Orienting to the Couple Experiential State Complex

The Couple Experiential State Complex

In the “dance” depicted above, we might consider the center image as “the blur” referred to in the Observation: Healing Only Occurs in the Blur. As such, it can also be seen from the Couple Experiential State Complex as Activated Threshold perspective. I am proposing the usefulness of directing our attention to the in-the-moment-felt-experience of this altered and altering state.

We might consider the emotional intensity of such a moment as reflective of dueling complexes. This is the level of shared resonance with the wound, the place of overlapping unfinished emotional business. Here we try on the idea this shared blur experience is an out-picturing of each participant’s inner conflict, projected onto the moment at hand. I’ve hired you/you’ve hired me, to follow this divine co-created script. Together we have the opportunity to see into and access the original “character building” experience.

The emotional resonance of the blur state provides the time transport sense. To the degree one or both can wake up as if in a dream, we are afforded the opportunity to connect with the early scenes. How can we learn to bring a witnessing consciousness to this miraculously direct experience of the historically unbearable, split off trauma?

We want to consider the possibility this peculiar here and now struggle is an opportunity. Others (Kalsched) have noted the importance of having binocular vision: the capacity to access both inner and outer experience. It is important to keep breathing and bring awareness to the intensity and details of both inner and outer worlds. Internally, we’re looking for the source of the blur.  Beyond the legitimacy of the here and now offense, we want to access the earlier wound which sets up the present trajectory towards the re-enactment at hand. We can choose to call on the guardians of solitude to help us hold the space (see Rilke below), and wait, present with ourselves and each other, to see that which will emerge, festively clothed.

This is very difficult work. When complexes have been engaged to help survive trauma, we have the complication of the presence of the archetypal energy/dynamism associated with the original personal history scene of the wounding. By virtue of the intensity of the trauma episode being enough to trigger archetypal resources, we can be sure there is an archaic mirror, reflecting the first, as in ancient, primordial scenes of such an overwhelm.

Movie Reflections: From the developmental side, the movie Field of Dreams comes to mind. Imagine, as if in a dream, your daughter informs you that your father, younger than your current age, has just walked out of the cornfield onto the baseball diamond. What would you do with such an invitation?

From the archetypal world, the movie Jumanji suggests it may be necessary to keep rolling the dice to complete our journey, even though every time we do something tries to kill us! How can we mobilize and not be killed by the activation? Remember,  from a mythological perspective, the motif of death and rebirth symbolizes a temporary loss of consciousness in the face of emotional overwhelm.

It seems the reasonable idea is to simply be open to what shows up. Pay close attention. The experience may be very human and personal, or alien, out of this world, totally from the dream time. Rumi’s “The Guest House” offers a beautiful poetic tutorial on how/why we might want to do this.

Explore posts in the same categories: Complexes and More

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