- Critical incident stress diffusing (within initial 24 hours following incident)
- Critical incident stress debriefing (within 24-72 hours following incident to prevent development of PTSD)
- Therapy (if PTSD develops)
He kicked frantically with his trembling right leg, while rows of razor sharp teeth, punctuated by ominous, vacant eyes staring eerily into his own, from a prehistoric leviathan inhabiting the water’s murky depths, ripped off the other one beneath the impotence of his gulping, partially submerged screams. In a moment’s reflection, perhaps from the safety of a parallel universe, he marveled at the haunting, majestic beauty of this perilous passerby; this creature whose genus has survived since a time before the dinosaur; with relatives ranging from a mere eight inches to a whopping 60 feet. Was he really admiring that shark right now, the toothy titan that had just chewed off his lower left limb, while growing faint and bleeding out? Indeed he was, and there was something about his capacity for appreciating his assailant under such circumstances that he liked about himself.
In and out of consciousness, drown in panicked desperation, He heard the beeping turn to flat lined overtones. Euphoric bliss beyond orgasmic, bright light shining timeless wisdom, a comfort more than anything he’d ever known; while looking down upon his body, the paramedics and their paddle, detached and separate from the frantic danger zone. He woke up coughing out salt water, shocked to life and craving death, hand reaching down to find his mangled flesh and bone.
Wake Up Call
He next awakened groggily to the smell of cauterized flesh, the sound of the anesthetic machine filling his lungs with what should have been just the right mixture of oxygen and gas, the beeping monitors, the hiss of the wall suction, the surgeon’s peering eyes, the color green, the brightness of the overhead lights, and the subtle, yet sensual interactions between the surgeon and the all-too-sexy scrub nurse as they prepped for another round. Yes, he noticed how hot she was when waking up on the table mid-surgery. They startled when seeing him conscious, called for the anesthesiologist, and just before loosing consciousness again, he felt an erection forming near his oozing stub. While considering this during a future daydream, he wondered if such a focus at a time like that represented humankind’s profound biological drive to survive, or if he was just hypersexual. Or could it be that his awakened consciousness realized that, no matter what happened, he would continue evolving; releasing him from the grip of an otherwise terrified mind to relish beauty, bliss, and promise? This would explain his fascination with the shark’s stirring artistry simultaneous to the cleaving of his leg.
He recalled briefly regaining consciousness in a recovery room, and then slowly waking up in the ICU. Leather straps binding him to an unfamiliar bed, IVs attached, monitors beeping, odors sterile, and blurry motion spinning dizzily around him; were the last things he remembered, along with out-of-phase utterances regarding his odds of surviving, extended recovery periods, and advancements in prosthetic technology.
While heavily sedated, his body sleeping soundly in the ICU, his higher consciousness noticed a shimmering glow in the distance. This same consciousness saw him lying in the hospital bed, tubes attached, leg severed just below the hip. Having had enough of the drama for a while; he decided to focus on the flickering light. As he pushed his perception into this place, through directed desire, his soul became the colors and quiet radiance of unbridled fantasy, infinite possibility, and timeless truth. Like the “lost” continents of Lemuria and Atlantis, advanced civilizations exist at varying vibrational phases which their inhabitants can control, as if being able to turn a cosmic rheostat that adjusts vibrational frequencies of light; which can, when needed, be lowered to a level perceptible to human senses. Otherwise, because of the higher vibrational frequency, their presence, except to the enlightened or the dying, is unknown. Was he dead, or was the light of his awakened consciousness illuminating this lustrous, alluring world? Was there a difference?
The Illusion of Separateness
As the illusion of time ticked on for those in the earthly dimension, his traumatized body collapsed into a coma; while his ebullient spirit continued on in its quest for beauty, happiness, and healing. In this pure land, this place of conscious infinite light, he is everyone, everywhere, and everything occurring every when. Separateness is an illusion. All people, places, and things are interconnected and one. All is formed from glistening pools of coexisting possibilities occurring as greater or lesser quantum wave functions until being reduced down into one of its potentialities through conscious attention or random reduction. The formlessness of this dimension occurs at the highest possible vibration.
Accustomed to human interaction, and not yet inured of the sheer volume of energy and information simultaneously occurring in this timeless, formless realm; his consciousness craved something he could relate to. From this deep desire, and his sharply focused attention; he, without realizing it, transmuted the formless into form. All spirits shimmered uniquely to him now, as misty columns of sparkling light casting subtle, yet dazzling splotches of radiance below and around themselves, like effulgent shadows of luminous, flickering light. It was as if the gleam of cosmic consciousness was intensified when shining through them. Lustrous streams of cascading color swirled within and around their seductive, angelic bodies, like dynamic rainbow corridors, supernal choruses of light; connecting all with illumined ecstasy and delight. Was this their natural form, their quintessential astral anatomy when separated from the whole, or was it simply his perception of what ethereal beings would look like, created from focused thought?
The Scrub Goddess
While contemplating this conundrum, his awareness wandered blithely to that divinely epicurean scrub goddess. He was suddenly jerked off of his fantasy by the motion squirming sensually before him, as if she had materialized out of his libidinous ennui. Stretched out in front of him, leather straps binding her wrists and ankles to the surgical table; deliciously draped in a synesthetically sheer gown, woven from dancing colors acquiescing to her ardor, which accentuated, and barely covered her steamy assets; was the voluptuous attendant. She was sparkling radiantly as the others had before, beckoning him with her hunger for release. As he saw her lying there, he experienced inconceivably greater bliss and beauty than had ever erupted from his now motionless, mangled body. What a resplendent, rapturous answer to his question regarding the origin of the forms. At this cosmic university, within its curriculum for the soul, in contrast to its earth academy counterpart; all lessons are learned through euphoric beauty, bliss, and peace.
His “I Am”
Seeming hauntingly familiar, and yet remarkably unique, his mind endeavored to bring meaning to this experience. But was it really his mind? OK, he reflected, my body is lying comatose in the ICU and I am here. What is this “I am?” Who is the “I am?” Where is “here?” A pulsating burst of effulgent ecstasy flooded his tractable awareness; a bolt of radiant bliss with thunderous aftershocks undulating prismatically around him; illuminating, through its euphoric revelation, the previously hidden truth. My purpose in life is to grow spiritually, and help others heal and grow. I am a child of light. I am interconnected and one with the universe. I reach this cosmic connection through the generation of higher vibrational frequencies. The highest of these vibrations is the light of truth. Through focused, belief-based attention, my human mind is able to merge with universal consciousness and select my desires from the quantum wave functions within the infinite pools of coexisting possibilities. While in human form, I encounter material world experiences intended to help me evolve. Right now my human form is in a coma, so I am freely experiencing universal consciousness, without the egoic chatter and sensory distraction of the human experience. I am in the pure land experiencing conscious infinite light. I am where I was when flat-lining. I am where I will be when my body eventually dies. I am my true nature. I am my spirit. I am the universe.
Awakening the Universe
This relatively subtle awareness if difficult to discover and maintain while distracted by the glaring material world illusion, and yet the earthly experiences may be a prerequisite to the awakening of human consciousness to its existence. Through the interaction of the physical body (food sheath) with the astral body (pranic, intellectual, and mental sheaths) and causal body (seed sheath); sharing prana and universal wisdom as received through the astral body; our spirit awakens, and therefore helps further awaken the universe. This experience occurs, for some, within meditation; and is the enlightened destination of evolutionary seekers. It may be the ultimate purpose of humankind: to awaken to universal consciousness, and by doing so to further awaken the universe. All material world experiences are pure illusion, intended solely to be an element of the three dimensional training video called life. If we attach to the lesson, then we become stuck within it, and unable to learn from it or grow beyond it. It would be like attaching to a story from history, identifying with one of its characters, becoming this character, and then getting stuck in the story. If this occurred, we would be unavailable for the rest of this story, and all other lessons in all other forms. We would become an example within a pedagogic process. We would lose the ability to naturally evolve, through non-resistance, non-attachment, and non-judgement. Our ego would control our mind, with its issues, defenses, and illusion; preventing our spirit from connecting with universal consciousness and bringing this awareness back to our human mind in a perceivable form that could then be externalized into material world beauty, bliss, and peace. It would inhibit our outer existence from harmonizing our inner true nature.
Up Close and Personal
As a shrink, shaman, and spiritual teacher I have had the privilege of helping hundreds, if not thousands, heal and grow. These include trauma survivors who encountered childhood sexual abuse, rape, domestic violence, auto accidents, combat, torture, disabilities, homicide, suicide, or shark attacks. In my travels, I have worked with five superhuman shark attack survivors; among whom surfer Bethany Hamilton may be the best known.
I am a survivor too, of multifarious mishaps; including a childhood hit and run, assorted barbarous batteries, a cataclysmic car crash under the impotence of a drunk driver, and the insidious theft of my vision by retinitis pigmentosa over a period of years. All told, I have survived more than 20 traumas in my relatively young life. In two of these, once when leveled by a tanked motorist while returning home from a health food store in college, and again when brutally assaulted to unconsciousness by eight wasted, tweeking rednecks after a club gig; I flat-lined.
Although each of these events or processes was indescribably painful on physical and sometimes emotional levels; there was something else there too, or somewhere else, that never changed. When run over by a speeding car as a pudgy young geek, and during both of the phrenetic paroxysms producing flat-line fantasias; I experienced a bright light, warmth, and bliss exceeding anything previously imagined. Following these encounters; except during the hormonally induced amnesia of my adolescence; it became easier to remember and access this wondrous place. Perhaps this is because I was immersed in it fully on three different occasions, rather than peripherally reaching its outer fringes during meditation or daydreams. When stumbling upon it during calamitous kerfuffles, intentionally seeking its door, and then learning to live continuously within its euphoric radiance; I encounter my soul at its core.
After recovering from each of the ordeals, and at this point in my life; I sincerely believe that every one of them, like a challenging tutorial in a subject I crave; is a blessing in disguise.
My life is a series of miracles, I have fully transformed three times in its ascension thus far, and remain the happiest, healthiest person I know. And, although affluence bears no resemblance to felicity, and not withstanding the fact that some wield greater material abundance than my own; mine has exuberantly exceeded my fantasies, hopes, and dreams.
In addition to connecting with awakened consciousness, the divine source from which non-resistance, non-judgement, and non-attachment derive; I have found a few practical things helpful when encountering such disquieting situations. These include writing, composing, playing, or listening to music; exercising; meditating; helping others; crystals; pets; plants; sunshine; resuming goal-related activities ASAP; gourmet sex; the ocean; positive people; evolutionary reading; and unconditional acceptance. These things offer their greatest benefits when illuminated by the light of awakened consciousness. Either way, however, on a physiological level, they demonstrate to the brain that we are no longer under threat (we could not be enjoying such things if we were under attack), encouraging it to shift back from Survival Mode into Safe Mode. Depression and anxiety can both be secondary responses to sudden or sustained trauma. PTSD is itself an anxiety disorder, but other generalized or specific forms of angst can pop up following such upheaval. No matter what happens, and no matter what the physical or mental effects may be; we can rise above them to reach true happiness, joy, and peace.
I recognize that each of us if capable of accessing only those options available to us at our current level of awareness. Nonetheless, there is an elevator to ecstasy available to everyone everywhere. All people at all levels can benefit from the practical knowledge that when our brain believes we are safe then we will have access to our full range of thought, possibilities, and courses of action; including those leading to hope, health, and happiness. This knowledge will empower people to improve their lives whether understanding it from the broader perspective of universal consciousness or the more concrete physiology of the human brain.
I hope the entertainment, spiritualism, self disclosure, and education embroidered into this little saga will help point others toward the endless ecstasy available and waiting for them now.
Have you ever experienced a trauma? Did some of the things that worked for me also work for you? What helped you the most? Have you yet been able to transform it into a benefit??
Some traditional methods for dealing with trauma which can, especially when combined with the spiritual and practical processes referenced above; help ease the struggle and shorten the recovery time include:
You may also want to check out these resources:
Photo Credit: fotocommunity