This is one of the many opens secrets: when something is fully experienced, there is a clarity and a quiet bliss and joy there.
When resistance falls away to whatever arises in immediate awareness, it reveals a clarity and quiet bliss which seems inherent in experience, and this is independent of what is experienced – pain, grief, joy, sadness, anger, enthusiasm or whatever else it may be.
Looking at this for myself, I find that…
Resistance comes from the belief in the thought I, and a set of beliefs in additional thoughts which creates an exclusive and limited identity. Whatever does not fit is then resisted, it is made “other”, and gives rise to a sense of drama and struggle.
The resistance itself seems to take the form of (a) an attachment to a belief that what is should be different, (b) a sensation, (c) shifting attention away from what arises, at least temporarily, and (d) a behavior meant to distract attention or make whatever is resisted change or go away. Resistance really only kicks up a lot of dust, temporarily hiding – at best, what is resisted.
Absence of resistance allows whatever is to be. This reveals the bliss and joy that seems inherent in experience, always. It may reveal what is resisted to not be nearly as frightening or threatening as it initially seemed, and maybe not as what it seemed at all. It also allows what is resisted to live its own life, to unfold, change, as it does anyway.
Pain as an example
A good example is pain, whether physical or emotional.
:: Pain resisted
When resisted, it may look something like this…
- There is a belief in the idea of I as a segment of what is, as limited, somehow separate from the rest of the world of form and/or awareness.
- A sensation arises. This sensation is labeled pain.
- Then, beliefs kick in which says that this pain is not me, undesirable, something that should not be there. Now, there is a sense of I being exposed to pain as Other, and an unwanted Other.
- This leads to resistance. There is a rehearsal of the initial beliefs making pain wrong and of a list of additional and supporting beliefs.
- From this comes various sensations, and a sense of drama and turmoil and various emotions, which themselves may be resisted as the pain is.
:: Pain not resisted
Resistance can fall away at different points of that chain…
l1. The resistance of the idea of I falls away
If the resistance falls away at its root, with the attachment of the idea of I, the sensation/emotions arise freely as awareness, as Big Mind, as Spirit. There is no resistance, no sense of drama. Just clarity and a sense of ease.
l2. The resistance of the story of pain falls away
If the resistance falls away at the story of the sensation/emotion, there is just a sensation or emotion arising, and a story arising, yet no connection between the two. Again, there is no drama. Just clarity and a sense of ease.
l3. The resistance of the story of pain is bad falls away
Here, the additional beliefs – making pain not me, bad, wrong and so on, falls away. Again, no drama, just clarity and ease (although maybe a little more precarious, because there may be a large number of stories making pain wrong).
l4. The resistance to the effects of the stories of I, pain, and pain is wrong falls away
The chain of events has gone all the way to the effects of the stories of I, pain, and pain is wrong, so there is a sense of drama and turmoil. But all is not lost: here, we can allow the resistance to these effects to fall away, to allow the effects unfold in awareness. I can ask myself, can I be with what I am experiencing right now?
The interesting thing here is that this in itself can unravel the previous chain, all the way back to the initial story of I. Simply being with an experience, initially labeled pain, can unravel the chain of the stories of pain is wrong, pain, and I.
How far back the chain unravels seems somewhat related to where our usual center of gravity is located, and how intense the experience is.
What could have been pain is now something different, and reveals clarity and bliss
In each of these cases, what could have been pain is now revealed as something different, and something that reveals clarity and quiet bliss and joy.
In the first two cases, it never arises as pain in the first place, just as one of the forms of Spirit or an experience. In the third case, it may appear as pain, but is OK and welcomed. In the fourth case, the chain is allowed to unravel – possibly all the way back to the story of I.
How do we allow resistance to fall away at each of those points of the chain?
The beliefs in the stories can unravel through The Work, the connection between sensations/emotions and stories can unravel through labeling practice, and the effects of the stories can allow to unfold through asking myself can I be with what I am experiencing right now?