My name is, "Lawrence Gold". The name has a meaning, and not a fanciful meaning, but a literal one.
The name, "Lawrence" translates (from the dictionary) as "laurel wreathed, triumphant". Look it up. The laurel wreath, bestowed upon the winner of the race or competition, is also found in portraits of Julius Caesar.
The name, "Gold", was originally, "Golod" -- the Russian word for, "hunger". With my grandparents' immigration to the U.S.A. in 1917, an immigration official recorded the name as, "Gold" -- thus, our family name went from "hunger" to "gold".
My own life was not given to me "laurel wreathed" or "triumphant", as you will read, below. Rather, it has been characterized by afflictions, sorrows, and pain. The triumph, if we would call it that, has been in the transmutation or transformation of those pains and afflictions into a greater wholeness, in the development of the means or methods of that transmutation and transformation.
THE PROPHET OF PAIN
I'm not going to give you the humbug that, "pain is a learning experience".
Pain is a sign of too much dysfunction, dysfunction confronting the limit of our tolerance.
Pain is an insult and a challenge. It says, "Somethin's gotta change!" It's not a learning experience; it's a goad to a learning experience -- provided you have the means to change and the recognition of what you need to change (a tall order, in itself, on this benighted and tragic planet, where people are made to suffer without a way out, largely controlled by idiots with a thirst for control over others, but not over themselves).
I consider myself to have "come in" (to Life/Existence) in a worse, that is to say, in a more massive compounding of painful conditions -- and dysfunctional conditions leading to painful conditions and failures of various functions to come "on-line" -- than most people. That may be presumptuous, on my part, but in general I somehow doubt that most people have lived in the state of compound dysfunctions at the depth at which I have lived them. I could be wrong.
I am very nearsighted; my prescription was, at one point, -10 diopters. That's 20/1000.
My elbows can never straighten completely, due to limitations of the elbow joints, and that affects my movement.
The tops of my ears look as if singed or melted, like wax.
I have a ringing in my ears that I've had since childhood, that never goes away.
I've gone through periods of intense pain, both physical (movement:sensation) and emotional (behavior:feelings).
Physical pain: back muscle spasms, sciatica, sacro-iliac joint dysfunction, whiplash injuries, a self-inflicted "gripping injury" in the right side of my neck and upper back that prevented me from turning my head right or left or forward, without searing pain down my upper back; a fall from a second story balcony onto concrete (managing to land on my feet), being hit by a car on my bicycle, and other bicycle falls; and roller skating accidents in which I fell or tripped over garden hoses across the sidewalk (twice), rolling out of control, staggering to avoid falling, and landing hard on my sit-me-down, causing pain I never dreamed could exist in a place I didn't know I had, until that moment.
Emotional pain: grew up in a family mostly devoid of empathy or engagement, feeling isolated most of the time, socially isolated from my peer group, given compulsory piano lessons, confined to the hated piano bench in the afternoons after school, to practice, while the other boys played, outside; frequently bullied and anxious in school, never got a valentine on Valentine's Day; subject to night terrors, chaotic altered states, and nightmares; sexually molested more than once -- by a neighbor boy and by a female babysitter -- and my privacy intruded upon by my mother in ways that I felt ashamed to be known. I was an intellectually, musically, and verbally gifted kid, a fair-haired boy (blond) who liked classical music and science and who read the World Book Encyclopedia set cover to cover, who had an active imagination. I could have been named, Poindexter, but instead, one of the boys who bullied me called me, Peabody. I was a timid adolescent with no close friends, always the last around the running track, in P.E., always the last picked for team sports. In my teens, I was forced to join an encounter group, whose other members, in cliques, kept distance from me, and where I was once told that I was unlovable. In my teens, my rolfer told me I was the most contracted person he had ever worked with, like concrete, he said. Thus, I acquired memories -- expectations, and ways of behaving and of recognizing (interpreting) experience -- that equipped me in life, for well or for ill.
I've been beset with many distorted values, controlling-belief traps than I now see can impede (and have impeded) me in various ways and that have generated unpleasant periods of life seemlingly beset by clusters and sequences of dense, ridiculous problems, and also confusions, maladroitness, social-developmental deficiencies, maladaptation and cluelessness. Delayed development. Neurosis. Entrapment. Bondage -- in this world but unlike those in it ... so unlike most persons that people have commented to that effect.
I've been crushed and disintegrated by waves of change going through my life, so that pretty much all that was left functioning in me were basic functions of life maintenance and my work, which I continued, as I was. I even wrote some of my books of somatic education instruction in the midst of those periods of crushing and rending change -- so I was able to function, after a manner. However, for one period, I felt I was in such a crushing vise that my speech patterns were disrupted; I could hardly speak -- meaning, form words and speak them. This speech condition continued for months, it seems.
I have been through several such crushing passages.
One of them was leading up to the period when I took training in two related disciplines having to do with human development: The Rolf Method of Structural Integration and Hanna somatic education.
During the second semester of my training in Structural Integration, I had a dream, one early morning, a dream that I call, "The Sixty-Thousand Feet" dream. In the dream, I was in the gondola of a hot air balloon, but more like the enclosed cabin of a dirigible. It had portholes, and as I peered out, I saw a carpet of white clouds, below me, very flat and with the texture of cottage cheese, and the gondola was spinning, so the world whirled by, as we contined to rise. We were at 60,000 feet and rising as we spun out of my control. Sixty-thousand feet. Imagine what I felt.
I was into a period of rending tensions and pressures that arrested me, in place, and confronted me with a sense of contradiction in my way of apprehending experience and living that seemed to allow me no place to rest in a viewpoint. It was but the beginning.
During my training in Hanna somatic education, I was still in the grip of those gripping forces, a state of intensity, and a burning darkness. I had had a tee-shirt made for myself -- red and with the words in white: "Too Intense", and that, I wore during the training. Still, I was able to function, easily to take in and retain that in which we were being educated. At the after-training picnic/barbeque, I took off the tee-shirt and some of the others who had been students burned it.
It was still a period of darkness, for me -- of dark imaginings and dark moods, a period of untold stress and distress, a kind of seized-up self-compression that left me desperately wondering how to get out of it. I felt as if a marionette controlled by the hands of a cruel mischief-maker that made me suffer being my hapless self.
At the same time, I was "on fire from within" -- nothing glorious about it or poetical. It was very unpleasant: the feeling was of heat like fire emanating from my hands, chest, face, and the top of my head. Along with that, I breathed with a kind of spontaneous, cadenced panting that seemed to be the best way I had to regulate the intensity. This went on for months or years, I can't remember.
I was diagnosed with, "awakened kundalini", so I took shaktipat (spirit baptism/initiation). During shaktipat initiation I had visions of dogs dancing on bandaged hind legs and of two old men in long-sleeve shirts sitting at a round table with an umbrella, watching. Other than that, there was no discernable result.
I also saw a buddhist healer and spiritual teacher. She gave me a slip of paper with the words, "Om Mani Padme Hum", on it and the instruction to burn it in a strainer, wash the strainer with water, and drink the water. I did. It didn't help.
The only periods when I felt wholesome and more normal were when I was working with clients doing sessions of Hanna somatic education and for some period of hours afterward. I estimated that I had about one "good" day a month -- the burning darkness having abated, somewhat.
I've had a MOUNTAIN of stuff to work through, and first with inadequate tools from various teachings, then with increasingly adequate tools, and now with much more powerful somatic educational tools that have been revealed to me and that I have developed. Pain drove me to develop and use these tools because the alternative was, to me, intolerable.
A practitioner of Valerie Hunt's "Mindfield work," with whom I traded sessions, said to me, "It's a wonder you're still alive."
DIGGING OUT from UNDERI began to reverse my condition at age 16, when I was guided to yoga and began breathing exercises; people noticed that I seemed more relaxed. That was a bare beginning of a long, hard "row to hoe". Over the years, I studied and participated in transformative teachings and processes, both ancient and leading edge contemporary in stages of twenty to twenty-five years each, concentrating on self-transformation with increasingly powerful modalities, drilling down into and learning to dissolve my conditioning. At last, I arrived at the core of my condition-ability -- a set of four co-efficient faculties -- attending, intending, remembering and imagining -- that I was given to call, The TetraSeed, because it is the root of all living functions and conditioning, without exception.
I've lived largely in isolation for many years, with sporadic contact with others that occurred during forays into town to do errands; my commonest social contact has been in restaurants, with the servers, there, and occasionally, with patrons. Most of my interactions with people were with clients and occasionally, with colleagues.
From that revelation, I developed the TetraSeed Transformation procedures, of which The Gold Key Release was the first. I have used those procedures relentlessly to uncover and dissolve the adverse conditioning of my pain and suffering, and then introduced them to others, with 100% success.
That's why I might be called, The Prophet of Pain.
Using these procedures, I've discovered myself to have been set in weird patterns of tension that seem to make no sense, primitive, perhaps; self-shapings and postural-distortions in mutually-counteracting twists that have a very unfamiliar feeling to them (literally, screwed up), that I have felt only as I come out of them. I've been holding myself and living as that -- a complex pile-up of distorted shapes of tension -- with only dim and partial recognition, often without any capacity to direct attention to them, at all -- aware only of an inchoate sense of unpleasant and unaccountable stress existing in and as me for an indeterminate time that fades into obscurity.
If you can identify with the passages of pain I have named, you may also accept the possibility that I'm on to something. Having suffered and counteracted suffering by dissolving the entrapments of experience back into their latent, neutral condition, I have transformed and dissolved much, and thereby overcome it -- not by imposing its opposite, but by dissolving it into virtual non-existence.
The bad conditioning I have dissolved is now available in a much healthier form, at a moment's notice, as required by the call of experience.
The term one might use is, Spontaneous Right Action.
What has this done? It's upgraded my functioning, altogether. Consider the quality of writing of this piece. It's made me smarter, more creative, more efficient, and more effective, given me a better emotional equilibrium. Now, I like the products of my efforts, better.
It's not so much that I know more (although that's true); rather, it's a change of how I function, spontaneously; it's a more effective use of information and the transformation of old behavior patterns; it's a more maximally effective use of self. I've been cleaned up and renovated, a bunch.
I'm not claiming that I'm through with the process I've been describing. I'm a work-in-progress. I'm claiming that I am onto something that works and have been using it to move through -- transform, correct and dissolve -- mementos of relationships and artifacts of personal history, the inherited heritage of species development and ancestral development that have been a burden upon my back and a snare about my feet. It's the transformation and dissolution of that -- first by bringing it to life then by so integrating it in myself that it dissolves into Virtuality (or latency). Dissolves means that something loses its density, and so, its strangely attractive grip on attention. Virtuality means, it's easy to bring the thing into existence because it continues as a latent tendency (hologram-like) in the ground substance of existence, available for activation, at need.
First you grok it, and then as you grok it, it dissolves, leaving only a difficult-to-locate Virtuality in the Ground of Being. You discover it is a mere expression of the Ground of Being, the Void, tending to come into existence as living qualities. Grok that.
I've done these awakening-and-dissolution activities in one trouble area of life after another and have been experiencing a trend -- a very long trend -- out of the pain into heightened awareness and enhanced functioning. My worst days, these days, are brighter than my best days, back when. Even when I'm testy, I sound pleasant. I've extinguished the sciatica, cleared up the S-I Joint dysfunction to the point where it is a non-issue and still improving*, reversed the effects of neck injuries and the fall from the balcony, better than new. I've gotten a one-diopter improvement in my glasses. The ringing in my ears is pleasant, when listened to. I've relieved myself of a bunch of my own witless conditioning, which has been forceful, in me. My relationship with my mother is friendly. Now, when I walk, I feel well-put-together and have continued to get better. I can comprehend what is hard to comprehend, and I have invented somatic education exercises and self-renovation procedures that function well; I can also dissolve upwelling/emerging stress conditions. I move well and function well -- some have said, at the "genius" level. Well . . . . . (looking down, the ball of one foot pressing down and turning on the dirt, like stubbing out a cigarette).
One who has "seen" can show others. Dissolving pain into Virtuality is profitable; it's the profit of transforming awful, heavy curses into blessings. They don't call me, The Prophet of Pain for no good reason.
"We interrupt this program for a special news bulletin:
Your mind just popped and you didn't notice."
* Update:Two weeks ago, I had a sudden resurgence of sacro-iliac joint dysfunction. I couldn't sit up without my pelvis seizing up; I couldn't bend forward without having to tighten my belly muscles to avoid pain (making it difficult to put down the toilet seat); I couldn't roll over, except very delicately.
I trace the resurgence to some somatic work I did in my neck to correct a long-standing muscular imbalance (residue of the "gripping injury") and to the incomplete results of my previous practice of somatic education exercises for the condition.
Glad to report, after a week of practicing the regimen of somatic education exercises I call, Comforting Your S-I Joints -- the same way as any client or purchaser might practice it -- I had recovered enough to fly to Mexico to visit my mother and to assist her in unpacking and moving furniture in her new villa.
I had to put this entry on hold until I had demonstrated to myself that I could "walk my talk" about somatic education. Here I am, again.
copyright 2017 Lawrence Gold