How the HST Referendum Helped Me Find A Primary Scenario

The “Primary Scenario” is a term developed in IBP (Integrated Body Psychotherapy) to help describe what James Hollis a Jungian psychologist would describe as “charged clusters of energy transfers the experiences of other times and places to the present, undermining our capacity for conscious choice and holding us hostage to the past.” The result is an unconscious emotional response to something like the HST that has nothing to do with the HST itself.

Perhaps some background would be helpful. HST stands for Harmonized Sales Tax, a tax that was introduced to combine two sales taxes, one provincial and one federal, and offers a much more efficient method of collecting taxes and allowed the province to gain an incremental five billion dollars as an incentive from the federal government. On many levels it made a lot of sense, but it was introduced by a government that had never mentioned it during their election campaign and it resulted in an additional tax on services that had not been taxed before. The outcry was massive and an unlikely coalition was formed of the radical right who don’t believe that government should be taxing us anyway, and the low-spirited left who thought this could be a way of rerunning the election that they had just lost. The result was that a massive 557,583 people signed the petition and we are now stuck with a referendum on it. I wish I had never signed the thing; it was an emotional decision based on frustration at the Premier who has since resigned and now we are stuck with a binding referendum that I fear will result in the tax being scrapped. From any logical point of view the tax makes sense; it is efficient; it has been in place for nine months already; we will have to repay the Federal government the five billion; there will be other costs incurred from cancellation; the government will still have to raise the revenue somehow or cut back spending. However I sense that many people won’t use logic, they will vote emotionally.

So what does all this have to do with my primary scenario? It started simply enough with a discussion with a friend of mine over sushi where I made my argument for voting for the tax. To my horror her response was that she was voting against. “We have to send them a message” she said, “Perhaps they will stop spending money on things like lunches and VIP trips.” I found this totally illogical and argued that government are not going to do what she wants, they would likely use it as an excuse to raise other taxes and cut social programs. My logic had no effect at all and I noticed how heated I had become. Then I noticed the desire to say something hurtful to her. I managed to restrain myself and asked if we could stop the conversation. Gradually I cooled down and the drama passed but I was left by confusion, “why did I get so heated and what had triggered me”? It must be more than the HST itself because I don’t really care that much; it won’t impact me that much at my time of life.

I got home and began a soul mapping process where I start to write or draw circumstances around my curiosity. I use soul mapping as a spiritual coaching tool, it begins to outline the pieces of a puzzle that eventually fall into place and hopefully form a meaningful picture. I knew there was a deeper meaning to this event but I had no idea what it could be. I was not aware of any unresolved issues between my friend and I and it had never bothered me when she expressed a perspective based on emotion in fact it was often helpful. I drew an Osho Zen card and got Abundance; it seemed particularly unhelpful. All I could do was trace the events and release my curiosity to my higher self.

During the night I had a vivid, somewhat nightmarish dream about a car crash. I noticed I had no desire to write it out or work with it, normally a powerful sign that there is much to be learned. It was later that day that I picked up my Soul Mapping and had a faint intuition that perhaps the dream may be relevant. (It is easy for resistance to step in and block my progress at this juncture.) I remembered the dream as follows. I am attending an event at West Lodge School, (my primary school). I am with four friends D, S, M and J; the driver is Italian; he is a dreadfully scary driver and at one point begins to overtake a stream of traffic around a blind bend; then we have cards heading towards us; he pulls on the far shoulder but I know we are heading for an accident; sure enough we crash and find myself standing besides broken cars when S comes to me and says, “If we had stopped for gas in Squamish, this would not have happened.”

I managed to overcome my ego’s desire to dismiss the dream and embarked on a process of exploration. I knew each of the major symbols were related to me and that my dreams normally contained clues to help me. As I reflected on why that particular school would have emerged from my unconscious, I remembered it was my primary school and sensed it gave me the time period to work with. The Italian symbolism seemed clear, when my life is being guided by emotion or passion, it can cause a crash. Stopping in Squamish for gas made no sense at all. Squamish is a small town en route to Whistler, rarely a destination, rather an interim stop.

I am fortunately enough to have a number of extremely wise friends who can provide me with insight and guidance at times like these. That evening I had my regular conversation with M who did not let me down. She asked me three questions:

1) Is this connected with your mother?

2) Does this have something to do with your overall relationship with Patricia and not the incident itself?

3) Does the appearance of S, D, M, and J suggest it is related to a drama a couple of weeks earlier? (See for details.)

Initially I was not able to make a connection but wrote the details on my Soul Map.

The following day I had a chance to explore with my dream partner and pieces began to fall into place. I realized that primary school could also relate to “Primary Scenario” and indeed M’s intuition about my mother could be important. Gas for the car became fuel for the body, which translated into breath and I saw the message in the dream. When I am in the grip of emotion then I need to pause before I get to my destination or there will be a crash. The reason for my four friends in the dream was that two weeks earlier when they were present, I had not paused and there was indeed a crash. Fortunately over the HST, I had paused and avoided a potential disaster.

There was a major piece still undone, just what was the primary scenario that had caused my heated response to the HST issue? Was there anything that had happened with my mother that could have contributed to my behaviour. A couple of weeks earlier I had been talking to the same friend about my independence during my primary school years. From the age of six, I had become very self-reliant. She asked me what had happened at six, and I realized that was when my mother had given birth to my sister, the girl she had been waiting for after three boys. My friend suggested that I would have been wounded by that experience, likely felt abandoned and dealt with it by developing my self-reliance. And there it was! In a flash of intuition all the pieces of the puzzle fell into place. My friend and I have been very close for thirteen years. During that time I am often the primary man in her life and share in family engagements but when she gets involved with a potential partner, I move into number two spot. Rationally I have no problem with it at all however the recent drama suggests that my abandonment scenario gets triggered but not consciously. So why now?

This piece seems a truly astonishing insight. As a teenager, I assumed an intellectual superiority to my mother. I recall being quite condescending and rarely treating her seriously. She would just laugh. I now think the recent drama was a reaction to my abandonment, entirely unconscious, so the HST argument became a trigger caused by an unconscious sense of my friend abandoning me. The energy was not about her at all but about my mother. The dream was a gift, a tool to help me deal with situations where these unconscious energy clusters are triggered. “When the Italian is in the driving seat, make sure you gas up in Squamish!”


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