Living Inquiry terminology

There are certain words I rarely use in the Living Inquiry context, even if they are part of the “official” terminology.

Unfindable and overcompensation are two of them. (See another post about the “unfindable” terminology and what I prefer instead.)

Overcompensation refers to when we get scared in inquiry and go into thoughts as a way to cope. We may analyze, go into stories, talk about something else, talk a lot more than needed for the inquiry, and so on. And it’s all because we get close to something “hot” in the inquiry, something that our mind tells itself is scary.

It’s completely normal. Understandable. Universal. (We all do it.)

It’s even healthy. It’s a protection against re-traumatizing ourselves. In most situations in life it’s a good and useful protection.

And in inquiry, we can gently enter that territory through (a) gaining trust in the process and the facilitator, (b) see that what initially appears scary is actually OK to look at, (c) look at the perceived threat in entering a particular area, and more.

I am slightly confused about the term “overcompensation”. What are we compensating for? It may mean that we compensate for a deficient self by going into stories. (Although that may not always be the reason we go into stories for safety.) And what means it to over-compensate? Who decides where the boundary is between compensating and overcompensating? It’s a confusing term to me and there seems to be simpler and clearer ways to talk about it.

For instance, when I or someone else goes into stories to avoid feeling something or looking at something, I tend to say that we scare ourselves, are afraid of entering a certain area, go into stories, go into intellectualizing or rationalizing, try to find safety in stories, or something similar. That seems simpler and more accurate.


Initial notes…..

  • certain words I don’t use – unfindable, overcompensation
  • unfindable -> explore how our mind creates its experience of X, soften/release the charge
  • overcompensation – doesn’t make sense, misleading, inaccurate, may also seem a bit judgmental
  • instead, afraid, more accurate (could use “overwhelmed” but usually it’s about fear….)

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