Dialog with suffering

 

I play a vital role in his life. I can give him what he most wants. I can give him a more and more open heart and mind and a deep connection with himself, other beings, and the world.

I can help him deeply heal. I can help him deeply awaken. I can help him deeply embody whatever clarity, wisdom, and love is available to him.

A dialog with suffering.

Hello, am I speaking with suffering?

Yes, you are.

How do people treat you?

Most treat me as an outcast. As something to get rid of. They numb themselves from me. They distract themselves from me. They struggle with me. They try to get rid of me. They try to transcend me. They try to transform me. Some even try to define me out of existence.

How is that for you?

How would it be for you? I am not that different from you. It doesn’t feel good. I often feel unloved. Unappreciated. Misunderstood. Abandoned. Abused. Mistreated.

How does P. treat you? (P. is the person these voices are within.)

It’s mixed. He sometimes does all of the above. And sometimes he is much better with me and seeks to understand me and listen to me. I like that.

How can P. appreciate you more?

Thank you for asking. Not many ask that question.

He can listen to me. Hear what I have to say. Ask what I would like from him. And also feel the physical sensations of me. Allow them to be when they are here.

What would you like from him?

To take me seriously. Realize I am here to protect him. My purpose is to help him. He doesn’t have to run away. He doesn’t have to get rid of me or transcend or transform me. When he meets me, he may discover that I am not as scary as he sometimes assumes.

Let me be as I am. Listen to what I have to say. Feel my sensations. That’s really all I ask.

Do you suffer?

That’s a tricky question. No I don’t. I am suffering but I don’t suffer. But when P. ignores me and tries to make me go away, I do – in a sense – suffer. And that suffering gets his attention even more. That extra suffering his the sign for him to notice how he relates to me. That extra suffering comes from how he relates to me. It’s not inherent in who or how I am.

Do you need to go away?

No. I am here for him. I can help him in many ways. I have many gifts for him, if he just sees.

What gifts do you have for him?

He wrote about it in the previous article. He already knows the essence. He just needs to allow it to sink in and live more from it.

I help him take a closer look at the situation he is in and how he relates to his own thoughts and fears.

And if he is receptive, I help him…. become more deeply human. Find deeper empathy with himself and others and the world. Find deeper understanding with others. See that all beings are in the same boat. Motivate him to change the situation he is in. Motivate him to change the situation others are in. Motivate him for deep personal transformation. Motivate him for being a part of deep social and cultural transformation.

I play a vital role in his life. I can give him what he most wants. I can give him a more and more open heart and mind and a deep connection with himself, other beings, and the world.

I can help him deeply heal. I can help him deeply awaken. I can help him deeply embody whatever clarity, wisdom, and love is here for him.

That sounds amazing. I notice I love you now. Why don’t more people see this?

I don’t know. I suspect it’s part of the culture. People tell themselves and others that I am terrible. They tell themselves and others I need to be avoided or gotten rid of. They hypnotize themselves with these stories.

A few do understand some or all of this. Often people who have suffered a lot and used it to grow, heal, mature, and perhaps used me for creating beautiful art or as an engine for social change.

Thank you for being here. Thank you for being part of humans’ lives. Thank you for being part of P.’s life. I love you. And I am sorry for how you have been treated by so many.

Thank you. That means a lot to me. I love you too. I have always loved you and all beings. I am here because of that love.

I love you.

I love you too. Always have. Always will. Whether you see it or not.


When I initially wrote this dialog, I focused on the human side of suffering. That’s fine. But I did leave out something in the bigger picture. And although I have written about it in other articles, I thought I would include it here too.

For all its value, suffering has an exit door. And suffering functions as an exit door for us taking ourselves to be a separate self or something particular within our content of experience.


Can I speak with Big Mind?

Yes, I am here.

How do you see suffering?

What suffering said is accurate although a bit limited. Yes, suffering can help humans in many ways. It’s often a part of being human and if they have a somewhat open heart and mind, it can help them deepen into their humanity and their compassion for all life.

And yet, there is another crucial way suffering can help humans.

Suffering shows them their struggle. Suffering comes when the mind struggles with what is. When it is caught up in a ”should“ saying what is should be different than it is.

Suffering shows them that they struggle and where they struggle, and motivates them to examine this struggle.

It shows them where their mind is still caught in beliefs and identifications, and where they are blind to a thought being a thought.

Suffering invites them to recognize and get to know this dynamic, and question their thoughts and find what’s already more true for them.

It invites them to awaken out of the trance of holding thoughts as true and for what they are – me – to awaken to itself.

I said this from the perspective of humans being somewhat distinct from me, since that’s how most humans perceive it and may help them understand it a little better. But it’s not completely accurate.

Said more accurately, I temporarily and locally take myself to be a human being and holding thoughts as true. This creates suffering. The suffering invites me – while taking myself to be a suffering separate self – to examine suffering and the causes of suffering. And this helps me wake up out of the temporary trance of taking thoughts as true and to myself as what I am.

Dialog with someone who has lived innumerable lives in many places in the cosmos

 

Living for as many lives as I have, I have over time arrived at many of the same insights that many spiritual teachers and traditions talk about. For me, it’s through experience and living ordinary lives. I haven’t been terribly interested in spirituality in itself, except for at rare occasions. But I realize that a lot of what I know – in my fibers and bones and through my being – fits much of what spiritual traditions talk about.

– a quote from this dialog

This is one in a series of imagined dialogs with people who have lived for eons. This dialog is with someone who has lived innumerable lives in many places in the cosmos and – through a glitch? – happens to remember it all.

THE DIALOG

First, I am curious about the several lives. Does it mean you remember the life between lives?

Yes, although it doesn’t matter so much here. If you don’t remember it yourself, what I say will just become ideas. And if you do, I don’t need to say much about it.

Okay. How is it to have lived many lives in many different places of the cosmos?

I am very grateful for having that experience. It’s enormously enriching to live lives through the filters of different beings – and their senses, bodies, perceptions, culture and more – and their world.

What have you learned that many with one life haven’t?

Mostly, to know that we all live from our own conditioning. Everything about us makes sense in the light of our conditioning – from our bodies, environment, culture, and individual experiences.

Because of all the lives I have had, I am less inclined to judge. The tendency to judge has worn off in me over time. I know how it is to live in so many different circumstances, and I know how so much in us flows from our conditioning.

I have a deep empathy with different beings. I know we all just want to live and be free from suffering – and love and be loved. There is something very beautiful in this. It’s also heartbreaking because I know how universal suffering is and how common it is for beings to not feel fully loved and to not fully love themselves.

These sounds like insights from spirituality?

Living for as many lives as I have, I have over time arrived at many of the same insights that many spiritual teachers and traditions talk about. For me, it’s through experience and living ordinary lives. I haven’t been terribly interested in spirituality in itself, except for at rare occasions. But I realize that a lot of what I know – in my fibers and bones and through my being – fits much of what spiritual traditions talk about.

You mentioned empathy with others. What about awakening?

Well, that’s a big word. For me, it’s more simple and down-to-earth.

Through having lived as many lives I have, I notice that all sorts of experiences and states come and go. I have experienced millennia of mostly “ordinary” states with times of profound despair, mind-shattering pain, and amazing bliss. I have noticed that what I am is that which all this happens within and as. Experiences come and go and what I am doesn’t come and go. Of course, I am whatever state is here but it doesn’t last. Only being capacity for all of it runs through it all.

If you want to call that awakening, be my guest. But it’s really very simple. It doesn’t require fancy words, or rituals, or mythology, or even labels.

What do most people not get?

Hm, from my perspective, many things.

They don’t get how precious and amazing life is. Even a troubled life, even a mundane life, is amazing and precious beyond words.

They don’t get that the way they treat others is the way they treat themselves. Love your neighbor for your own sake. It’s good for everyone.

They don’t get the importance of a long and big perspective. Of course, most people get by with a more narrow and shorter perspective. But a long and big perspective enriches life enormously. And for you folks today, it’s essential for your survival. It’s the only way humans can and will survive. And life is showing you just that.

They don’t get that all experiences enrich life. They are not your enemies. Trying to run away from your experiences only creates an added layer of suffering. In reality, it’s the only real suffering.

Of course, most don’t get that what we are is capacity for all and any of our experiences. We are the experiences which come and go. And we are capacity for all of it.

How can we mimic your process and discover this for ourselves?

Well, that’s not my speciality. But it does seem that some things helps people to find this for themselves. It’s definitely possible to people to find this for themselves, and many do – to some extent.

The main thing is curiosity and sincerity. Explore and see what you find. Don’t take your own or others assumptions for granted. Be willing to leave your most basic assumptions about yourself and life. Get close to your experience.

I feel like this is a trick question since a lot of what you write about on this website does exactly that! Is that what you want me to say? I see through you. And of course, yes, the tools you write about here can be very helpful for people, especially if used with curiosity and sincerity.

Yes, I guess that’s why I asked the question. Although I write about these things exactly because these tools can help us find what someone like you have discovered. It helps us discover what someone who has lived for eons tends to naturally discover through lived experience.

Yes, I agree. For me, it comes through lived experience and mostly free form ideology or pointers or shoulds or trying to live up to anything. And for many humans, it’s often more of a mix of genuine lived experience and insights – and some ideologies and shoulds.

What can we do to make it more from lived experience?

You are asking difficult questions. As I said, this is not my speciality.

Get close to your own experience. Be curious about it. Take it seriously. Make use of pointers and use them to discover for yourself. Set aside shoulds and how people say something is. Live your life and pay attention to what’s happening.

Do you have any advice for P. (this interviewer)?

Yes. You already know all this. You even trust it. But there is some hesitation in you. You can trust it even more. You can sink into it. Lean into it. Rest into and as it. It’s what you are. Live it. It can help you to remember me and lean into what I am.

Thank you! I appreciate this interview and especially your advice at the end.

Thank you. I enjoyed this conversation. I don’t think about these things so often so it was fun. And I wish you all the best in your life. As I said, you already know and are all of this. Lean into it a bit more and it will help you a lot. (And if you don’t, that’s completely fine too.)

Dialog with heart ache / survival fear

 

I have been exploring something over the last few days. It’s in my heart area, and it feels like a combination of issues – primal survival fear, longing, heart ache and so on. It has come up a few times in my life, when I am faced with a loss of something important to me.

I thought I would do a little dialog with it to get to know it better.

Hello.

Hi. Can you help me? I am suffering.

Yes, I want to help you. How can I help?

Be with me. Help me feel safe. I don’t want to be left alone, that’s what I fear the most. Please be here with me.

Yes, I can be with you. I am with you now. And I want to be with you if or when you come in the future.

Thank you. I don’t know if I can trust you since you have abandoned me before. When I come, you get terrified and try to run away from me or get rid of me. It feels terrible. You have treated me terribly.

I am so sorry. I didn’t know what I was doing. I feel sad about how I have behaved and how I have abandoned you. I want to be different. I know how important it is for both of us.

OK. Just be with me now and we’ll see what happens.

How are you? I want to get to know you more.

Right now, I feel much more relaxed. I know you are sincere now. You are with me. You even love me. I know it. I can feel it. And it helps me relax. I feel softer.

How are you when I run away?

I feel desperate. It’s the most horrible feeling possible. I feel abandoned. Unloved. Alone. Scared. I want and need your attention and I’ll do anything to get it. I make myself bigger and louder and impossible to ignore.

Yes, I know. I also really don’t like it when it happens. I guess we share that. And I feel I am beginning to understand you more. I am actually glad you make yourself bigger and louder. I understand where it comes from. I understand you need me in that moment, and I instead run away.

Yes, all I want is your presence. That you are here with me. That you don’t abandon me. That you give me a sense of safety, and maybe even of being loved and understood.

What do you need the most from me?

Just that. Be here with me. Be present with me. Allow me to be as I am. And, if it’s possible, understand me, love me. I need to feel safe. Understood. Loved. That way, I can relax.

I love you.

I love you too. When you are here for me.

Can I speak with Big Heart?

Yes. I am here.

How do you see this situation?

I see you wanting to be in a good and nurturing relationship with this part of you, although you are not always able to. And I see this part of you desperately needing you to be there for it.

I am always here and always love you and whatever comes up for you. Both you – whatever you take yourself to be, and this part of you, are always loved. It’s just that you don’t always notice or remember. And that’s OK. That’s how human life is.

Can you help me and this part of me?

Yes, although it’s really you who need to do it. I am always here.

One thing you can do is remind yourself that what you feel is a flavor of the divine. It isn’t and never was anything else. It helps you to notice.

Another thing you can do is open for me and invite me in. I already love this part of you and what it needs is love. Allow it to absorb this love.

When that happens, it’s easier for you – and it – to notice that it already is this love. It is me. All of this – you, it, your relationship – is me. When that’s more thoroughly clear to you, there is a deeper healing.

Thank you. I love you.

I love you too. I always did. I always do. You are loved. And you are love.

Dialog with one who has lived eons and has a mystic streak

 

In my case, I find a more down-to-earth and pragmatic language helpful. There are already a lot of amazing mystic poets out there. And people are hungry for not only that but also the more pragmatic.

– quote from this dialog

This is part of a series of imagined dialogs with people who have lived eons. This time, it’s a dialog with someone with a strong mystic streak.

After writing this, I felt that the many eons perspective didn’t show up very much. I suspect it’s because mystics tend to perceive and live as if they have lived for eons anyway.

THE DIALOG

How do you see spirituality?

That’s a very broad question. I’ll have to split it up.

What I consider authentic spirituality is about life and reality. It’s about exploring and finding who and what we are, and live more consciously from and as it. It’s by necessity nondual since reality is one. It’s about finding ourselves as that which all already is.

In a more concrete sense, it’s about finding ourselves as that which all our experience happens within and as.

People have a lot of different ideas about spirituality. Some are closer to reality, in a conventional sense, and some are more imaginative. They can serve as pointer for our own exploration, and they can also serve as mirages we get fixated on.

It goes almost without saying that conventional religions and spiritual traditions often deal with a mix of mirages interspersed with some glimmers of real realization. Those who get it a bit more, who get it from own experience, are found both outside and inside of traditions.

If they are inside of traditions, they often tone it down so it fits the tradition more. A real awakening goes outside of convention and tradition, but it can be expressed so it fits it more. Or it can be expressed more freely and then it only partially overlaps with tradition.

In the bigger picture, it’s all lila, the play of the divine.

We can say is all the divine exploring itself, and sometimes locally and temporarily takes itself as a separate being. This is what we see in most Earth beings, including most humans. It’s part of the game.

You sound a lot like P.? (This interviewer)

Well, yes. You are dialoging with a part of him. And this is pretty basic and universal stuff. Of course, it takes on the flavor of the person who speaks the words. It’s a little limited, but that too is part of the game.

Also, he is quiet and a bit somber right now so he doesn’t feel like going to the effort of going outside familiar ways of taking about this.

What’s something many people don’t get about spirituality?

That’s also a broad question. Some don’t get that is OK to not be awake. It’s perfectly fine. It’s natural. It’s the divine expressing, exploring, and experiencing itself that way, locally and temporarily.

Others don’t get that they can have a taste or glimpse of what this is about in relatively easy ways, for instance through the big mind process and headless experiments.

Some don’t get that what this is about is something very ordinary. It’s this ordinary experience, just with the “context” waking up to itself. What our ordinary experience happens within and as notices itself. All of the components are completely ordinary and familiar to us, is just the noticing that shifts, along with what we take ourselves to – more fundamentally — be.

Can you say something about healing vs awakening?

For most people who seek awakening, there is an element of wanting to escape pain and suffering. And that’s easier addressed by seeking healing. A wise approach is to use tools that invite in healing and awakening. Like inquiry and heart-centered practices.

And embodiment vs awakening?

Give at least as much attention to embodiment as awakening. Most people can embody a lot more of the kindness and wisdom in them than they do.

Continued a while later….

What about nature spirituality or nature mysticism?

Yes, I love nature spirituality and mysticism. Spirit is as much nature – and everything physical – as anything else. The divine takes the form of you and I and everyone and nature and the rocks and stars. Nothing is left out.

How would you live if all is the divine?

It changes everything. And the beauty of it is that although nature mysticism can be seen as a step towards a more clear awakening, it can also very easily exist within this more clear awakening and enrich our lives and the lives of others.

You use a very down-to-earth language? I thought mystics used a more effervescent and poetic language?

Yes, that’s the image! But it doesn’t have to be that way. It depends on the personality of the person it comes through, the phase we are in, and also what the function of the words are and the audience.

In my case, I find a more down-to-earth and pragmatic language helpful. There are already a lot of amazing mystic poets out there. And people are hungry for not only that but also the more pragmatic.

What do you think about other mystics?

Well, it’s a very varied group. I love how some of them express it. Especially the ones who are more clear, heartfelt, embodied, and pragmatic. (I know that’s a tall order.)

I also appreciate the rest even if there are more obvious – to me! – filters. They too are in the awakening and embodiment process. They filter based on their own conditioning as we all do. They see themselves and not so much the world as it is – as we all do. They connect with some people and not others – as we all do.

How has all of this changed for you over the eons?

It took some eons to get here. It’s an ongoing clarification and deepening. Mainly, I have a more sober approach now. In the beginning, everything was very exciting. And now, it’s still alive and fresh but in a more sober way. It’s more and more a part of me. It’s more and more what I live and live from. More and more, I see it’s about being a sane human being. It’s simple and at the same time infinitely complex.

Thanks you

Thank you!


Note: I had initially decided to not post this since there isn’t much new here and the “many eons” dimension didn’t show up very much. I suspect the problem is partly with the interviewer! And maybe more importantly, mystics live as if they have lived for eons anyway. I re-found this article some months later and decided to publish it now even if it’s not as interesting or surprising as I had hoped.

Dialog with the beast

 

A dialog with my inner beast.

I would like to get to know you better. Is that OK? Can I ask you a few questions?

B: sure

What food would you like to eat?

B: Not so different from what P already eats. But more strict more of the time. More strict in following what’s good for the body and mind. More hardcore. And enjoying it. Finding the fun in it. (As P did in his 20s and 30s.)

What music do you enjoy?

B: Again, not so different. But more free in the choice, and more extremes — weird music from around the world, more intense music. Again, as P did in his teens, 20s, 30s.

How do you see P?

B: He is scared, timid. He got scared from what happened in the last ten years. He is afraid of everything right now, including me and living from me more again as he used to. He is afraid to get burnt.

Do you have advice for him?

B: Yes. Quit being so timid. Enjoy life again. Dive into it again. You may get burnt again, and so what? You’ll survive. It’s part of life. Choosing timidity is no life.

How can he do that?

B: Start in daily life. Do things that you used to enjoy a lot but set aside because you are scared and afraid to trigger the buried pain in yourself. Watch challenging movies. Read about what you are passionate about. Listen to deeply moving and spiritual music. Connect with the people you really want to connect with, and not just the “easy” ones. Be more open about your passions instead of pretending to be “normal” and inoffensive.

I get the sense that you, as the beast, cover the whole range of human experiences?

B: Yes, sure. I am part of him and he does, as all humans do. I just want him to be honest, direct, authentic, follow his passions. Whether it’s listening to Rammstein or Arvo Pärt. Or eating organic local vegetarian food or the occasional juicy beef. Or reading graphic novels about ghosts or Adyshanti, Jes Bertelsen, or Christian mysticism. Or enjoying sensuality and passionate sex or prayer and meditation. It’s all part of his life. He knows he deeply enjoys all of it.

Do you have advice for him when it comes to his health?

B: Keep doing what you are doing when it comes to taking care of your health (diet, sleep, fresh air), doing healing work (Vortex Healing, parts work, prayer, inquiry), and planning to spend more time in better climates (warmer, drier, fresh organic food). Also, bring more of me into your life again. Find the joy again of living more from me. Allow yourself to risk getting hurt again. (I promise you you will, and that’s completely ok, it’s part of the game). Follow your actual interests and what makes you be who you want to be. Don’t sell yourself short. (By spending time with the “easy” people instead of the interesting ones, by watching easy things on internet instead of the juicy things that deeply feed you, by avoiding reading what’s deeply interesting to you, by not doing art and making music.)

He is scared of doing art and making music, yes?

B: Yes, he feels it puts him in touch with the deep passion in him and the pain he experienced when he left his inner guidance on the big life decision many years ago. He is afraid of the pain that’s there from leaving his guidance in the past. So now he lives a timid life. One where he doesn’t follow his deep passion and the deep passion he experiences when he does art and composes music.

What advice do you have for him on that topic?

B: Dive into the pain. That’s the only way to do it. You created the pain so you get to experience it. It’s actually not that bad when you dive into it. I’ll be there with you. It’s the only way for you to come alive again. It’s your path to life and living again, and in a much better way than before. You have grown a lot.

He left you?

B: Yes, he left me partially and enough to extinguish his inner fire. He left me when the pain of leaving his inner guidance was too much for him.

It’s that part of his illness? (CFS)

B: I don’t know but I think so. I give him strength, passion, and what he needs to be authentic and follow his guidance. I give him the strength to follow his inner guidance. All of that will help him get back on his feet again, and more than that live a full, fiery and deeply meaningful life. One that has an impact on others too and helps them live a fuller, meaningful and juicy life, and the life that happens when you follow your inner guidance.

Should he post this?

B: He has to decide. Yes, because he wants to be more authentic in his writing and what he posts. No, if it makes him feel he did too much and feels too scared and vulnerable. (It won’t but it’s good for him to embrace me more while also taking care of himself and follow his guidance.)

Anything else you would like him to know?

B: I am here for him. I won’t go away. He just needs to access me and live more from me. I have no interest in being the only part of him he lives from, but I am essential for him to live a more real, fierce, and alive life. I am essential for him to live as he wants to live. To live aligned with his knowing, truth, and authenticity.

You seem to be aligned with truth?

B: I don’t know. I want him to be aligned with his truth, and I am essential for him to live from it. He can’t be timid and still live from truth. He has to be able to access fierceness when that’s needed.

Read More

Dialog with the body

 
We often have an unintentional dialog with our body, so why not make it more intentional? I can ask it questions. I can ask it how I have related to it. I can ask how it would like me to relate to it. I can ask what it would like me to know. I can apologize for how I have treated it. I can share what I wish from it. I share that what’s happening is not a life-and-death matter and it’s allowed to relax. And much more, all in the context of kindness. This can be very healing, and it can change my relationship with my body. In addition, it can be helpful to explore how my mind creates my experience of my body. I can do this through inquiry, for instance the Living Inquiries. For instance:

Body, how does P. relate to you? He likes me most of the time. He appreciated me. He also struggles with me when I don’t do what he wants from me. He struggles when (he thinks) I create fatigue and brain fog.

How would you like him to relate to you? Continue to feed me good food. Go for walks. Get fresh air. Do what you enjoy. Find love for me, as I am. I am doing my best.

What advice do you have for him? Find some patience with me. Continue to explore how his mind creates his experience of me. Continue to find genuine love for me. Enjoy.

Body, can you do something for me? Yes, what? Can you shift into full health? Into an intention of full health? I will do my part, as much as I can. Yes. Remember, it’s a partnership. I am following your cues.

On the last topic, I have found that when I have asked for healing and health, there is a shift in orientation and into a more clear intention. I may also be more aware of what in me fears healing and full health, and can explore that. And I may find something or someone who can support my health. It may not seem like much, having dialogues like this. And yet, something shifts. I feel more aligned with my body, and on the same side. I see it’s always there for me. I see how it’s taking cues from me, from my intentional and unintentional orientation. And with so much I write about here, these dialogues are very natural and almost effortless. They happen anyway, so why not make them more intentional? Read More