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Pioneering The Anatomy of the Spirit:
An Interview with Caroline Myss by R Peyser
Caroline Myss, author of 'Anatomy Of The Spirit,' has emerged as a pioneer of consciousness, mapping new territory in the fascinating field of energy medicine. I recently met with Caroline to discuss her understanding of energy and consciousness and to learn how we can advance ourselves by understanding more about how these concepts work.
Randy Peyser: What do you do as a working medical intuitive?
Caroline Myss: I interpret energetic information. The human body transmits energy, forming an energetic system around the body, and this energy also contains data. It contains a complete profile of your biography; the history of how you invest your energy; into what thought forms, into what relationships, and into what memories. And each of these investments pays a dividend. That dividend, whether it's positive or negative, plays a role in the development of your cell tissue.
What I've been able to do is to map out what investments result in what diseases. As a medical intuitive, I've been able to help people by reading where they're losing their energy and how fast. Now I teach people how to evaluate their own energy and monitor themselves.
RP: When is evaluating your energy the most helpful?
CM: Learning to evaluate your energy is most helpful in that preliminary stage before you actually get physically ill, where you know you're not feeling well, but if you went to a doctor, your tests would show that your biochemistry is normal. It's at that stage that the illness has formed in your energetic body; you've lost enough energy to where your alarm system is saying, 'You need to make some different choices real fast, or we're going to have to start taking energy from your cell tissue. When that happens, disease remains in the cell tissue.
RP: How do you get your energy back?
CM: Generically speaking, because there can be many factors involved, getting your energy back requires that you make choices that are very different from the ones you have been making that have caused the release of your energy. The next stage is, 'Does everybody want to make different choices?' The answer is, 'No.'
What I've realized is that being healthy isn't as appealing to people as you might think it is. Quite frankly, it's not appealing at all. What is very appealing is being out of pain. But change is terrifying to people, and healing requires change.
You have to make the kinds of choices that start changing your life. Suppose you've been saying to yourself, 'I think I'm sick because for the last five years I've been saying, 'I'm sick of this job. I hate my boss and I hate myself for hating this and not doing anything about it'.' Now, will there come a day when you finally have the nerve to walk out of there and start your own business? I don't know. But I do know that if you don't, you'll never be healthy.
RP: My definition of health is being in truth with myself.
CM: That's a good way of putting it, but it's more than that, unless your definition also includes action. Thought alone, or action without thought, doesn't heal you. You need the chemistry of conscious thought and direct action combined.
RP: What do you introduce people to in your lectures?
CM: I introduce people to the fact that they have circuits of energy coming into the top of their heads and that this energy equals their life force. What then happens is that every thought or attitude we have is, in fact, an investment of this circuit into that thought or attitude.
For example, if I asked you, [holding up pen] 'Do you believe this pen holds spiritual power over you? Of course, you would laugh at the absurdity of that, as you should. This is a thought that has no power over you. You don't invest your energy into this thought. But there's really no difference between this thought and any other thought, except for the power you give to it. What I teach people is how to identify their belief patterns and to demonstrate how much of their spirit goes into the financing of those belief patterns.
RP: I am fascinated with your concept of 'the tribe.' Can you talk about this concept and how we all finance the belief patterns of the tribe?
CM: Yes. We're all born in what I call 'the tribal mentality.' Whether it be a family unit, a religious background, or a country, our spirits are involved in group thought forms. We all agree to believe the same thing. It's not a conscious agreement, but it is a stage of evolution. For example, in the military, everybody believes the same thing. You do that when you work for companies too. You agree to work as a tribe.
From an energetic point of view, what that means is that with your energetic circuits, you've agreed to direct a percentage of your life force into the management of that tribe, and into the prolongation of the life force of that new tribe you belong to. This means you've agreed to think like the tribe, to evaluate things like the tribe, to believe in right and wrong according to the way the tribe does, to hold the tribal values, and to hold the tribal ambitions.
When you're plugged into tribal thought forms, you also believe non-sensical prejudices that are held by the tribe. For example, you might believe something is true about an entire group of people like, 'All short people are this, and all Irish are that.' This is a tribal thought form. There's no truth to it, but you hold onto it, because that's what your tribe has agreed to believe. And in parts of the world where wars go on endlessly, innocent children are born inheriting their parents' hatred. Therefore, they grow up hating a group of people they have never even seen. That is the shadow side of the tribe.
It's inevitable that at some point, you want to break out of that tribe. It's as simple as that. It's inevitable because that is the nature of consciousness. At some point you're going to want to explore and develop the management of your own consciousness without having to see it through the tribal mind any longer.
RP: Is this where you talk about the dark night of the soul?
CM: Yes. What triggers the dark night of the soul is that you're going to have a tribal revolution. You get to the point where you think, 'I want to make decisions on my own. I want to manage my own perceptions, my own emotions, and my own choices.' But the assumption of the tribal mind is that everybody loves being part of the tribe. So that's when you enter the dark night of the soul. Because that's when you begin the real deep journey of recognizing, 'What do I believe?'
It's one thing to fight about what you don't want to believe anymore. That doesn't necessarily mean you automatically and always know what you do believe. All you know is you can't go backwards, but the tribe is the only world you know. It doesn't feel right anymore and it doesn't offer you any comfort, but it is familiar.
What you are actually going through is the incredible experience of exploring what it means to take a look at all the false gods you've invested your spirit into—like belief patterns that have never really been true, but you put your energy into. For example, superstitions or attitudes you've held with the group, like being afraid of God; the notion that 'God will punish you if you do that'—all of these notions about God, including the idea that God is a biological figure who looks like us, are just belief patterns.
In the tribe, we evolve by growing within the context of group perceptions and at the group's speed. How many mythologies do you have to go through until you can finally say, 'God, I want you not through a group; I want direct contact? I don't want a toilet-water version of you in which I've agreed to experience you through the evolution and slow motion of a family, and the slow motion of a job, and a once-a-week ritual. As a tribe member, I keep you at bay and I've agreed to let my life evolve at a certain speed.'
If you want more direct contact, a more direct voice, then ask for it. God will say, 'Okay fine, you'll get that. But here's the thing—we're going to change the world you came from and you have to leave that world behind.' And indeed, that's dark night. You'll go through what I call 'necessary madness.'
RP: What was that like for you?
CM: It was incredibly difficult, but there is a relationship that one has to develop which is called, 'spiritual endurance.' I think there's a mythology that there's just one dark night; now I realize, every time we get off course, we go back in.
I very much wanted a husband and children, and an ordinary life. It was grueling because the way I thought I was going to live my life just disintegrated. I was living in Chicago. It was 1982. I had started a newsletter and thought I had hit pay dirt because I was living and working out of my home and writing about human consciousness. I remember walking down the street and saying to a friend, 'I never thought I could be this happy. I've got everything I want.'
Then within a blink of an eye, it all got wiped out. My dear friend who I had said this to died of a heart attack. I lost a cousin. My magazine went belly up. And what was left was this skill that I didn't have before all this started.
I would spend days literally laying in bed all day long, thinking, 'Exactly why do I get up? If I get up, what'll I do?' I'd force myself to get up and find myself sitting on the floor, moving stacks of paper from one side of the room to the other, going through them as if I was looking for some solution to the madness I was in.
By August of 1982, I realized I was in trouble. I had to make choices. Complaining about this situation didn't stop it. I had to go into action. I had an opportunity with two new friends to start a book publishing company that required moving to New Hampshire. I remember thinking, 'Is that a state? Where is that?'—this is how removed my European tribe was from New England. I realized I had to do it. So I took off and started my life anew. Then I started to do intuitive readings on people and by 1984, was well-known in the area as a medical intuitive.
Then I met Norm Shealy, a respected Harvard-trained brain surgeon who rigorously tested my intuitive abilities. We did patient readings from 1984 until 1992. It was like a residency. I won't teach anyone to be a medical intuitive and practice on others, because it requires a residency. I want to eventually work out a residency program because this is a skill that is essential. We have to have people who can read energy. Machines can't pick up a memory pattern. Human beings who are skilled in the reading of the human energy system are going to be the best asset a medical team has.
RP: Maybe you are one of the people to help create that bridge.
CM: I think that's why the gods partnered me with Norm Shealy. I've never been attacked by the conventional world, and I think one of the reasons for that is that I didn't attack the conventional world. As far as I'm concerned, the conventional medical world has its place, just like the regular scientific world has its place. But it's about boundaries now. The medical world has got to be able to incorporate the energetic reality of human nature.
RP: You've expressed that the people who are most likely to respond to the medical model are people who function from the tribal mind.
CM: That's correct. When you are part of the tribal mind, you heal at the tribal speed. If the tribe decides cancer can't be healed because that's what they've discovered, when you're plugged into that perception, you have agreed to experience the illness as the tribe tells you, and also the outcome as the tribe views it should be. If the tribe says, 'Very few people heal,' then you are going to plug yourself into the perception that says, 'Instead of healing being ordinary—it's rare.'
When you're plugged into a tribal belief system and then decide to try energetic medicine like acupuncture, past-life regression, herbs, whatever, they won't help, because your energetic body is connected to the tribal belief pattern which says, 'No, you need chemical medicine, and maybe you'll make it, but most people don't.' When you are plugged into that perception, you are going to need all the chemical and medical help you can get.
Energetic medicine is not for people who hold tribal fears in a deep way. This is a toilet-water level of tribal beliefs. We have three versions of reality to choose from. We can have a toilet-water version, what I call my first column, [chakras one—three], a cologne version which is my second column, [chakras four—seven], or a perfume version, my third column [chakras eight—ten]. It's all the same thing, it's just a matter of the strength. What version of this truth do you want? In the toilet-water version, you've agreed to experience God and everything at toilet-water speed.
Everyone of us is plugged into the tribal mind. Don't think that just because you may now be in the process of leaving it, you're not part of it. We all subject others to tribal laws. And we get miffed if anyone tries to alter the pace at which we and our group are doing things.
RP: Can you give an example?
CM: Sure. Tell me a group you belong to.
RP: I've been very involved with Jerry Jampolsky's Center for Attitudinal Healing for some years.
CM: So you've gotten used to the way in which that group works. What if some part of that group decided, 'We're going to change the rules? Maybe Jerry should do things differently.' You'd find yourself either taking a vote on the inside of the tribe or on the outside. But inevitably, it would be very threatening if someone came in and wanted to change the rate of speed at which this tribe was moving.
RP: It would feel like betrayal.
CM: It would feel like betrayal because that's the only language you have left in the tribe. The tribe only operates by first, second and third chakra vocabulary, and betrayal is second chakra. Betrayal is not a word that goes into the middle column, [the fourth—seventh chakras].
RP: Can you talk about the concept of 'woundology?'
CM: I was in an Indian restaurant in Scotland and was talking with two men friends when another friend I'd been waiting for came over. I introduced her to the two men, and while she was there, another man came over and asked her if she was free June 8th to attend a lecture. All he wanted to know was, 'Are you free June 8th?' which requires essentially, a 'yes' or a 'no' answer. Instead, she went into this elaborate treatise about June 8th. 'Did you say June 8th? No, no. Any other day, but not June 8th. That's an incest survivor's day and I have to be there because we never let each other down.' She went on and on.
A half hour later, I asked her, 'Why did you need to let those two men whom you have never met before know that you had; 1) experienced incest, 2) were still in therapy about it, 3) were angry about it, 4) were angry at men, and 5) needed to determine the course of the conversation—all within a twenty second introduction?' She replied, 'Well, I am a victim of incest.' And I said, 'I know that. Why did you have to let them know that?'
Now here's where we go back to the tribal mind. I was asking her a conscious question which would come from my cologne water column. But she is operating by the tribal mentality of how to heal this wound. The tribe says, 'You need a group.' The tribe says, 'You have a right to be angry.' And that's when people get together in support group tribes.
It would never occur to her to say, 'You're absolutely right. I've been processing this for 18 years and I think that's long enough.' Or, 'I'm going to forget them, take a look at what its taught me, move on and have a whole new life.' Instead, she did the tribal thing which is, 'You are challenging the way we think, and the way we've decided this wound should be healed.' And I was excluded from the tribe. That was the first time I saw the fact that I was not sure that people wanted to heal.
In our culture, our first language of intimacy has become the language of wounds. In the old days, prior to this therapeutic age which is around forty-years-old, intimacy was the sharing of my first column [first, second and third chakra data]—where your family was from, family secrets, a mad aunt in the closet—that was considered intimate. Divorce and financial information was also considered very intimate. You never talked about yourself, only about what was going on.
RP: No one showed their feelings either.
CM: You didn't show your feelings because you didn't have individual feelings as such; your heart was a tribal instrument. And your journey was to mourn if the tribe was in grief, or to celebrate if the tribe had a good piece of news. It was the tribe that determined the content of your heart and its pulsation.
RP: Can you address letting go of the wound?
CM: Long before you learn letting go and forgiveness, you learn vengeance. You learn righteous vengeance. That is what the tribe teaches you—'An eye for an eye,'—as it should teach you. If you felt someone had violated you, your first thought would be 'an eye for an eye' versus forgiveness.
RP: I'm wanting to know how to let go of an incident in which I felt violated. Although this incident happened almost twenty years ago, and the person involved has long since died, in spite of many attempts, I still haven't been able to let it go.
CM: Here's the process—I'm going to speak 'Angel' to you. This is Angel 101 and I'm now your angel. Why do you think you had that experience? Let's look at the three columns. [draws three vertical columns side by side] Let's look at the first column which contains the first, second and third chakras. This is the column in which you recorded the actual physical event. In the second column, chakras four through seven, you recorded the interpretation of that event and its impact on you. In the third column, chakras eight through ten, you recorded the meaning of that event.
Now we've got three different versions of the same event. As your angel I'm going to tell you the first column is the column of human reasoning, human law and order, human logic, and human facts, which means the facts in this column only match what you can see, hear, taste, smell or feel. There aren't any energetic facts which would include a fuller spectrum of who you were in many other lifetimes and why you've met the people you've met. You can't see that from this first column point of view. You can only reason and believe you have all the facts—but you don't. Now then, did you want to become more conscious?
RP: Yes, of course.
CM: That means you've got to give up reasoning from your five senses. What has to fail you is this whole column, this tribal form of human experience. Human justice, human reasoning has to fail you. This requires a Judas experience, some form of betrayal of this system.
Now come over to the third column. In the third column, everything is interpreted symbolically. You need to have a betrayal experience, because in order to let go of the tribal mind and individuate, what needs to betray you is this form of tribal consciousness. It's not about any one person betraying you. The people in your life chose their roles and their relationship to you before you were all born. One signed up to be a betrayer. Another to be a lover. Another to be a friend. They're all only the players who have agreed to play a certain role in your life. What I'm talking about is the theme of the play; the theme being that in order to let go of the tribal mind, you must have a betrayal experience. From that point of view, if you must have a betrayal experience, do you care who betrays you?
RP: It's not important from this point of view.
CM: That's right. And does it matter what form the betrayal takes?
RP: I suppose not, but this one was really tough.
CM: I'm asking your higher consciousness; not your personality, not your body. I'm asking your higher self. Does it matter what form the betrayal takes?
RP: I don't know the answer.
CM: I'm sorry, you can't do that. You can't ask for consciousness and pretend like you don't know the answer—especially if it's all ultimately fair. It will all be fair, even though it's not human fair; it's divine fair.
RP: I can't answer this because it has no reason.
CM: That's right, it has no reason. Now go higher. You have to trust God. Do you trust us?
CM: Do you trust us to organize something that is absolutely fair?
CM: Then it doesn't matter the form it takes, because you trust us.
RP: This requires a high level of trust.
CM: Oh? Does a low level of trust get you anywhere?
CM: So I ask you again. Does it matter what form we set it up in, knowing that your best interests are in mind, and that what we have in mind is for you not to be betrayed by a person? What you need to understand is that this is not just a betrayal experience by one person. It is the betrayal of a whole system of consciousness that you are no longer allowed to have faith in.
You have to have a major event that triggers that. It could be the loss of all your money. It could be the failure of a marriage. What difference does it make? It is all the same in the long run. You've decided that you absolutely know the reasons why this all happened to you. I ask you again, does it matter what form it takes?
RP: This is really tough.
CM: If you are in the symbolic column [chakras 8-10], you're learning consciousness, you're learning to trust.
RP: Then it doesn't matter.
CM: That's right, it doesn't matter. Now then, when you start seeing things symbolically instead of literally, [pointing to the three columns] this is illusion (column one) this is truth (column three) and the journey from this column to this one is the incredible solo flight through the middle path, through your interior.
Something will happen to you within the next twenty-four hours to remind you of this conversation. You'll read something, or someone will say something, or it will happen in a dream. But it will actually be your angel setting it up to ask you one more time, 'Does it matter what form it takes?' And when this happens, answer, 'No,' again. Then you'll find it leaving you so fast.
Now, that's energetic healing. We've just had to elongate it through years and years of therapy. But why take thirty years to pay off a debt when you can do it in three days? Can you give me an explanation for it? You tell me why you want to hold on to it? Tell me why it feels so good to stay angry.
RP: I feel righteous anger.
CM: How do you know you didn't do something that was balancing out from some other life?
RP: I don't.
CM: Right. So where does righteousness come in?
RP: Based on my personal experience in this lifetime.
CM: Do you believe in other lifetimes?
CM: Well then, you can't reason that way, can you?
RP: I guess not.
CM: You cannot have it both ways. You cannot both agree to a system that includes multiple forms of balancing and then decide you did nothing to deserve this incident in this lifetime. You can't do that. Which way is it? Which system do you believe in? It's only one. Now, which one is it?
RP: I feel like I operate from the symbolic system.
CM: All right. And from multiple lives?
CM: So there are other reasons why things happen as they do. And do you believe good things come to you because of karmic reasons too?
CM: Good. So you allow the good things to happen. And then there's the other balancing things that maybe you have to experience as well. But those you decide have no energetic reason or source in other lifetimes.
RP: Perhaps they do.
CM: Perhaps they do. It's hard to get over those things. I had my company stolen from me. I'd consider that a big experience, a form of rape. It's taken me years to get over that. But I'm over it. I figure I'd rather leave this planet loving this person again. We actually talked this past week, and we've agreed to meet in New York and laugh our heads off that we've made it through a very rough journey full circle.
RP: That's big work.
CM: I like big work. Why do small? Why be ordinary when you can be extraordinary?
RP: I consider myself to be an extremely compassionate person, but after I was exposed to the concept of woundology, I felt myself losing compassion for my friends' problems. I felt like saying to them, 'Come on, get over it.' And I didn't like how that made me feel. So I am wondering, how does compassion fit into this whole picture of woundology?
CM: That's a beautiful question. Every wound requires a witness. Every wound requires honor and validation. And you have to allow a period of time that's appropriate. Some people will require six months to get over something, whatever it is.
The task is to become very skilled at when you are using your wound. When you know you pull your wound out to say, 'I can't do this,' because you can't admit that you really don't want to do something, you are using your wound. At that point, you've entered the woundology scene where that wound is ready to be sealed, healed and sent away, and you won't let it because you're figuring out how to get mileage out of it.
RP: That's what you call, 'the wound as privilege.'
CM: Right. When you sense your friends using wounds for privilege, that's when you say, 'Excuse me, I'm drawing the line here.' I'm not saying, 'Don't be compassionate.' But I'm saying, 'Be strong-compassionate, not manipulatedly-compassionate.'
RP: What's the most important message you want to get out to the world right now?
CM: It's really important for me to communicate the message of Anatomy of The Spirit. I'm ecstatic that I've cracked a code that proves we're designed for spiritual enlightenment. We're spiritually, biologically designed for it. There are seven levels of evolution through perceptions of power that we're all meant to go through. It sort of unites us as if we're all in this together—officially, biologically and spiritually.
I would also hope that the book inspires people as it inspired me when I realized the role that honor plays in the need to be a strong and healthy person. The positive side of the tribe is that the tribe gives you an honor code and teaches you how to respect nature. It's supposed to anyway. It's supposed to teach you tribal rules, tribal law and how to respect the earth, the land, other people's rights, don't kill, don't steal—tribal law.
As a species, we have become incredibly dishonorable. We don't think twice about breaking vows or promises. We can't even keep our word to our self anymore. I'm hoping this book inspires people to recognize they have to have a personal honor code. And they have to treat everyone else with absolute honor. They have to be able to give their word and keep it.
The twisting of truth and small lies is not small. This is how we lose our power. People are accustomed to thinking how they've lost their energy when they've been hurt, but not how we lose our energy through dishonorable acts, through telling lies, through distorting facts. People need to find that out.