One evening, in my original primal group, in 1978, I "fell through" my defenses.
I found myself back at my boarding school. The year was 1948, and I was eleven years old. I had awakened in the middle of the night in a room surrounded by seven little boys.
I saw the texture of the walls, and felt the wooden floors under me as I made my way to the bathroom. I was crossing the hall's marble floor when I sensed something behind me and to my left. I turned and saw what appeared to be a small, child sized "whirlwind' approaching me. It was like a tiny tornado and absolutely black.
As it got within arm's length, I suddenly realized that these were my feelings, coming toward me. They were twenty times stronger than anything that I had ever dreamed of or theorized about.
The only way I can convey to you the power of the coming event, as that tornado came within a foot of my little body, is to ask you to imaging being lifted up and carried toward a blast furnace, on the way to being thrown in, like a child sacrifice at the mouth of the God Baal's furnace in ancient Babylon.
I knew I was on the verge of a grand mal seizure, as described by Janov, in his book "Primal Man".
Even though I was "in" the scene, some part of me knew that I was going to seriously damage my neck for which I had been receiving treatment over the past year. I was also at the emotional level terrified to a point beyond even terror itself.
I was facing something so huge that I couldn't go forward with it. I consciously jerked back, and terminated the experience.
I got up off the mat and ran to find a male therapist that I trusted. He came over and sat with me, but on that night and the succeeding nights I couldn't find my way back into that experience. Although I have raged on mats, many times since, I have never found my way back to that moment.
In my heart I knew that I had "avoided" a level of rage in me that I hadn't been able to face. I wondered how and when it would ultimately leak into and deform my life.
In the end it was the product of that unworked through material, which would cause me to move toward and finally use the judgement that brought my professional life to an end twelve years after this event, when I made a decision to help someone that I should never have made. Rage and despair underlay that moment, and stopped my life in its tracks.
Of course without that moment, this book would not exist, and I would not have undergone the changes of the last several years.
All things seemed to have worked out in the end.
I know however that somewhere within me is something from which I ran, something that I "should" have let in. Only today as I write this do I forgive myself.
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