Download MP3: eng_18.mp3
Explanation of this Guided Experience
The difficulties you have in this exercise of ascent or going upward are related to the fear of falling. This may be due to physical problems, or to accidents you have previously had when climbing. But these difficulties may also reflect some "unstable" situation you are living in at the present time. Problems you have in the ascents with images can also reflect the anguish of not reaching a desired goal, or anxiety over an uncertain future. By mobilizing these images, we orient our later behavior in the same direction as these images.
It is daytime when I enter the house and slowly begin climbing the stairs. I reach the second floor, and continue going upstairs until I come outside onto the flat rooftop. High overhead is a water tank atop a tower.
I see the metal spiral staircase that I must climb to reach the top of the water tank—but there is no handrail. Calmly I go up the spiral stairs.
Reaching the top of the tank, I stand up. The base of the tower is narrow and the whole structure sways with each gust of wind, but I maintain my footing. (*)
Venturing over to the edge of the tank, I look down and see the roof of the house beneath me. I’m drawn toward the empty space below, but I catch myself and continue looking down. Then I let my gaze wander over the landscape around me. (*)
Suddenly a helicopter appears overhead. As it approaches, I see a rope ladder with wooden rungs being lowered toward me. Grasping the ladder, I place both feet on the lowest rung, and slowly the ladder rises as the helicopter ascends. Below me the water tank grows smaller and smaller. (*)
I climb up the ladder until I reach the door of the helicopter. When I try to open it, I find that it’s stuck. Then I look down. (*)
Suddenly the metal door slides open and the young pilot reaches out a hand to me. I climb into the helicopter, and we begin to gain altitude rapidly.
A voice announces that we’re experiencing engine failure. I hear the grinding of broken gears and the main rotor stops—we begin falling, faster and faster.
The crew members pass me a parachute, and they leap out into space.
I’m perched in the edge of the doorway as the helicopter plunges earthward at a dizzying speed.
I make up my mind to jump, and fall face downward. I’m falling so fast it’s difficult to breathe. I pull the ripcord, and the parachute streams upward in a long sheet overhead. With a strong jolt it opens, I bounce, and my fall slows dramatically.
I must land on top of the water tank, or else I’ll fall into the high-tension wires, or the tops of the pine trees that await me like sharpened stakes. I maneuver the parachute by pulling on the canopy lines—fortunately I’m aided by the wind. (*)
The parachute envelops me as I land on top of the water tank and roll to the edge. Freeing myself, I see the parachute fall in a tangle. I get to my feet, and slowly begin to descend the spiral stairs.
When I reach the rooftop, I go down to the second floor, and unhurriedly continue going downstairs until I reach the room I first entered.
Once more on the ground floor of the house, I walk to the door, open it, and leave.
Observe whether the resistances you encounter in this experience are the same as some in your daily life. Similarly, if the difficulties have been overcome in the experience or through repeating it, examine the real situations in your life in which these problems have appeared, and verify that changes show up and progress has been made.