The impulse to escape experience

 

Elaboration on an earlier inquiry:

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Basic dynamics

(a) When I believe I need to escape experience, I may be able to do so partially and for a while.

I may distract myself.

I may find tools and techniques that change my state and experience for a while.

But I cannot control experience. Experiences come and go. They live their own life.

I cannot control what I will experience when I wake up tomorrow, or next week, or even the next minute or second.

The specific experiences I try to avoid may still be there in the background, and they may surface again and be triggered again.

When I try to escape experience, I can only do so partially and temporarily.

(b) Also, believing that I need to change my experience is uncomfortable in itself.

I get myself into escape mode. I keep trying to run from what’s here.

And that is inherently uncomfortable.

(c) The basic story that it’s wrong fuels any number of other stories.

It’s elaborated on through a myriad other stories, and these stories fuel the discomfort.

One version of this is that this experience is wrong, which means that what triggers it is wrong.

I experience anger triggered by what someone did, so they are wrong, or I am wrong for letting it trigger anger in me.

(d) And the story it’s wrong rests on some basic assumptions about reality.

If this experience is wrong, it means that reality is wrong. Something is fundamentally wrong with reality.

Something is wrong with reality. Something is wrong with me. Something is wrong with God.

And that’s certainly inherently painful and uncomfortable.

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Pointers

Can I be with this experience?

Is it OK? Is this experience OK?

What happens if I allow this experience as it is?

How would it be if I couldn’t escape? If there were no escape?

Is it possible to escape this experience? What happens if I don’t?

Can I be with this experience, including the resistance?

Is it true this experience is not already allowed?

Is it true I am not already allowing it?

Is it true I am not already it?

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Essence

The belief that I need to change experience is suffering in itself.

It’s how I get myself to try to escape from experience.

It’s how I get myself to try to change experience.

It’s tied into telling myself certain experiences are bad or wrong.

It fuels any number of stories based on the basic it’s wrong story.

And it comes with inherent discomfort.

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Nuances

There is of course nothing wrong with practices, therapy, happiness exercises etc.

But as long as there is a belief there that I need to change experience, there is discomfort.

That belief is what keeps it all going. It keeps the cycle of trying to change experience going, and it’s inherent discomfort.

So it can be helpful to take a closer look at that impulse to change experience.

What’s the fears and beliefs behind it? What does the fear say?

What happens when I am caught up in these fears and beliefs?

What’s more true?

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Alignment

I *know* all of this already.

I saw this a long time ago, and during the initial awakening this was clear and easy to follow.

I was pulled into it meeting and noticing I was the experience without even trying.

Then, it all fell away.

And now, it seems I am working my way back into it.

I am learning about the ins and outs of rediscovering this.

And more than that, it seems that all the parts of me that don’t quite get this yet – the parts that were transcended during the initial awakening – now are invited to align with truth.

They are invited to see, feel and eventually appreciate this.

That may be an important purpose of the “dark night” in general, inviting the parts of me that initially were transcended to now “get” it, to align with the truth.

(Along with wearing off/seeing through remaining identifications.)

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Desire for clarity

The impulse to wish to escape experience can take many different forms, including the impulse for clarity.

This experience is wrong -> I need to change it -> I can change it through clarity -> clarity will save me/resolve the situation.

Good to notice.

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