Awakening and what’s left

 

Chogyam Trungpa and many other spiritual teachers have shocked, puzzled, and baffled their followers with their apparently unenlightened behavior. It may be drinking, drug use, frequent affairs, bullying behavior, abuse of their followers, and more.

In our culture, we tend to have an image of awakened people as perfect. And yet, they so often are not. Why is that?

To me, it doesn’t seem so puzzling. In a way, it’s to be expected.

There can be a relatively clear awakening, and yet a lot left to heal at the human level.

If the person is receptive and open about it, then it can become a very helpful part of their teaching. It also helps their students know what they are getting into, and it helps the teacher to work on it if they are ready to do so.

And sometimes, there can be some degree of defensiveness around it, both on the part of the teacher and his or her followers.

The teacher may try to live up to an image or expectations from others. Admitting ordinary human flaws and hangups may not fit this image.

They may feel they are above criticism. (And perhaps lash out if they perceive criticism.)

They may justify their behavior, for instance as crazy wisdom or that they are above conventional expectations.

And really, they are just scared to admit it and look at it, as we all sometimes are. And they use all sorts of tactics to avoid facing it for themselves.

This is pretty universal. We all avoid facing certain things in ourselves because it seems too scary, and we use different tactics to avoid it. And this continues to some extent whether there is an awakening or not, and whether we happen to be in a teacher position or not.

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Boomerang vs shadow

 

What’s the difference between the boomerang in Living Inquiries and the shadow?

The shadow refers to seeing in others what I don’t like and don’t fully acknowledge in myself. The other is a direct mirror. If I judge the other in words, I can turn those words around to myself and find specific examples of how that’s true.

The boomerang question is more open: What does the situation say about me? We are looking for an identity triggered by the situation, and there may be a range of identities triggered.

So for instance, someone in my household is not doing their dishes.

Shadow: She is sloppy -> I am sloppy. She is irresponsible -> I am irresponsible. For each, find at least three specific examples of how that’s as or more true than the initial statement.

Boomerang: What does it say about me? What identities get triggered in me? I am responsible. I am tidy. (Inflated selves.) I am a victim. (Of her messiness, a deficient self.)

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Awakening includes rude awakening

 

If you have a rude awakening, you have a severe shock when you discover the truth of a situation.

– from The Free Dictionary

An awakening process can be a rude awakening.

Some parts of the awakening process is what our personality likes. It aligns with what our personality likes and wants. For instance, an early and temporary transcendence gives us a taste of freedom from trauma, pain, and hurt.

Other parts may be more difficult for our personality. They can challenge or clash with habitual patterns our mind initially created to stay safe. These include but are not limited to:

Disillusionment. Awakening includes disillusionment and especially disillusionment about what awakening is and what “we” get out of it. We may hope for a state of eternal peace and bliss, and what it’s really about is awakening to and as that which already allows any experience and state, including sadness, anger, and pain.

Awakening to the shadow. Awakening means awakening to everything, including our own very human pain, trauma, and hurt. At some point, this comes to the surface with an invitation to question the unquestioned stories holding the hurt in place, feel the unfelt feelings and emotions, and love all of it as it is including any reactions we have towards it.

Most people have a lot of misconceptions about awakening or enlightenment. This is partly inevitable since awakening is a change of the context of our experience rather than a change within our experience, and most of us are only familiar with the latter until there is an initial opening or awakening. These misconceptions are also partly encouraged and perpetuated by some spiritual traditions and teachers, either for strategic reasons (which I happen to not agree with) or because they don’t know better.

It’s difficult to know in advance how much of the trauma is healed or cleared up by the initial awakening, or any practices we engage with before or after the initial awakening. It’s also difficult to know how much is there in the first place. A lot of it is “collective” trauma passed on through the generations and by our culture, and some may also be due to epigenetics. I was certainly surprised by the amount of pain and trauma that surfaced for me.

What do I mean when I say that awakening is a shift in the context of our experience? It’s because an awakening is an awakening to – and then as – what experience happens within and as. This is sometimes labeled awareness, presence, Spirit or something similar, although any label will make it seem more discrete and like an object than it is. Content of experience doesn’t have to change at all, although it often does as a side effect of this shift in context.

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Pitfalls of openings and awakenings

 

Here are some common pitfalls of openings and awakenings:

New identifications. With an opening or awakening, new identities may surface and the mind may identify with these for safety. These identities include but are not limited to awareness, oneness, spirit, free. These are just more thoughts that the mind identifies with, and it’s good to notice and inquire into these as soon as they arise.

Unprocessed material. With an opening or awakening, the lid may be taken off any unprocessed material. Anything that’s unfelt, unloved and unquestioned comes up to be felt, loved, and questioned. Any unfelt emotions or feelings surface to be felt. Any unloved parts of us or our experience (including our whole world) comes up to be loved. Any unquestioned stories surface to be questioned. This can lead to a version of the dark night of the soul.

Kundalini. With an opening or awakening, kundalini may activate. For some, this may lead to a kundalini overcharge. It may feel like high voltage is going through regular house wiring, and as if parts of us – and perhaps our brain – is fried. This can be prevented and reversed.

What do I mean with an opening or awakening? I mean that we realize what we are, or what we are realizes what it is. This is what the mind may call awareness, oneness, no separation, spirit (or even Buddha Mind, Brahman if it’s so inclined). This may be a glimpse, or it may be a more stable recognition. Often, there is a mix of this recognition and remaining identifications which partially obscure this recognition. We then live partially from noticing what we are, and partially from remaining identifications. This is very natural, and there is not really any problem here, but it’s good to be aware of and acknowledge, and also to have ways to work with these identifications.

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We are what we fear

 

In the classic cave scene from Star Wars: The Empire Strikes back, Luke Skywalker meets his nemesis and representative of the dark side, Darth Vader. After a brief sword fight, Luke decapitates Darth Vader, and sees his own face inside of Darth’s helmet.

Luke is what he fears the most. He is the dark side.

That’s how it is for all of us. We are what we fear. And that’s true in a few different ways.

It’s happening within and as what I am. It’s all happening within my world. It’s happening within and as (my) awareness. When it’s here, in awareness, it’s what I am.

The world is my mirror. Whatever I see “out there” in the wider world or someone else, is what I know from myself. Whatever stories I have about the world and other people, I can turn them around to myself, and find specific examples of how it’s true. (It may not look the same, or be expressed the same way, but that doesn’t mean I can’t find the same here as I have stories about in others.)

It pushes back. When I try to push something away in myself, and in the world, it tends to push back. It wants in. It wants to be acknowledged. Life is kinder than allowing me to reject something for good.

And why? Because life invites me to see what’s more real and true than my initial beliefs about it.

Life invites me to…. Recognize it as happening within and as what I am. Find in myself, as a human being, what I see in others and the wider world. Realize we are all in the same boat.

Life invites me to…. Meet it – the fear and what I fear – with respect, kindness, curiosity. Take a closer look and examine by beliefs about it, and how my perception of it is created by my own mind.

Life invites me to see that what I fear is not how it initially appears. (That doesn’t mean we become passive bystanders to injustice or cruelty, or approve of it. On the contrary. We are in a much better position to do something the more clear and mature we are in our relationship to it.)

How does it push back? We may find ourselves in situations where we encounter it again. We may replay a situation in our minds. We may have certain qualities or emotions surface in ourselves.

For instance, if I see anger as bad and try to push it away, I’ll still find myself in situations where people are angry, perhaps even at me. I’ll still replay memories of people being angry, or imagine someone being angry with me in the future. I’ll still experience anger, even if it’s pushed down and perhaps comes out as frustration or restlessness, or even feeling flat. It doesn’t go away.

P.S. I am aware that the usual interpretation(s) of the cave scene is slightly different. I imagine the more standard interpretation is that Luke has the potential to go over to the dark side, just as his father did. He has the anger. The impulsiveness. The restlessness. He is his father’s son, in that way. The cave experience is a warning, and also an invitation for him to recognize this in himself and take it seriously.

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The Lotus

 

The lotus has always had an important mystical meaning. Its roots are down in the slime and mud at the bottom of the lake and the flower unfolds on the surface of the water.

– Carl Jung, ETH, Page 113.

There are several ways of understanding this.

One is that our “roots” are in what’s hidden to us, and they feed and lead to what’s visible. That happens within content, where dynamics we are unaware of inform what’s visible. It also happens in that what we are – this no-thing that it all happens within and as – is the metaphorical “roots” of who we are, this form and human self.

In a more conventional sense, we can use difficulties (mud) to grow (flower). We can use challenging situations in life, or embracing and finding kindness towards inglorious sides of ourselves, to mature, be more fully human, find more empathy, be more real, find a more open heart, find resiliency and more.

And in another sense, we can explore the basic ideas of mud and flower. We may see that they are not as they initially seem.

For instance, I may find that the “mud” in me – perhaps anger, grief, confusion, tendency to isolate, neediness, hopelessness, arrogance – comes from a wish to protect the me, it comes from deep caring, it comes from love. The mud is perhaps really a flower. And the flowers, what I and perhaps others see as my “good qualities”, may turn to mud if I hold onto them and take them as too precious. They may create problems for me and others.

Also, when I look, can I find “mud” or “flower”? Can I find what I see these as referring to? Can I find it outside of words, images, sensations? Is it findable?

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Jim Button and Luke the Engine Driver

 

Simplified terribly, there are three ways of dealing with apparent evil:

(a) Let it have its way. Stay passive.

(b) Kill it off. Get rid of it.

(c) Treat it with respect and kindness, and contain it, prevent it from doing harm.

Most stories – whether fairy tales, mythology or contemporary movies, take the second approach. Some describe the first as a cautionary tale. And a few take the third approach, the more wise and mature (?) one.

One of the stories that take the third approach is Jim Button and Luke the Engine driver.

Instead of killing the evil dragon, as is described in so many other stories, they capture the dragon. They treat her with respect, contain her fury, and prevent her from doing harm. And she turns into a golden wisdom dragon. If they had let her have her way, or if they had killed her, she and they would never have benefited from her transformation.

For me, doing The Work and other forms of inquiry, and also holding satsang, doing ho’oponopono and tonglen, are all examples of capturing the dragon, treating it with respect and curiosity, prevent it from doing harm, and giving it space to transform into a golden wisdom dragon – if that’s what will happen.

It’s interesting to note that in western cultures (at least in western Europe), we generally take the third approach at the social level. We are, after all, civilized. And yet, when it comes to things in ourselves a thought may label “bad”, “undesirable”, or even “evil”, we are often trained to take the second approach. We try to get rid of it, or at least put a lid on it. That’s why simple processes such as The Work, holding satsang, and ho’oponopono may seem revolutionary. They are very simple and even natural ways of relating to what’s here in us, and yet they go against – to some extent – what we have been trained to do.

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Shadow material

 

Something more abstract about shadow material:

Any belief creates shadow. As soon as an image or thought is held as true, some things goes into the shadow, hidden (mostly or partly) from view.

(a) The validity of the reversals are in a shadow. I don’t see the validity in it’s reversals, and I don’t so easily find it in my own life. I don’t so easily acknowledge it, feel it, take it in.

(b) The reverse identities go into the shadow. Any image or thought comes with an identity, and when it’s taken as true it’s identified with. That means that the reverse identities are unfamiliar to me, I don’t so easily see how they too fit me and my life.

(c) The limited validity of all of these images, thoughts and identities goes into the shadow. The image or thought held as true appears more true than it really is, and its reversals appears less valid than they may be – if I am honest with myself.

Underlying beliefs – and their corresponding shadows – tend to be quite universal, shared by most people in a culture or perhaps by most humans in general.  Beliefs are transmitted by family, friends and culture. And they are also personal when they are adopted and taken as my own.

In a process of (a) consciously embracing and finding the wholeness of who we are, (b) what we are noticing and acknowledging itself, and/or (c) who we are aligning more with what we are, there is an invitation to see, feel and find love for these thoughts and images, the tendency to take them as true, and the innocence and love behind that tendency.

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David Whyte: Shadow

 

Even the most beneficial presence casts a shadow. Mythologically, having no shadow means being of another world, not being fully human. To live with our shadow is to understand how human beings live at a frontier between light and dark and to approach the central difficulty: that there is no possibility of a lighted perfection in this life; that the attempt to create it is often the attempt to be held unaccountable, to be the exception, to be the one who does not have to be present or participate, and therefore does not have to hurt or get hurt. To cast no shadow on others is to vacate the physical consequences of our appearance in the world. Shadow is a beautiful, inverse confirmation of our incarnation.

– David Whyte, from Readers’ Circle Essay, “Shadow”

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Shadow of a thought

 

I usually don’t use the words shadow or projection these days. And that’s perhaps a good reason to see what these words  would mean to me now.

For instance, shadow is usually defined as:

A dark area or shape produced by a body coming between rays of light and a surface. (Physical definition.)

In Jungian psychology, the shadow or “shadow aspect” may refer to (1) the entirety of the unconscious, i.e., everything of which a person is not fully conscious (2) an unconscious aspect of the personality which the conscious ego does not recognize in itself. Because one tends to reject or remain ignorant of the least desirable aspects of ones personality, the shadow is largely negative. There are, however, positive aspects which may also remain hidden in ones shadow (especially in people with low self esteem). (Wikipedia.)

For me right now, focusing mostly on The Work, I see that any thought – when taken as true – comes with it’s own shadow.

The shadow of a thought is, to put it simply, (a) the truth in the turnarounds of the thought, and recognizing (b) that it’s just a thought, an innocent question about the world, and has no absolute or final truth in it. This is what’s not recognized, especially at a felt level, when a thought is taken as true.

If I – in a certain situation – think that life is unfair and take that thought as true, then it’s shadow is examples of (a) how life is fair and (b) how I am unfair (in my thinking about life), and (c) that it’s a thought, an innocent question, and I honestly cannot know.

If I think that M. is caught up in conspiracy theories, and believe that thought, then the shadow is examples of (a) how M. is not caught up in conspiracy theories, (b) how I am caught up in conspiracy theories (about him, life), and (c) that it’s a thought, an assumption, a question, and that I don’t know.

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The dark side of the sacred

 

I came across a blog post called Holy Irreverence: A New Series Exploring the Dark Side of the Sacred by Vanessa Fischer.

It’s an interesting topic. What comes up for me around it?

Definitions of Sacred and light/dark

First, what do I think of as the Sacred? The Sacred for me is the same as life, reality, God.

And light and dark? Light and dark are not inherent in reality, they are only found in my thoughts about it. Since they are labels in my thoughts, what’s called light or dark is arbitrary and influenced by culture, tradition and personal experiences. (It’s arbitrary from a big picture, and yet often not experienced as arbitrary within a particular culture or tradition.)

Aspects of the Sacred

Then, when we talk about the “dark” side of the Sacred, what aspects of the Sacred may we refer to?

I find three: (a) The “dark” side of the Sacred (God, reality, life). (b) Approaches that address the “dark” sides of the Sacred (life, reality). (c) The “dark” sides of a Sacred process (awakening, maturing).

The dark sides of the Sacred as inquiry

A simple way of defining the dark side of the Sacred is to see it as the shadow of our typical images of the Sacred (reality, God) and a Sacred process (awakening, maturing, living from it). If I see God as good, can I also see the bad (what I label bad in my own mind) as part of the Sacred? If I see clarity as sacred and part of a sacred process, can I also include confusion? If what I see as desirable is included in my image of the Sacred, can I also include what I see as undesirable?

If I see something as sacred, can I see the rest as also sacred?

(a) The dark side of the Sacred. What’s my image of the Sacred or of God? What’s the reverse? If I make a list, can I find genuine and simple examples of how each one is equally part of the Sacred?

(b) Approaches addressing the dark side. Any approach to the Sacred worth it’s salt will have ways to address and work with the dark sides of life. Some may be of the first aid variety, making the process a bit easier in the moment. Others will go more to the core of the issue, and may even uproot any ideas of shadow or light, right or wrong, desirable and undesirable. Some of my favorites are tonglen and various forms of inquiry (the Big Mind process, sense field explorations, The Work).

(c) The dark side of the Sacred process. I am not even sure what to define as a sacred process. If it is a process of awakening and/or maturing, then it does have it’s “shadow” sides, which – when I examined it a little closer – turned out to be it’s bright sides! For me, these have included loss (of dreams especially), disillusionment, illness, and primal fears and beliefs surfacing so intensively that they cannot be ignored, pushed aside or sidestepped.

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Coming to clarity by way of delusion

 

The way to clarity is by way of delusion.
– Adyashanti, paraphrased

Here is a couple of ways this is true for me right now:

I find clarity by going through the shadow, by meeting (noticing I am) experience, inquire into beliefs, releasing tension/traumas out of the body etc.

And I sometimes find clarity by using delusion as stepping stones.

In a conventional way, I sometimes get caught up in a delusion which puts me on the course to more clarity. For instance, I may first meditate to change states, and through that realize the inherent discomfort in that impulse and allow the shift into allowing what is as it is. Or I may try to cultivate compassion, and then notice it’s already here – and available if it’s not covered up by the noise of believed stories.

In a more basic sense, any insight is a stepping stone for clarity. An insight serves to reorient, and is then another question and pointer for inquiry.

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Dream: Old graves

 

I am in an old town and Alder F. is going to lead a series of workshops. He has a plot, but it’s an old cemetery with just a few graves. He asks me to dig them up and remove the bones etc. so the space is usable. I am reluctant. My inclination is to clean up the appearance of the graves, place candles there, perhaps have a Christian ceremony since they are Christian graves.

I am now in a more residential area. A lively young woman lives in a house there, with her sister next door. She asks me if I can dig out and remove a few graves there so she can use the space for gatherings and events. Again, I am reluctant. I am partly concerned about what I’ll find, and partly don’t want to disturb the dead.

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The unembraced seeks embrace

 

The dark seeks the light. The unloved seeks love. The unseen seeks to be seen. The unfelt seeks to be felt.  The unappreciated seeks appreciation.

Last night after going to bed, a stream of shadow material surfaced again. Some it is was personal, and most of it was archetypal.

It’s easy for me to resist. To get up and have a cup of tea. To listen to a podcast. To go for a walk. To find someone to talk with in another time zone.

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The shadow – what is it?

 

I first started out with a longer post on the shadow, but it didn’t feel right so I will post it in shorter sections instead.

First, what is the shadow?

To put it simply, any belief creates it’s own shadow.

I take a story as true. Overlook what doesn’t fit that belief. What I overlook includes the truth in the reversals of that story and that I don’t know. And that becomes the shadow of that belief.

Why is it called a shadow? The light of awareness shines on the story itself, so whatever doesn’t fit falls in its shadow. It is in the dark for us, until we shine the light of awareness there too.

This way of looking at the shadow is simpler than the traditional one, and perhaps also more inclusive.

Whatever beliefs I have about myself creates a shadow. And whatever beliefs I have about others, life and God also creates a shadow.

I believe I shouldn’t be stupid, so exclude that from my conscious self-image, and that becomes a shadow for me. I believe another person is only noble and good, so whatever doesn’t fit that belief becomes a shadow for me in how I relate to that person. I believe life should be fair, and whatever doesn’t fit that idea becomes a shadow for me in how I relate to life.

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Two-way mirror

 

I keep coming back to this:

The world is my mirror, and it goes both ways.

1. What I see out there, is also here.

(a) The stories I have about the wider world, equally apply to me. Whatever qualities, characteristics and dynamics I see out there, in others and the wider world, are right here. I can find specific examples of this to ground it and make it more real for myself, and I can always find one more. Whatever story I have about someone else or the wider world, apply to me, and not only at times in the past, but right now in how I relate to the ones I have this story about.

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Fascination with the unpleasant

 

A quick look at the entertainment world – books, movies, songs, fairy tales, mythology – tells us that we are fascinated with the unpleasant.

Why is that? I can find several reasons for why I am drawn to it….

The most obvious is that these things (death, pain, cruelty etc.) are part of human life, and this is a way for me to get familiar with it in a safe way. I get to explore it without putting myself at risk. And I get to prepare for it should it happen to me or someone close to me. If or when something like it happens in real life, I am somewhat prepared.

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Wolf!

 

wolf

There is a pitifully small band of wolves in Norway, and still some folks are afraid and want them killed.

It seems so thoroughly idiotic. No human has been killed by wolves in recorded history. The few sheep that are killed are generously compensated for by the government.

And we chose and accept far greater risks all the time, for instance every time we use a car, or use toxic chemicals in our homes or in the yard, or allow bees and wasps in nature (a significant number dies each year from stings). Most obviously, we chose and accept far greater risks through how we organize ourselves as a society, in ways that are not aligned with ecological realities (ecological footprints way over what the Earth can support, economical models and policies that ignore embeddedness in ecosystems, huge gaps between rich and poor, and so on).

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The energy of others

 

It is quite common to hear people say they are sensitive to the energy of others. It may be especially noticeable – and sometimes uncomfortable – in close quarters with others over time, and if the others have relatively strong internal conflicts going on. I notice it mostly on the train or bus, and I know many others notice it – among other times – when giving bodywork.

There are lots of ways to work with this. Visualize a cocoon around oneself. Working on grounding. Visualize roots down the earth. Visualize clarity. Pray for the other and yourself. Visualize healing for both of you. And so on. All of these may work fine to some extent and for a while, but they won’t work completely or always because they are just alleviating the symptoms.

When I explore this for myself, I find that the discomfort I experience has one source, and that is my own beliefs about what is going on. Here too, I find that the discomfort I experience comes from friction between my stories of what should be and what is.

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Michael Jackson

 

michael-jackson-london-concerts

Some people and situations are especially good projection objects. They express qualities we are not in touch with in ourselves, characteristics outside of our conscious identity. So when we see it in others, it fascinates us. We may even be caught up in blind attractions and aversions to just those qualities, expressed in these people and situations.

Michael Jackson is a good example. His genius for music, dance, image and marketing gave him attention, and in itself made him a good project. Add eccentricity and scandals that never were resolved, and you have an irresistible and explosive mix.

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Whoever believes

 

Whoever believes that the All itself is deficient is (himself) completely deficient.
Gospel of Thomas, verse 67.

This can be seen as referring to projections.

What I see in the world says more about me than the world. In a conventional sense, it says a lot about me and little about the world. In a real sense, it says all about me and nothing about the world.

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What you do not bring forth

 

If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.
– Gospel of Thomas, verse 70.

Some simple ways of looking at this…

It can be seen as referring to the shadow. What we don’t bring into light from the shadow will destroy us. The parts of us excluded because they don’t fit our conscious self image is gold and will save us if it is recognized and owned, and will destroy us if it is not. We will be at its mercy.

It can be seen as referring to what we are. If we notice what we are, it will save us. If we don’t, it will destroy us. We will destroy ourselves through delusion, through taking stories as true.

And it can be seen as referring to living from what we are. If we notice what we are and live from it, it will save us. If we notice what we are, to some extent, and don’t live from it, it will destroy us. We are still caught up in beliefs and fears.

I certainly know both sides of each one of these through personal experience, even right now. We probably all do, if we notice.

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Shift

 

Something I keep noticing….

When I feel a need to defend against a story, it is because it doesn’t fit with stories – and their corresponding viewpoints and identities – that I take as true. It creates a sense of having to protect and defend certain viewpoints and identities. A sense of separation. Tension. Stress. Reactive emotions. Precariousness. Making some stories true and other false. Making others wrong and myself right. 

When I instead find the truth in the story and allow it to sink in, there is a shift. I find specific examples of how it is true. I take time to feel it. I find appreciation for it. And there is a shift into a sense of fullness. Coming home. Receptivity. Curiosity. Connection. Deep relaxation. No need to defend stories. A sense of shared humanity, of all of us in the same boat. 

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I am somebody who…

 

Here is a shadow-quickie.

I notice an aversion/attraction to somebody/thing in daily life, find the specific quality that brings it up, and then tell myself:

I am somebody who …

I am somebody who is a loser. I am somebody who is loud. I am somebody who is inconsiderate. I am somebody who is insane. I am somebody who is ugly. I am somebody who is angry. (Aversions.) I am somebody who has elegance. I am somebody who is smart. I am somebody who is clear. I am somebody who is friendly. (Attractions.)

I find at least three specific examples of how it is true in my own life. Times when I lived those qualities.

And I then take time to feel it. To let it sink in, get a bodily felt sense of being somebody who has those qualities. Taking time to allow my self image to reorganize to include this too, in a real and genuine way.

If I need to, I can do the same with the reversals of those qualities. In that way, I find both here now, and there is a freedom from both.

This simple practice probably works best if I have experience with projection work already, for instance from The Work.

The effects are often quite noticeable. From being caught up in aversions and attractions, and not immediately finding it in myself, there is a shift.

The world becomes a mirror, what is out there is also right here now. Tension melts. A sense of separation melts. There is a sense of fullness and wholeness. A sense of coming home. Of being complete here now. Spaciousness in all directions. I experience myself differently.

And then appreciation for those qualities, because they so clearly are part of the wholeness of who I am. Recognizing them here now, and feeling them here now, is the gateway into finding that wholeness. There is an allowing of them, an appreciation for them, a kindness towards the qualities and those expressing them (all of us including myself), even a love for them.

So I see these qualities right here, through specific examples of how they are expressed in my life. I take time to feel them here now, allowing my self-image to reorganize to include them. And from here, there is a sense of wholeness and gratitude for the qualities and the process.

Wholeness

 

I can find wholeness as who and what I am.

As who I am, this human self, I can find wholeness by noticing here what I see in the wider world. I can see, feel into and eventually find appreciation for it, whatever it is. The world is my mirror.

And when what I am notices itself, I find that there is already a wholeness there. It is that which all happens within and as.

To the extent I find the first form of wholeness, there is less neediness, less looking for something to complete me, less being caught up in attractions and aversions. This is an ongoing process before and within what I am noticing itself.

Life as is invites such a reorganization, it invites us to grow up. And when what I am notices itself, the invitation is even more pronounced.

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