The Chimney Sweep. V1
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Explanation of this Guided Experience
The purpose of this practice is to obtain immediate relief from internal tensions caused by conflicts that have not been resolved, or by conflicts whose existence we may actually deny. This denial generally works either through forgetfulness, or through rationalizations that displace the conflicts so that we are not able to elaborate them at the level where they belong.
I’m sitting in a room beside someone I’ve just met. I feel that he’s completely trustworthy, however, for I can sense that he has all the qualities of a good advisor—kindness, wisdom, and strength. Notwithstanding these qualities, many people call him by the picturesque nickname “the Chimney Sweep.”
I have come to consult the Chimney Sweep about some personal problems, and he tells me that I have so much inner tension it would be advisable to do a “cleansing” exercise.
The Chimney Sweep is very discreet, and because he is sitting beside me and not staring at me, I feel comfortable in expressing myself openly. It doesn’t take long for us to establish a close rapport.
He asks me to relax completely and loosen any muscular tensions I may have. He helps me by placing his hands on my forehead, and then on the various muscles of my face. (*)
Gently taking my head in his hands, he rocks it left and right, forward and backward, helping me loosen my neck and shoulders. He emphasizes how important it is for me to relax my eyes and jaw. (*)
Next the Chimney Sweep recommends that I relax the muscles in my body—first my chest and stomach muscles, and then the muscles of my back. (*)
He explains that he hasn’t been concerned with the tensions in my limbs because, he assures me, my arms and legs will relax by themselves as a result of what I’ve already done. He suggests that I let my body go limp, like rubber, becoming warm and heavy until I feel a pleasant, floating sensation. (*)
Now the Chimney Sweep says to me, “Let’s get right to the point. Tell me about this problem that’s been bothering you so much, and tell me everything, right down to the last detail. Remember that I’m not here to judge you, but to help you. I’m your instrument, and not the other way around.” (*)
“Think of something that you would never dream of telling anyone else, no matter what,” he continues. (*)
“Now,” he says, “begin to tell me all about it.” (*)
“If you want to you can go ahead and tell me anything else it would do you good to get off your chest. Don’t worry about the way you express yourself, and let your emotions flow freely.” (*)
After a while the Chimney Sweep rises and picks up a very long, slightly curved pair of forceps. Standing in front of me he says, “Open your mouth!” When I do, I feel him insert the long instrument into my mouth, and it seems to reach all the way down into my stomach. To my surprise, however, I find that it’s not too uncomfortable.
Suddenly he shouts, “I’ve caught it!” And little by little he begins pulling out the forceps. At first it feels like something is tearing apart inside of me. But then I feel a pleasant tingling sensation, as if something malignant is being pulled loose from my lungs and internal organs, something that has been stuck there for a long, long time. (*)
As he continues withdrawing the forceps, I’m amazed to feel coming out of my mouth a sweetish, foul-smelling, and slimy creature, writhing in the grasp of the forceps. Finally the Chimney Sweep places this disgusting creature into a clear jar, and I experience enormous relief, like an internal purification of my body.
Standing up, I’m left speechless as I watch this repugnant “thing” begin to melt, turning into a shapeless, gelatinous mass. Within moments all that’s left is a dark liquid. Then the liquid turns clear and evaporates, escaping invisibly into the air. In less than a minute the jar is left perfectly clean.
“Now you can see,” says the Chimney Sweep, “why we call this procedure ‘cleansing.’ All in all, today hasn’t been so bad. A little daily difficulty mixed with a bit of embarrassment, a dose of betrayal, and a dash of guilty conscience. The result—a little monster that prevented you from sleeping well, digesting your food, and from doing other good things. You should see the enormous monsters I sometimes extract. Oh, and don’t worry if you feel an unpleasant sensation for a little while. Now I bid you farewell.”
Observe whether you register a sensation of relief once the experience is completed. Observe in your everyday life whether the problems that were discussed during the catharsis have lost their strength, and if you have understood them so that they create less conflict.