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Healing the Primal Wound


When you desire freedom, then you have to be willing to face what you have been running from in your search. In general, most people are running from some kind of pain, usually an infantile pain resulting from needs that were not met in childhood. The pain may have both physical and psychological components. It may have a story attached to it, or it may just be an energy field.


Multiple wounds are part of every life, even among the most privileged. Unless you are successful at dissociating, the whole of human woundedness is somehow present in you. Some people are successful at creating scar tissue over their psyches, over their emotional and physical wounds, and then just getting on with daily life. But I suspect no one is entirely successful, and this failure is a good thing, because then the wound calls attention to itself as grit that won’t let you be comfortable until you actually attend to it.


Of course, we search in multiple ways, both spiritual and worldly, to make that core ache go away. The thrust of most of the mind’s activity is to escape this essential, primal hurt and all of the peripherals of that hurt. Perhaps at some point we even turn to the spiritual life with the hope that a particular teaching or enlightenment will take our wounds away. We try to do what the teaching or the teacher says, and we do it over and over in the hopes that the suffering will go away.


Surprisingly, a true teacher and a true teaching will throw you, with the greatest compassion and the deepest ruthlessness, directly into the center of the wound itself.


The deepest, most essential wound doesn’t even have a name. You can call it “the human condition,” or “conditioned existence,” or “the fact of suffering,” and there is a huge drive to escape it even though it is actually that very drive that eventually brings you full circle to meet the wound. Maturity evolves after you have tried the numerous avenues of escape, only to find that same woundedness still waiting for you.


I invite you for just this moment to stop searching for relief from suffering. Take a few minutes for direct self-inquiry. To honestly look within and investigate what it is you are running from, what wound you are hoping to heal in order to gain freedom. Let the inquiry reveal the exact mechanisms and strategies of escape. Allow the answers to come forth truthfully, honestly, unedited. Ask yourself this question: What am I trying to escape?


You do not need to change or fix whatever is revealed in this questioning. Just recognize the patterns of escape. Experience both the dynamics of the impulse to escape and the possibility of not following that impulse, of bearing the impulse with no story, no strategy, and no preferred outcome. Simply be here, doing nothing. Allow the mind to surrender to the certainty of no escape. Then tell the truth in this moment: Is there still hope of escape? A search for escape? A denial of the inescapability of this moment? If so, just let it all go.


Give up every effort to escape, and recognize what truly holds you. Surrender and come to rest in the peace of your being.


This is adapted from Gangaji’s book, The Diamond in Your Pocket, 2007


Join Gangaji for a live online meeting on Sunday December 16 at 11:00AM PST. Freedom Inside: A Course In Self-Inquiry is a monthly online course with Gangaji. This month our topic is Healing the Primal Wound. Call in to speak with Gangaji and watch the livestream.  Learn More