Flat conditioned response
Upright total immediacy. . .
Tourist programme 10/09/2008
Dawn is breaking and today I start the journey to the Netherlands. Inside I am shaking with a mixture of fearful anticipation of the difficulties that I may encounter, my dislike of restrictions to my personal freedom, painful memories, the fear of getting stuck in old feelings, and I also feel a light joy ,an excitement, an expectation, that this experience will lead to a new, more real type of choice filled freedom that I am seeking. I expect to emerge with sufficient mental clarity, sensitive loving emotional awareness and centred resolve to make the best choices that I can to create my new future.
My father died last year and I have spent much time as his legal executor sorting out his estate and making sure that care was provided for my bedridden and dependant mother.
My parents had three children First my sister Hazel then three years later my brother Andrew, then after another three years myself. My father had just returned from the war when he and my mother got married. In the war my father Fred fought the Japanese behind enemy lines in Burma and because of natural ability and fighting instincts was promoted to the rank of Major in his early twenties. The family house reflected his expectation to be the leader and give orders that had to be obeyed. He was not tolerant of disobedience or work not performed to a high standard. He set very high standard for himself and he drove himself to serve society with exceptional single mindedness, He swam year round in the sea every morning. There is much that I admire in my father and I respect his achievements but i do not feel love for him. As his son I lived in his shadow , he was not affectionate man although he was often sentimental. I craved affection and touch as a child and he was not someone I could turn to, I learned not to come to him with problems as he would tend to take them over tell me the solution and then push me to implement it. I realised that I was better off away from his sphere of influence and moved to Australia at the age of 19.
As a small child I lived in fear of my father, he was unpredictable and often very angry. My brother sister and I were regularly and harshly punished by spanking on our bare bottoms with a shoe or hairbrush. It was very painful and we emerged bruised and humiliated. At about age 8 I remember being beaten for not having passed on a telephone message; I remember how unfair I felt it was and how much I hated him.
The family situation was made worse with the nervous breakdowns that affected my mother from about the time of my birth for the next 15 years or so. The trigger point that unbalanced Yvonne was the purchase of a new house to accommodate the growing family. She did not like the new house because it was dark and more importantly away from her many friends who also had small children. She suffered the first breakdown in about the first 6 months of my life and was given ECT and drug therapy. She never really seemed right and we all had to be very quiet around her when she was at home. I do not really have much of a sense of her presance, although I can remember cuddling up to het on the couch while she was watching television. My mother was not very present in the house and all the punishments took place behind closed doors and away from her. We were really brought up by a daily help that was employed to look after these three children. She was a wonderful woman and i feel deep affection for her because she loved us.
I spent as much time as I could at my friend’s houses as I felt unsafe in my own when my father was around. My friend’s parents I know viewed me with some suspicion because I used to steal money from my father and buy sweets to try and make myself popular and be liked. I can trace that inner feeling of loneliness and anxiety back to those days. I did however have friends and they were really important.
I am sure that I would not have survived to this present age if an unexpected event had not happened within our family system. The medical profession realised that there was little they could do for my mother and one of them said that he knew someone who, although not a doctor, could be very helpful in cases like my mothers. My mother was introduced to a man called Eugene Halliday, who the first time they met asked her if she wanted relief from the symptoms or to learn something. Eugene was a teacher who had a profound influence on my mother, father, brother and me. My parents changed under his influence. Eugene was a self realised spiritual master, a reflexively self conscious being he lived embodied and taught spiritual truth. He became the most important influence on my life. When I was 11 I was yet again caught stealing money and instead of being beaten I was taken to see this strange man with a beard. I thought he was very peculiar and he asked me all sorts of questions about what I wanted when I took the money. Anyway realising that this was better than being spanked I told him what I thought he wanted to hear. This although it took me some years to realise was the start of a long friendship and extended learning process that continued till his death 21 years ago.
Eugene was my teacher mentor and source of all the good ideas that I have. I feel great gratitude towards him and I feel that he actually saved my life.
As a child I looked up to my big brother Andrew and wanted to have his attention and approval. He is actually a very different person than I am, even then it was noticeable, and he was studious and had the patience to build his own darkroom enlarger for developing films from coco tins. He eventually went to Cambridge and got a degree in physics. He is deeply damaged by our childhood lives in a bedsit by himself, has no job, spends his days in the library, has never married or had girlfriends. He is very defensive, deeply suspicious and has not spoken to my father or mother for at least 25 years. He has no telephone no email and will not reply to letters. That said I love him deeply, miss his company and wish he had not withdrawn from life although I can understand why. I could also have become something like him which frightens me.
My big sister hazel, and i have a close relationship and share a lot of how we feel and make each other laugh a lot. We have shared the burden of looking after our parents although she has done more than me. We are mutually supportive of each other and she has the contacts of Humaniversity in case my mother gets critically ill or dies and i need to be informed. Hazel was not at all keen on Eugene and thought him very strange with far too much influence on the family. She married a Swiss man and went to live in there. In retrospect she relized he was an alcoholic and they divorced and she brought up three boys by herself in Switzerland. She said the she had married her father. What I was looking for that I did not find in Eugene or those around him was direct honest emotional expression. I went to Australia to get away from all spheres of influence and to search for my self and I tried everything on offer like a hungry caterpillar until I found the personal growth movement and encounter groups. This was what I needed. I found myself to be numb from a lack of emotional self expression. I continued to travel but now with a purpose it was no longer a movement away now it was a slow movement towards a definite goal. The goal of having and being able to express my feelings. I remember my father once saying that he could not understand women’s feelings at all, in our house the only feeling expressed seemed to be my father’s anger and everyone else’s fear of it.
So eventually I moved back to England and got a job in London so as I could attend the encounter workshops at Quaesitor on Walm Lane in Kilburn. In fact I met Viresh or Denny Yuson as he was then who led a marathon that I attended. After some time of intensive personal work I found myself to my amazement in a real relationship. This was a major change to be in a long term relationship.
After living together for 18 months I asked Suzette to marry me, we have been together now for 33 years and have four children together aged 27,25,21,and 13. Something shifted in me about two months ago, something that went klunk in my body and I knew that I was no longer the same or felt the same and I told Suzette that for me the relationship had to come to an end or change profoundly. There would have to be real changes in the quality and intimacy of communication within our relationship for me to be able to feel like continuing.
Before making the decision to take a month on my own to work on myself, my inner pain provoked me to write. I enclose some of the poems as they reflect my state of soul better than prose.
Suzette grew up from the age of 8 to 21 in Rio in Brazil. Her family as Jews fled the Nazi forces in Europe and moved to Belgian Congo. When that country started its bloody struggle for independence in the 1960s the family moved to Brazil. Suz feels Brazilian and after 30 years in wet and grey England we moved to Brazil selling the family home and bringing our 11 year old daughter with us. I was ready for a move.
Our relationship lacks intimacy. The trust to look in each other’s eyes with love, we have ended up living separate lives in the same house. Sexual intimacy is part of this; we do not make love often. We do not communicate well. It is great when we establish that trust and intimacy that lets love flow but it is rare and more often resentment poisons the moment. I am very sad about leaving this relationship with someone I loved so much and for so long and tried to make happy. I have come to the end and I have to have a new beginning. I do not want to lead a half life any more distorted by compromise. I want love and intimacy to be a part of my daily life and grow daily into who I am. I want a very very good future for myself, one of continual learning, loving, giving and development.
THE INSIGHTS OF A MAN GONE MAD
It seems I have gone Mad. I have been told so by people who know me well. You are crazy, mad they say and so perhaps it is true.
Fear is trembling through me, 12.53 pm and was I awakened with a start by this gathering wave of emotion. The content was that maybe the deal to rent out my shop will go wrong. A mixture of fear and anger fill me. My chest feels like I am shivering on the inside something like a. It has the quality I remember as a child of having being caught doing something forbidden. The content is new but this feeling is so familiar like when I was stopped at the customs in Dover and questioned about the car. I suddenly feel quite small I have the answers but is the paperwork right. My ingrained fear of Authority this time it is building control who may ask if I have the right permissions.
I lie in my bed and feel this fear this raw naked fear, I forget my age, skills and ability and surrender to this inner shaking anxiety. Ask me in the morning and I will have found a solution but now at night in the privacy of my dreams I quake with a lifetime of encapsulated submission. This is not for public show it is my personal hell I may acknowledge it with a terse reference to some idiot who went straight to ask building standards instead of asking me. I am the real idiot
Another part of this nigh time drama is the quiet grateful acceptance of this visitor who wakes me. Fear anxiety anger they are all visitors who are welcome with the gifts they bring. They turn my home upside down change my blood chemistry, alter my heartbeat, dance inside my belly and in my chest. Tense my hands but all are welcome and entertained. To the seeing eye all emotions are passing visitors to be gratefully acknowledged. Surely this is true madness getting up writing about fears instead of engaging directly in solving the problems that they bring. The threats to my financial security….yet here I am not bothered. Security is never on the outside events, however much money i can get hold of I always face the ultimate insecurity of death. Security is in my my ability to be present and interested in what is happening now. Acknowledgement that all I really have to offer in any given moment is my interest and attention. I own nothing more than that. The rest is subject to change like tonight’s ancient visitors, I call the visitors ancient because they invade my home with accumulated force. They awaken the child in me fearful and dependant. Memories of distant situations immediately come to life how my adult I floats precariously on a lake of unremembered woes. My poor posturing adult I desperate to be seen in a good light and yet so prone to inundation from the lake dwellers the half dead. It really is such an insecure self with no real authority, no wonder it grabs all the trophies of success it can to fill that emptiness.
The one who owns nothing has nothing to lose. For him every moment is a gift whatever is presented. This moment of fear is a delight why I ask…….because it reveals something. This is the madness that I am pursuing.
The pounding of the keyboard had modified the pounding in my chest it is still there and I wonder if sleep is a possibility yet. My other mind will stay up till dawn then go happily for a walk whatever the outcome of this particular business deal. It is not invested in outcomes and wastes nothing. Every moment is an opportunity for affirmation. Consciousness of consciousness .
How can I live with this madman in my house who does not take my life seriously. Well I am going to try and sleep I have much to sort out tomorrow and over the next few days. I am convinced that this is a very important time in my life.
I and eye.
I and eye
Sitting on a throne
I and Eye
Eye and I.
God help me………….laughter. What an opportunity
1000 step exercise
Another broken night. Images of speeding toward the ocean on a boat and hitting the first wave too fast and theboat jumping in thr air . hitting thr second and even worse the third still at full throttle there are others on board and the waves are getting rougher. Ihit the fourth by now very big and the boat flips and my crew/ passangers fall out…………… guilt
Next caravans or motorhomes on the beach a holiday atmosphers then a death and seeing everyone in all the motorhomes move away till I am left alone on the beach with the blowing wind and the lonely horizon……..a last image of a motorhome driving away leaving that empty space that was once full of people. Loneliness.
Today walking over te sands to Chapel Island in Morecambe bay beautiful open vistas. Yesterday rowing on Grasmere like a green doughnut of hills. Such beauty good friendships. Alone at night 12.57 now 1.51 the empty hours where the tide comes up from the depths and my mind fills with fears and guilts. In the sunny morning there will be little trace unless I record it now. My throat is dry like a damaged chakra
My moon mind sways and fears and farts. I try to step into Gods presence my other nightime activity. Now sleep I hope.
Source of all life
Dance with me my daily steps
Let my ears hear your whisper in my heart
Let not my dull leaden mind of daily duty
Obscure your immediate presence
Soften my judgements that spring from fear
Encompass my soul in a circle of radiant light
Let me recognise your beauteous presence
In the tiny and the trivial, washing my clothes makes clean garments for your body
I love you.
Sink hole…….. my child I am not sure if it was a little girl or a little boy……a little girl I think . we were playing togrthrt on ther lawn of broughshane where I grew ujp. Looking in each others eyes and making the same movements as I walked and she toddled. We sat down near each other still very connected when suddenly and unexpectedly the grass starts to wobble and disappears leaving a circular hole where my child was and a pool of still water in the hole. There was no help about and my child was gone I has to rescue her… I di not really want to get into that water it seemed when I put my head down that all what I thought was solid ground was literally floating on a lake of water and this sink hole just went straight into the water underneath. I got into the water I knew that there was not much time and got hold of something that was in the way.it was a tree root anf I brought it up then had to immerse my self completely and got holt of my child. She was stiff and I was afraid that she was dead…….there was nonoe there to do ressusitation so I did the best that I could. She started breathing as I held her in my arms.
Yes there is a lake of anxiety in me that is present most times of the day and my life floats on top of it. Sometimes it is very strong like I fall in especiaaly when I wake up at night.
Another dream the same night……….the face of a martial artist appears in front of me saying something uncompromising about what has to be done. He invites me to hit him I connect a few times but not with the real power that I am capable of so the blows feel weak. Then he starts moving and I canot hit him he is simply too fast, I realised the I have in my mind the idea to hit him with my right fist because I think it is my strongest but he wrong foots me because of my fixed idea. We dance around with me getting increasing frustrated with my inability to coordinate my movements. And actually connect. His face is sort of pinched and red and his movements very fluid.
Flat conditioned response
Upright total immediacy
Ninety degrees of separation
Between action and passivity
It takes Gods will to hold this cross together
The fusion of these opposites engenders blinding heat
I have come to the end. I am writing this to get some clarity. I have come to the end of this stage of my life. Emotions arise in my soul that disturb and frighten me. I have no home to go back to. No certain future. It is a time when there is lightness in my soul and a feeling of affirmation and positivity followed by dark emotions of aloneness, being unloved and the idea to end my life, to kill myself. Self love which I feel and forgiveness for those who caused me pain are counterpoised by emotions of personal worthlessness and intense anguish and pain. Today has been a day of isolation and suffering and a day of self love and lightness. Extremes that are so close together. I feel like leaving this place, my illness and isolation of staying in a room by myself raises memories of punishment being spanked then left alone in my bedroom.
I have been questioning the value of re-feeling these old memories. They are in my past but admittedly in my present as well. My purpose for allowing then expression within me is to get to really know them, then consciously be able to let go of them. My governing purpose is to live in the present as fully as I can. Emotionally conditioned memories of painful and unpleasant situations and events that damaged my emerging sense of self continue to affect my behaviour and interfere with my chosen purpose of being fully present in the here now. For that reason I am prepared to sacrifice my time and some comfort to free myself from undesired psychic disturbance.
At an emotional level expressions like the above are a total pain in the arse written by someone who does not have to suffer the consequences of how hideous this experience actually is. I feel desperate or should I say emotions of painful and profound desperation arise within me. When I feel like this, I feel the emotion and tell myself and that sad isolated fearful part of me that I truly love him and myself. I accept that this statement is tested and will be retested and retested till proved true or false. My basis for saying it is this. It is very simple. There is only God in this universe. This is very important; everything without exception is a manifestation of the creative power of God. Personally this is tremendously important to me because it can only mean that my being this man called Richard Freeman is a modality of that creative power. Everything that I call mine is in fact owed to the source from which it derives, every thought, every muscular movement, every emotion, is a thought, action feeling within Gods greater body.
This is what gives me the will to live. I do not understand but I know that this is true. Wherever I am God is, so how can I feel such despair and overwhelming abandonment. I have not got a hot line to god or except for rare intuitional flashes of insight am really consciously aware of much of this. I get caught up in the drama, forget the context. Identify with powerful feelings and die to the bigger picture. But not completely as there is a guardian awareness that keeps awake. I am the one learning the lesson, painfully and slowly, but I am learning.
So my love for myself that I profess while admitting to thoughts of suicide. I am loved by the source of my being, the source of all being. This is a spiritual love and spirit here means free initiative and love means the will to develop the potentialities of being. So suffering is an inevitable consequence of divine love as seen from the viewpoint of the limited egoic being, because I am a limited being yet every breath is I take is really the in breath of the great universal being whose will it is develop my potential to relate ever more fully with divine purpose. The problem for me as a limited egoic being is my tendency to react mechanically to situations. I have very little true free expression. Expression that is not conditioned by previously established patens of behaviour. I experience myself to be a being of conditioned behaviour habits which is the antithesis of the divine will for me which is one of free and immediate acts of creative joyful spontaneity.
These big abstract ideas seem a long way away from my bodily desire to be held and valued and loved. I need both. I need emotional joy and love. I need to receive love and to give love like I need to breathe. I desire with a starving hunger to be held and loved. I am a deeply emotional being as well as one with ideas. Give me beauty in my life, let me love and dance, smile and laugh. Truth can support beauty and beauty enhances truth.
I pray to the source power of my being to my guiding guardian self to lovingly guide me through this dark light time
Sunday Sept 14th
Reflections on the meditation
Homeopathy evokes a feeling of gratitude and pleasure in me
Homeopaths, who they are and
What they do make a difference
A positive difference
To themselves, their patients and the wider community
Homeopathy is an art that links things together
Sees patterns and makes connections that do heal.
I am not surprised that homeopath’s work is at times disrespected and
There exists an empirical conspiracy to dis-empower
Is it not because real and different values are embodied
That it attracts this opposition.
Hahnemann had a similar problem
“……..such an absurdity could only arise from brains of a materialist stamp. It is this absurdity that has for thousands of years given to the hitherto system of medicine all those ruinous directions that have fashioned it into a truly calamitous art” Para 13 Organon
It has been a personal pleasure and a privilege to have studied homeopathy with an exceptional group of individuals and to have been taught by enthusiastic and gifted teachers and practioners.
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LIFE IN BRAZIL
A lot has happened in the last nine months and I am now again in the right space to re- connect and share with you a little bit of my journey and hopefully hear some of what has been happening in your life.
Last July seems an awfully long time ago, getting ready for Graduation, concerns about my Fathers health, lots of family discussions, visits to Hospital. Packing the contents of our house into a container and finally shipping it off to Brazil, handing the keys to the new owner with a mixture of relief, sadness and near complete exhaustion. Moving into August with increased concerns about my father, mutual recognition of the changing relationship, frequent visits to hospital, seeing his vulnerability masked by the desire to be in control. The loss of bodily control, incontinence, diminishing mental abilities, his fear of death. Then the drama of hospital incompetence. A sudden end on the second day of the homeopathic summer camp, disorientation and another drive south. A week of phone calls and funeral arrangements, so much goodwill and kindness, realising he was finally gone. I spoke at the funeral, held it together, and dispersed the ashes with my sister Hazel half a mile out in the muddy water of the Dee estuary with fish and chips, loud voices, champagne and divine blessings.
The inheritance of responsibilities Executor, trustee, treasurer, bedridden mother, aged and infirm Aunt, and a house to sort out that was literally covered in piles of letters all clipped together covering nearly every flat surface in the house. 7 four drawer filing cabinets full of paperwork. An office that was almost impossible to get into for clutter. Yet he still was writing letters and pursuing a multitude of connected purposes even up till a couple of days before he died.
A quick trip back to Brazil to receive the container, unpack and remember where I now lived and then back to England to complete the necessary jobs.
Slow weeks of cleaning things up, Skips full of outdated and old things that he could never let go of. The wheelbarrow with only one handle that he insisted on keeping, the bronco toilet paper, his unfinished projects, his security against the next world war. Brazil seemed a distant place, with my family back over there and patiently waiting for me. The house was starting to breathe again the windows open the soiled carpets replaced, much less clutter and more peace. Hazel and I returned to our respective countries. I needed a three month break.
Back home the plans for the studio my office and a guest room were ready for the builders and we started the foundations that week. Slow, slow, quick, quick, slow, was the rhythm of the construction. The foundation took ages and nothing seemed to happen then the walls shot up overnight, Then pouring the concrete for the second floor was a three act drama, for three days we were told that the ready-mix would arrive but everyday a new problem then when it finally did come it was really, really late and we were pouring concrete till after midnight. But it was all worth it when I saw the view from what is now my study. On one side are trees so near the open window that I can touch the shiny green leaves. On the other side the rolling blue ocean. I love my new office, it is all white and all mine. My first room of my very own for thirty years. What a difference it has made to my life here, a personal sanctuary and a place to work. It is also where I see clients.
Back to the rapidly accelerating time line and rapidly developing first floor, the garden full of workmen and noise and questions. Always materials to find and choices to make, no real halt at Christmas. Christmas sees the whole family over with Suzette’s brother and Family next door. We are also planning the approaching wedding at Easter of Dan and Tatiana. The shop is closed in Bowness in January to do major alterations, install two new staircases and rewire the premises, so I was over for 10 days to sort that out and take my staff to the trade shows. I leave the builders to it for another 3 weeks and then stay over for a month till the job is done and get more things sorted out for my mother. Returning in Early march with the work done but have had no time to see anyone. In the meantime Suz has got the house finished and we are awaiting the arrival of the first guests as we will have 18 people in the house and lots more in rented houses and Posadas close by. It’s a great wedding with the ceremony right on the beach in front of the house at 5.30 pm and the full moon set to rise in front of the sea at 6.15. Olivia sings in public for the first time to all the guests for about half an hour and I feel so happy to hear her sing and see her self confidence. She is a star. Then comes the ceremony which is memorable, funny and beautiful. There are about 160 of us mostly Dan and Tats friends so I end up getting thrown in the pool in the early hours along with nearly everyone else. Nobody dares to try and throw Suz in. Lots of fun food and dancing and even the odd bit of rain hardly makes any difference.
It has been about a month now that the last of the wedding crowd left and with the builders gone Suz and I can finally enjoy a bit of relaxation time. I have moved into my beloved study and the days have softer rhythms. It has taken me about a month to catch up; tiding out boxes and drawers I found addresses postcards that I had not sent another thing that got swept away in the rush of activity. So it is with delight that I find time to put down a bit in writing to you about where I have been for the last 9 months and re-connect.
We have plans for the future and will have the builders at work again but this time not in garden but developing a site in the village where we plan to build five or so shops for rent. And we have another wedding coming up in December with Tania our eldest daughter getting married.
The last couple of weeks have been special as I have re-read with real delight some source books. I feel like I am moving into the last third of my life and want to use it to learn more and find better answers to the questions that I have always had.
I started to write this as a kind of personal and belated Christmas letter, and also in the hope I would get some replies and re-connect with friends that I have lost contact with. I am sorry this letter is not personalised and i know it is a bit lazy not to write personally but it would be just too much to repeat this story to everyone, but I will look forward to hearing your news and responding.
I shall send this with a good wish now.