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This week’s episode of The Jake Sasseville Show is produced by me, Topher Keene, Michael Howard Nathanson and Kodi Seaton out of Washington DC.
This week on BITE SIZED — INTIMACY, or into — me — see.
Must first acknowledge and appreciate the work of Anthony David Adams — his work really has inspired this episode. He has helped me deeply understand intimacy as it relates to creativity, non-romantic relationships and the importance of understanding partner needs and the desires to feel “full” and “acknowledged.” Often times, we see intimacy as just between two romantic lovers, but it is so much more than that.
Intimacy is INTO-ME-SEE. Intimacy is a contact, with self and others, and being fully present and connected to what's happening in your inner world; When you're fully present and connected to what's happening to others, there's a mutual feeling of intimacy in the relationship itself. You start to take on the mindset of a collective – individuals uniting to produce a greater whole, autonomous but merged.
We ought to broaden our scope to gain a broader understanding of intimacy and integrate it more fully in our relationships — from personal experience, every relationship is enriched when it is infused with intimate moments.
When considering Intimacy, we must first consider windows of tolerance. That window of tolerance is your comfort zone, it’s those who truly know you and your history and your dreams and desires. It’s the core set of beliefs that your life has been structured around. What Western Society calls a “Psychosis” is when you find yourself outside of that window of tolerance.
If all of a sudden you move beyond what is comfortable, beyond how you've built your life, your psyche — or parts of your brain that are designed to ensure survival at the most basic level in terms of optimizing your personality — your psyche will try to alter your external environment to get to a place of comfort again. That’s where it becomes so important to recognize your mind is running movies in loop, or photos in a slideshow, and that the movies and images are creating thoughts and belief systems, which are encouraging how you act. But it starts as the picture or movie in your brain.
Richard Bandler’s work as the co-founder of Neuro-linguistic Programming was decoding these pictures and movies, and re-directing them through hypnosis. Hypnosis, by the way, is mostly just the calming of the mind so that subtle suggestions can allowed in. When you float on your back in the middle of a lake and let go, that’s also a form of hypnosis. Certainly not what the mainstream folks will have you believe hypnosis is — it’s not running around a stage quacking like a duck. You can get hypnotized in a college classroom with a monotone lecturer or professor. Or even by my voice right now.
You can break a pattern just like that too. A sudden shift. Our minds have microchips like the most advanced computers. You can change the input and literally change the output.
Back to psychosis, shall we? Your psyche — your mind — to protect itself in unfamiliar territory will try to put out the “fire” externally since your internal state is uncomfortable with it. If that attempt is successful — and by the way, all of this is generally happening unconsciously — then you’ll find yourself back in the window of tolerance.
If the mind’s attempt to put out a fire externally doesn’t work, then you (mostly unconsciously again) start using progressively more risky strategies to regain a sense of centeredness. You could ignore or deny what something is or isn’t. That could work for a while. You can cut off information for a bit.
If that doesn’t work, you might escalate to moving your window of tolerance closer — meaning, you pull back from people in order to get comfortable. You might live in isolation for a period of time. Again, these strategies are happening all of the time within and outside of us. All of this is an attempt to adjust your window, without really expanding it, to fit in and become accustomed to where you’re at.
Now, for most of us, expanding the window can actually be quite exhilarating. Think of traveling to an exotic location. Or anywhere you haven’t been for that matter. Consider how present-moment you are, everything is new. Think of the time you lost your virginity. Your window of tolerance was being exploded - pun intended. People who go to Burning Man often report massive shifts in consciousness — that is, new experiences and new people are widening their window of tolerance and taking their understanding far beyond “every day life.”
Expansion, in any and all sense, is part of the order of the universe. Scientists have said for years that the universe is infinite and expanding. Consider that — infinite and expanding. If we are apart of that expanding universe, then we too — outside of the physical constraint of our bodies — must be infinite and expanding. So moments of clarity that come from new and expansive experiences must be the order of the universe as well. Every experience and every person contains an infinite number of possibilities within, we can develop new insights everywhere. (I’m always inspired when I’m traveling to a new place… I’m inspired at the food court in the airport, or in the line to the city bus, or in a public restroom!)
If you're not accustomed to expanding your window of tolerance, or haven't trained your mind to do so, it can be very very scary. The important thing is not to resist the expansion. Not to resist new opportunities, or challenges, or tricky scenarios that you haven’t experienced before.
The next strategy as it relates to the window of tolerance is changing your fundamental belief structures by rapidly expanding your window of tolerance. This could be using hallucinogens — like mushrooms or aywaskua - or with meditation or a sensory deprivation tank or a spirit quest.
When open your mind through a radical shift, the meaning you've attached to your experiences starts to fade away. The filters you put on reality are eliminated. You come in direct contact with an unknowable being. There is a feeling of oneness.
I’m neither for or against hallucinogens, I’m merely sharing what others have shared with me. I understand the use of them to get in contact with higher levels of awareness. I’m also aware that an altered state, is not necessarily a higher state. For me, the highest levels of guided and serene meditation have worked just fine. For others, taking mushrooms or going to aywaskua journeys with shamans are the way they do it.
Two things can occur during these so-called “trips.” It can be an opening — a peak spiritual experience. Self image and world image changes. After it’s complete, the window of tolerance can expand rapidly and then come back at a resting place which is a bit wider than it was before the “trip.”
A “trip” by the way can also be a spiritual trip — like a Dark Night of the Soul, a shedding of ego-self. A “trip” can be when you suddenly lose everything, or the death of a loved one. People can come back from this “Psychosis” experience — and i use the word “psychosis” just for the very reason that many think I ought not to. Psychosis and mental illness have a negative stigma in society and we ought to release the stigma from that. Psychosis is often just a pathway to breakthrough.
People can come back from that Psychosis with a deeper sense of love, calmness, openness. That’s the idea of the Hero’s Journey. Walking into the belly of the beast, only to return more powerful than you were when you entered.
Where get stuck when we feel alone in that experience. We can stay in “loop.” We can feel lonely and isolated and abandoned. That “loop” is the mind’s way of getting out of check with higher spiritual self. In the Western World, we then medicate the shit out of our bodies to protect ourselves from our minds. In Reality, we’re just in a loop and we just need a bit more Love coming from us and to us.
When the psychosis “works,” you come back “healed” and you have a recognition of being whole. When it doesn’t work, because it’s a risk to your prior strategy (and window of tolerance, after all you’re re-booting and in some cases re-programming your operating system), your computer during a reboot can work well but it can also get stuck in a reboot loop. We’ve all had it happen to us. That’s where people deep dive into states of super extreme schizophrenia and mania.
Again, I’m not proposing that I’m at all medically trained or authorized to provide hardcore evidence. This is just from my experience in life and with those that have shared with me their findings.
Because we generally don’t have the appropriate context for this type of behavior — that is, that it’s a spiritual process as those in the East believe, we try to stunt and prevent real growth.
In the East, you get supported and mentored through your spiritual processes. There are people that teach and walk with you through the process of “mental instability” so that you can come out of it. People who've been on that journey themselves and walked down that path with countless others before you.
According to the American Psychological Association, In 2010, Americans spent more than $16 billion on antipsychotics, $11 billion on antidepressants and $7 billion for drugs to treat ADHD.
We give people medication to literally stop or stunt their growth process. Our society lacks a context for growth. It’s not a one size fits all textbook process. We see change and we fear it means loss, but change can mean growth too, and there is no growth without risk of loss.
It’s a direct parallel to the removal of the gnostic texts from the bible. The Gnostic texts were about the relationship with self and others as one. It didn’t allow any external source (priests, the Church) to have power over you. So the gnostic texts were removed in order to preserve a sense of dependency on an outward source, which was the Church, and not to go off and have your own independent investigation of truth for yourself.
This really cut off the awareness of “all as one” and created the illusion of our separateness from one another (I'm unique, you're different, let's try to co-habitate) and God (God is not within me, God is “out there” or “up there” and hell is “down there.”)
The wisdom traditions have given us a context for understanding our experience and they give you a philosophical framework for understanding experience.
In business, if we talk about how work will affect our prestige or bottom line, the CEO will be more open to seeing the parallels of intimacy in the bedroom and the boardroom. The person that is building “big business” on some level can simultaneously building a wall to block off intimacy. It can also be a cry for intimacy.
It’s like saying — and I used to say all the time — If I do all these things, finally someone will love me and my needs will get met. I'll finally be good enough. It’s often a double bind that CEOs and entrepreneurs are in. "If my business makes enough money I'll finally be worthy of love, but the only way to feel safe in this loveless world is to use my business to shield me from others."
Understanding a high functioning, healthy, open romantic intimate partnership can help people in business partnerships and friendships be even better at what they do. If you can understand intimacy, then Yes, your relationship is going to be enhanced, you're going to be tapped into consciousness at a much deeper level. Your partnerships will be more stable and understanding.
Increased intimacy (into-me-see) equals more external accomplishment. Not for accomplishment’s sake tho - accomplishment and success then becomes a part of the journey, not what so many of us think is the journey.
That’s all for this week everybody. Thanks as always for listening. Read and find out more at JakeSasseville.com.