Primal Pulse

“We are lived by powers we pretend to understand.”

—W. H. Auden, “In Memory of Ernst Toller”

Outer Teaching

An Awkward Emergence

New growth is at first blind to where it needs to go. It is encoded with the drives to protect itself and persevere to find nourishment, but these drives are immature and emerge wild and untamed. This is the awkwardness we find in the adolescent body-mind. It is a fecund arising that moves with uncertain yet powerful determination.

When a seed is planted in the soil, it is wrapped in a protective shell that must break apart one day. To move beyond such comfortable zones requires a deeply sourced surge of revolutionary forces against oneself. Yet we must also take on the protective role we have cast off so that our revolution does not spiral into self-defeat.

Inner Teaching

Canary Emotions

The negative raw, primal forces, such as the wrathful emotions, have been deeply misunderstood within the cultural sphere. Some would villainize them and preach that we deny them from our being, thereby cutting us off from our life force and our ability to reject what is unhealthy. Others would indulge in them, building identities from the intensity of spite, basking in the glory of feeling righteous but denying the self-destructive toxicity implicit in such ideologies and the undermining of will it promises.

When integrated as a functional part of a human whole, the wrathful emotions are meant to arise as warnings to us that something in our experience is toxic. They serve as the canary in the coal mine, warning us that something unseen is a potential threat. Of course, if we then obsess on the alarm, we miss our chance to take action on the warning.

Hidden Teaching

Sitting In The Fire

The raw truth of the animal is in the land, the seed, and stone and egg. It is in the wave, the wind, and the fires both great and small. It is embedded within us, in ways we can only understand directly. Life is overflowing with this vivid vitality, this energy that has a mind all its own. To wield such powers without being dominated by them requires we learn to communicate with them. Yet because these forces are ever-changing, such communications must always be forged each moment anew.

While we must each find our own way through our experiential wilderness, the most basic step is to learn to listen. Listening to bird songs and flowing rivers is perhaps where we start and learn, thereby, to borrow their serenity. Listening to the dislocated fires of wrath or grief as they arise in us or others is altogether different listening. Such fires compel us to take uninformed actions or threaten to ruin us if we don’t. To claim such energy yet bend it to the heart-mind will of the Sage, to turn the destructive flow of the volcano into fertile land, we must cultivate the patience of one who knows how to burn

Suggested Divination Meanings

What deep forces are driving me, and how can I harness them?

What power am I not allowing to emerge from me, that is pushing to get out?

How can I more skillfully tend to the facts of nature?

What external dances in life are calling to my inner pulsing?

How can I more directly, less conceptually, encounter my own creativity/experience?

What needs to be cleared away for growth to occur?

How have destructive forces cleared the way for more creartivity to emerge?

What in me can I melt down to open into expanded movement?

What hidden or secret pulses or impulses can I tune in to in order to proceed with power?