How do we heal our emotional bodies and how do you see the role of psychotherapy in all this?
As you quiet your mind, you begin to see the different components of your being and which ones are out of harmony in the Universe. You can see, for example, that your body energies are out of balance and that you have to work on your body. You have to move the energies in a different way, or strengthen your muscles, or do something, because you can feel that it’s draining energy. It’s pulling upon you. Or, in the psychodynamic sense, you can begin to see that there are patterns of the way in which you’re seeing the Universe that are blocking energy. That would be a way of saying that. At that point, you may go to somebody who is in the business of mirroring on that plane of reality. Somebody who knows how to work with that plane of reality. Somebody with whom, when you present your psychodynamics, they are like a fair witness. They can see the way in which you are caught. And they allow you to see the way you are caught in a way you can’t see it. In other words, there are times when your history, emotional history, leaves you weird, if you will, or out of balance. And such that you can’t see it clearly. You can’t get behind it well enough to see it, and so you go to somebody who is in the business of seeing that clearly.
Now, when you go to a psychotherapist, they are not the Buddha; and they are not the Goddess Tara; and they are not the enlightened being. They are just a therapist. They are a fellow human being. So, don’t expect them to liberate you. I don’t mean this is a pejorative sense; when you have a dent in your fender of your automobile, you go to a fender repair person. When you have a personality imbalance, you go to a personality person. You don’t expect the body and fender repair person to liberate you. You expect them to fix your automobile. What we have done, is we have elevated psychotherapists into the medicine people of the society. And they are not really the medicine people. Psychotherapists are not happier than anybody else necessarily. The way that I can see it. I mean I have studied a lot of them. And they sure aren’t. And that’s because their work isn’t necessarily liberating them from suffering. All it is doing is reorganizing their dynamics of human interaction to allow them to cope and adjust better. But that doesn’t liberate, and that isn’t the ultimate happiness. That is the problem.
So, you can go to a therapist for that particular purpose without expecting, and then being disappointed because they don’t liberate you. Because only a therapist that is working on themselves from a spiritual point of view would be somebody that can be a therapist without getting lost in the role of being a therapist. Most therapists need to be identified as the therapist in order for their own ego to be adequate. I mean, a therapist that needs you to get better for them to feel their self worth. It’s like asking a therapist, “What is it that you feel when a patient comes into your office, or a client? What is your contract with them? Is your contract with them to heal them, or is your contract merely to be an environment where they can heal themselves if they wish to? And can you justify taking money from somebody if you are just an environment, or is there a subtle thing in the contract — you pay me — I’ll make you better?” And if that’s the one, it’s a very sick one. It’s a problem. It is a definite problem. Because your desire to make that person better awakens resistance in that person, and you are both dealing with transference of all kinds. It’s very complex stuff. So what I suggest is that like I have very often done — many of my friends who are very deep in spiritual practice have gone into practice more and more deeply and they have gotten to the point to where they become aware of the way their psychodynamics are stuck. And that their spiritual practices don’t get at that easily. And then they go to a therapist, work with the therapist for awhile, clean up that, open that, because it’s ripe to open. It’s like cracking a nut when it’s just ripe. Then they go back into spiritual practice.
Help Support These Teachings
If you enjoyed They Are Not the Buddha, please support our efforts to continue making teachings from Ram Dass and friends accessible to all. As Ram Dass says, "When you see the beloved all around you, everyone is family and everywhere is love." Learn more >
I would like to make a contribution of:
Please do not use the back button or click submit more than once while your order is processing.
If you would like to donate via mail, please send a check to:
Love Serve Remember Foundation
2355 Westwood Blvd. #130
Los Angeles, CA 90064
LSRF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Contributions are tax deductible as allowed by law.