and sincere "No", but, they would not even arise because of the state I was in at that moment. The power did not have to express itself in action in order to be felt.
This specific example of a shift from a state of consciousness which fears and calls it itself threats from the outside to a state in which a simple "No" is more than sufficient -- one that says a kind of "yes" such that the threat would not arise. There is a lot of power available to one in the commitment to act willfully and consciously from a sense of their own "godliness" and power (life-force) within, and with the willingness to risk and learn in doing so from their only partial completeness.
I think that therapeutic practice, or "every-day" personal practice of protectionism, can be counterproductive. For instance, a patient that is being treated as needing protection until after a "possessing influence" has been removed is being reinforced in their sense of powerlessness. What will happen if the same threat occurs again? Back to the defense, the cocoon or the therapist, until they get "fixed" again? Wouldn't it be much better if any defensive or protective scheme would immediately move on to a state of power and choice for the patient -- from the very first time it was used? That way, a reoccurrence of the original or a similar threat would trigger thoughts and behavior based on one's sense of power and clarity rather than the belief in needing to defend. Wouldn't it be better to dispense with notions that attribute negativity to "out there" (or within) and replace them with attention to how one moves with compassion and power and clarity through a world that is sometimes problematic?
James Johnston, November 1986