Today, out of “being with” the vasana (or core issue) overnight, I refined the name of the emotion I feel. I now see it as dismay. (1)
A vasana (2) is a complex of thoughts, feelings, and behavior, usually born of an original traumatic incident, which becomes triggered in the present moment when memories of the past are unconsciously awakened.
It took me until today to see why I felt that way. Often it can take me days to complete a vasana so this was not unusual. But until I’m aware of the exact nature of the feeling, I can’t move forward in “processing” the vasana.
I like to “source” (or complete) my vasanas publicly for the educational value the exercise brings so let me relate how I unwound what turned out to be a complex vasana.
This is the alternative to remaining in it and projecting my miserable feelings onto others.
I followed the upset clearing process (3) and asked my mind to throw up to me the original incident that was acorn to this great oak of an upset.
I saw various Christmases that had gone off the rails. But, if I’d found the original incident, the upset should have lifted. And this one didn’t.
Then I noticed that it wasn’t so much an original incident that I needed to find as it was a habit formed over long years.
I didn’t like going Christmas shopping. I didn’t like navigating the crowds or waiting in lines.
It didn’t matter if I was alone or with someone; I grumbled and groaned over the prospect of going Christmas shopping.
I created “bah humbug” habits and a Scrooge-like personality over time. Mahatma Gandhi once described the process:
“Your thoughts become your words. … Your words become your behavior. … Your behavior becomes your habits. … Your habits become your values. … Your values become your destiny.” (4)
That was in fact what was happening.
But even this discovery did not prove to be the full story or cause the vasana to lift so I remained in observation until the penny dropped.
What was at the nexus of my misery was that, as a spiritual being, I felt dissonance. I did not like myself behaving like Scrooge. It didn’t fit my pictures of myself. And when I saw myself behaving that way, I judged myself for it. I felt … you guessed it … dismay.
So there were actually two of me inside, warring with each other. There was the Scrooge who said “Bah humbug!” to Christmas and there was the spiritual being who felt dismayed that I should respond to Christmas that way. I expected more of myself and reacted with dismay.
The result wasn’t just one simple thing; it was a complex of the two discordant ways of being.
However, not only were there two discordant voices, but the worst aspect of the vasana (dismay) was associated with the second voice – which was hidden from view and hearing.
I had to see the whole enchilada before it would lift.
When I saw the dynamic, my black cloud lifted. I’d experienced the vasana through to completion. I was no longer a prisoner of it.
Now I’d like to amend my original concept of a vasana:
A vasana is a complex of thoughts, feelings, and behavior, usually born of an original traumatic incident or a habit of behavior, which becomes triggered in the present moment when memories of the past are unconsciously awakened.
In this case I created a habit of behavior of not liking Christmas shopping, becoming a Scrooge when Christmas approached, and responding to myself with dismay.
Now a word from our sponsor: What I just did (process my vasana) is what I recommend folks do instead of blowing up at each other, usually for flimsy, unrelated reasons.
As my brother Paul says, we’re seldom mad at each other for the reasons we think we are. And it’s seldom the person standing in front of us that we’re actually mad at. It’s usually someone or something from a distant past.
Instead of projecting our vasana onto others – instead of blasting other people – I recommend that we acknowledge that a vasana has been triggered and get to the root of it.
Luckily I didn’t beat anyone else up. Instead, I beat myself up. I didn’t project my vasana; I introjected it.
Now the vasana has lifted. I may even have a genuinely merry Christmas this year for the first time in recorded history. (5)
If I did, it’d certainly be heartily welcomed.
(1) “The Really Difficult Issues in Life,”
For a book on vasanas [VAH-sa-nas], see (and download) Preparing For Ascension by Clearing Old Issues at http://goldenageofgaia.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Vasanas-R5.pdf
(2) The term vasana has been borrowed from Hinduism. I use it rather than “core issue” in order to link the notion up with the advanced concepts of Advaita or non-dualism.
See, for instance, Ramana Maharshi: “All the age-long vasanas (impressions) carry the mind outwards and turn it to external objects. All such thoughts have to be given up and the mind turned inward. For that, effort is necessary, for most people.” (Ramana Maharshi, Sri Ramana Maharshi, Gems from Bhagavan. Comp. A. Devaraja Mudaliar. Tiruvannamalai: Sri Ramanasramam, 1985, chapter 8.)
“In the ‘Talks’ [Sri Ramana Maharshi] explains how egos are reborn into a succession of bodies; so long as the individual idea persists there must be some form for it to take until the individual ceases to exist, and this continued individualization consists in a constant change of form. For as one set of Vasanas is worn away another takes its place.” (Sadhu Arunachala [A.W. Chadwick], A Sadhu’s Reminiscences of Ramana Maharshi. Tiruvannamalai: Sri Ramanasramam, 1961, 40.)
(3) “How to Handle Unwanted Feelings: The Upset Clearing Process,” December 29, 2018, at http://goldenageofgaia.com/2018/12/29/how-to-handle-unwanted-feelings-the-upset-clearing-process-2/
(4) Mahatma Gandhi at https://www.azquotes.com/author/5308-Mahatma_Gandhi/tag/habit.
(5) I awoke this morning for the first time this Christmas season without feeling dismay.