Hi folks! I know I have not written for a while.
Most of us for most of our lives look for answers externally. Some of us for some reason gain the insight that there is somehing off-center in the mind. We see that we are not having a good experience of life, and that whatever is wrong is wrong inside. And so we go off on a search–usually a religious or spiritual search to find the answer.
This is what I started about seven or eight years ago. And then I started writing about it here.
The exploration for many years was frantic, compelled, confusing, depressing, hopeless and erratic.
Now it is creative and enjoyable. There isn’t any separation between me and life.
What made the difference? I think it is the looking as suggested by John Sherman.
Sherman sugggests that what we consider to be the big problems of humanity (wars, cruelty and so on) and the individual problem of discontent and dissatisfaction with life–basically all of what we would consider to be problems–all stem from a simple belief we pick up early in our lives that there is something wrong with life. He calls this the “fear of life.”
This made sense to me because it is how I saw it as well. That the problem is a basic delusion in the mind.
And Sherman suggests that looking at the sense of you eliminates this delusion and starts a process of transformation.
The looking is simply this:
For a brief moment, bring all your attention to you. The you-ness of you, what if feels like to be you. Not thoughts, emotions, or body sensations. Not beliefs. Just you.
Why does this work?
I’m not sure of the mechanics of it but I have some ideas. If you actually do this looking you will realize that you have looked before. You might remember moments in your childhood when you withdrew attention to you in the same way. And you might realize that what it felt like to be you then is what it feels like to be you now. The sense-of-I-am never changes. It has not been diminished or enhanced.
The sense-of-you is the only thing you can be certain of, with a certainty which is different from any other certainty. Even if everything else is an illusion, what is experiencing all of this must be real.
And so in bringing attention to the one thing which is constant and real, the mind can no longer hold up the delusion that there is something wrong with life. And fear falls away.
Though it’s not a conscious thing. There isn’t any need to understand or believe the process works the way I have described it. It is a wholly mechanical process, independent of conscious effort.
I did the looking for about three months and felt some agitation during that time. After that, I was confused and disoriented for about a year. And then it settled.
How this works is of course highly individual. And therefore I am left with not much to say, except to recommend three things:
1. Learn a good release technique. The one I use is effective and becomes second-nature quickly: http://www.beyond-karma.com/how-to/how-to-release-big-and-small-emotions-release/
2. Do the looking as suggested by John Sherman.
3. Learn to notice what goes on inside. Observe as a watcher without analyzing or judging. Observe easily without effort. Observe emotion as senations in the body. Observe thoughts. As you observe, thoughts will slow down, become distinct and spaced. Observe the space in-between thoughts.
The rest I think is highly individual.
The exploring never stops, as far as I can tell. I feel very settled in the mind, now connected and one with life (there aren’t any good ways to describe it except to use these fluffy terms). There is still one aspect of my life which I feel I do not have clarity on–but it’s okay, I have the confidence that this too will unravel much in the way that every other “problem” has.
I don’t have much interest in sprituality, but I’m still interested in exploring more about the mind and the human experience. I found great resonance, surprisingly, in Conversations with God, by Neale Diamond Walsch.. I see it as very practical guide to life and relationships and money and so on. I also liked David Friedman’s Thought Exchange documentary–and I found what Friedman has to say about sensations deepened my understanding of the release technique.
And so it goes.
Enjoyably and creatively.