The Helpless Cry of Liberation
When we are helpless to get our needs met we are helpless to feel and express those needs. This learned helplessness would sicken or kill us if we didn’t have a human brain to handle the pain or intensity of the helplessness. Trying to avoid this we turn the helplessness into something safely symbolized and distant from the original helplessness around our need and feeling. So the child abandoned in a crib cries for comfort and reassurance until the cry becomes too painful, too painfully helpless to feel. The cry is suppressed along with the awareness of conditions surrounding it. This unawareness saves the child for the moment from the overwhelming helplessness and pain. However, later in life anything that would resonate with that experience would also trigger unpleasant feelings, and the force of the helpless cry would still push to be recognized and dealt with.
Unlearning the helplessness and pain requires that we feel and cry about anything resonating with the early helplessness. Finally while crying we arrive at the original honest feeling. Liberation from symbolic need then occurs. This is the helpless cry of liberation. Symbolic need is what we see in extreme greed for money, fame, power, or cravings. Those more symbolic than real in their desires are dishonest in their heart to themselves. Symbolic lives are not fulfilling lives, they are addicted lives, lives that harm health and healthy optimism.
Feeling helpless when one is no longer helpless unlearns the helplessness from the past and aids in bringing us fully into the present. The once helpless cry now liberates, but how does one trigger that which resonates with the hurts we may harbor? How do we feel the original cry that we were once too helpless to express, and so unlearn the helplessness? Oddly this requires attempts to comfort oneself. However, comfort cannot liberate us unless it comes from different perspectives that then work against craving what is merely symbolic. Like light shining from many directions can dispel darkness and give us a better view many comforts can do the same. Thus comforts can act like many lights shining on ourselves and our needs. The symbolic needs are mere shadows and so are dispelled. Various comforting perspectives will not leave room for the merely symbolic. Symbolic need is fragile, and the real need, once felt to be helpless, will come forth in a liberating cry.
What are these perspectives that can be used to comfort and liberate us? They are awareness, objectivity, play, creativity, honest expression, and empathy. Awareness, play, and honest expression, are approaches requiring no use of language and help us with hurts from before we had words to express our painful helplessness. They can all be used to help us feel better, to comfort us without words. Objectivity, creativity, and empathy are abilities formed along with social communication and language. They can be used to comfort us or make us feel better as well. Yet comfort must be of many kinds. Various comforts must be applied within a short enough period of time. Then they will collapse symbolic need and let our inner cries, once to attached to feelings of helplessness, come forth. When we feel our helplessness we unlearn it and become liberated from our inner lies. This is because feeling our helplessness unlearns the helplessness to feel and express our cries for help and love. Crying out for attention and love, while feeling our feelings that we were once helpless to feel, is healing. It can help to liberate us from symbolic needs and cravings. Then we can be truly honest with ourselves and our needs, and with others. This is also when we find greater optimism and virtue.
We find greater virtue when the communication of objectivity or truth can motivate us, or when we are truly motivated by empathy or goodness, or creativity (the artful way to appreciate life). We cannot be motivated by these things when we are dishonest with ourselves and our needs. We cannot be virtuous with a dishonest heart that struggles for symbols of love or comfort rather than what is real. Fortunately objectivity, empathy, and creativity can be comforting rays of light that, working together, can bring us to a more honest and virtuous life. The ability to be aware, honestly expressive, and playful are skills and perspectives that also help us find comfort. Awareness works well with objectivity, honesty works well with empathy, and playfulness works well with creativity. These are perspectives that do not use words to communicate to us, practicing them connects with helplessness that words cannot express. They bring forth the cries that have no tears. They liberate us from damaged faith in love from before the time we had language to cry out with. They are rays of comforting light that shine on our deepest selves and help us to be more in communication with our own bodies. Objectivity, creativity, and empathy help our mind and our verbal emotional selves.
Our higher self reflects with creativity, objectivity, and empathy. Our feeling soul is more about survival and has two parts: our verbal emotional self, and our nonverbal more physical self. The connection of the verbal emotional self with the higher self creates the strength or trusting confidence that helps us cope with life. It is where we find self awareness, self control, and empathy with ourselves and others. With this strength we are able to allow our weaker nonverbal self, our infant mind, to express itself. This involves using three basic yoga techniques: Meditation or Dhyana (awareness), Mantra (using sounds or words to push language from the mind), and Prana the use of breath to be in touch with honest feeling (as shallow breathing blocks or represses honest feeling).
Approaching ourselves with an attempt to comfort ourselves using the comforting viewpoints of awareness, play, honest expression, objective understanding, creativity, and empathy will liberate us from our inner lies and darkness. It will naturally bring about cries that will resonate with and link to our original cries of helplessness. This attempt at comfort using all these perspectives is the undoing of false comforts which hold us back from being our more fully honest selves, selves of light not darkness, selves of virtue not corruption.
Communicating love from objective, creative, and empathetic viewpoints slowly brings up a deeper honesty with our feelings. Deep expressive honesty yields liberating helpless cries. Deep honesty is aided by applying awareness, play, honest expression, objective understanding, creative imagination, and empathetic resonance to our perceptions of ourselves, others and life. The attempt to comfort, the attempt to let someone or ourselves find their inner helpless cries, will lead to enlightenment of a sort, and release from the bondage of symbolic needs and struggles for artificial or merely symbolic love.
It is the cry of the honest heart, from the depths of helpless darkness, that brings us to an inner liberation and a life of service to the real needs of ourselves and others.
This is the path of virtue, the washing of the inside of the cup, the removal of what blinds us to our own and others hurt. This is the path of victorious freedom, the greatest freedom of all, the freedom to be the amazing person we truly are.
David “Mitch” Sotelo