Beat a Pillow, Save the World

The Beatles having a pillow fight. Photo: Harry Benson 1964.

The Beatles having a pillow fight. Photo: Harry Benson 1964.

Friends,
Reactive anger is a plague far more contagious than any Swine or Bird flu. It is a long and lingering psychic pandemic that is the great devourer of our creative energies. Anger is the great engine of all our harsh judgments, persecutions and wars.

Whole religions have risen and fallen in our attention over eons, admonishing us not to surrender to anger, yet the religions and philosophies have failed to stop the engine of anger from steam rolling over history. The objective evidence is unquestionable to those who would but look. In 3,000 years, we have waged 5,000 wars! Humanity and its religious teachers have sincerely failed to cure us of this anger pandemic. Though countries possessing atomic weapons have stayed their bloody hands from fighting another set piece world war since 1945, that cyclical will to war catharsis has only been suppressed — not contained. It leeches out of our peace-platitudes to poison our arts, music, comedy and motion pictures in saturated violence.

We don’t do nuclear war; we go to a Terminator movie and get our rocks off “watching” nuclear holocaust. We see it in the rise of violence in our everyday speech, and social interactions. We listen to hours of shock jock talk radio shows, we laugh at the vulgar bleep-laced stand up-and-be-kicked comedy, we watch the bleep-laced reality shows and sing along with the raunch rap misogyny-music.

Anything that is suppressed only builds and leaks out into other areas of our individual and collective psyche. This madness needs expression, not suppression, or else we will succumb to the warnings of many native peoples around the planet. There is a wave of madness coming to the world. Much of its momentum is caused by the suppression of our violent emotions in the cause of being good and civil.

If we are to avoid this volcanic explosion building, it will be done so by finding a positive way of expressing all of our pent up hurts, frustrations and anger. The first thing to understand is, one need never dump anger on others but one definitely DOES need to throw anger to be healthy. As we go to the toilet in private, we can go to a dumping of anger in private, and feel equally relieved and fresh on a spiritual-psychic level.

Friends, there are many great meditation techniques for doing this. One that comes to mind for today is Osho’s Pillow Beating Meditation. Here are his instructions:

“For 20 minutes beat a pillow with another pillow — make noises, shout at the pillow and beat it. Keep beating it, even if you don’t feel angry, even if you are feeling a little stupid about hitting and shouting at the pillow. If no anger comes, then pretend to be angry. It is absolutely essential that you go the full 20 minutes.”

When I did this technique, I felt pretty stupid for about ten minutes. Then. Suddenly! I wasn’t pretending anymore. I “WAS” angry. Murderously angry. I really killed that pillow. After doing such techniques I have discovered how deep are our wounds and how clever the adopted personality is in stealing them away from detection by our awareness.

We don’t mean to be insincere about our feelings. It is something we have been conditioned to do. Once you see the volcanic ascendancy of that energy from deep inside, you discover just how false our adopted personality, our persona (Latin for “mask”), is.

So, I suggest you find the same time each day, in the privacy of your home or your bedroom, to beat a pillow for 20 minutes. Try this experiment for 21 days.

After doing the meditation for 21 days I found the bitter reality of anger became sweet. After releasing anger in a safe way, harming no one but a inanimate pillow, I could start seeing the ascendancy of joy coming from the same depths where anger lay suppressed for so long. That joy can be shared. The mask of personality stamped over unrelieved anger prevents us from seeing this joy and being fully authentic and alive. One has to shake the mask loose, in private. Unslip the baser energy “anger”-gies, 20 minutes a day.

The act of pillow beating is one of a number of simple healing techniques that can in time with their spread all over the world, put an end to many of our dis-eases, both psychic and physical. When this great latent energy of anger is playfully and privately expressed, it releases health and intelligence. Energy desires ever to rise to its higher states. Anger is no different. Find a way to positively release it, express it, and watch what once was rage become a great pool of genius and compassion. Watch how your body-mind will experience a lightness of being, a feeling of healthiness and integrity. All of this is possible from playing with simple techniques like beating a pillow every day for 20 minutes.

The greatest atomic transformations always come out of that which is simple.

Your first step towards being a direct participant in bringing about a more enlightened future is taken in the direction of the nearest pillow.

John Hogue

(22 September 2009)

Read my Predictions for 2012:

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