inner life






The Inner Child

Like many in the West, I grew up with a concept of the superiority of Spirit over Matter and of intellect over emotions. I have subsequently come not merely to regret my "imprinting," but to feel deeply remorseful over my own misunderstandings, this to the extent of wanting to spend the rest of my life atoning for misconceptions and the imbalances that issued from them.

My present understanding cannot be grasped outside of the context of the healer who genuinely wants everyone to be happy and well. In the early 1980s, I met a psychologist, a neighbor named Cynthia Stauffer, later Thea Nye, who took an immediate interest in my work. As a psychologist, she was trained to look at needs and what makes a person feel good and what undermines the psychological sense of well-being. We were forever brainstorming these issues from the angle of what is now called the inner child. The inner child was, of course, always there. People simply were not trying to make contact with that child and did not recognize the importance of the child though I had been somewhat prepared for this realization through my work with a kahuna named Morrnah Simeona.

Morrnah had told me that the unihipili will not take in what does not feel good to it. She described the unihipili as a childlike subconscious power that supplies the energy for the manifestation of the rest of our being.

Morrnah's initial comment was in response to a question about Rolfing, a form of massage that is often quite painful and, of course, utterly different from the Hawaiian lomi-lomi in which Morrnah was an expert. One day, when I was lying face down on a hardwood floor, Mornnah walked on the bottoms of my feet up the back of my legs and to my skull. I thought I was in Paradise. Moreover, though it was a hot and humid day in Honolulu, Mornnah's feet smelled of roses. It was very easy for me to take in her gift of healing!

The Subconscious

The subconscious is magnetic. Thus, in its normal mode, it is receptive. Basically, it has only one major defense: discrimination. With great effort, the subconscious can define a situation or healing modality as unsuitable and choose to reject it. This, however, takes strength because it entails resistance and the determination to deflect what is directed towards it. If the subconscious does not rebuff what feels harmful to it, it becomes a victim, and this is, in fact, how many people feel today: they are victims of circumstances that are hurtful, dangerous, and/or life-threatening.

The intellect has almost no capacity to understand much less appreciate how the subconscious feels. At best, in a sympathetic moment, it can express some banality or other that the subconscious often does not accept as truth. For instance, "eat this, it will make you better," may sound reasonable to the educated mind but totally fallacious to the subconscious, which, in fact, does know more about the physical and emotional aspects of our being than does the intellect, a part of us that is often deeply out of touch with feelings and the more organic and life supporting aspects of existence.

The longer I have studied the subconscious, the more I understand that the physical body is an almost perfect reflection of the psychological patterns held in the subconscious. More importantly, it cannot be healed by platitudes or poisons because these merely contribute to the traumas of (1) not feeling understood and (2) victimization by an intellectually dominant force that arrogantly and mistakenly believes it knows more than what is obvious and instinctually known to the subconscious.


Given this understanding, I spent many years during my own dark night of the soul searching for what would be healing for others. It has been a long journey. More than thirty years ago, I started an article called "Recovering Innocence." I have never been able to complete this article but I recognize that it the most difficult work we ever do.

We all have a schism between the body and mind and between psychology and spirituality. The easiest way to explain this is to take the rules of monastic disciplines. Whether in the East or West, it was generally accepted that a person of the cloth could not serve two masters. The novitiate was required to renounce wealth and sensuality. I can remember films of "great" teachers throwing gold coins into the river to prove they are above materialism and greed. Poor people, even children of the teachers, might watch as the water buried the coins in the silt. How materialism came to be so scorned is baffling to the practical wisdom of the subconscious, a part of us that knows that just as plants need sunlight and water, we are dependent upon life given by God and the support of the Divine Mother or Nature.

I might argue that just as there is nothing inherently holy about poverty, there is nothing especially remarkable about celibacy except the fuss people make over it. Obviously, we live in a time of great sexual conflict and confusion where there is tremendous potential for traumatic experiences as well as bliss. Denial of our physicality serves no one any more than any other austerity. Rigid diets and eccentric notions concerning money and sex are personal issues, and while I can't speak for the Divine, I suspect that we live in a Universe that has come into being because of the union of Essence and Space, masculine and feminine, and Purpose with Process. It is exactly this process that is so misunderstood by those who would attempt to heal without understanding the nature of the wounds that have been experienced by those who are moving towards the fulfillment of their destinies but encountering obstacles, pain, and suffering in the process.

It is my mission now to support the healing of the schism between psychology and spirituality, to do so lovingly and with deep appreciation of the causes of disharmony. I work with diet and herbs that address symptoms, with inspired classical music to awaken a sense of the divine, and in altered states of consciousness that resemble the near-death experience so that individuals can experience the compassionate understanding that exists within the soul.


Ingrid Naiman
9 April 2006




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Copyright by Ingrid Naiman 2001, 2006, and 2014


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