Reflections on Liberation

Part 19 of a continuing series, (see Part 1 here), documenting and reflecting on a set of states I mapped and moved in 2008. The set revolves around a deeply buried, internalized violence taken on in childhood and adolescence in response to experiences with my father.

At the time I completed this set, I was very hopeful about the impact of the Liberation set in my life. Immediately I felt a convergence of energy toward more successfully sharing my work in the world. But it didn’t last all that long. Within a few months I was back in a loop that kept me from moving forward.

At this stage in the development of the work I was aware that we are more complex than single, nine-part sets. In Part 11, Witness to It All, I discussed mapping a witness awareness that played a role in the complete experience of the set. At that time I had been experimenting with a three-level witness structure, and at times adding that to my work transforming a set of nine. With this Authority to Liberation set, however I sensed something deeper at work.

It took me another couple of years of experimenting and exploring before I developed the concept of a second, complementary, nine-part set working together with the first, at a deeper level. I called them Deep and Surface Selves. And after mapping and moving what I had determined was my “Deep Self,” I did experience a flourishing that culminated in my completing my 430-page book, The Feeling Path. It was a very productive and energized time.

Alas, we are more complex even than that. Over the past several years I have become confident that these sets of nine cluster in groups of three. Each of the three sets has a clear role, and they work together to maintain a particular way of being in and with the world. I’ll have much more to say about this architecture in future articles.

This work is powerful yet complex.

The essential nature of being human is one of complexity. We are infinitely interconnected within ourselves and expansively connected to others in our collective, both in the current moment and with tendrils of connection to our ancestors. There is no way to work with the psyche as if it is a simple set of building blocks.

You can see that in play with this set involving the Vicious Enforcer. Some examples include the Disengagement witness state, one that connects beyond itself to other states. Further, there is the related set I uncovered that spurred the book-writing, involving a couple of states called Infinite Agony and Big Love. But even within a single state, at times, there is uncertainty. For example, the Parabolic Reflector never did feel quite like it had arrived at an ideal state. It didn’t “click” into place with its peers the way I have come to expect a state to do when it finds its true north.

So what does that mean, particularly about the role of the ideal states revealed by the mapping and moving process? Let me share what I wrote in the book about my perspective on this set:

“The new states I’ve shared with you here are the ideal. These are what I aspire to. This set feels true for me as a direction. This inner sense of having a big mission to make the world a better place has been with me from a very early age. It was probably largely responsible for my choosing to trust myself for making sense of the world at age five, rather than look to my parents for that. And it certainly played a role in my continuing to push forward even when things seemed absolutely hopeless in my 20s and 30s.

“As an ideal, though, it serves its purpose as a touchstone, as a force by which to orient the vector of creation in my life. At any given moment, my current state of reality will never fully reflect this ideal. As I embrace what is and reach toward this ideal as a pull toward what wants to be, I can embody within myself the difference between the two. This difference between current reality and the ideal possible is the driving force for creation in my life. It drove my discoveries, and it has driven the writing of this book.”

This brings me back to the present moment. I shared in Part 12, The Many-Limbed Creature, that revisiting this set has brought me in touch with an aspect of it which still lives within me. I never did work a complete, three-set constellation with this deep, inner violence. Over the last couple of days it has become clear that I am up against something of this within myself right now, asking to be brought into my awareness. It is very uncomfortable, with a great deal of pain and distress, but I am digging into it nevertheless. My intention is to share the journey with you once it is fully underway.

Want to dive in more deeply to feelingwork and further explorations of feelingmind? In 2020 I’ll be I’ll be opening a learning and practice community with live, group calls where we can go much deeper into the material and practice the skills. If you think you might be interested, please check out the community website at If you might prefer working with me one-on-one, consider booking a private pession. If you’re already clear about what you want, contact me. Looking forward to connecting!