The Art of Integration

A companion to the Presence Process, by Michael Brown (A summary by Pat Evert)

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One of the greatest gifts I received and one of the greatest teachings I experienced was the way Sarah, my wife, graciously set me free. All my work now is about empowering others to fly free; to liberate themselves of their past and their projected future, to awaken themselves from their self-created illusions and to confidently evolve beyond the blind belief that they need to run to another to validate their own experiences. It is your personal experience that elevates what you ‘understand’ into what you ‘know’. It is one of my truths that our inner presence is the only voice that will successfully lead us to what it is we are all really seeking: the intimate remembrance of our Oneness.

1  By ‘getting’ the fun aspect of phonetics we automatically awaken our light-hearted and creative right-brain approach to communication. THE PHONETIC LANGUAGE automatically reactivates the emotional content within words and therefore reawakens the gentleness and sensitivity of ‘the feminine’ within the art of communication. Once you have completed reading THE ART OF INTEGRATION return to this list of words and read through them again. You will discover that your understanding of the definitions assigned to them will have evolved yet again.

2  The consequence of passing the blame on to others is that we will then never taste freedom. This is because freedom is a state of being only gained by taking full responsibility for the quality of all our life experiences.

No matter what happens to us
No matter how wonderful or uncomfortable an experience it is
We make the choice to tell ourselves first.

But this is not a perfect world, and it is not intended to be; it is a perfect imperfection. As such it is the perfect experience in which we may learn the power and importance of emotional responsibility. Every time we acknowledge ourselves first we will awaken more to the peace already inherent within us. This will once again rekindle the flames of spontaneous joy in our hearts.

3  During my fifth or sixth consciously connected breathing session I had an experience in which I touched the immortal perfection of my own being. I came face to face with the truth that I, as I AM, am unchangeable. As a result of this profound insight I integrated something very powerful: I realized that what I AM always has been and always will be and that there was nothing broken and nothing that needed to be fixed. Trying to heal my Self was in fact a misguided intention and had therefore been an inappropriate use of my time and energy. Knowing that I was not my experience also opened the doors to self-forgiveness and compassion; two essential ingredients to having a beautiful and joyous life. Understanding that everyone else was also having an experience, as opposed to being his or her experience, enabled me to begin opening my heart and having greater compassion for everyone around me. My life experience is like a big physical, mental and emotional river that’s flowing all around me. I am awash in It. If I choose to swim upstream I will not have as comfortable an experience as if I allow myself to flow within Its currents. But no matter what, I will go where the river intends. Simple choices in each passing moment are what determine the quality of my life experience. These I can make from my human level of awareness. Yes, on some level I accept that I AM God. But for the moment I prefer to be exactly where I am NOW: God being human. This approach is honest and real and keeps my feet firmly on the ground that I came here to walk upon.

4  “Take care of the living Michael.”

5  “We are not physical beings striving for some sort of spiritual experience, we are spiritual beings having a physical experience,” Wayne Dyer. ‘Happiness’ is a feeling that arises from some external happening, like the acquiring of a new house, a job promotion or a motor vehicle. Joy on the other hand is an experience that comes from within. Joy is a choice, not a need or a want. It is the consequence of remembering one’s true spiritual identity and of taking full responsibility for the quality of one’s life experience in each moment. Joy is inclusive. It is not about wanting to feel this and not wanting to feel that; it is about allowing Oneself to feel everything because joy knows that everything is God.

In the face of life’s greatest adversities joy will still radiate love and compassion no matter what because it is not dependent on external circumstances. This does not take away from the suffering of life; it simply sees it from the perspective of Oneness. This life gives us a choice between two distinct paths of experience: a joyful life of service (serve us) or a happy life driven by iniquity (encouraging inequality).

6  Funnily enough, it was at the exact moment in my life when I chose to cease entering a church that God chose to enter my awareness. I have noticed that God is just as reluctant to give us stuff as a parent is to give their child a loaded gun. On the other hand I have proved to myself beyond doubt that God hands out experience with great enthusiasm. It’s almost as if being alive is more about gaining experience than accumulating stuff. Pray, “Beloved God, during the course of today would you please provide me with an experience of being in peace and harmony with the world around me. Thank you.”

When you receive the results your faith is then being awoken not through belief but through experience. Once you strengthen your faith in this way, with this simple approach, you can then apply your faith to preordain how you intend to feel about the outcome of any experience in your life. The building of our faith through prayer is not accomplished through ‘getting’ stuff; it’s accomplished through appreciating the quality of our experiences.

What does the word ‘appreciate’ mean to you? It has a double meaning. It means to see that value in something, but it also means to increase the value in something. In other words, you can appreciate yourself AND your stock and shares can appreciate on the Stock Market. This means the word ‘appreciate’ can be simultaneously applied to grateful acknowledgement and to adding more unto. Think of faith as a co-creative working relationship that keeps us close to Home by enabling our Divine Parent to be an ongoing part of our life experience here on earth. By letting go a little and allowing God to take care of the how, we open the doors of our life experience to the wonder of everyday miracles. Leave the outcome to whatever God is for you. If you continue to worry about the outcome then you haven’t handed it over. Handing it over and hence no longer being concerned is your demonstration of faith.

7  To successfully activate the procedure of emotional cleansing we literally have to anchor our awareness in the present moment and then consciously pull our past emotional traumas to where we are NOW. This process is metaphorically the act of bringing light to the darkness. Unconsciously our habit is to do the opposite: to react to our past emotional traumas by leaving the present moment and returning mentally to the causal event. By doing this we review them from the perspective of a frightened, angry and grieving child and thus do not have the presence required for integration.

‘The past’ is simply a concept that is no longer real to us right now. But despite what we may believe right now, there is a part of us that truly believes that the past is still very real and it is acting on this belief in every moment of our life experience; this is our child self. “Unless we become as children again we cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven”. From the time we enter the womb all three of our bodies (emotional, mental and physical) develop simultaneously, but there is a particular order in which our awareness moves into them. This is what I call THE PATHWAY OF AWARENESS. To sum up it is: From spiritual to emotional to mental to physical.

Most ‘normal’ adults today are emotionally stunted. If we seek to attain spiritual maturity we first have to become physically present in our life experiences. If we choose to undertake the journey towards spiritual adulthood the step of consciously restoring our own emotional balance is compulsory. This process begins with fear, then moves to rage and/or anger, then grief and only then are we propelled on the waves of relief and release through to authentic joy. Thus: Fear is the key.

When we cleanse our emotional body and thus re-experience our inherent inner joy we automatically integrate that we never were and can never be separated from God. And so the journey back to wholeness or Oneness is the exact reverse of THE PATHWAY OF AWARENESS that we moved through to enter this physical world experience. It is: From physical to mental to emotional to spiritual. Moving in the direction of what we have been resisting (this feeling) is the key to becoming whole again. This inner feeling of resistance is calling to us because it knows the way through the chaos of this war we appear to be having with ourselves. It will lead us directly into the emotional heart of the matter that stands between us and our authentic joy. It knows the way back to the safe haven of our own internal peace and sanity. Haven’t you noticed that what you resist will persist? This feeling will persist because it is trying to bring to our attention that the pathway to peace only opens up to us when we move through and not away from what we resist. Our fear is the key. Bringing the power of our presence to our fears is the only way to consciously turn this key so that we can successfully unlock the door that leads to the present moment.

8  For many thousands of years we have seen the scales tipping in favor of our masculine side and this has resulted in a dysfunctional exaggeration of our spiritual and mental capacities. The consequence has been a distinct lack of the feminine presence upon the planet and therefore a distinct lack of gentleness and sensitivity, of nurturing and balance. This has caused spirituality to be experienced as dogmatic and fanatical religion and our Higher Mind to become unconsciously entranced in the lower mind delusion of an illusionary mental experience called ‘time’. The consequence is that we have become arrogant mental techno-religious maniacs devoid of feeling and intent on complete destruction of our planet in the name of personal gratification. Integrating our Oneness is a journey of the conscious inclusion: of mysticism AND science, of male AND female, or body AND mind AND heart AND Spirit. It is a journey of AND, not OR. The Goddess speaks to all, but only few stop and enter the stillness and silence long enough to hear Her message. And of those even less choose to listen. Such is the nature of our liberation.

9 The peyote experience revealed to me
That withdrawing my attention
From the past and the future
In order to be here now
Was the greatest journey I could take.

What had initially captured my attention in Carlos’ writings and experiences was reading how he had used peyote and other plant medicines to enter so-called ‘alternate realities’. For the first time in my life I had an experience of being physically present, mentally clear, emotionally balanced and spiritually connected. On that day I swam in the river and communed with nature as I had not done since I was a child crawling out into the yard by myself for the very first time. On that day I was temporarily re-united with my sacred inner presence.
The medicine always did the same thing for me; it dragged me kicking and screaming out of my mental hiding places and into the present moment. I now know that in presence awaits the ultimate gift of life: the remembrance of God.

10  “When you learn to do nothing and to be nobody you will then become useful to the universe.”

This story is a little dramatic, but it makes the point; it illustrates our habitual compulsion to tell stories instead of being able to stand comfortably in a state of ‘not knowing’. By not telling ourselves stories when we do not have the facts first-hand, we can save ourselves from an immense amount of unnecessary emotional turmoil, mental confusion and physical discomfort. When we experience these uncomfortable moments, if we rather choose to stand in a place of stillness, to be nobody and to do nothing, something powerful happens: reality. If we tell internal stories, something else happens: illusion.

NOT TELLING STORIES and NOT RUNNING WITH THE BALL is very challenging at first because it goes against the social norm and the ego’s directive. By mastering these two techniques we will not only weed out the shallow and destructive experiences in our life, but we will also gain respect among our peers as a person of substance, strength and integrity.

11 Often all a person with a problem requires
Is a conscious listener,
One that can compassionately and gently
Point them to the solution:
Themselves.

One of the reasons we behave in this way is because we are functioning from the belief that life is happening to us. This is what we call the victim mode of operating. We behave like vampires because we are also functioning from the point of view that we get our energy from outside ourselves. So when things do not go our way we turn to others to solve our problems for us. Or, when we are feeling down, we turn to others to give us an emotional boost. On both counts we are being emotional vampires.

The bottom line is that whenever we unconsciously tell people about our problems knowing that they cannot solve them, we are being emotional vampires. I am sure you have had the experience of being dumped on by others when there is absolutely nothing you can do for them. We are afraid to stand in our own power, which is The Light. The belief in there being power ‘out there’ is the foundation of all emotional vampirism.’ When we assume power comes from ‘out there’ we are not tapping into our own life force and are therefore akin to being ‘the living dead’. When others must acknowledge our life in order for it to feel valid we are ‘the living dead’. When we blame anything outside ourselves for our internal state, or the quality of our life experiences, we are ‘the living dead’. We are ‘the living dead’ because life is not flowing out of us; we are sucking it into us from elsewhere.

By buying into the actions of emotional vampires and succumbing to them it is most likely that we will adopt their behavior. The problem is that we are all bitten for the first time as children. By the time we are adults we are seasoned emotional vampires ourselves. It’s automatic; we do not even know we are doing it to others. The crucifixion teaches that we are not physical beings that may one day have a spiritual experience, but that we are spiritual beings that are here having a physical, mental and emotional experience. Essentially the cross tells us that all the power that we require comes from Spirit within, that we need not rely on or react to anything ‘out there’ in the world. Our inner presence is our power.

If we assume they are powerless, then we must assume the same of ourselves. If, instead of reacting, we respond with love, not sympathy, but love, then we will not have been bitten. This is where the metaphor of the stake in the heart comes into play. Nothing will get the attention into another’s heart center quicker than a well-placed wooden stake. So that is what the metaphor is telling us we must do: we must redirect the emotional vampire’s attention into their own heart.

If we need to talk to someone about issues we are dealing with we can say: “My life experience feels like it is really a mess right now and I really need to talk to you about it. I am not asking for any help or a solution; I just need to hear myself speak. I just want to externalize the thoughts that are going around and around in my head. Do you mind if I blow off some steam with you?”

If someone comes to dump on us we can make him or her conscious of what they are doing by asking them the right questions. We can ask them right from the start: “Are you telling me this because you want my help or because you just want to get it off your chest?” That’s what friends and family are really for. Not for dumping on, but for lifting each other into clarity in moments of emotional confusion.

13  Essentially what this instruction is inviting us to accomplish is to erase our past because it does not serve us in the present moment. The reason these great teachers are encouraging us to erase our past is because it is an illusion. It is an interpretation and at best a misinterpretation. So to continue basing any of our decisions or beliefs on the past is to build our houses on the sands of illusion instead of the rock of reality. This means that our thoughts can never free us from the illusion, especially our thoughts about what happened in the past. Maya will confirm everything we think whether it is true or not. To stop being victims of our own self-created illusions requires that we re-define what being alive is about for us.

If on the other hand we choose to see this earth as a Soul School in which we have enrolled to gain experience, to grow spiritually and to learn how to serve our fellow sentient beings by being responsible for the quality of all our experiences, then we will discover that each day will become a more rewarding and conscious experience. Approaching life as if everything that happens is our medicine and as if all beings are truly our brothers and sisters here to teach us about ourselves is the mark of a being that has erased their personal history.

14  This was one of my motivations for bringing THE presence PROCESS out as a book; there is just too little time to go wandering haphazardly into ones past. There is another way. When you realize who you really are, you are completely healed.
The basis of my integration regarding the re-balancing of our life experience is that there is no point in journeying into the past, but that there is every reason in bringing the past into the present moment. In the present moment we are all perfect, whole and complete. In the present moment we are all at peace and experiencing unity and harmony with all life. In the present moment we are all innocent, divine and considered Spiritual Royalty throughout creation. In the present moment we exist only as an image of God. In the present moment we are God. I needed to erase my personal history. I found that the quickest and easiest way to commence accomplishing this is to stop telling it to everyone. The drama is the misinterpretation. The drama is the manifestation of a child’s illusion. The drama is fuel for emotional vampirism.

To underline all this my agreement with the universe states that every experience I have is in my best interest and comes to assist me in my growth as a spiritual being and as an opportunity to release myself from the illusions of the past. Every experience I have is therefore an invitation extended to me by the universe to come into the present moment. If I am reacting I am choosing to be in the past, I am choosing to behave as if I have no agreement with the universe regarding my life experiences.

15  Now I know that consciously connecting my breathing immediately activates my inner presence, and that presence knows everything. The act of making personal agreements with the universe to establish a conscious relationship with it is the paradigm shift that I am inviting and encouraging you to explore. Until we establish what is true for us we will always be inclined to run to others in order to find out what is going on inside of us.

16  Our breathing always takes place in the present moment. There is no breath in the past and there is no breath in the future. Another wonderful power related to the breath is that you cannot simultaneously breath calmly and be afraid. There is a whole world ‘out there’, but until we begin to experience our inner presence by anchoring ourselves ‘in here’, we cannot make any sense of it. A powerful attribute of the body is that it does not think and therefore is more present than we are when our attention is straying off into time. When we are thinking about something that is going to happen tomorrow, or something that already happened yesterday, then we are not here, now, we are in a mental and emotional place called ‘time’. We spend most of our life experience adrift in this place and as a consequence spend most of our life experience out of the body. Our attention relates to what we are thinking about, while our intention relates to why we are thinking about it. The body simply responds physically and chemically in each moment to our thoughts and emotions and therefore our feelings about ourselves and our attitude towards being in this world. This makes our physical body a very reliable barometer of what is really going on with us as we drift habitually in and out of time. All we have to do is read the body as it is now. This is simply a process of learning our body’s language.

We all see what we embrace as our truth. Those who blindly walk another’s path might ‘get a-head’, but they cannot have heart. They can have a spectacular mind, but they will miss the beautiful touch of life. They can analyze and discuss the validity of the another’s path until the end of time, but they cannot taste the courage of their own convictions. They can do life, but they cannot BE alive. There is no ‘good’ reason to be mysterious about anything. Mysteriousness is the art of ‘hiding’ stuff in order to retain superiority or to manipulate.

As with my interactions with my outer world, there are no accidents when it comes to my body. Every event and circumstance involving my physical body has meaning and happens deliberately. This includes every ache, pain, scratch, seemingly accidental bump or itch. No event or experience is excluded from this new agreement with the universe. Not only will you be able to communicate with your own body, but as I have already written, this agreement with the universe will also allow you to communicate with all physical bodies in your life experience.

The front of my body represents the future and the back the past. The right half of my body is my male side, which relates to father/brother issues on one level and issues with God on another. The left side of my body is my female side and relates to mother/sister issues on one level and issues with The Goddess on another. My legs in general are related to how I am metaphorically walking my path through life. My arms in general are related to my life’s purpose or work. My stomach area relates to how I am digesting the experiences that I am having in my life – as in whether I can stomach something or not. My chest area is always about the heart of the matter.

My backbone is related to how supported I am feeling in the world or how I am supporting myself in the world. The lower part of the back relates more to root physical issues like survival, or money, whilst the higher part of the back relates to more emotional-based issues like my emotional support systems and my ability to receive unconditional love. My solar plexus relates to issues around personal power and authority. The area directly in front of my heart represents my ability to give unconditional love while the area between my shoulder blades represents my ability to receive love.

The area between my shoulder blades is also where I keep ‘all my garbage’ because no matter how much I turn around I cannot see it. Between my shoulder blades is also where my compost is for growth. When I deal with my garbage and turn it into fertile compost it is in this area that my wings metaphorically sprout and spread so that I can fly.

My shoulders are related to how I am carrying myself in the world, or whether I am choosing to carry the world. My neck area is related to my voice and how much I am prepared to stick my neck out for what I embrace as a truth. My face represents the masks I wear or the faces/masks I am showing my world. My face also represents how I see myself.

Then we can get more specific. My feet are related to how ‘down to earth’ I am and issues around being grounded. My calves are about childhood issues because a calf is the child of a cow. My shins are related to things I shun. My knees are related to areas of neediness. My hips are related to how flexible I am in the world – or how hip I am. My anus is related to how I am dealing with my shit, so to speak. My urine will always reflect the state you’re in. My sexual organ relates to my issues around potency or impotency, as well as to issues around creativity.

Each of my fingers is related to the names already given them. My thumbs are related to approval issues, as in ‘thumbs up’ or ‘thumbs down’. My pointing finger is related to issues around blame or accusation or diffusion of responsibility. My middle finger is related to reaction, anger or profanity, as in ‘giving someone the finger’. My ring finger is related to issues surrounding loyalty, relationships and commitment. My little finger is related to issues of self-esteem. My nails are related to being nailed on any of the issues according to which finger it is.

My wrists are related to risks. My elbows are related to effort and determination around my purpose or work, as in ‘elbow grease’ or ‘to elbow out the way’. My shoulders are about ‘putting the shoulder to the wheel’ or ‘carrying the world on my shoulders’. My neck can also be related to issues of ‘being a pain in the neck’, or courage and conviction, as in ‘sticking my neck out for something’.

My lips and tongue are to do with my speech and my word use. My lips are also about mood and therefore emotional content, as in smiling or sulking. My ears are about hearing and my ability to listen to what I hear. My nose about things “I knows”, or that “I don’t want to knows”. My eyes are about the way I look at my world and how I choose to see it, or the way I choose not to. My teeth are related to how I am biting into my reality, as in ‘biting off more than I can chew’. Like my fingers each of my individual teeth tell a story according to their accepted names, as in my wisdom teeth or my eye teeth. My sinuses are about inner crying. My sinuses tell me if I am holding back emotions that I would be better off releasing. For repressed tears the sign is sinusitis. (Try saying that really fast ten times!)

Itching is related to unsatisfied desires. Scratches are related to superficial issues that are just breaking the surface, while actual wounds that draw blood are related to surfacing emotional traumas. Bruises are related to emotional issues that are just beneath the surface and broken bones symbolize serious breaks in my experience related to whatever area of the body they occur. Scars are just that. So does my body and this enables us to have a conscious relationship with each other based on clear and quite often humorous communication. I will on occasions use medication to ease the suffering I experience through my body until I can integrate what it is the discomfort it trying to bring to my attention. However, this is rare. It serves my spiritual journey in that it accurately reflects my unintegrated past and so assists me to integrate what is distracting me from fully entering the present moment.

17  And in that moment I know we will willingly and automatically erase our planetary history in order to commune together in the present moment. This inability to feel is not in our best interest because if anything, our experience of and connection with our Divinity is a feeling. Our words may be able to communicate that such an experience is possible, but it is our feelings that enable us to access the experience as something real to us. The mental plane makes no sense without its emotional counterpart and the spiritual plane remains inaccessible when we choose not to be physically present. No wonder we think about God so much! It is because we cannot feel Him anymore.

It is one of my truths that peace and co-operation will only ever be restored among the sentient beings of this planet when we turn inwards, return to and honor our own inner indigenous nature. It is our Oneness in Spirit. We must feel to heal. We will go to our Father-self for guidance, to our Mother-self for nurturing, to our Sister-self for healing and our Brother-self for learning.

It is one of my truths now that my honoring of the four directions is only of any value to me now if it is intended to guide my attention inwards. If my intention is not to enter the fifth direction then any ceremony that I participate in that supposedly honors the four directions will simply deteriorate into empty magical gestures and tricks that serve only to propagate mystery.

18  Shamans in many parts of the world tell us that when we are fully awake in our dreams we are fully awake in our life. I choose therefore to have it as a truth that we use our dreamtime for many purposes: to process our day to day experiences; to create open channels of communication between our conscious and unconscious mind; to give our Spirit experiences of unlimited expansiveness that we cannot have while being encased in our physical bodies, such as flying; as a meeting place where we can commune with those who have recently transitioned from this physical plane. Many people do not regard their dreams as important and this belief (agreement) will simply bury any dream recall from their awareness. The first and most simple dream stimulant is to drink a large amount of water before going to bed. Just the act of buying a dream journal and placing it next to your bed with the intention of recording your dreams will stimulate dream awareness. Go to bed with the intention, “I will wake up in the morning remembering my dreams.” Say it every night before going to sleep as if you embrace it as your truth and within days you will be full of dreams again. Addictions paralyze personal processing, so when they are relinquished, processing picks up immediately on all levels These dreams are the ongoing conversations we have with ourselves that are great to listen in to. Analyzing our own dreams will build confidence in our own inner judgment. So trust yourself. In this way your intuition will also be nurtured and strengthened.

The golden rule in my agreement with the universe about my dreamtime is that everything in my dream is a reflection of a part of my Self. I don’t always have to understand a dream mentally to ‘get it’. Sometimes I just resonate with it emotionally and that is enough. It’s like looking at a beautiful painting. Our dreams are not about what is happening ‘out there’ but about how we are relating internally to what is happening ‘out there’. In this light dreams are an intimate communication about the nature and condition of our inner world. By creating a conscious agreement with the universe about my dreamtime I am empowering myself as my own dreamtime interpreter. By creating this agreement with the universe about my dreamtime I have also consciously opened communications to a world within me that once appeared incomprehensible. I have also successfully built a bridge between my waking and my sleeping state, a bridge of communication.

20  Our awareness = our where-ness. It also demonstrates that whatever we are focusing our attention on in any given moment will appear to be a real experience to us. It also hints that what may appear real to us in one particular moment may actually reveal itself to be an illusion in the next.

This dream has seemed absolutely real to us, and it has had to, so that it would activate our mental and emotional conscience. The dream must dissolve and the shell that has kept us feeling safe, secure and supported in our simulated experience must crack and fall away. The illusion must make way for reality. The shell is the veil between the illusions of our dreams and the reality of our awakening.

They will gaze upon us with their unconditional love as we scramble out from the broken pieces of what we thought was our real life. Our hearts will burst with joy when we see them as they truly are and they will shower us with our first real taste of unconditional love. We will look around from the nest and see a creation of unimaginable beauty and unlimited expanse. It will be an experience that cannot yet be comprehended from within our present dreamtime. Words fail to take us there.