Cutting the Ties the Bind: Starting with the Figure Eight

...An Introduction to the Work of Phyllis Krystal

How can we free ourselves from our negative conditioning, from our parents, friends, siblings and x-lovers? How can we become free from our attachment to money or power? Is it necessary or desirable to become free from attachment to money or power?

The word "attachment" has been widely mis-interpreted. We can be billionaires, yet unattached. It is when we need to multiply what we have that we are overly-attached. It is when we react with anger to ill-fortune, to loss of money that we are over-attached. We can be fully-involved in the world and dedicated to our work and our loved ones...yet free from old-programming that binds us to the past and prevents us from fully-experiencing the present.

It is the goal of most therapies to help us learn to live in the moment, to learn to love others, to learn to love ourselves and to learn to forgive. Almost everything printed in the pages of Atlantis attempts to serve those does the work of one very special imagery therapist. We are happy to begin bringing you an on-going series of articles about the work of Phyllis Krystal, author of "Cutting the Ties that Bind" and "Cutting More Ties that Bind." Mrs. Krystal has developed a series of steps that help us cut those ties. Through these techniques, she helps us become free from old patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving and offers a powerful set of tools that allows us to free ourselves from our lower self, our lower consciousness and begin to tap into our High C, or Higher Consciousness. 8

Several hundred "Cutting the Ties" groups have been formed around the world in which people can cut the ties in a group setting. These groups are flourishing in Holland, Argentina, Ireland, England, Germany and France and a number of groups are now springing up in the United States. When cutting the ties in a group setting, no preparation is needed because of the power of the collective energy of the group. When cutting a tie one-on-one with a guide, the individual practices the "Figure Eight" image for at least two weeks prior to the cutting.

According to Mrs. Krystal, "The Figure Eight is a symbol which enables a person to protect his own space or territory and at the same time avoid invading anyone else's space. It is advisable to have only one person at a time in the circle opposite your own when using the Figure Eight exercise, to avoid confusing your separate reactions to different people." Here's how the figure eight imagery goes:

1. Imagine you are sitting or standing in a circle of golden light on the ground around your feet. The radius of this circle is the length of your own arm with the fingers extended.

2. Visualize another circle of golden light directly in front of you about the same size as yours and just touching, but not overlapping your circle.

3. Starting at the point where the two circles touch, visualize a neon blue light flowing around the opposite circle in a clockwise direction until it is complete.

4. Let it continue to flow around the left side of your circle, around your back, around your right side and back to where the two circles touch, to form a Figure Eight.

5. Continue visualizing the Figure Eight of neon blue light for two minutes at a time, morning and evening as preparation before cutting the ties, or briefly, as the need arises throughout the day, whenever you become aware that you are trying to control someone, or that you are allowing someone or something to control you.

All of these images must be visualized on the ground. If any of them appear to float, ask the Hi C (High Consciousness) how to secure them firmly in place on the ground before proceeding with the exercise.

You might wonder about the purpose of the neon blue light. Mrs. Krystal has found that this neon light has the effect of drawing each person's projections into their own circle. It's an important step in helping the two individuals disentangle. The neon blue light also helps keep both free from invasion or control by the other.

If you are practicing the Figure Eight in preparation for cutting the ties with someone who was very abusive to you, you might find that they won't stay put in their circle. You'll have to use your imagination to find ways to keep them in their circle. This is very important because during this two weeks of practicing the Figure Eight, you are beginning to clarify the boundaries between you and the other person. So you may have to find creative ways of keeping them in their circle. Perhaps you'll have to extend the circle upward to form a cylinder...or maybe you'll have to "erect" a high glass enclosure. Maybe you'll even have to put a lid on the top of the enclosure. Maybe you'll have to nail down the enclosure at the base. For example, one patient of mine while practicing the Figure Eight in preparation for cutting the ties with his father, "saw" a tiger in the Figure Eight. He had to practically erect a fortress to keep the tiger inside and he had to bolt the "two-foot thick plexiglass cylinder" deep into bedrock with long nails and rivets so that it would stand steady. Visualizing the tiger in the Figure Eight stirred up such intense feeling in this fellow that he began to re-experience nightmares that he had had as a small child.

After you've practiced the Figure Eight for two weeks, you'll be ready to cut the ties that bind. Over the next few issues of Atlantis, we'll look deeper and deeper into the process of cutting the ties. But before you start, there's something very important for you to know. By cutting the ties, you are not ridding yourself of a relationship. For example, cutting the ties with your mother or father doesn't mean that you stop having a relationship with them. It means that you consciously go through a process in which you realize how you are bound and then you release or cut those bonds so that those relationships can grow in a healthy direction. Cutting the ties allows you become of feeling controlled, free of the hurt, free of the anger, free to move on in life and live it to the fullest.

And remember--the Figure Eight is just the warm-up, the preparation. You're not cutting the ties by practicing the Figure Eight. You'll begin learning how to actually cut the ties in our next issue.

But don't think that this warm-up, the Figure Eight, is a light-weight imagery. It is a tried-and-true technique that has been used successfully for a decade.


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