Inquiry: I need to stay alive

I need to stay alive.

  1. True?
    Yes. I can find where it feels true. I can find stories saying it is true. I can find others agreeing. I can find where in me it is taken as true.
  2. Sure it is true?
    No. An opinion only.
  3. What happens when I hold onto that story as true?
    • I experience panic and dread when I realize I – this human self – will die. Something feels wrong. Off.
    • I have images of the different ways I may die. Soon. Later in life. Peacefully. In terror. Dramatically. Painfully. With others around me at peace or not. Alone. In misery.
    • I fear I may die soon. I think of others I have heard about dying at my age or earlier. I realize it can happen at any time.
    • There is fear. Fear is uncomfortable so I try to push it away. I go into stories as an escape, including the stories and images above.
    • When I believe that story, dying becomes wrong. When I think of dying, fear comes up, and since that fear belongs to and comes from something I take as wrong, I try to push that experience away as well. I am in struggle. War with my own mind. My mind is i battle with itself.
    • What do I hope to get out of holding onto that story? I hope to prevent dying, or at least dying soon. I get a sense of taking care of myself.
    • What do I actually get out of it? Struggle. Distress. Sense of doom.
    • When did I first have that thought? Not sure. Most likely absorbed from others as a child.
  4. Who would I be without it?
    • Open. Receptive. Curious.
    • Living my life from curiosity. Interest. Interest in how this life is right now. Interest in experiences. Interest in this human life. And curiosity about death as well. Innocent curiosity about when, where, how, what.
  5. Turnarounds.
    • I don’t need to stay alive.
      • Right. It is not really up to me. I just do as well as I can, and I leave death up to existence. I can take care of my piece of it.
      • The deal is that for the gift of life, I pay with death. The whole universe is set up that way, and I wouldn’t want it otherwise. From death comes new life.
    • I need to die.
      • Yes. This human self needs to die. Everything has its lifespan – galaxies, solar systems, planets, ecosystems, spieces, individual beings. It all comes and goes as guests. One is born from the death of the other.
      • I need to die in my imagination and find what is more honest for me around it than my initial belief.
      • I die all the time. Continiously, in a very real and tangible way. The past me only exists in my imagination, as an image, a memory. All experience dies continiously. I can notice it is already that way, and it is already very familiar.
    • My thinking needs to stay alive.
      • When that initial story is taken as true, that is what happens. My thinking tells itself I need to stay alive. That is where it happens.
      • Also, when a story is taken as true, my thinking deadens. It tries to make itself dull, dead, rigid. When I find what is more honest for myself around it, the thinking comes alive in a different way. Stories happen without being taken as truth.
    • My thinking needs to die.
      • Yes, as above. My thinking needs to go to death and find what is more true than the initial story.
      • I can notice how thoughts die continiously. As all experience, thoughts die as soon as they are born. And not even that. There is only what is here now, including images of past thoughts and experiences.

Trigger: Listening to Michael Dowd talking about having cancer on his and Connie’s podcast.

Also, remembering the voice that came up several times a few months back saying “you will not be around much longer”. (The quiet and factual voice that seems to be correct whenever it comes up.) It was correct in that I would not be around in Oregon much longer, although I didn’t know it at the time. But there is more to it. The time before I left Oregon felt like preparing for death, and it was at the very least the death of a phase of my life. Since then, there has been a sense of my experience narrowing into what is here now with an absence of future. Not (only) in the usual sense of noticing that it is all happening here now, including imaginations about the future, but in a more literal sense.

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