The man who stumbles through the office door bearing two handprints on the back of his jacket is, no surprise, a weak candidate for counselling. And the perfect candidate? His hair’s on fire.
We are light emitters. Now, from a scientific point of view, all matter emits light, even stones, but ours is an extraordinary radiance, rapturously described in The Tibetan Book of the Dead as “the luminous splendour of the colourless light of Emptiness.” We think we are bodies going about the business of the body, but that’s vyakti, the outer self. The inner self, the vyakta, is pure light. I occasionally have the experience of seeing a soft white glow around the head of the man I am counselling. On those occasions I know again that all is well. There’s nothing he needs to do.
It is often a variation on the same affliction: a man attacked, disabled or weaponized by his own mind while nursing a belief that the source of his suffering lies outside of himself.
The aim of counselling is to stop the mind, not stimulate it. Can we think our way out of a problem that thought has created? No chance. Lao Tzu: “More words count less.”
Perfectionist. Needs to be right, avoids own anger. Impatient. Hyper clean. Grim-faced. Can’t relax. Mr. Helpful. Helps others, avoids own needs. Martyrs self. Needs to be thanked. Quid pro quo mindset. Winner. Needs to succeed, avoids failure. Dresses sharp. Works out. Deeper you go, shallower it gets. Purple prince. Needs to be special, avoids the ordinary. Sad eyes. Looks depressed. Artistic. Hates Walmart. Owl. Needs to take in, avoids giving out. Awkward. Incapable of small talk. Frozen-faced. Thinks he’s smart. Trooper. Needs to be clear. Avoids uncertainty. Yells at TV on game night. Conforms, obeys, pension-obsessed. Joker. Needs to laugh, avoids pain. Grins, jokes, chews gum. Lives in the future. Boss. Needs to fight, avoids own weakness. Good vs. evil, black and white, you’re in his frame or out of it. Big Easy. Needs to be comfortable. Avoids conflict. Jack of all trades. Buries his feelings. Not sure he exists.