NOTE: This website is a Bubble in the Bubble Map of the massively-multiplayer online-and-offline thoughtware-upgrade personal-transformation game called StartOver.xyz. It is a doorway to experiments that upgrade your thoughtware so you have the distinctions to create more possibility. Your knowledge is what you think about. Your thoughtware is what you think with. When you change your thoughtware, you go through a liquid state as your mind reorganizes itself. Liquid states can bring up transformational feelings and emotions. By upgrading your thoughtware you build matrix to hold more consciousness. No one can do this for you. No one can stop you from doing it. Our theory is that when we collectively build one million more Matrix Points we will change the morphogenetic field of the human race for the better. Please choose responsibly to read this website. Reading this whole website is worth 1 Matrix Point. Doing any of the experiments earns you additional Matrix Points. Please use Matrix Code COUNTENA.00 to log your Matrix Points earned at this website on login.startover.xyz. Thank you for playing full out!
Preparatory Steps for Countenance
< THE 13 REQUIREMENTS FOR COUNTENANCE >
It can also be interesting and useful to practice another form of sitting called together-sitting. In together-sitting, two people sit while being in contact with each other. Here is a forum where the possibility of Countenance begins.
Historically, the styles of sitting such as self-sitting that focus a person’s attention inward were developed to aid those growing up in Eastern cultures. In Eastern cultures, the primary social emphasis for centuries has been on developing humility and cooperation. Self-sitting was designed to counteract the imbalance in Eastern people by strengthening their personal identities and their ability to be-with themselves.
Together-sitting was developed particularly for those who have grown up in Western cultures. In Western cultures the primary social emphasis for centuries has been on developing personal identity and achievement. We are taught from childhood to be strong and independent, to compete for our place in life, to be self-reliant, and so on. Together-sitting can teach us to bridge the gulf between others and ourselves. We can learn to overcome the fear of openness and intimate relationship with another person that is the natural side effect of an upbringing in Western society.
Requirement #1: You Must Be Able to Leave Verbal Reality and Enter Experiential Reality.
Ever since early childhood we have been hammered into a life in “verbal reality.” So much importance is placed on reading, writing, speaking, spelling, vocabulary, grammar, languages, and all the forms of written media that, after years of conditioning, we come to imagine that verbal reality is the reality of greatest importance.
In verbal reality the words lead, and eventually come to replace, the things they label. Words bypass sense experiences and lock life into conceptual boxes. Then your experience only goes as far as what you have words for. As soon as your mind finds a word for a thing, it grabs the word like a victory prize and your experience of that thing is cut off.
“Experiential reality” is quite different from this. In “experiential reality” your experience leads. The words are held back like a pack of wild dogs on the leash, and silenced with disciplined vigilance, while experience is given free rein to roll exquisitely through your senses – from head to toe – wordlessly. Then later on, if you choose to, you can select particular words to describe or appreciate your experience, but words are not part of the experience.
Move At The Speed of Love
Requirement #2: You Must Be Able to Slow Down and Move at the Speed of Love.
Most of us, most of the time, walk faster than the speed of Archetypal Love. We have our attention on where we are going, whatever we are talking about and whatever is happening. We notice things around us, and all of these things take our attention away from Archetypal Love. The subject of our conversation, our feelings about the subject, our feelings about the other person’s feelings, all take priority over the importance of love. Our purpose is to take a walk, or to discuss a certain subject, to make a point, or to give someone feedback. We may accomplish those purposes. There is nothing wrong with accomplishing those purposes. However, you may wonder where the love went. Well, you were walking too fast and you left the love behind.
Principles are intelligent and delicate. Principles function according to their own physics. When two or more people gather in the name of the Principle of Archetypal Love, there will Archetypal Love be in the midst of them. If you wish to move from one place to another, moving too fast leaves the love behind. It is possible to walk within the Principle of Archetypal Love and have the love move with you, provided you do not walk faster than the speed of love.
Love has a maximum velocity, which is the speed of a slow, relaxed stroll. Walking no quicker than the speed of love allows you to move around within a Principle-of-Archetypal-Love bubble, a love mobile. That love will never go away if you do not leave it behind. That love radiates and feeds the world. If you can walk in Archetypal Love so that Love Happens, a resonance spreads out that allows a thousand other people to catch hold and enter Archetypal Love also.
Try this experiment. Always retain the option of walking in a different way. After you have a partner with whom you can invoke Archetypal Love, take a love walk. Various sorts of things may be accomplished during your walk. You may even go through the middle of town or arrive at some predetermined destination. But, during the walking, the prime purpose of the walking is to include Archetypal Love. Keep a majority portion of your attention on noticing that love is still with you. Split your attention so that you can speak, think, safely cross roads, and so on, but at all times the majority of your attention is on experiencing the Principle of Love. Walk along being in love. No matter what you are talking about, no matter what you are thinking about, the most important thing in that particular moment (and the next, and the next…) is that love is happening there, with the two of you. Your attention and your intention are on the experience of Love Happening. If for any reason you get distracted, if you walk too fast, if you forget what the most important thing is, just stop. Reconnect. Call love back into the space, and then start again. Love is very forgiving. Love loves to go for a walk.
Be In Your Heart
Requirement #3: You Must Be Able to Be in Your Heart and Out of Your Mind.
Being “out of your mind” is a common euphemism for being mentally insane. In Western culture if you are out of your mind there is no place else to be except in a crazy house. Referring back to the Map of Four Bodies, you can see that there are many other places to be besides your mind. For example, you can go to your heart, your body, or your being. Our distorted identification of assuming we are our mind, blocks us from having an expanded identification and an expanded experience of who we are. When you expand your identification of who you are, you expand your possibilities of how you can relate to another human being and who they are. Relating from heart to heart is a different experience than relating from mind to mind. Mind-to-mind relating is like ping-pong. Heart-to-heart relating is like two warm clouds commingling. Practice diminishing your mind-to-mind relating and practice expanding your heart-to-heart being-with relating. Try doing this experiment in even the most bizarre circumstances, such as when you are stopped by a policeman for speeding, when your child is screaming at you, when someone dies or is sick, when you are standing in line at the grocery store, when you are telephoning with the tax department, and so on.
Requirement #4: You Must Be Able to Pay Attention to Your Attention.
If you are not able to pay attention to your attention then your attention can be taken by any little distraction inside of you or outside of you, and then you do not have your attention to place on your partner. If you place your attention on something else besides your partner – thoughts about work, unpaid bills, plans for the weekend, a conflict with your siblings – then that is where your energy flows. If your attention is scattered then your energy is wasted, and you cannot feed your partner or the sacred space of your relationship with your energy. Where your attention goes your energy flows. If you have the potential to enter Countenance, your energy starts looking very attractive to all kinds of things that devour attention. Those things will try their best to hook your attention and get your energy. If you cannot protect yourself from the energy vultures, both your partner and the space of Countenance are unprotected. Practice paying attention to your attention so that you know exactly where and how much of your energy goes to different places during your day. You could even keep an energy journal for a few days. Set the beeper on your watch to beep every fifteen minutes. As soon as it beeps write down what percentage of the fifteen minutes was spent with you consciously placing your attention on something, and what percentage of that time was spend with your attention unconsciously taken from you. Start noticing the patterns of what you allow to steal your attention and where you flow your energy unconsciously.
Requirement #5: You Must Be Able to Keep Your Center.
If you do not have your center then you are incapable of being responsible, of being adult, of being in the present, of consciously creating, of choosing, of declaring, of responsibly communicating, of taking risks, and of leading. These are exactly the capacities that help you to undertake experiments in Countenance. Giving your center away under any circumstances is very costly. For example, if you are a man and you give your center away, to a woman it looks like you are giving your balls away. This is not inspiring for the woman. A man needs his center to hold space for his woman to shift into Archetypal Woman. She can then remember the way and lead her Man to the Center of the Labyrinth (a term borrowed from E. J. Gold’s book Life in the Labyrinth), the home of Archetypal Love.
Requirement #6: You Must Be Able to Hold Space.
Developing your capacities to keep your center and to place your attention on your attention opens the door to being able to hold space (also see the Glossary). Holding space is the skill of splitting your attention, putting part of your attention on what you are creating in the space, and the other part of your attention on remembering that you are in a space. Once you can hold space you can begin declaring that people come together in that space in the name of a certain set of Bright Principles to accomplish whatever needs to be accomplished. The specific activity that happens in the space you are holding can vary from child care to a board meeting, from sweeping out the garage together to reading a book of Japanese Love Poems together. The specific activity does not matter. What matters is the quality of the space holding, your intention and attention. Holding space for the work of Bright Principles transforms that space into a sanctuary. It is only within a sanctuary that Countenance can arise.
Requirement #7: You Must Be Able to Be Present.
To be present means to simply be, without excessively moving, doing, speaking, or thinking. The present does not include the past or the future. In the present there are no stories, expectations, conclusions or assumptions. One discomfort of being present is that you may start experiencing what has been stored away in your body – including emotions, visions, vows, resentments, and so on. Each time your “now” is minimized and the flow of time is extinguished by the eternal timeless present, the next layer of surprises comes to the surface. Do not worry about how many layers there are. There is nothing that you can do to circumvent going through the layers that you have one at a time. Just persist. After six to nine significant layers have been de-charged, you will suddenly find yourself able to rest in a small “now” with surprising easefulness. More obstacles for you to go through will eventually arise, of course, because there is “no top end” (as Lee Lozowick points out) to the expansiveness of being present. The old hippy catchphrase was “Be here now.” What you can try is “Be here more.” Building a balanced set of four bodies that can withstand the intensity of being present takes time. It is authentic struggle to build matrix for being present that provides you with a ticket into the chamber. Countenance is the door prize: but you have to be present to win!
Requirement #8: You Must Be Able to Make Contact with Another Person, Exposed, Raw, and Undefended.
“Contact” (also see the Glossary) refers to the phenomena of one person being-with another person, so that communication can take place. Conscious contact is a foundation skill. If you cannot consciously initiate contact, stay in contact, and terminate contact, then you cannot engage either Extraordinary Human Relationship or Archetypal Relationship.
The words that best capture the mood or intention of contact are “follow and support.” The purpose of making contact is to follow and support the other person – to be there for them, wherever they are – not as a rescuer, and definitely not as a “responsible victim,” but rather as another human being on the same team playing the game of Winning Happening. Contact can only occur now, in the present, through you being present in the moment. Contact means that you keep one foot in the center of the space of objective reality, while your other foot meets the other person in their space, wherever they are. If you are in contact, the other person is free to move about in any of the three worlds with the guarantee that they can find their way back to you. Such contact is a form of service.
Contact begins by clearly and directly saying, “Hello.” The “Hello” does not necessarily have to be spoken. It can be energetically created with intention and presence. However, the easiest, most straightforward, adult, mature and effective way to establish contact is by actually saying the word, “Hello.”
You can imagine an image of contact being two sheets of paper face to face, almost touching but not touching. When one paper bends, the other paper bends in exactly the same shape as the first one. Contact allows you to experience exactly where the other person is, exactly what they are going through, and exactly where they need to go, because you are conscious of having the same experience through your contact.
When being in contact with someone it does not matter if you hate their guts, if you are afraid of them, if you are angry at them, if you are sexually attracted to them, if they are shut down, if you are shut down, it does not matter. All of these are merely Box reactions. You can go into profound contact with anybody: man, woman, old, young, pretty, ugly, mean, crippled, despicable, or world famous, and authentically be-with them in a space of Archetypal Love, exposed, raw and unprotected, and through the integrity of your contact you will still be okay.
Be A Space
Requirement #9: You Must Be Able to Be a Space, That Is, You Must Be Able to Not Be There. In Order to Not Be There, it Must Be Okay, Right Now, for You to Die.
Your fear of not being there is predicated on the fantasy that there is some kind of “you” that is already there in the first place. If you have been paying attention you will by now have discovered that life is best when you are not there. The experience of not being there has been called the “zone.” Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi calls it “flow.” George B. Leonard calls it “soft eyes.” Zen Buddhism calls it “no mind.” Whatever you call it, if you pay attention you will notice that when “it” is happening “you” are not there. You can skip all the rigmarole that tries to prepare you for death. Instead, with a simple snap of your fingers, you can vanish yourself into being merely the space holder of the space where you used to be. Then you can immediately get on with the fun stuff. What can you do with all of your predilections towards avoiding death? Store them on a back shelf. They are no longer relevant after you discover that no matter how many times you vanish yourself it does not take too long before you automatically come back. You do not have to worry about the coming back part. It happens all by itself. Practice enjoying the ride between times when you are not there.
In The Name Of Love
Requirement #9: You Must Be Able to Be a Space, That Is, You Must Be Able to Not Be There. In Order to Not Be There, it Must Be Okay, Right Now, for You to Die.
Declaring is a simple matter of using the word “is” to glue two diverse things together to formulate a new condition. Like I just did here: I glued the term “declaring” to the phrase “a simple matter” using the word “is.” This makes a statement “declaring is a simple matter” that may or may not be true, but which can in either case prove itself to be very useful or very interesting. Such an “is” glued statement forms the basis of a story that you can step into and use as a reality in which to operate. In the case of preparing for Countenance you declare that the space you hold is dedicated to being a safe place for Archetypal Love to abide. Your declaration creates a specialized sanctuary by banishing cross-purposes and inviting an abundance of Archetypal Love. All the previous requirements must be activated in you to consciously and effectively declare and hold the purpose of a space in the name of love.
Longing to Experience Love
Requirement #11: You Must Have a Longing to Directly Experience the Principle of Love.
How can we even talk about this? I don’t know where such a longing would come from. Perhaps it is a memory that comes alive during the experience of being present? Perhaps the longing itself is Archetypal, and as soon as you have stellated some of your Archetypes the longing for Archetypal Love arises automatically in conjunction? Such a longing has an irresistible potency and can probably not be fulfilled by anything else. A defensive Box would avoid the longing for Archetypal Love with a vengeance because the Box thinks that even the longing itself, let alone the fulfillment of the longing, would send its preeminence to the gallows. If you somehow did not already have this longing I doubt that you would still be reading this book. You can therefore assume that the longing is strong in you. One consequence of making your longing for the direct experience of Archetypal Love conscious is you might inexplicably start writing poetry of love.
Give and Receive
Requirement #12: You Must Be Able to Give Without Fear of Giving Too Much, and You Must Be Able to Receive Without Fear of Receiving Too Much, Both Maximally and at the Same Time.
As old sayings usually go, there are two types of people: those who can never get enough, and those who can never give enough. The challenge in preparing yourself to encounter Countenance is that you need to be both at the same time. Usually we have a predisposition towards either survival or abundance. This leans us toward either sucking or spewing energy. To become the space through which Archetypal Love is simultaneously given and received means you have to become a kind of resistanceless, bi-directional superconductor. It makes no sense at all, and yet this is how it works. Two people together in Countenance is like ball-lightening. On rare occasions when lightening strikes it does not immediately dissipate into the ground. Sometimes it recirculates in itself as a plasma ball, humming and buzzing along with a tremendous amount of self-contained power flowing in both directions at once. People have died touching ball lightening; so if you see one, don’t try to grab it. But if you can imagine pure energy flowing maximally in both directions at the same time without interfering with its own flow then you can picture Countenance happening. Be that.
The Intensity of Being
Requirement #13: You Must Be Able to Tolerate the Intensity of Being the Space through Which Archetypal Love Does Its Work.
Our Box sets the intensity limit for our experiences. No matter how convincing the threat story told to us by our Box, the Box has in mind only its own self-preservation, not our general well-being or our fondness for evolution. High intensity experiences paralyze the Box’s defense mechanisms. If we encounter high intensity experiences and survive even though the Box is paralyzed and is unable to put on its usual performance, we will see that the Box is not as necessary as it makes itself out to be. Your practice can be to gradually over time enter conditions of greater intensity with the idea that the Box slowly raises its allowable intensity limits. You can internally reassure your Box that its hard-earned skills and capacities will always be needed and respected, even if they are not always given priority. This assurance will go a long way towards calming the Box’s absolute resolve to avoid unbearable intensities such as are encountered during Countenance.
Obstacles to Countenance...
... and how to work with them too
As soon as you actually try entering Countenance you will realize that not only are there requirements (as we have already considered), but there are also obstacles. As you encounter the obstacles, pay attention to the feedback you experientially receive about what works and what does not work. This specific information is all you need to create your own “map” for how to navigate through or around the obstacles. Obstacles are not bad; they are teaching instruments. The feedback you get from your attempts provides exact instructions for how to improve your attempts. Too many people encounter an obstacle and then give it up for lost. Instead develop the disposition of a sword being hammered on by the black smith. Let the obstacles reshape you into something thin and resilient enough to get to the next obstacle.
Fear & Fear of Fear
Obstacles can come in a wide variety of forms, including inexplicable panic reactions, fear of clarity, fear of leading, fear of being betrayed, and so on.
Being Distracted by Accidents,
headaches or illnesses.
These are all sign that you are not taking care of yourself. Not taking care of yourself is a very efficient survival strategy to stay in survival, having not time, energy or attention to do the work of conscious evolution.
Addictions to the adrenaline rushes of Low Drama
Lack of money
Lack of Trust
A tendency to withdraw or hesitate
Assuming you are a Victim of Circumstances
Using Your Obstacles
Your obstacles become your way to refining your abilities to deal with obstacles.
To engage your obstacles you will be using two approaches.
Trust Your 5 Bodies
Do the experiment of radically trusting your five-body system to provide you with bountiful signals for navigating with an obstacle even if you never met this obstacle before. Your mind gives you thoughts. Your heart gives you feelings. Your soul gives you yearnings. And your physical body gives you the sensation of very fine and wise distinctions. What an abundance of support and guidance! If you listen for it your bodies inform you clearly about what area of relationship or self-awareness or risk needs to be addressed next, and how. Trust your bodies.
Obstacles are wounds
You will discover that the source of many of your obstacles is a wound. Working through these wounds so as to enter Countenance is a tremendously profound healing process. Give yourself plenty of time and permission for the healings to occur. Do not try to rush your development. The healings can take years of work and take you into domains of learning that were previously unimaginable. No matter how daunting the challenges may sometimes seem, you are designed to make the leaps from the known into the unknown, and then to do it again. Just go ahead and work steadily with whatever comes up next.