There are many schools of thought which serve as theoretical foundations for practitioners of PLT. One which is perhaps less well-known in Western societies is the ancient Polynesian tradition of Huna. The author has found within its principles important guidelines which she has incorporated into her practice.
A paradigm shift is a major change in the way a person or a group views their reality. Once that shift point is established, nothing is the same, and a whole new range of possibilities exist. Many such shifts have occurred; some by the work of a single person, some by an event or an emerging philosophy and others by the arising of the collective unconscious of man. Einstein created such a shift, Freud and Jung another, and the Renaissance was yet a further example. Each of us individually will experience shifts that drastically change the quality as well as the context of our life experiences. Working within and experiencing the possibilities of Huna has been such a shift for me.
Huna is a living philosophy of spiritual growth and development native to the Hawaiian Islands and Polynesia. It has been passed down as an oral tradition over the centuries, its simplicity and power retained with the language, hidden deep under the layers of meanings of the words. Because of this, the philosophy has not been diluted, lost in translation, or made rigid by structure or restrictions. From a western perspective, it is a very non-traditional belief system. While it contains many of our western psycho-analytical constructs, the analytical framework is merely an aspect of the whole. Huna is not a way of analyzing, but a powerful perspective from which to view life. For its user, it is a living, breathing, experiential way of dealing with life. In Huna, we identify and access a source of knowledge and power that is beyond the thinking self, and learn to use it to heal ourselves and others.
My background has included focusing upon the work of Carl Jung and Milton Erickson. My desire a number of years ago was to meld a Jungian approach with the Taoist philosophy. I sought the presence, the flow of life, a simple profound nature of being and how that and our spiritual nature pertained to man and his simple everyday problems. Huna answers this yearning and contains possibilities beyond my present ability to perceive. It is deceptively simple and straightforward, and speaks to the basis of the possibility of the wholeness of humankind. Because Huna has an oral tradition, it has maintained the purity of its essential and powerful nature, free from any restrictions imposed by culture or religion. It is a well of knowledge and wisdom from which the great religions and philosophies of man have sprung. So, it is out of this richness that the seven principles listed below come. These principles form a basis, a grid through which to perceive and work with any given reality.
Past-life regression opens us up to our own multi-dimensionality and, viewed from the seven Huna principles, it is a way of exploring the dynamic impact of a given situation. These are not rules or laws, but rather ways of looking at and expanding our beliefs and our skills, just as aspects of each past-life can be considered a different way of looking at a given problem or concern. The work is transformative. What now follows is a description of these seven principles and I illustrate some of them with examples of how I have utilized them with clients.
- The world is what you think it is and all systems are made up or arbitrary. With this viewpoint, reality isn’t absolute, it’s objective. It is how you hold things, not what happens. Our reality, then, comes from within each of us; there no longer are outside rules to govern us. Each system can be examined and accepted or rejected. Each belief can be looked at for its contribution or benefit. Evolution and democracy, then, become systems conceived by people. They can be accepted or rejected by each person individually or collectively by a society. Your reality or your world is not a given or an absolute. It is what you decide it is and is a result of what you project and expect. It can change at any given moment and as a result, you now view your life differently.
A woman in her late 20’s came to me with a weight problem. She ate uncontrollably with a fear of starvation even though she had never been in a situation where starvation was a concern. We went back to three past-lives where she experienced starving to death. By looking at this information from the viewpoint of this principle, the carry-over patterning of her belief system was released and she was now able to function free from it. She shifted her belief about her life and its relation to food and survival which freed her to lose the weight she desired without fear. She also was able to change her outlook and work toward prosperity in her life, rather than simply toward survival.
- There are no limits. There is a complete interconnectedness with all aspects of our reality which shifts and changes continuously. Separation is just an illusion. Underlying this principle is the belief that we have the power and the ability to experience our lives within as many dimensions as we choose. This is where freedom comes in and, with it, not simply choice, but a directed focus of attention and decision-making. There is no given act in any dimension or on any level that doesn’t, in some way, affect all other aspects of reality.
There are two distinct ways of perceiving situations as they occur: from the way of a warrior or from the way of an adventurer. The warrior’s path is very familiar to many of us. This way works to resolve conflict by overcoming fear. It assumes the world is hostile and seeks to conquer. One works to destroy enemies and to cultivate allies. This perspective endorses the belief that there are dangerous forces outside of oneself that must be overcome. Ideally the warrior acts impeccably, developing and maintaining strength to protect. In Huna, we interact from the way of the adventurer. When there are forces in the world governed by fear, we seek to heal that fear. There is the acknowledgement that there are dangers, but the world is not considered to be a dangerous place. It is, by nature, a beautiful place filled with wonder, protection and answers to many of our questions. It contains our connectedness to life. From this path, there is an emphasis on adventure and enjoying life. One cultivates friendships and unity. We learn to explore. The overriding ethic is of love and when there is doubt, we practice blessing and healing. The adventurer is aware of connections. These connections are the power lines of communication and the means of experiencing and expressing our own power.
A skeptical man came to me to be regressed for fun. He wanted to explore if he had a past-life connection with his present business partner. He had difficulty regressing, so I took him on a journey. In an open meadow he faced an object: that which was holding him back from understanding his connection with his business partner. The object was an old chest closed with a lock. Upon opening it, he was confronted with the entire universe. As an adventurer and using this principle as a framework, I had him enter into the chest and out into the universe. His exploring took place in another time-space dimension and provided him with a great deal of understanding. Past-life regression was the catalyst, a diving board from which to spring. To stick within its confines would have been, in this case, limiting. He needed to connect on many levels.
- Energy flows where attention goes and everything is energy. Whatever you dwell upon creates energy and manifests. This principle keeps us aware of what we are thinking. Our thoughts are like conduits which move our energy in that same direction. As an experiment, take a handful of coins and sit with them for five minutes. Each time your mind goes to a different thought, remove a coin from your hand and put it in a pile representing that thought. After the five minutes, look at the piles and see where you have spent your mental energy. Is that how you wanted to spend those few minutes? Has that been the most productive for you? If not, how would you have used that energy differently? All aspects of our consciousness have energy and we can choose how we wish to spend it.
Along with this is the belief that we have the power and the right to direct energy. We can not control it, but we can help it fulfill its own destiny as we are moving towards our own. Have you ever used the heaviness of a cold wet day to cuddle under a blanket and read a book or spend some time alone? If so, you have been connecting with the energy of the weather and directing it along with your own to create your solitude. We are speaking, here, about dominion, not domination. When shamans work, they utilize this principle to meld with an aspect of nature and shift it. The shaman is fulfilling his/her own purpose, utilizing the existing energy patterns in nature. That aspect of nature, too, is moving toward its own propose. For some people just the knowledge of this possibility is enough, while others need to develop skills. It requires focus and concentration. The process of hypnosis helps develop skills in this area and helps shift the flow within regression work to unlock the ability to utilize power and direct energy. By retaining this principle in focus, a client in the midst of a regression can work at a different level and attain a different quality of understanding from the work. The past can be changed in the present by affirming that aspect of the past one wants to retain. Any lifetime can then have added dimension and be an important moving force.
- Now is the moment of power. Establishing, defining and redefining goals is a process which is repeated over and over. At any given moment, a goal can be redefined or shifted to give power to a new perspective of reality. They are moving, changing formats for our journey. In Huna, there is the belief that the present is the only place where we have power to effect change. The past is good for information and background. Focusing on the future helps with long term direction and its implication on your present moment actions. However, the immediate present holds the only possibility for change or creating something new in our lives. Everything is relative. It is when you are focused in the present that you are most effective in whatever you want to do. Even in altered states, in the midst of a different time-space dimension, staying present with that moment can make an important difference. That is when the changes and shifts come, in the midst of the experiences, when a person is experiencing the present — physically, emotionally and mentally.
- To love is to be happy with. The Hawaiian word for love is aloha. Alo means to be at one with, oha means to be filled with joy. This comes from the belief that everything is alive, aware and responsive to our intent. Our work then is a continuous process of decreasing judgments and increasing love. Unconditional love is a state of being free of judgments. In Huna, love is the only ethic needed. The creation of happiness becomes a focus, not a side effect. It is a way of acting, healing and encouraging any aspect of nature to thrive and grow. Going one step further is the possibility that the universe itself exists because of love in its two aspects, that of being and becoming.
This concept is simple yet profound. In my own struggles and growth, I have worked with this principle at many times. Gandhi lived it. It is active focus, not denial. It is not a passive, unrealistic, weak approach, but rather a deep, profound choice; a conscious focusing on the positive with a clear realistic understanding of the negative. The active form of this is to bless. Whatever you love increases. The power comes in the blessing. The most direct way to love is to bless. The Hawaiian word for blessing is ho‘omaika‘i. Ho‘o means the causation of, mai is the directing of attention, energy and love toward, and kai is the lifting up of. Blessing strengthens what is blessed. If you notice the good, you bring out the possibility in something, rather than simply what is wrong and needs to be changed. This simple change will shift the energy immediately and help clients be more effective and develop joy in what they do.
A woman came to me to work through some very severe child abuse and incest problems. We began by clearing out some of the attachment by work in current and past-life experiences. The clearing process was important. Ultimately, it was no longer productive as the primary focus and the questions arose, what is beyond this? Where is the love and strength? At that point, she was ready to experience a past-life which helped her understand the gifts she brought with her to express in this lifetime. That experience lit a flame within. From that point on, as the clearing continued, the flame grew and she began to blossom. There was no need to judge right or wrong. The focus had shifted and she began to experience strength and beauty where she had only experienced pain before.
- All power comes from within. In this principle we are speaking about an ultimate sense of inner authority and trust. It is a place void of doubt; one of healing and active dreaming. At this level, energy can not be separated from faith. The connection with the Higher Self or God within is established and forms the bond for one’s creativity and performance. You become an active channel for your own power and make choices and decisions about directing it. This concept is a key for work with many clients. For the most part, our belief system and culture promotes the idea that power is outside us. Power in one’s life comes with the right deodorant, clothes, education, spouse, religious or political beliefs, job, insurance, etc. The Hawaiians believe that everything has power; the power which we acknowledge to be there. The possibility comes from within us and no one has control over another person or their destiny unless that person gives permission for it to happen. Again, it sounds simple, but the potential effect that this one principle has had on regression work with clients is amazing. The format of regression work has allowed people to come into contact and connect with the core of their own life force, mana, and then express that outwardly in a way that becomes transformative.
- Effectiveness is the measure of truth, or there is always another way to do anything. This last principle requires a certain level of ego-detachment and flexibility. It speaks to the idea that there is no definitive formula and no guarantee. There isn’t an absolute truth, but an effective truth at an individual level. Any system that takes us where we want to go is an arbitrary assemblage. In this concept, a different organization of the same components is just as valid. We work with the internal dimension and observe the external effects. We are not talking about using the correct method or analysis of a problem, but rather establishing a framework of possibility for effecting change and healing. The method may be past-life regression, parallel-life or even future-life progression. What is important is how we journey to that point and what we achieve. Working within this realm, the end does not justify the means, the means determines the end. To create a positive end, we need to utilize positive means. From the Huna perspective, the way of love is much more fun.
This is just a brief outline, an overview of the principles. Working deeply with any one of them is an exciting and rewarding experience. To tell about Huna is merely an interpretation. At best, it can provide guideposts and illuminate some possibilities. To really know it means having to work with it. Huna has been the foundation of my practice. I have been very grateful to this philosophy for what I have learned. It has assisted me in working more profoundly with my clients.