Four feelings, three worlds, two dramas, and one truth, from Possibility Management
Theories about the cause and healing of disease abound. Without attacking or defending any particular theory we can add dimensions to our healing effectiveness by adding dimensions to our clarity. Clarity amplifies a healer’s ability to bring clients to new options in their every-day behavior. Having more options means having greater possibility. Possibility is one of the most powerful healing tonics in the world. In this article, we will briefly visit the field of Possibility Management and find clarity in maps of four feelings, three worlds, two dramas, and one truth.
Clarity is a golden key in the healing process, but clarity is hard earned. Clarity is not simply an understanding in the mind as we are generally taught to assume. We do not have clarity if we just think about it. Thoughts are easily forgotten. Clarity lands in and reorders the energetic structure of the body. This means that we do not come by clarity for free. Clarity arrives experientially, and the experience can be rough.
Every piece of clarity changes what the world looks like to us because the clarity changes the filter through which we see the world. We gain clarity only through sacrificing the old way we see things. Clarity changes who we are. If we do not learn that clarity changes who we are through personal experience then we cannot make it safe for a client to go through the experience of acquiring new clarity.
Disease is a physical solution to an energetic problem. The disease arises because the client prefers their standard way of seeing things even if that perspective causes them disease. The disease, if it is perceived at all, is not originally perceived as a problem. For survival reasons, the human mind is very skilled at self-deception.
A client comes to a healer (or parent, or boss) only when they start perceiving their disease as a problem. (Viewing the disease as the problem is also the standard view of modern allopathic medicine.) The client comes to the healer when they want a different solution to their problem besides their disease.
From the healer’s view, a disease is an invitation for the client to evolve. The healer is midwife to this evolution process. The healer starts with the clarity that the disease is only a symptom or manifestation of the actual problem. The disease provides clues for the client to discover some things about themselves. When the source of the disease is discovered to be self-generated and the client takes responsibility for that situation then consciousness expands and healing occurs.
The healer knows that a client’s original commitment is to the disease. A client changes their commitment only when they get clarity about the purpose of their commitment to the disease (such commitment could be to get revenge, to be right, to abuse one’s self, to get love and attention, to be noticed, etc.). Navigating the client to clarity about the purpose of their commitment and then creating a possibility for the client to make a different commitment is the job of the healer.
The good news about clarity is that every bit of clarity that we can create for ourselves we can also create for our clients. The bad news about clarity is that every place we do not have clarity is where we cannot help our clients to heal. Clients can only go as far as the healer can go. This is the sacrifice that a healer makes: the healer must go first.
Take for example feelings. It was in 1975 when Valerie Lankford created the Map of Four Feelings. On her map, Valerie suggested that all human emotion could be divided into four categories: anger, sadness, joy and fear. Using this map we suddenly have intellectual clarity about feelings. There are four feelings. This is tremendous clarity (especially for men!).
Modern culture teaches us that three of these feelings are “negative” feelings and when any one of these three feelings is activated we conclude that something is wrong. We are taught that “Indians feels no pain.” We are also taught that the one “positive” feeling, happiness, is dangerous: “If a bird sings happily in the morning a cat eats it in the evening.” Modern culture teaches us overall that it is not okay to feel.
It is known that repressing feelings can cause an impact on our health. For example, repressing anger can affect the liver or gall bladder. Repressing sadness can affect the lungs or large intestine. Repressing joy can affect the heart or small intestine. Repressing fear can affect the kidneys or bladder.
In Possibility Management, we make a new map in which anger, sadness, joy and fear are as neutral as the four directions on a compass. Is north bad? Is east good? Is west negative? Is south positive? Silly questions. The same with anger, sadness, joy and fear. In the Possibility Management map, feelings occur in our body so as to provide us with the information and the rocket fuel that we need to fulfill our destiny. In order to have access to our information and energy, we must leave our cultural education behind and change our relationship to our feelings. This is where a healer would need to go outside of the limits of standard education and get further training.
Feelings can be felt consciously or unconsciously. In order for the feelings to be felt consciously, a person must learn “inner navigation.” We develop inner navigation skills when we change our intellectual clarity about feelings into experiential clarity about feelings. Each of the four feelings expresses itself with distinct sensations and physical manifestations. When we gain experiential clarity our body becomes our map. When we have learned the sensations internally then we can know in any moment what we are feeling and where we are on the map of feelings. If we know what we are feeling then we can know what another person is feeling. Knowing what our client feels is an important factor in the healer’s relationship with a client.
Consciously feeling means experiencing and expressing feelings at various levels of intensity, from zero percent (numb) to one hundred percent (archetypal). Feedback from a trainer permits us to calibrate our scale of how big fifty percent of archetypal rage feels, for example. In a training, we can experiment to allow ourselves to liberate one hundred percent of each of the four feelings. (“In a training” means do not try this at home. The reason for not trying this at home is that when we get our feelings back they arrive at the same level of maturity they were when we shut them down. For most of us, this was very young and very immature. During a training, a trainer can safely guide us to bring our feelings to maturity in a short period of time. Facilitating the maturation process is tricky to manage alone.)
We human beings have within us archetypal structures lying dormant waiting to be brought to life. The experience of expressing one hundred percent intensity of a feeling ignites an archetypal structure. Each of the four feelings is associated with one archetype: anger with the doer (warrior or warrioress), sadness with the communicator (lover), joy with the responsible leader (king or queen), and fear with the creator (sorcerer or sorceress). The doer, the communicator, and the creator work in the service of the responsible leader.
Bringing an archetype to life is a process like changing a planet into a star, called “stellating.” The difference between a planet and a star is that a planet absorbs more energy than it gives off. A star radiates more energy than it absorbs. Human beings are designed to live as stars (creating, producing). Modern culture trains us to live as planets (consuming, judging). Next culture begins bringing a fifteen-year-old child through initiatory processes into adulthood stellating their four archetypes into radiant joyous productive maturity. Modern culture does not provide initiation work for us. To stellate our archetypes we must venture outside of modern culture into certain training environments that are designed specifically for this purpose. To be safe and stable the stellating process takes its own time, in our experience about two years.
In Possibility Management we have taken Valerie Lankford’s map of feelings one step further. We have discovered that feelings are most useful when felt in their pure form. Mixing feelings creates its own kind of dis-ease. Mixing feelings is not bad or wrong. Mixing feelings simply produce a different kind of experience than feeling the feelings clearly and distinctly. For example, mixing anger and sadness produces the sensation of depression. This is like mixing milk and cow poop together. Milk has its own uses. Cow poop has its own uses. Mix them together and all you get is slime. The same is true of feelings. Mixing anger and sadness automatically produces an experience called “depression.” To step out of depression we can use inner navigation skills to separate anger and sadness one from the other. Pull them apart. Then we feel anger about one thing, sadness about another thing or the same thing, and there is no more depression. Mixing sadness with fear produces isolation or desperation. Mixing sadness with joy produces sentimentality or nostalgia. Mixing anger and fear produces hysteria. Mixing fear and joy produces careless risk such as gambling, etc. Mixing anger and joy produces schadenfreude. Mixing three feelings produces jealousy, greed, shame and guilt. And mixing all four feelings produces burnout and emotional or psychological breakdown.
How many people are prescribed with brain chemicals or actually locked away in institutions because the modern culture does not yet have this clarity about the four feelings and mixing feelings? We could start getting clarity about feelings when we are seven years old. Our schools do not provide this clarity. To add such clarity to our schooling would require that teachers get trained to have the clarity first. The students can only go as far as the teachers can go.
A healer pays a price to be a healer. The price is this: a healer has clarity about things that people of other professions do not have clarity about. The baker pays the price of no longer having an ordinary relationship to sleeping at night so that we can have hot rolls in the morning. The surgeon pays the price of no longer having an ordinary relationship to the human body so he or she can slice it open and sew it back together again safely for our benefit. The healer pays the price of no longer having an ordinary relationship to reality.
The healer learns that each day human beings journey in and out of three worlds, the Upperworld, the Middleworld, and the Underworld. Whereas most people make these shifts unconsciously, the healer learns to navigate all reaches of the three worlds with clarity and purpose.
The Middleworld is the world of time, money, food, washing up, vacuuming the floor, taking the kids to school, taking out the garbage, getting to work, paying bills, fixing the car, shopping, going to the beach, walking the dog, exercising, daily chores, relaxing, sexuality, and ordinary practical life. The sense of the Middleworld is busy, busy, busy!
The Upperworld is a quality of space that we may have first noticed in a church or alone in nature. The mood changes. Our attention is refined. Sounds change. The quality of light brightens and clarifies. Our view of what is possible for us or for humanity changes. Responsibility and care easefully flourish. We sense being in the Upperworld through noticing the presence of responsible Bright Principles such as respect, openness, acceptance, clarity, possibility, integrity, love, joy, abundance, radiance, purity, oneness, learning, discovery, sharing, growth, evolution, teamwork, togetherness, and so on.
The Underworld is also a quality of space that we notice in the middle of conflicts, discouragement, and the irresponsible joy of “Ha-ha! I got you! I win! You lose, Sucker!” The Underworld is rife with suffering, victimhood, separation, competition, and persecution. We can sense being in the Underworld through noticing the presence of irresponsible Shadow Principles such as revenge, greed, destruction, hatred, disrespect, manipulation, superiority, sneaking, betrayal prejudice, terrorism, injustice, rape, murder, starvation, desolation, survival, scarcity, deprivation, etc.
It might surprise you to notice on this Map Of The Three Worlds that the Underworld is located between the Middleworld and the Upperworld. This positioning may not make sense at first because the location of the Underworld on this map does not match its name. The Underworld is not under; it is in-between. Neither does the location of the Underworld match allegorical descriptions of archetypal Underworlds from literature.
Locating the Underworld between the Middleworld and the Upperworld is based on many years of practical experience. We may spend much of our day involved in the busy, busy Middleworld. We may become aware of the Upperworld in sacred spaces such as a loving relationship, a song, or a prayer. We may have brief encounters with the Upperworld as a direct experience and we may want to go there. But as soon as we actually try to go to the Upperworld we find ourselves in our own unexplored Underworld. If you reflect on this you will recognize the truth of it from your own experience. The way to the Upperworld is through becoming conscious of and owning our Underworld. Without taking possession of our Underworld we can never stabilize our Upperworld. Thinking that we can go from the Middleworld directly to the Upperworld is the definition of the New Age.
With regards to the three worlds, it is also true that our clients can only go as far as we can go. If we have not owned a part of our Underworld then our clients cannot own that part of theirs. If we only recognize and own one-quarter of our Underworld, then three-quarters of our Underworld owns us outside of our awareness and has us making actions that serve its purposes when we least expect it. If we have not become conscious of the motivations and creations of the king or queen of our Underworld (our Gremlin), then any client with a Gremlin bigger than ours can manipulate us, push our buttons, hook us, and run circles around our healing efforts made on their behalf. Gremlin is not bad. Gremlin does what Gremlin does. Our Gremlin is not to be imprisoned. Our Gremlin is to be understood and encompassed so that we can use it to create possibilities for conscious evolution.
If we make ourselves comfortable in exclusive domains of the Upperworld and Middleworld and our clients do not have access to those domains then they will not feel safe in our company. Most clients cannot come to where we are. This means we must learn to shapeshift and go to where they are. Again, such skills are beyond the scope of ordinary healer education programs provided to us by modern culture. Just because the skills are not offered by modern culture does not mean we do not need the skills as healers. Rather it means we must again go outside the culture and get ourselves trained.
Healing comes when our client can recognize, accept, and be where they are. When they can be where they are no matter where that is, they then have the power to move somewhere else. If our client can be where they are then they automatically recover authenticity.
While we are considering the three worlds, let us take a look at another aspect of healing. It can be the case that a healer thinks their job is to make the Middleworld into the Upperworld. This would be considered transformation. Many healers have made the assumption that changing the Middleworld into the Upperworld is their main objective. I am inviting you to examine this assumption from a different perspective.
In the Upperworld, perfection is possible. Pristine brilliance, total permanent illumination, absolute oneness, all of this perfection and more is possible in the Upperworld. Perfection is not possible in the Middleworld. Nothing is perfect in the Middleworld. We can imagine a straight line or a sphere easily, but no straight line or sphere exists in the Middleworld. Everything in the Middleworld flows, changes, evolves or decays and dies. In the Middleworld nothing is stable or permanent. Everything fluctuates. Perfection is impossible.
So what is a healer to do?
A healer can serve to create and hold a space in the Middleworld through which the Upperworld Principles can do their work. The space that you create and hold as a healer can be a physical space such as your office, a seminar house, a dojo, or a yoga practice hall, or the space that you hold can be the space of a conversation in a café or even the space of a telephone conversation. This space is then called together in the name of specific Upperworld Principles as a space where those Principles can do their work in the Middleworld. You are then holding two things in the same place at the same time: the Middleworld circumstances and the Upperworld Principles. You are creating an intersection of worlds. In this intersection of worlds, the Upperworld does its work in the Middleworld through your eyes, your hands, your heart and your mouth. (This is not channeling!!!) The work that you do in this intersection of worlds is never perfect. It can never be perfect. It does not have to be perfect. The work that you do in this intersection of worlds is as good as it gets. What you need to know is that this work is good enough.
Dr. Stephen Karpman invented the Drama Triangle model for human interactions in 1965. The Drama Triangle shows how most of our day-to-day interactions are simply unconscious role-playing in one of three characters on the Drama Triangle.
In Possibility Management we have taken Stephen Karpman’s map of the Drama Triangle one step further. We have discovered that any action designed to avoid responsibility is a particular kind of drama called Low Drama. Once we learn to identify and avoid irresponsible Low Drama before we are internally or externally hooked into it, we have the possibility of doing conscious responsible theater called High Drama. Note that neither High Drama nor Low Drama is right or wrong, good or bad. They just create different results.
Healing is High Drama. For example, a healer must learn to split their attention. We use part of our attention to keep one foot solidly locked into the Middleworld of ordinary sanity. We use another part of our attention to place our other foot in the world of our client. By maintaining contact and support we accompany our client on their journey to wherever they need to go to heal. We go with them into whatever world they live in, even if that world does not generally fit within the definition of ordinary sanity. The experience of going all the way unhealthy (insane) while simultaneously connected to health (sanity) permits our client to assimilate unhealth within the bigger context of health. The accompaniment of the client by the healer is an act of conscious theater and therefore an example of High Drama.
Possibility Management puts both Low Drama and High Drama together on one map called the Map of Possibility. This is a big map, meaning that it covers a lot of territory. We have already covered a lot of territory in this article, so I will show you the Map of Possibility but you will have to figure it out yourself. A little warning is in order: if you succeed in figuring out the Map of Possibility do not be surprised if some things change for you. The Map of Possibility is infested with memetic viruses that voraciously devour and replace any ideas in your mind that are less clear than they are. Have fun!
The Map of Possibility is a map of us. Each of us contains a True Leader who is King or Queen of the Upperworld, and each of us contains a Gremlin Leader who is King or Queen of the Underworld. High Drama feeds the Upperworld in the same way that Low Drama feeds the Underworld. In each moment we are either creating High Drama or we are creating Low Drama. You cannot get from Low Drama to High Drama. It is one or the other. What the Map of Possibility gives us is the clarity to choose what sort of Drama we are going to create right now.
The Map of Possibility starts with a single vertical line that declares that whatever happens is completely neutral. This declaration is the only true thing on the Map of Possibility. But we are human beings, and human beings do not leave things neutral. Instead, we are creating in every moment. We create by making stories about what happens. We interpret and give what happens meaning. The world is rich in evidence and there is evidence to support any story we want to make up. Every story has a purpose. (We do not make up stories without purpose.) Either we are conscious of our purpose or we are not. The dichotomy of consciousness creates two general types of games: responsible games or irresponsible games. Which game we are playing is always discernable by the results we create. (For example, if we agree to meet someone at 09:00 and we do not arrive until 09:03, it is clear what game we are playing.) The results do not lie.
The game called “healer” is High Drama conscious theater played in the field of uncompromising responsibility. Uncompromising responsibility goes like this: Everything that happens is completely neutral. What is, is, as it is, without meaning. Just this. We are never “in” a situation. There is no such thing as a problem. It is impossible to be a victim. Circumstances have no power over us. Irresponsibility is an illusion. We make every choice for no reason. We are story makers. Responsible stories give us more power. No story is true.
Most Western therapeutic modalities are framed within Greco-Roman linear analytical logic and the Freudian psychotherapeutic assumptions. Most Eastern therapeutic modalities are framed within assumptions of Hindu, Buddhist or Taoist worldviews. Without realizing it we unnecessarily limit our healing effectiveness to these frames. We do not have to. We can enter another modality for working with clients called the domain of clarity. Clarity has the power to create sudden possibility even in the murkiest of conditions.
When we dedicate our lives to one of the healing professions we face some interesting challenges. One of our first challenges is to choose which healing modality we offer to our clients. At first, the selection procedure seems simple. We scan the healing modalities that are popular, choose one or two that interest us, get ourselves trained, put up a sign, and start working with people. The true seriousness of our choice arises after some years of practical experience when we begin realizing that our clients can only go as far as we can go.
Two factors limit our effectiveness as a healer. The less significant factor is the limits of our particular healing modality. The more influential factor is the limits of our own personal clarity.
For example, we should be clear that a healer is also a human being. Human beings spend their days and nights feeling the four feelings, journeying in the three worlds, creating the two dramas, and avoiding the one truth. Clarity starts at home in our own mind, heart, body and soul. When we experiment and carefully observe ourselves and take responsibility for what we discover we develop authentic clarity as experience and not just theory. Only with authentic clarity can we hope to make a contribution to the clients who seek us out for assistance.