The Way Home
Do Not Explode – Expand!
In every sense of the expression coined by G. I. Gurdjieff a half century ago, Jack Schwarz was “a remarkable man”.
Jack was perhaps best known for his ability to exercise voluntary control over many of his body’s psycho-physiological processes, the very same processes which science insists, and all the rest of us were taught in school, are involuntary, or beyond our conscious control. Under the close scrutiny of world class medical centers and laboratories, Jack demonstrated that it is possible for the human organism to control the pain of physical trauma; to regulate blood flow, blood pressure, and heart rate; to heal the body consciously after injury; to be unaffected by the injection of toxic substances; to see beyond the accepted spectrum of visible light; and much more. And yet, extraordinary as all of that may be — and it is certainly all of extraordinary! — Jack Schwarz seems to us far more extraordinary for what he did (and continues to do) to others than for what he could do to himself.
We first met this sweet, joyful man a couple of decades ago, at a Unity church in Honolulu, where he presented a guest sermon and a follow-up workshop. We attended both, and then undertook a private session with him. At the time, we could ill afford to pay for the workshop or the private meeting, but, as fledgling seekers, we knew we could ill afford not to!
Consider these reports of that encounter:
First, from Nancy. “For the closing hymn in Honolulu's Unity church, the congregation formed a circle, holding hands. As it happened, my place in the circle was right next to Jack Schwarz. The instant he took hold of my hand, my knees buckled. It felt as if liquid electricity was pouring from Jack into me, down to my feet. My legs turned to rubber. In the words of the great traditions, I swooned.”
And from Stefan. “For more than a year, I had suffered from a chronic, on-and-off sore throat, and I was becoming increasingly concerned about it. I intended to ask Jack about it when we met privately with him, but so in awe of him was I that I could hardly speak, and so I did not mention it. Then, the morning after our meeting with him, I dared to telephone Jack at his hotel. So tall was he in my eyes, I trembled as I explained the problem and my concern about it. Jack replied, ‘It is an energy blockage. It will disappear of its own accord.’ As he spoke, the pain disappeared. And it never returned.”
In the years since that first meeting, all of our exchanges with Jack Schwarz were similarly extraordinary. And many others report similar extraordinary experiences with this remarkable man.
Jack Schwarz died in California on November 26, 2000.
The selection below is drawn from Jack Schwarz's book It's Not What You Eat But What Eats You published by Celestial Arts. The copyright is held by the Aletheia H.E.A.R.T. Institute, of which Jack was Founder, and whom we gratefully thank for the generous permission to post it here.
For more about Jack, other titles, and contact information, please visit Aletheia’s web site at http://holisticu.org.
When we are born we want to be. Over time we become aware that being also means having to have something. Let us put those two words together: be-have, or behave. By the age of thirteen our be-havior is dominated by what we have and that with which we identify.
So adolescents enter a new state. They go from a state of becoming to a state of behaving. Becoming is a process of movement which has to be activated by the individual. To become, energy must be put into motion; it is emotional to become. To be and to come you need constant activity, that is, expression and experience. But rather than becoming, what do we do? We get. A man has to get that job, in order to get that mansion and that Ferrari, in order to get that wife, who has gotten that money from her parents. A woman has to get a husband who has gotten through behaving. Because of the changing roles of women in our society, women are now attracting diseases which formerly affected only men, for women are now involved with getting in the workplace. They are surprised they haven't become what they wanted. Can you feel the wear and tear behaving puts on the body? The universe is for-giving, not for-getting.
There is nothing wrong with getting, unless you hold onto what you have gotten. But if you put your beingness into getting, it becomes be-getting. Begetting means “to give birth.” It means as soon as you get something, you let go of it or hold it only so long as you need it in that form, and then transform it to create something else. You give birth to a new idea. You birth to an expression. Holding onto it causes the energy to stagnate and causes health problems. You can transform your holding the same way you transform your getting: you put your beingness into it. Then holding becomes beholding. And you say, Lo! Behold! A new birth!
The result of getting is that consciousness is modeled by social standards and beliefs. How does society say you can best succeed? Not by action and not by giving birth, but by getting and holding. But to maintain health it is vital to discover your potentials and to become them. Put yourself in situations in which you must expand your potentials and give birth through them.
If you become something that you are not potentially directed to be, whether because of belief systems, family pressures, economic security, or some other reason, you force your body to malfunction. You force your consciousness to function in a way that is not its intended purpose. This forces your consciousness to stagnate, as well as your reason and rationale. To become a corporate executive when you would prefer to be a river guide, or to become a river guide when you would prefer to be a corporate executive, forces your energy and evolution to stagnate.
To become, you need to know your potentials and pursue their fulfillment. Without that knowing and action, you suffer a loss of courage and happiness. You do not become the expression of your consciousness. You eat food that maintains you in a forced function, which forces your body and consciousness into directions antagonistic to the core of your being. You force-feed yourself. It is like the Christmas goose, which would like to be flying south for the winter but cannot, for people keep stuffing grain down its throat – to get it fat for their dinner.
From approximately eighteen to thirty years of age, people can start to practice and implement the directions of their beliefs and consciousness. Those who act upon their potentials and continuously become what they desire to be, even if their family, peers, and society disagree, will be much healthier than those who do not accept the joy of their potentials. They will perform at much higher levels in whatever they do, because they have their heart and soul in what they do. These people do not count their rewards by numbers. They count their rewards by their happiness, their joy, and their state of excitement. Their excitement is not so much in seeing if they can win over someone else, but in challenging themselves. They risk!
Between the ages of eighteen and thirty, people still have many chances to make changes. What can young adults do to enhance their health and personal expression? They can go on a path of self-discovery and thus not become one-sided. They can explore their desires, and their sources of joy, and become well-rounded people, physically, mentally, and emotionally. Rather than holding onto accomplishments, they can develop great freedom and can use it to pursue potentials felt but as yet unexpressed. This is possible because in most cases the responsibility to parents has been reduced, and commitments to a mate and children have not yet been made.
So there is much freedom of choice. This freedom of adulthood can be powerful when combined with knowing systems, health and radiance, and the privileges of being an adult. During childhood parents can help prepare their children to assume the joys and responsibilities of such freedom.
It can be difficult for young adults, who usually have not yet established families and often do have personal freedom, courage, and initiative, to go on paths of personal discovery. The difficulties for middle-aged adults, who often have been stuck in beliefs for a long time, are even greater. These people think they do not have the capacity to ever get their potentials going, that is, if they think about it at all!
Relationships have a tremendous impact upon expression. For many, their relationships oppress them because, in spite of their belief systems, there is an undeniable knowingness within them which says, “I have not become what I needed.” It eats at them.This is why many suffer hypertension, heart disease, and stomach and intestinal problems. Ask them why they do not change their situation and they say, “Well, I have a family to support and bills to pay, so I have to work. I have to behave.” And it is true that once relationships are established, they can be hard to leave.
How can you work with a stifling relationship? One way is to allow your partner to develop his or her potentials too. It is not always necessary to break up relationships in order for people to develop. Learn to give each other the freedom to be and to become. Support each other on your paths of discovery. At one point you might be the one who needs to become. At another point it might be your mate who needs to become. Or you may need to become simultaneously, and you can support each other in your individual quests. This can be a stimulating model for your children. They can observe and experience how you, their parents, are both exploring and expanding your potentials and consciousness, yet still maintaining a sharing, caring relationship with each other. The children may come to realize they can explore their potentials too, for you have not made them dependent upon set beliefs. You are not holding onto beliefs any longer. You and your children will have a much greater freedom and will be healthier because of it.
So for those who feel oppressed by family relationships, I would say that getting away from one another will not necessarily make you happy if you do not learn to activate your potentials. Before you look outside the family life or look for someone who seems to share your beliefs and ideas, you might first look for ways to express yourself as an individual within the family. You may discover that involvement with your partners, your mate and children, will lead to your evolvement. The key is to create a family which is mutually supportive. Continuously create a dynamic family environment which reflects and enhances your state of consciousness and health. Do not fear change. Do not use your family and your job as excuses or distractions to avoid personal expression. Do not explode -- expand! Otherwise, you will limit the expression of your partner and children as well.
How sad that many people actually plan to wait forty years and agree to spend their energy fulfilling someone else's desires before they set out on that path of self-discovery. For forty years they work to fulfill someone else%#8217;s expectations of what is best for them. They wait until they retire and the children are gone before they really begin to live for themselves.
Forty years of waiting will not leave the mind and body in a very good state of health, one capable of allowing a person to develop her potentials. Often that person’s “golden years” become merely a fulfillment of a new set of beliefs, an escape rather than an exploration.
Health is a reflection of beingness. So how can you expect your mental, emotional, and physical states to be ready for the joys and demands of self-discovery if you have fulfilled belief systems your entire life, have allowed yourself to become prematurely old, have believed that your glands should atrophy and cease to function, and that your heart, liver, intestines, and general metabolism should slow down? Your body runs down because it is forced to operate in ways antagonistic to the purposes for which you were born and to the creations to which you should have given birth.
Your conception of aging is like anything else in which you believe – you embody it. …
Perceptions, which are based upon sensory experience and knowing, should precede conceptions. You express yourself and through that you change your attitudes. In other words, you do not change your attitudes in order to get a better perception, you get a better perception in order to change your attitudes. To do that you have to transcend the concepts under which you have lived. It is not a matter of denying or erasing them. There needs to be a continual process whereby perceptions form conceptions, rather than belief systems forming conceptions. Concepts should be based upon what you are perceiving now and relating those perceptions to what you have already experienced. The experiences you have and the potentials you activate are mainly determined by your belief and knowing systems and attitudes. So changing your perceptions will also change the types of experiences you have. Transcendence is what keeps the universe healthy, and it will keep you healthy too.