By Rudolph Bauer, Ph.D., Diplomate in Clinical Psychology, A.B.P.P.
Rudolph Bauer, Ph.D. Author, Mimi Malfitano, Editor
Sublimation is little understood both in contemporary psychotherapy and psychology as well in much of the practice of eastern philosophy and mysticism.
THE PROCESS OF SUBLIMATION
Sublimation is an alchemical process of the transmutation of energy into light. Sublimation is the process of the expansion of the field of awareness becoming embodied in a pervasive manner throughout the body-mind continuum. The expansion of the field amplifies, dissolves, and transforms energy functions. The purity of sublimation is the purity of luminosity, the purity of light and the purity of spaciousness, and the openness of unpossession.
SUBLIMATION PROCESS WILL INFLUENCE THREE AREAS OF EXPERIENCE
1. The first area of experience is desire and the object of desire being in fusion with sexual energy. The consequence of sublimation is that sexual energy becomes differentiated from desire and becomes intrinsically supportive. The sexual energy can be experienced without desire of the object. There is a freedom of desire, so that the desire of an object can be chosen and placed wherever one wishes. By the freeing of the energy of sexuality from the realm of desire, there is less of the compulsion of chemistry. The freedom of the object choice opens, and there is more possibility of sexual choice and object relational choice being attuned.
2. The second area of experience is the energy of the awareness field fused with the sexualized energy of the root center. The consequence of sublimation is that the awareness field differentiates from the sexual energy. This differentiation takes place within the heart center.
3. In the third area of experience, when the experiential differentiation of the field from sexual energy occurs, an individual experiences the innate capacity of awareness’s resonance being direct and invocative of oneness. A field of oneness emerges…unmediated and unorganized by fantasy of dramatic conceptualized narratives of desire and sexuality.
4. Historically and developmentally, as one becomes aware of awareness, and the field of awareness awakens, awakened awareness becomes alive. The very aliveness begins to organize the personality and again begins to challenge the person in this question of sublimation. The awareness field has an energetic dimension that can be infused with sexual energy. The awareness field infused with sexual energy can be connected both to desire and to the objects of desire. Herein, the energy of the field is sexualized and is focused upon an object of desire. This focus becomes a compelling event.
5. For many, sublimation is misunderstood as foreclosure, a kind of, hear no evil, feel no evil…a kind of ongoing dissociative process wherein even the natural resonance of human embodiedness is cut-off, and with this cut-offness there is loss of resonance of the natural field. The kind of natural self-object function arising out of the oneness of the pervasive field is cut-off. This cutting-off easily happens because of the early conjunction of the field‘s energy with sexuality. Sexuality is the energy of the root center, the root chakra. The intensity of the energy of the field in its unfolding is so intense, and this intensity is configured by the compelling sexual energy of the root chakra and its conjunction with the energy of the field. The sexual energy is amplified also by the psychological power of the desire for an object. And so to repeat the energy of the awareness field and the sexual energy of the root center are conjoined with each other. This conjoined state is configured within the psychological power of desire for an object. This configuration is compelling. The energy of the field, the energy of sexuality and the force of desire is at times dealt with by suppression, repression and foreclosure…all forms of dissociation.
6. Another option is various forms of acting out of desire, whether in unending ideation, or wherein one may simply act on various manifestations of sexual resonance and desire. Yet even this seeming drama of completion for some is never enough, and so such a person is always seeking new and never ending experiences that bring their own form into that of a hungry ghost.
7. The natural unfolding of the energy and the luminous awareness dimension can, awaken and amplify the root center so that the sexual energy enters intensely and pervasively into the awareness field. For many, the energy of the awareness field is infused with sexual energy, and the sexual energy is infused with the awareness field. This combined intensity becomes located within the register of desire. Again, this becomes a compelling event…either in ideation or in action.
If this combination and configuration can begin to move through the navel center, then the process of differentiation and the liberation of these three dimensions begin to take place.
The navel center is of central importance in the process of sublimation. The navel is often called the center of the crocodile because this primordial image at times appears in meditative awareness. As this navel center opens and the configuration of energies moves through this center into the solar plexus, there begins the process of dissolving and separating the desire for the object from sexual energy. The sexual energy enters the conjunctio with the primordial awareness field. As the energy field moves through the navel, a great many things can take place. Now, there can be liberation of sexual energy from the desire of the other, and there can be liberation of the field from within the confines of sexuality.
This liberation can be a difficult door for both men and women. As this door opens, the field begins to expand from the navel to and through the doorway beneath the heart. The experience takes place wherein desire and sexuality begin to be separated. Up to this point, desire and sexuality are often completely in fusion. To be desired by the other invokes sexuality, and to experience sexuality invokes desire for the other. This configuration is the source of many forms of sexual drama.
8. For most people, it is the root center where sexuality and desire are in fusion. For many people their desire is not only a function of other [another’s] sexual desire, but also their desire itself can be stylistically a function of the other’s desire… my desire is a function of your desire...I actually do not have my own desire. With this added generalized configuration desire is a tricky street to be on. For many, their desire is not their own, but simply and always a function of the desire of the other...in other words my desire is a function of your desire…or my desire is a function of my mother’s desire, or my father’s desire, or the group’s desire, or the institution’s desire, or even Divine desire. Of course, Divine desire is often interpreted for us by someone else’s mind or even our own mind’s interpretation. This [interpretation] is equally tricky since our own mind itself is an interpretation within the generational field and not necessarily truly our own.
9. So, given that Eros can be part of this mixture of field and sexuality and the fact that desire may be a function of the other [another individual], this area of experience can definitely be one of intensity and obscuration.
10. So, as the navel center opens, one experiences an unfolding deconstruction and differentiation of these three-fold connections: The field, sexuality, and the power of desire. So the field moves into the solar plexus, and here unfolds the experience of sexual energy without having an object of desire. In this situation, sexuality becomes intrinsically supporting and not so organizing. If one is located only in desire, a sense of drivenness can arise. At times for some, if they are not located in desire, a kind of energetic and narcissistic depression can arise. For some the sense of completeness is only a function of sexual completion. Once the awareness, energy, and luminosity, have arisen into the solar plexus, sexuality and desire are no longer in fusion.
11. When the inner heart essence is opened , the person actually begins to experience the choice of desire, the Itcha Shakti of desire…one can desire whom to desire when one wishes, and one is no longer the prisoner of desire or sexual instinctive driveness.
Itcha Shakti is a Sanskrit term referring to a ripening of effort and choice, a unification of the power of the mind of individual with their luminous field of intrinsic awareness.
12. The opening of the heart essence is a dramatic experience. This opening of the heart essence takes place when the energy of awareness luminosity enters the heart center. Here the awareness becomes love, compassionate love. The capacity of extension and radiance becomes pervasive and within these openings the luminous nature of the field of awareness becomes explicitly manifest. In time, the kayas begin to manifest the nature of the different multidimensions of the awareness field. From within the sphere of the heart there is ultimately one center which is the heart that is inclusive of the heart, throat, head and eyes. This is the one space of awareness and the one space of the heart essence, or the heart-mind continuum. The subtle body of light is being brought forth...the vajra base body.
13. Sexuality is now extremely well sublimated as compassionate love. Love organizes all of the three energies within the body…and resonance is sublimely attuned. One lives in an aesthetic garden in which embodied awareness is resonance directly and truly. And desire is a function of choice. Attuned resonance is full and intrinsic. Unless it is consciously entered into, there is no goal, no possession.