February 11, 2013

A Journey to Present Through Shamanic Recapitulation. ~ Jim Fry

My challenges to release both past emotional anchors and repeating life patterns have led me to a variety of both modern and arcane healing modalities.

The art of re-framing our experiences and moving forward in our present life, with some actual presence, may take many forms. Within the context of modern life, this involves including leveraging the communication records most of us have been accumulating.

Recapitulation, and in particular Shamanic recapitulation (as popularized by Carlos Castaneda‘s books), is the art of excavating through our past storyline chapters, locating the emotional imprints and releasing the charges.  The process, like most things we engage with in our lives, rewires our very brains and establishes new neural pathways. Once done a few times, it is possible to be re-framing our experiences in a continual (moment, daily, weekly) fashion so that we don’t lug so damn much baggage around.

The Process of Recapitulation.

There are a wide variety of methods available to perform recapitulations, with many nuances.

From my experiences, I feel the best approach is to investigate various techniques, which may be researched and located across the web and within many books. Find one that feels comfortable emotionally and is easily comprehended intellectually. Once a general technique is chosen from the ’31 flavors’, throw away the rigid structures, rules and rituals, engaging your own creative process to tailor the method to your alignments. Be the artist, imaginatively, as you prepare to finger paint upon your own internal canvas, or sculpt your gooey block of internal clay.

The common thread to most, recapitulation processes is to start in the present time and begin working backwards through all of your moments, hours, days, weeks, months and even years. Don’t discount the last few moments, minutes and hours! You won’t usually be repairing your roof on a sunny day; if you’re in the midst of an emotional torrent, it may be counterproductive to commence ‘unweaving’ yesterday’s incidents, while carrying today’s intensities into that process.

With each interpersonal exchange, either with yourself, one individual, or with the entire cast of characters in your play, a review is performed of the exchanges. Each exchange is investigated for the content and from the perspective of self, the other party and the relationship. When a sincere and disciplined review is performed, from each of these perspectives, a wholeness generally emerges which transforms the energetic essence of the exchange.

Though processes are genuinely this simple, the work may be exhausting.

It is necessary to hold intent to be honest and relatively neutral, to be accepting of whatever presents and evolves in the process, to withhold judgment and to trail blaze forward. It is helpful to form the intention that you will proceed uninterrupted, stay the course and avoid propensities to daydream or over analyze what surfaces, similar to the focus required to cut a path in the jungle with a machete. Focus, surrender to the flow of the process and ride the currents.

Recapitulation Methods

There are two primary approaches utilized within most recapitulation systems—the intellectual and the emotional.

The Intellectual (Mental) Orientation involves dividing your consciousness into at least two or more segments, with the minimum being the witness/observer and the movie screen. Sometimes other components may prove useful, like replacing the movie screen with a stage and adding each participant as an actor, actress or even a caricature.  Perhaps script some higher self component as the director.

Get iMAGInative and creative (note the embedded clue)!

The intention behind these techniques and parameters is to be emotionally detached, and use the intellect to form new perspectives on the events of life. In this orientation, the removal of the emotional component, which usually is operating in tandem with our intellects, or slightly leading or lagging, results in a shift from our normal assemblage point (our common daily integral blend of our software and hardware).

One interesting characteristic of running this orientation is the potential to become entranced, and this has the benefit of easing the reprogramming of our intellect, as our emotional filters are dropped (this is similar to hypnotism and neuro-linguistic programming (NLP)). A potential disadvantage is that we are highly susceptible to sensing and absorbing outside influences while entranced—in much the same way we may readily take in violence or absorb propaganda from the television entrainment device.

The Emotional (Heart) Orientation involves sending the mind and logic off on a vacation long enough to immerse oneself in each scenario and feel it from all three perspectives of the self, the other and the relationship exchange. This method may become very intense, as each incident may be initially processed with highly-charged original intensity. It may also be difficult for some personality types to place themselves in another person’s emotional perspective. An advantage of this orientation is that it can be rapid, spending only moments in the emotional energy of the three perspectives (it also may serve to build and enhance empathy). While many folks think they understand other people’s minds and thoughts through their spoken and written communications, how many genuinely are adept at sensing the emotional perspective of others? Empathy is actually quite challenging for some totally intellectually based folks, or those deeply emotional folks that are so tightly bound within their own emotions continuously, that they have no space to receive empathetic signals from outside themselves.

Recapitulation Steps.

Identify the general content and material to be addressed. What the hell is bothering you, consuming you and preventing your free flow?  This may be some specific narrow issue, such as an emotional struggle with a friend, or a broader spectrum affair like a repeating pattern in relationships or repeatedly sabotaging opportunities.

Decide upon a general orientation to proceed with, either the intellectual or the emotional based method.

Commence the process by working from the present moment and address your current feelings or thoughts on the matter. Inspect and investigate the three perspectives, or from a single perspective if the incident under review is a solo affair.  A note on the solo affairs—we all have a lot of internal facets and it’s possible to investigate from internal multiple perspectives (such as Wild Child vs. Responsible Adult, Husband vs. Father, etc.).

Rewind to the previous related incident, working backwards until the recapitulation has been taken back to suspected roots. You will feel this when you reach it, either as a physical response of release in your body (typical for the emotional method) or an inner mental clarity (cessation of incessant thought swirls).

Recapitulation Nuances

It is customary on lengthy recapitulations to break the work up into several sessions, and if it is a full bore life review, anticipate that it may require weeks or even months to complete. The tricky aspect of lengthy recaps is that each time the process is interrupted, further related incidents may be encountered and add newer material. If this occurs, work through new material first in the next session, before stepping back to the last incident addressed in the previous session. A log or journal supports keeping track of extended recapitulations.

Depending upon the material and issues being addressed, one orientation method may not feel effective and that nothing was accomplished. If feeling foggy, confused, or emotionally charged, then the alternate orientation should be attempted, commencing with the present and working in reverse again.

In extreme and complex situations, further variances may be beneficial. One may be to first runs a complete emotional recapitulation and then run a full intellectual recapitulation (or reverse the order).  Another variant is to recap each incident, one by one, with both methods, and then step back, to the next incident and repeat.

I recommend dark chocolate and coffee, and, that one be otherwise, most sober. Your predilections, or addictions, may vary.

A Recapitulation Example

Faced with challenging (intense and wrenching) relationship-based emotions that surfaced, I felt the wave of negative emotions and behaviors welling within myself and attempting to take root. I had tucked some unresolved issues away, twice in the last year and a half, becoming distracted from working through them to their resolutions.

The onslaught I experienced ramped up to a noticeable level, and then began pulsations of various intensities. Using the more clear and balanced moments between surges, I sketched a rough outline of tactics to address what felt like soul shards scattering. From past shamanic engagements, and after a week of increasing intensities, sadness, mental confusion, heart pain and projection, I resolved to fully encounter these waves of energies in focused attention, embrace them and dissolve them.  These feelings felt foreign, as if they were ‘parasitic’ and feeding upon my energy—like a Spiritual Herxheimer Reaction.

To sincerely perform any shamanic process, I feel it is crucial that we accept and take ownership of ourselves. This is what was meant by ’embrace them’ above. This inner work is best approached in an empowered and disciplined way, composting any perceived or actualized ‘victim stance’—as, the victim stance is a wicked loop, always, and in all ways. Real transformation is possible, when the right tools are used, and their edges are sharp.

So, empower yourself and then proceed with playful, adventurous confidence, shifting your state of consciousness. Intentional shifting of consciousness, to a desired state, is the actual art of magick.

You are worthy, magnificent and powerful, beyond what most have been programmed to believe.

My own personal steps:

1) The first step I took was to extract myself from external triggers, isolating myself from direct physical contact with people, and substantially limiting cyber contacts. This step is now recognized as essential, because the parasitic energy itself, seeks to engage with external trigger situations and gain further footholds—just like a nightmarish orgy of aggravated conflicts, where no one understand why it is happening.
2) The second step I took was to do a fast soul review, itemizing the current circumstances to comprehensively identify sources of loosh within myself. (Loosh is intense emotional energy, sometimes referred to in old literature as “food for the moon” and even as lunar induced, lunacy).

These sources were easily identified as:

A) Unfinished emotional business—I’d buried my core desires, loosely withdrawing myself from an intimate relationship without coherently redefining what the remaining relationship with my ex-partner was.  (We remain friends to this day.)

B) Not having a transition plan—I’d let my entire life slip into chaos, with myopic focus upon my ego, confusion.

On an energetic visual level, the unfinished emotional business may be perceived by understanding psychic cords (threads, conduits, heart strings, etc.).  Though few of us seem to have been taught about these cords, I sense many feel them without supporting language or definitions. These are the bonds we each have with one another, even without having met in person—though they generally are much stronger over time and shared experiences.

In my case, I was still helping my ex and that naturally sends ‘friendship’ energies across the cords. But, there seem to be different types of cords. I’d left the intimate cords in place.  So, in this case, the absence of my ‘cord management’ and transformation also allowed for sporadic bursts of genuine intimate energies to be bi-directionally transferred, further ensuring complexities in relations between us.

Until the moment, I typed this, I hadn’t recognized that I had left this process incomplete, and then promptly (and with love and affection) replaced the purple intimate conduits, and energy flows, with green friendship conduits, and energy flows.

For additional information on this parallel psychic cord work, the following two references are strongly suggested:

3) The third step was to perform the recapitulations. First I dropped my recognized filters (I got “naked”, figuratively, though literal may work for some, too!), reviewing my recent communications and interpersonal exchanges to take a wide spectrum observation of these past incidents and then performing both emotional and intellectual recapitulations, based upon memories. This process did not go well, because I hadn’t obtained a comprehensive overview of truth (and my memory was weak in those moments). My filters were dropped, but I was still operating with unintegrated dualities, intending and behaving in discordance. Recognizing this repeating pattern ( LOOP ), in communications and simple behaviors, it became evident that a more refined and powerful method was required to go through the past energies, emotions and thoughts, to bring them forward to the present moments and heal/transform them. (Also, because I hadn’t yet transformed the etheric cords, the processes were further complicated.) To properly recap required that I find a method to shock myself into dropping my veils and filters, to reveal and excavate all the incidents (material) applicable to the situation.

4) The fourth step, a more complete and depth based recap, entailed delving deeply into intense emotional immersions, from the current unresolved relationship all the back to the very first contact. With my predominantly Cancerian based emotional magnetic alignments and constitution, it became apparent this was destined to be an emotional expedition, and would be best to leave my mind out of the equations and processes.

To ensure clarity, honesty, and dropping as many veils as possible, I commenced reading and feeling every e-mail sent over nearly two and a half years. In each e-mail, I went into my perception of each trinity of emotion (mine, hers and that of the relationship ‘itself’) in each moment and period. This process was a total immersion, a journey through realms and dimensions without specific names or solid parameters; neither underworld, middle world, nor any other ‘recognized locales’…these were journeys through emotional energy spaces, and within each e-mail traversed, I felt impacts.

These impacts had many flavors—some sticky, many sad, many full of confusion, many where one party reached and the other retracted, some without response (which required more etheric and imagined placement into her emotional state in the particular moment, when there was no e-mail response to refer to), and some with that mutual, original and essential, flow of loving emotions, blissfully in resonance (you, the reader, know how that feels, and we may each re-live it).

The first pass, from the present moments back to two years prior, required about ten hours, with just one single break.  Time stood still while locales and spaces transformed, with bi-locations across the United States typical, matching locations where the e-mails had been sent or received from.

When I finally came up for air, it was six in the morning and dawn was breaking across the horizon.

I attempted to sleep in a weary and emotionally numb state, having cycled through every emotion I’m aware of having in my life, feeling like a caterpillar slipping into a cocoon—the recapitulation, however, would not stop. In a very strange state of partial consciousness, the altered state of the shamanic process continued—even without e-mail support, the images flashed and emotions were processed. It felt, however, that these were more intangible multi- or inter-dimensional incidents, with surreal textures. Some details were recalled, but not matching sequential narrations or lucid dream formats. And really, I’m at a loss to further depict them with metaphorical language limitations.

Rising again after three hours, not as a butterfly from chrysalis, but as a ragged husk without rest, I was weary but relieved. I knew and felt that I was past the intensities— the final segment was the reliving of the early bliss of our mutual explorations and resonant co-creations.

Within this process I felt like a boy, in child’s joy, living life on a summer day in reverse.

With each e-mail read, the magic of our experiences in those months were cosmically orgasmic experiences of incredible expression, poetry, artful living, imaginative explosions of long lost lovers coming together in reunion with continual communion.

From those moments, now each revisited, I more richly and intimately understood so many nuances and subtleties of the magic inherent, and integrated, within our experiences and relationship. We literally transformed ourselves and each other in reflections, passions and relations—shifting blockages, opening dormant cosmic portals, levitating, escalating, accelerating and tapping gorgeous, timeless, essential energies and consciousness.

We were poetry, we were emotion, we were energetic experiences in bliss and creation, and we traveled beyond boundaries of the cosmos and touched infinity.

I hadn’t expected or even realized a recapitulation could bring so much intense joy and bliss. I don’t intend to minimize the work involved, or the first intensely gut-wrenching and heart-tearing segment—yet the return on investment can’t be measured, it is (not was), indeed, infinite.

It is common with recapitulations, especially intense ones, that several additional energies and impressions will present for days, weeks or months following completion.

In writing this narrative, I now recall that on the morning I commenced the recap, I’d sent a request for some support, from my core (with my heart in sadness and my mind in flux).

I don’t know where, or to whom I sent the request, nor if it was ever received, or by whom, yet I recall being ‘nudged’ and encouraged to commence.

When I commenced, I was actually beyond last resort and had accepted that I would just go into the sadness, and embrace it. I commenced the process in a rather lackluster, neutral state of being, ‘outside’ (or within, ‘the void’), and beyond the sadness, almost as an observer. I didn’t engage with anything resembling my intense passion generally applied to anything I deem important.

All of these observations are curious nuances and far from minimizing the process, leave me in a state of wonder and appreciation for the mysteries that abound and surround us, in this world that does contain magick.

In Dedication:

baby, you i remember ~
with love & appreciation ~
what we shared, essential ~
with what we nurtured, eternal ~
i embrace you, your spirit & soul ~
with affection, and extreme gratitude ~


(Graphics Attention, Pain Body and Casting Shadows in the Cavern of the Mind  courtesy of Kathleen May at Visionary Light.)


Jim Fry: I’m a Multi-vert and Magician-in-Training. I celebrate my inner landscape, solitude and explorations in an introverted fashion, while still seeking to share my reflections and build community. For me, Magick* is the art of intentionally shifting the state of my consciousness, and BEing. Photos: KFM, Copyright 2012


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