Excerpts About Repression

The individual, in other words, learns to approve of in himself what his parents approved of, and to disapprove of what they disapproved of. what is disapproved of becomes mostly pushed out of consciousness, relegated to the unconscious; and so these defense mechanisms are ultimately forms of repression, as Freud articulated. For this repression to be done effectively, the whole operation becomes unconscious; i.e., both the ego defense mechanism and the corresponding coercive parts of the superego become unconscious.
Work on the Super-Ego, p. 3   •  discuss »
Sigmund Freud discovered that the human individual manages to develop in spite of early intolerable difficulties by avoiding awareness of them through various methods of repression. This repressed material does not disappear but remains hidden in what he termed the unconscious, exerting a powerful force on conscious experience, actions, and dreams. One of the momentous discoveries of modern psychology, this made it possible to engage in therapeutic psychodynamic work, which is the retracing of conflictual and painful manifestations and symptoms to their unconscious roots, and then releasing the early conditioning. The ancient wisdom traditions did not have this understanding; hence their psychologies and methods could not and did not deal with this level of barriers to the soul’s liberation and realization.
Inner Journey Home, p. 227   •  discuss »

The loss of essence, the repression of the subtle organs and capacities, the shutting off and distortion of the subtle and energetic centers, and the overall resulting insensitivity, all lead to a general but devastating loss of perspective. The individual no more knows the point of life, of being, of existence. He no longer knows why he is living, what he is supposed to do, where he is going, let alone who he is. He is in fact completely lost. He can only look at his personality, at the environment that created it, and live according to the standards of his particular society, trying all the time to uphold and strengthen his ego identity. He believes he is not lost because he is always attempting to live up to certain standards of success or performance, trying to actualize the dreams of his personality—yet all the time he is missing the point of it all. It is no more the life of being; it is only the life of the personality, and in its very nature it is false and full of suffering. There is tension, contraction, restriction. There is no freedom to be and to enjoy. The true orientation toward the life of essence, the orientation that will bring about the life of the harmonious human being, is absent or distorted.


Essence with the Elixir of Enlightenment, p. 100   •  discuss »

A major necessary part of awareness training is the sensitization of the body. The tendency toward insensitivity needed to support unconsciousness has to be reversed. Repression and the defenses of the ego are not just mental attitudes. They are, more than anything else, tensions and tension patterns in the body. These physical blocks and tensions are what keep emotions and ideas unconscious. This point was emphasized by Wilhelm Reich in his formulation of the concept of character armor and muscular armor. His main insight was that the defensive functions of the character are identical with muscular rigidities in the body: “In character-analytic practice, we discover the armor functioning in the form of a chronic, frozen, muscular-like bearing. First and foremost, the identity of these various functions stands out; they can be comprehended on the basis of one principle only, namely of the armoring of the periphery of the biopsychic system.” Emotions and feelings are primarily sensations, and these are sensations of the body. If the body is insensitive, there will be no awareness of these sensations and hence no awareness of feelings. This will preclude the possibility of understanding. So sensitization of the body is required via the dissolution of muscular armor and its tension patterns.


Essence with the Elixir of Enlightenment, p. 129   •  discuss »

The ego automatically and unconsciously responds to the superego with repression of parts of the personality, to defend itself against its painful attacks. An effective way to deal with the superego is to learn to defend against its attacks in a different way, without having to use repression and the other unconscious defense mechanisms of the ego. The method has to be conscious and intentional, in contrast to the habitual automatic ways that can only foster unconsciousness. Learning how to defend consciously and intentionally against the superego and its attacks is learning a whole understanding and a whole inner technology. It is taking into consideration the understanding of what the superego is and using one's own intelligence to deal with it and defend against its attacks.


Essence with the Elixir of Enlightenment, p. 137   •  discuss »

In our Work, we do many explorations to help you understand your childhood, and how your childhood has determined who you are. This helps the world of the personality—the appearance of things—to loosen up a little, so you are not so controlled by it. You are more relaxed. The less repression you have to hold on to, the easier it is for you to just be, to let go. When you can do what you are doing in a relaxed way, it is possible to just be. When you can just be, then it is possible to see the reality of things. The world of appearance has a certain pattern or flavor for each of us. If you look at yourself over the span of your whole lifetime, you realize that although there have been changes, there are things that do not change. Certain patterns in the way you do things are always repeated; the same kinds of thoughts and preferences persist. You live in a certain groove, determined by your history, and that groove—your personal groove—does not change until its basis is gone. Its basis is the belief that appearance is reality. This belief is the ultimate basis of the existence of the personality and all its problems.


Diamond Heart Book IV, p. 174   •  discuss »

Sigmund Freud discovered that the human individual manages to develop in spite of early intolerable difficulties by avoiding awareness of them through various methods of repression. This repressed material does not disappear but remains hidden in what he termed the unconscious, exerting a powerful force on conscious experience, actions, and dreams. One of the momentous discoveries of modern psychology, this made it possible to engage in therapeutic psychodynamic work, which is the retracing of conflictual and painful manifestations and symptoms to their unconscious roots, and then releasing the early conditioning. The ancient wisdom traditions did not have this understanding; hence their psychologies and methods could not and did not deal with this level of barriers to the soul’s liberation and realization.


Inner Journey Home, p. 227   •  discuss »

We return to our example of working through the issues regarding the strength essence to illustrate the structural level of issues that expose the barriers to the soul’s liberation. As the soul begins to be open to her aggression and anger, and allows herself to feel strong, she may encounter new difficulties. Now she finds new and deeper barriers to experiencing the essential quality of strength, even though she can be somewhat open to anger and aggression. Continuing her exploration, the soul becomes aware of a sense of weakness, which actually feels like an identification with weakness that the soul is not able to transcend. Further inquiry reveals an image of being a weak person that has become part of the soul’s identity. This identification is not a matter of repression; rather, it is character and structure. Inquiring into this image, the soul may find that as a child she disowned her strength not only because of fear of others’ anger, but because if she had felt strong she would have felt able to stand up to her mother, and even to be separate from her. This insight might reveal conflicts around separation from her mother, a separation that is appropriate at a certain stage of ego development. She may, for instance, discover that her mother could not tolerate the child separating from her, and wanted her to continue to be the mother’s dependent little girl. Because of guilt and compassion for her mother, plus the fear of her wrath, the child resisted acting or even feeling separate. Therefore, in order to stay close to her mother the child abandoned and continues to ward off her separation drive, which necessitates disowning and repressing her strength. Thus not only is the essential strength repressed, but as the child’s self structures are being built, a part of this structure will include an identification of being without strength, of being a weak child.


Inner Journey Home, p. 228   •  discuss »

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