Voice of the Lost Child

In part, Focusing Emptiness is about the decisions we make, and specifically, the way our defenses can influence these decisions, often affecting the direction our life takes. Think about being in an abusive relationship, for instance, or maybe being in a job you hate and which seems out of character for you. Then you ask yourself how you got where you are. Maybe if you are old enough, like me, you can look back and see a pattern in your decisions, and wonder now how you could have possibly made them. That’s part of what I’m talking about in the book.

One of the earliest life-changing decisions I made was at sixteen, during the height of the Vietnam War, when I decided to enlist in the Marine Corps. That isn’t to say that everyone who joins the Marine Corps is doing so because they are influenced by some trauma- induced defensive structure. But for me, joining the Marine Corps was completely out of character. I had never aspired to be a Marine. It was never something I had wanted to do.

And when I look back and ask myself now about  what could have possibly motivated me to make that decision, I can see precisely the kinds of archetypal  fantasy structures at work that I talk about in Focusing Emptiness. I can still hear the small voice inside me at  that time, calling to me, telling me that something wasn’t quite right about what I was doing. This was the voice from the lost child.

You may have heard your own lost child somewhere along the way. It’s comes as a faint intuition, perhaps more a feeling than a sound. It’s one of those things we tend to brush aside, tend to rationalize away. It calls out, asking that you turn toward it… especially during those times when the your defenses are most activated.  It reaches up through the veil of the unconscious, trying to be found...trying to be heard.
As long as this voice goes un-heard, the un-seen hand of one’s defenses will continue to shape one’s  decisions, appearing for all the world as “fate.”