By Colm Burgoyne.
A guilt and sorrow arose in me regarding my own, and our collective contributions towards each other’s pain.
While inquiring into a dream I had, I saw memories of how my siblings and I unconsciously contributed to our parents’ pain and our parents unconsciously to ours. I could see an image of my mother in the bottom half of my body, in pain, while looking on in fear at her children getting into trouble. I observed my father’s figure around my head area, with a different kind of feel to his fear and pain than my mother’s. I looked, felt, cried, regretted and questioned.
While my process unfolded, it felt best to use open questions with myself, as it’s less rigid this way for me. I find that it grants my system a remarkable way of flowing, gently loosening my psyche up more to a multitude of depths and answers in a merciful way.
What keeps uncoiling for me as I see and question what I see, is that most, if not all of us, are in a loop of contributing towards the exchange of pain, just as we are also looping the exchange of love. In my mind’s imaginary, perfect world, it would prefer not to be contributing to, or reflecting back anyone’s pain. Neither is the idea of another reflecting mine back to me a jolly one. I have wondered at times “Is the unconscious infliction of pain from one to another some kind of profoundly sick joke from an insane existence to humanity? “Or is there a method to its/our seeming madness?” Oddly, yet not so oddly enough, I get a yes to the latter. My yes comes from experiencing that if it wasn’t for being triggered, I would have nothing reflecting the unconscious pain lurking underneath and ruling my actions. The loop then remains cemented in continuum for everyone to see but me, unless I look. This doesn’t mean however, that when the trigger is being pulled, I don’t curse the puller of the trigger for pulling it. I can and do do this at times. The Living Inquiries have taught me though, there is more to it than meets the conditioned eye of blaming.
This brings me to say that for some months now, I’ve been diving into my relationship as a man towards women and also their relationship towards me. I’ve been seeing the shame and pain that comes glued to my patterns around this exchange of messy humanness between us and how we all contribute. It has been a rollercoaster of both darkness and relief. It’s not surprising to me then, that the dream of my family pain happened. My brothers, sister and myself causing pain and hurt to each other, while blaming one another for starting it. As I look at my own personal journey with this, my looking has reflected that the similarities between the collective and personal are plain to see.
I wasn’t to know that when starting to use these Inquiries I would experientially become helplessly sensitive to the magnitude of sensation that arises from not only my personal pain, but also the generational and collective pain. This work can open you up to it all. And yes, in my experience, it can be a tough journey, yet also simultaneously wonderful. The Inquiries have negotiated a safe pathway towards the pain, where an intimacy with oneself opens in response to my moving towards it.
To read more about Colm Burgoyne, click here.