“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool. So you have to be careful about that. After you've not fooled yourself, it's easy not to fool other scientists. You just have to be honest in a conventional way after that.”
Richard Feynman

Surely You're Joking Mr. Feynman

Out Rage


The other day I had an awesome glimpse into the dynamics of energy. It happened as I was driving us to the city after Andreea got bitten by our new dog Rex.

The first seeds of awareness were an emotional experience of anger. I was angry at Rex for biting Andreea, I was angry at Andreea for getting bitten, I was angry at myself for choosing to adopt Rex (yes it was my idea) and creating the circumstances which allowed this to happen. Once these emotions flowed through me I was left with a physical sensation of energy flowing out from me. I was shifting between gripping the steering-wheel and flexing my fingers. I also felt an emptiness in my abdominal area. I was clearly in a state of agitation and my energy was literraly raging outwards … from my center towards my fingertips.

It quickly became apparent to me that this was not just a physical sensation as it was actually effecting my decision making. I found myself thinking  about and starting to push down on the accelerator. The movement of energy was changing my decision making and actions. I became silent (and remained silent even when Andreea asked me to speak to her).

My first focus was on containing the energy … not letting it burst out and take over. I started by consciously continuing the hand movements – explicitly flexing and releasing my fingers. Moving with the energy and then trying to bring it back in. Eventually I was able to soften my grip on the steering wheel and eventually to take one hand off completely. I then found that my neck was holding tension … released it and sunk back into my seat (an excercise I repeated numerous times as I caught myself re-tensioning).

Eventually I reached a point where I felt more collected. I was no longer feeling anger or wanting to see how fast the car cold actually go. I was just driving us to the city.

After some time in this mode I was able to bring my attention back to Andreea and her injury. Until then I asked numerous times something like “how is your hand?” or “how are you” … then I became much more specific and asked “are you scared?”. There wasn’t much either of us could do to change the physical aspect of the injury. I did believe that a calm presence could be supportive emotionally, physically and most important, spiritually. She was aware that she was in an emotional state of shock and she wasn’t scared.

Though I didn’t know the extent of the injury I wasn’t scared. I was then able to bring my attention to bare on her injury and to send healing thoughts and intentions. In a moment of what felt like clarity I was able to look at Andreea and at her injury and it came to me that, despite the intensity of the situation, she was and would be fine.

It was only the following day (yesteday), as I was chopping wood, that I was able to integrate my experience and witness this fascinating movement of energy from dispersed agitation, to containment and eventually to clear focus. The experience remains bookmarked in my consciousness by the flexing of my fingers.

In that small gesture I could see a turning point in which energy, if not contained, can spill over, consume and manifest as aggression and violent action … and this was just from a dog biting Andreea. What would a more dramatic and emotionally intense experience generate? Would I still be able to contain it or would I succumb to aggression and violence?

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