Recapitulation is an ancient healing practice aimed at retrieving and releasing energy. The assumption is that past events block vital energy until they are finally sorted out and released. When this is not the case the past keeps being held in the emotional body and we lose the connection with whom we truly are. We merely become the condensation of unrefined fragmented memories, which are constantly recycled, reactivated and condensed in the present. As human beings we tend to invest enormous energies in these memories until, just like in a computer, the memory space is used up, and our lives crash, hang or freeze.
Releasing the past may not be an easy task. Many people regularly focus on their memories and justify whatever they do and the way they feel based on their past. They say things such as, “My father abused me”, “My partner left me”, “I lost my child” or “I was fired”, and use them to validate why their life does not work. As they focus on those things they feed those negative past experiences, which then keep being recycled in the present, preventing new experiences to emerge.
Other people take a totally different stance. Being aware of how the past limits their freedom they elect to wipe it out with an instant spring clean. They start a thorough enterprise of deletion of whatever refers to the past, people, places, situations, belongings, etc. The relationship with my girlfriend is over! Ok, let’s burn all her photos, letters, presents, also deleting e-mails, text messages, and so on, until I can say, often by quoting lines from a New Age book, that I have finally cleaned up my past and now I am liberated. And from that moment all will be really different!
Well, this is a universe of immense possibilities, and this can truly be the case if I can move radically beyond the syntax of this separated reality. Since the past, as we perceive it is an illusion, deleting it can be as easy as erasing files from a computer. The moment I wake up from the dream, it will be all gone. And yet, unless I have mastered the art of not falling asleep again, the past will eventually seep though, exactly in the same way, and the only difference will be the actors and the settings.
Releasing the past is not necessarily deleting the past. Far from being erased the past is first of all in vital need of being truly acknowledged and honoured, then healed and, if it truly does not serve, released. Release is not throwing the past in the bin and then relying on the local authority to get rid of it. Release is liberation, allowing the past to flow in the present, undoing fear and supporting luminous elements, so that this can provide blessings for the present and future.
Release is forgiveness, and as A Course in Miracles puts it, “To forgive is merely to remember only the loving thoughts you gave in the past, and those that were given you. All the rest must be forgotten. Forgiveness is a selective remembering, based not on your selection” (ACIM, T354). The problem is not in the past, it is getting stuck there, being frozen in the past. And this happens when we consider only the past, as well as when we deny it.
I can pretend that my ex girl-friend never existed, and remove all the evidence of her presence. This may be temporarily effective if I can’t cope with the situation, yet if there are unresolved issues with that girlfriend they will return in one way or the other until I choose to truly release. And if I don’t release those issues during my life, well, those issues may be carried over in my “next life” or be taken up by the following generations.
I stress these two options because I believe that the major obstacle in releasing the past is not the nature of the past itself but the way we perceive it. I can regard myself as a separated individual having to deal with personal problems throughout my life, and even in past and future lives, or I can acknowledge myself as part of the collective, a planetary larger being, which includes all mankind, past, present and future.
In shamanism there is the notion of “deleting personal history”, yet this is not the past, it is the illusory past created by our separated minds. Hence here the deletion applies to the ego involvement with the past and its separated reality. The perception of separation from others and the world is the human arbitrary configuration that needs to be dropped in order to experience our true identity and move into a much wider reality.
And this is not a spring clean; it is an ongoing and enduring process, which gradually allows the emergence of the collective past, a realm where all minds are joined. Here personal thoughts, being separated, do not exist or are mere hallucinations. Shamans, more or less universally, receive most of their guidance from that realm and work intensively with ancestors. They experience past, present and future as a time continuum through which they travel in order to gain knowledge and pursue their shamanic intentions.
For many native traditions all life is based upon this time continuum, with ancestors representing the major reference in cults and social practices. Any type of conflicts developing in the present is acknowledged in relation with the past. And the past is explored as the matrix level, the realm of templates, or archetypes, that can unveil the tools to heal any conflict for the benefit of present and future generations.
Upcoming workshop on recapitulation:
© Franco Santoro