“Procrustes was a son of Poseidon with a stronghold on Mount Korydallos at Erineus, on the sacred way between Athens and Eleusis. There he had an iron bed, in which he invited every passer-by to spend the night, and where he set to work on them with his smith's hammer, to stretch them to fit. In later tellings, if the guest proved too tall, Procrustes would amputate the excess length; nobody ever fit the bed exactly, because secretly Procrustes had two beds.”—Wikipedia
One of my first memories was something a little difficult to explain. At the age of about four, I had the ability to look at people and "see" their intent. If one mixes sensory metaphors, I "felt" about people the way Star Trek's 3D chess "looks." In Trek, it is an expansion of two dimensions of movement into three. In my case...God, I don't know.
What I do know is that it was stupid for me to actually tell people what I saw. That the fear and anger projected back at me was stunning for a young child, and I taught myself pretty damned fast to keep my insights to myself. It took decades for me to reclaim this ability, first through what I called "Mind Reading"-- a way of looking at the imbalance/balance ratio of body, mind and spirit and "looking into the cracks" or perceiving the negative space, the meaning of the "holes" in their manifestation. It's difficult to talk about if you don't have a feel for this.
It was years later, taking an Aura Perception workshop in Phoenix (the gentleman known as "Gunnie Reagan" on Facebook conducted the workshop) that I finally came to understand what I'd been doing, and realized that, in a natural tribal setting, I would have been a shaman/healer. That the warrior arts had attracted me because I had no tribe to protect me. No warriors. So in order to feel safe enough to be "myself" I had to learn to hurt people enough to stand up to the bullies and destroyers. In other words, I had to complete my "inner archetype wheel" because my external one was badly flawed.
Dear God. I remember coming back from one of the workshops, where I'd triggered a series of visions (and no, I don't know if auras are "real" separate from perceptions, or "merely" what is called a "complex equivalent"--the mind creating a simple symbol to represent a vast range of impressions, in this case modifying the visual field with an hallucination. I don't know. I can tell you it was unusually stable for an hallucination) and breaking down in tears for the boy I'd been, so confused, so alone.
But when I dug inside and connected with him, he wanted no pity. Instead, he was proud of me, the man I became, and hugged me for remaining on the path of creating a career and becoming a warrior despite the massive disconnect between my basic nature (healing) and the external intent of the arts (destroying). This of course necessitated an embrace of a non-dualistic view of the process, something NONE of my instructors were able to convey to me. Frankly, the schools sufficiently philosophical to embrace the mental aspects I needed were deficient in the self-defense I needed. And those powerful enough in the self-defense aspects were hardly masters of esoteric philosophy. But man, could they kick butt!
We all change ourselves to survive in the world. That is an adult reality. One of the keys to thriving is to keep track of who and what you were as a child, and to justify your current behaviors and situations in terms that younger self understands.
Numerous times I've heard women say that they were warned not to express their intelligence, for fear men would not be attracted to them. And that this had a negative influence on their academics or career. Questions:
1) I would be interested in hearing any women who felt this was true in their lives, and how it affected them.
2) Men: were any of you ever warned not to express your intelligence? Why? What was the impact?
3) Men and women: were there any other basic qualities or capacities you were warned, or learned, not to express? What, and why?