Brief notes on healing and awakening and occasional personal things XXI

This is one in a series of posts with brief notes on healing, awakening, and personal things. These are more spontaneous and less comprehensive than the regular articles. Some may be a little rantish. And some may be made into a regular article in time.

BLAME VS DEEPER UNDERSTANDING

If we believe the thoughts passed on to us from our culture, we may go into blame – of others, life, ourselves.

And if we have a deeper understanding, we know that blame is a sidetrack and we may even have compassion with ourselves and others.

So what is this deeper understanding?

It has several facets, and here are a few.

A major one comes from knowing from ourselves what we see in others. I have done that too. I have reacted to my own stress and pain in ways that’s been unwise and painful to others. I have acted on my fears in ways I wish I hadn’t. We are in the same boat.

We are responsible for our own actions, and yet each of our choices and actions have innumerable causes. It comes from our culture, family, ancestors, biology, and much more. Our actions are, in a very real sense, the local actions of the whole of existence. When I see my own and others actions, I can have compassion knowing they have innumerable causes outside of the person. And, for my own health and sanity, I still need to take responsibility for my own actions.

If I feel a need to blame someone, I am – most likely – reacting to my own pain. I am trying to reduce my own stress, pain, or fear by blaming someone else. It doesn’t really work.

Any assumptions I have about the other are just that, assumptions. Through inquiry, I may find that I don’t know, the reasons may be far more innocent, and that I am just like what I see in the other.

“I AM GOD”

When I lived in Oregon, a message in the local permaculture group came through saying “I am God”. Someone had apparently had an awakening of sorts, or at least a glimpse, and interpreted it as “I am God”.

It’s not wrong. It’s literally true, in a sense.

To me, it seems far more accurate to say that everything and everyone is God and that what I am is God. And perhaps that we are the local eyes, ears, thoughts, and feelings of the universe (Carl Sagan).

Why this distinction? Because saying “I am God” can easily be interpreted by the mind to mean “this sense of separate self is God” which is an unhealthy delusion. Yes, it’s one of a myriad of manifestations of the divine. It’s the divine locally and temporarily taking itself to be a separate self. And yet, that’s it. Any sense of separate self comes from a temporary and local delusion. A game.

So it’s safer and more accurate to say “everyone and everything is God”, and “even a temporary and local sense of being a separate self is the play of the divine”.

SCIENCE OF NATURE, SCIENCE OF MIND

To me, science of nature and science of mind go hand-in-hand. After all, they are two ways of exploring aspects of the same reality.

How do we explore the mind? Through conventional western science, and also through our own explorations.

Many of the approaches and orientations are the same for both. We need sincerity. Thoroughness. Testing out things to see what happens. Noticing patterns. Curiosity. Seeing we don’t know anything for certain. A willingness to shift our approach and interpretation if something else makes more sense. And so on.

THE DOWNSIDE OF THE IDEAS OF SOUL MATES, TWIN FLAMES ETC.

I have never felt particularly drawn to the ideas of soul mates, twin flames and so on.

Why?

Because they don’t seem necessary. They seem like an unnecessary overlay of ideas on life and something that’s far more mysterious, rich, and fluid.

They can create unnecessary constraints, expectations, and influences on a relationship. Why not allow it to evolve more fluidly without this overlay of ideas and expectations?

And also because they can create stress and unhelpful behavior.

So to me, these ideas seem unnecessary, constraining, and potentially quite stressful.

THEISM AND PARENTS

This one is pretty obvious and pointed out by many:

If we have an image of God as a person, we tend to see this image as a parent. (And that may happen no matter what type of image we have for God or the divine.)

Our relationship with our real-life parents may and will influence how we see and relate to God.

And we may use God as a replacement for our real-life parents. We may try to get something from God that we didn’t get from our real-life parents.

This is all understandable, and none of it is wrong. But it is good to be aware of it.

WE ARE MULTITUDES

When Walt Whitman said I am multitudes, he spoke for all of us.

In what way are we multitudes?

As a human being, have innumerable parts and subpersonalities. Anything I can put a name on, I can find in myself and dialog with.

As a human being, what I see in others and the wider world – and even in fiction – all reflects something in me. Whatever words I use to describe something outside of myself also fits for me, and I can discover this if I am sincere and look for concrete examples.

As what I am, I am as rich as the world as it appears to me. To me, the world happens within and as what I am. I am, quite literally, the world as it appears to me.

As what I am, I am infinitely more rich than the world as it appears to me. The world always appears in new ways to me, so there is an infinite capacity for richness.

As what I am, I am no-thing that something – everything – happens within and as. I am what allows for the richness of the whole world as it appears to me and I am this richness.

RECEPTIVTY TO FEEDBACK

An inquiry facilitator I indirectly know recently wrote a post on social media mentioning that several of her clients felt uncomfortable with her frequent swearing and crudeness. The essence of the post was “I am enlightened and can do what I want, and those people don’t get it”.

This seems a bit misguided. If one person gives you feedback, it’s worth taking it seriously. And even more so if several give you similar feedback.

Also, if you take on the role of inquiry facilitator, your job is to be of service and do what works best for your clients. If swearing and appearing crude doesn’t work for your clients, then taking that feedback seriously – and making appropriate changes – takes priority over your own personal preference. Last time I checked, swearing and crudeness were by no means essential for inquiry.

What’s happening here may that she satisfies one side of herself through swearing and crudeness, and this takes priority for her over being a helpful facilitator. It may also be that she has ideas about being “enlightened” and that it justifies this type of behavior.

COMFORTABLE WITH DISCOMFORT

This is one of the keys to healing and awakening, and life in general.

How can we be more comfortable with discomfort?

It’s not about machismo or pushing ourselves.

It’s about finding comfort with it. It’s about noticing, allowing, and befriending the discomfort. It’s about noticing it’s already allowed and that we are that which already allows it. It’s about discovering, befriending, and finding a resolution for the issues we have around it. It’s about discovering and seeing through the beliefs we have about it. It’s about noticing what’s really going and finding the discomfort as who and what we are.

Mainly, it’s about befriending the fear we have about discomfort. And finding ourselves as that which it happens within and as.

Why is this useful?

EXPERIENCE OF TIME

Our experience of time is largely influenced by the mental overlay we have and how invested we are in it. This means that our experience of time will, inevitably, change over time and be somewhat different between people.

For me, these days….

I notice how ideas about the past and future, and the specific content of the past and the future, happen within my mental field here and now. (Unless there is a charge on specific mental images, which makes it seem a bit more real until I look at it a little closer.)

Past events seem simultaneously like yesterday and infinitely far in the past.

Last night, my sleep was deep and nourishing. It felt like it went by in the blink of an eye, and at the same time, it felt like my mind was doing a thousand year’s worth of processing. (Perhaps because I am currently in a two-day Vortex Healing class.)

My memory of many things in the past seem to be fading. I am not sure if this is because of CFS and brain fog, or because it doesn’t seem important to remember it so my mind lets it go. (Also, as there is less charge on memories, the mind tends to hold onto it less.)

ONENESS HEALING?

I wrote a couple of posts where I used the term “oneness healing”. What does oneness healing mean? Isn’t everything oneness?

Yes, it’s actually a poor name so I may not use it very much.

That said, here are some things that can be called oneness healing:

The main thing is that it happens within noticing all as oneness. And that, in itself, can mean many things.

It can mean working from the idea that all is one. Or the memory of having noticed it at some point.

It can mean working from the context of noticing all as happening within and as what we are. And that working can look many different ways.

For me, when I have used the term here, I have used it to refer to: (a) Noticing all – including what we do healing for – as happening within and as what I am. And (b) inviting what I am doing healing for to wake up to itself as it is. (AKA inviting the divine to wake up to itself as what I do healing for.) And noticing all of this – the object of healing, me as a “channel”, the divine doing the work etc. – as happening within and as what I am.

RELATIONSHIPS

As many of us are aware of, relationships can be a great catalyst for healing and awakening.

If we are open to it, relationships can show us what’s left to work on.

Relationships help us see where we can develop better skills, where we can find more clarity, where we still have hangups and emotional issues, how we relate to our own hangups and fears, and so on.

It shows us where we can communicate better, and that better communication with the other goes hand in hand with better communication with ourselves – awareness and insight into what’s going on with ourselves.

It shows us what we are resistant to seeing and working on in ourselves. As we find more trust and love for what’s here, change our relationship to our fear (from apparently enemy to befriending), and get more familiar with the dynamic of resistance=pain and working on it=relief, it becomes easier and more habitual to notice resistance and then take it as a reminder to work on whatever comes up in us.

RELATIONSHIPS AND FEAR OF LOSS / ALONENESS

Many of us have a fear of loss and being alone, and that colors and impacts our relationships.

For instance, we may – in subtle and less subtle ways – act out of fear in order to maintain the relationship. We may subtly manipulate. We may not be fully honest. We may abandon our own inner guidance and what’s important to us. And all of this creates stress for ourselves and in the relationship.

So one of the universals it’s helpful to work on in ourselves is just this: fear of loss and fear, fear of abandonment, fear of being alone, and any related issues.

To the extent we have found peace with these fears in ourselves, we can be more fully ourselves in the relationship and more authentic, and this strengthens a good relationship. (And may lead to the end of relationships that are less of a good fit for us.)

“WE ARE HERE TO AWAKEN FROM THE ILLUSION OF SEPARATENESS”?

We are here to awaken from the illusion of separateness.

– Thich Nhat Hanh

This is one of those apparent feel-good quotes that I don’t resonate with so much.

First, is it true? Obviously not. In the case of the wast majority of humans, life – or the divine – apparently wants to experience separation. The one wants to experience itself as separate, locally and for a little while.

Second, is it helpful? Not really. When I imagine that I take that statement as true, I experience a lot of pressure and stress. It easily becomes just another “should”.

THE VIEW OF THE WHOLE VS PART

As a society and culture, we can say that we have one general view and orientation as a whole, and yet there is a lot of variations within this.

And that’s similar to how it is to us as individuals. We may have a conscious view and orientation to ourselves and the world, and we have many parts that have their own views and orientations. And to the extent these are wounded and exiled, they tend to be different from the global view.

At some point in our healing process, continued healing often consist of allowing these parts of us to join in with our more healthy global view. (And also adjust this global view as we discover more and learn from these parts.)

And at some point in our awakening process, it’s the same. The continued awakening consists of allowing more parts of us to join in with the awakening. Parts of us still stuck in separation consciousness are seen, felt, loved, recognized as the divine and love, and invited to wake up and join in the general global awakening.

DECEMBER 5, 2020

A MORE DIRECT WAY OF WORKING WITH DREAMS

Just before waking up this morning, I had a dream where I felt lost. Lost in life. Aimless. I don’t experience it very much in daily life, but it does sometimes show up in my dreams.

There are several ways to work with dreams. We can use some form of dream interpretation. We can dialog with the figures and elements in the dream. We can use active imagination. And so on. This can give us some insights that we can take to heart and bring with us in our daily life.

Each of these can be interesting and even helpful. Although I often prefer to directly work on any issue(s) presented in the dream.

In this case, it’s feeling lost. After waking up, I explored it using a simplified version of Living Inquiries. (Isolating out the physical sensations and the mental images and words, spending some time with each, and noticing how the mind brings the two together to create an experience for itself of being lost.) And I then explored it using Vortex Healing. The first I noticed here is how it’s connected to fear and dread in the belly.

Of course, this approach of working directly with the issue(s) presented in the dream requires that we have some effective and direct tools. Any of the ways of working with dreams requires some skills, and in this case, skills in working with issues.

Note: As I explored the feeling of being lost, I noticed that this issue seems to go back to childhood, to a feeling of not understanding the adult world and feeling a bit lost and confused. I still don’t really understand the adult world, but now I know it’s because humans operate as much – and sometimes more – from conditioning and issues as they (we) do from sanity and clarity.

EXPLORING BOTH SIDES OF THE POLARITIES

We humans often like to imagine one quality in ourselves and the opposite in someone else. It can be apparently comfortable in that it can help us maintain an imagined identity, but it’s not accurate and not helpful if we want to find more of our wholeness and find some resolution to emotional issues.

For instance, one polarity is that of victim and victimizer. We may identify with the victim side of the polarity and work on that, and imagine that the victimizer mostly or always is “out there” in the world – as a person or situation or even life itself.

And yet, if we want to find real peace around the issue, we need to find both in ourselves.

It helps to see that my experience of the world – of this human self and the wider world – all happens within and as what I am.

It helps to see that any images and ideas I have about myself and others – including the labels of victim and victimizer – happens within my mental field. These stories don’t exist inherently in the world. They all come from my own mental field overlay.

And it helps to find how I fit whatever I associate with each end of the polarity, in this case victim and victimizer. I can find a specific situation where I identified as a victim, and then find specific examples of how I also was the victimizer. Perhaps I victimized someone else, at least in my mind? Perhaps I can find how I victimized myself, how I made myself into a victim in that situation? (Perhaps by not standing up to myself, or just by labeling myself as a victim and feeding that identity.)

Whatever approach I use – whether it’s inquiry, dialog, Vortex Healing or something else – I can explore and work on each end of the polarity, one at a time and then the polarity as a whole.

DECEMBER 6, 2020

WHAT IS LOVE?

What is human love? As with so much, it’s both simple and complex.

The simple version is that human love is a mix of what we are – Big Mind, Big Hear, Love, and who we are – this human self with all its wild messiness and complexities.

We are love. Love for all of existence. Our world happens within and as what we are, and that’s love right there. We may not notice it. It may be covered up by our human conditioning, wounds, neediness, and more. And it’s still what we are, it shines through our human messiness, and it shines through more clearly in some of our relationships, in some areas of life, and in some situations.

As the old Greeks said, there are different types human love – the love of a parent for a child, a child for their parents, the love between friends, the love between lovers, the love of passion, the love for God, the love of God for us (which also happens within and as us), and so on.

And as mentioned above, human love is often mixed up with our human messiness, and our human messiness is sometimes called love. We may feel unlovable. We may desperately want and seek love. We may seek safety in relationships. We may seek comfort. We may seek predictability. Human relationships are modeled by our parents and we, to some extent, internalize the dynamics of their relationships. We are influenced by our mammalian biology and the need for safety, community, and procreation. We are programmed by our culture. And so on and so on. The list is endless.

None of this is wrong. It’s all natural and human. Our relationships are inevitably a mix of all of this and all of who and what we are.

And if we take it that way, our relationships are an amazing opportunity to get to know ourselves, heal, mature, and even awaken. (Although they can also be an opportunity to reinforce and deepen our hangups, wounds, and habitual coping strategies.)

STAYING HEALTHY IN OLD AGE

How do we stay healthy in old age?

And how does unhealthy aging happen?

Since my teens, I have seen unhealthy aging as a product of lifestyle and not addressing emotional issues and conditioning.

An unhealthy and physically inactive lifestyle obviously leads to a lot of accumulated problems over the years. Anyone who eats a poor diet, is physically inactive, and so on, will have problems over time. It’s not inherent in aging, but it is inherent in a lifestyle lived over time.

And not addressing emotional issues and conditioning does the same. If we live with emotional issues over long periods of time, it will obviously impact our life dramatically. It leads to physical and psychological rigidity which, in turn, leads to a smaller life and possibly even a downward spiral in our physical and psychological health.

So how do we stay healthy in old age? The obvious guidelines is keeping a generally good diet (one that works for our body and the climate and place where we live), staying physically active (including yoga, tai chi and so on), and taking care of our health in general. The other side of it is addressing our emotional issues and traumas in whatever ways work for us.

REDUCING THE DENSITY AND WEIGHT OF AN ISSUE

When I work on an emotional issue in myself or someone else, I often have a dual aim.

First, to help shift our relationship with the issue, for instance through insights, clarity, compassion, and heart-centered practices.

Then, to reduce the density or weight of an issue, for instance through Vortex Healing, inquiry, or therapeutic trembling. This helps us have a different and more conscious relationship with it, and it makes it easier to see it as an issue (an object) and be less identified with (or as) it.

It’s typically an incremental process. We chip away at it. It shifts little by little. And, at some point, the issue becomes more manageable and we find more peace with it. It doesn’t necessarily need to go away completely, although it can if we keep working on it. Sometimes, it’s OK to just leave it when it’s manageable and focus on other remaining and bigger issues.

LOVE ADDICTION

We can use just about anything to distract ourselves from uncomfortable sensations and (really) what the mind tells us they mean, and we can use a wide range of things to fill perceived holes or deficiencies in us. This means we can get addicted to just about anything. Including love.

If we feel fundamentally unloved or unlovable – through experiences early in life – we may later in life compulsively seek to feel loved and lovable through love from another human being. (We may also seek love from a non-human being or the divine.)

As with other compulsions and addictions, it comes with costs, and the particular costs depends on how we go about fulfilling our compulsion.

So what can we do about it? The first is to recognize and acknowledge what’s going on, and also take a sober look at the (perceived) benefits and costs.

DECEMBER 7, 2020

TERROR & KARMA (?)

The main Vortex Healing teacher talked about karma, and how the karma of inducing terror in others in the past may be to experience terror now.

I don’t know if that’s accurate or not. Somehow, it seems a bit too simplistic to me.

But if it is accurate, it does shed interesting light on my experience some years ago. Following a shift or deepening in awakening, I had nine months of intense terror and dread come up. I was mostly unable to sleep or function, and I couldn’t understand where it came from. The most obvious would be some trauma in this life, and perhaps a lot of fear that had been suppressed over time. But it didn’t seem to explain the intensity and duration of what came up. It felt completely overwhelming and unbearable, and even after the intensity lessened somewhat, it still went on for years after. At the same time, several have told me that they sense several past lives for me where I was a warrior, and that’s my sense too. So if instilling dread in others may lead to the karma of experiencing terror and dread now, that may explain it. The dread and terror I experienced may reflect the dread and terror I instilled in others in past lives as a warrior.

Who knows. It doesn’t really matter since working on it now takes the same form no matter what.

And any ideas of images I have about past lives reflect something in me now. The past is not about the past. Our images and stories about the past – or future – are here now, and they reflect what’s here now.

DECEMBER 11, 2020

WAYS TO SEE REBIRTH

Rebirth is an interesting topic to me, partly because of the question of rebirth itself, but mostly for what it says about us.

We can take a scientific approach to rebirth, as some do. We can study cases where people seem to have memories from past lives, and sometimes even check with historical information. Leslie Kean explores this, among other topics, in her book Surviving Death.

We can look at what a belief in rebirth does to individuals and subcultures and even cultures. What effects does it have? What effects do different understandings or takes on rebirth have? This is a more sociological approach.

We can also look at how we view and take the idea of rebirth.

Do we blindly reject the possibility because it doesn’t fit our worldview? If so, it comes from reactivity and isn’t very scientific.

Do we accept its existence just because it’s part of some worldviews and some talk about it as if it’s real? If so, why do we want to think it’s true and real? What do we get out of it? Can we know for certain? How would it be to hold the idea of it more lightly? How would it be to acknowledge that we don’t know for certain?

How do we hold specific images and stories about what could be own past lives? Do we accept these as true? Can we know for certain? How would it be to hold them more lightly and as a gentle question?

How do we use images and stories about what could be our own past lives? Do we use them to feel special? Do we use them as a way to open our minds to something beyond the mere physical? Do we use them as a mirror for what’s in us here and now? Do we use them to identify and work on emotional issues?

So how do I fit into all of this? I completely support a scientific investigation into the possibility of rebirth. I am completely open to the existence of rebirth, and also that it’s not that way and that something else is going on.

I recognize that any specific ideas and stories about possible own past lives happen within my own mental field. I cannot know if they are actually true, in a literal sense, or not. They mirror what’s in me here and now. Mainly, I use them to identify current emotional issues and work on them.

December 15, 2020

CHILDHOOD MEMORY: THWARTING DESTINY

[made into regular article]

CHILDHOOD MEMORY: AWARE I EXIST

[made into regular article]

LOTR: HOW DUALISTIC STORIES CAN BE HELPFUL ALSO WITHIN NONDUALITY

I started re-watching Lord of the Rings and was reminded of a few things.

The story obviously comes from a quite simplistic dualistic view on good and evil.

At the same time, as with any story – and especially one with a lot of archetypes – it reflects me. It mirrors what’s in me here and now, and I can use it to explore these dynamics in me. How do they play out? Where and what are the wounds? How do I relate to these wounds? How and when do I get caught up in them (and “evil”)? How and when am I able to relate to them more consciously and act more from clarity (“good”)? What do I find when I explore the wounds? How can I relate to them more consciously? How can I invite in healing for them (and make it a little easier for myself)?

In this way, even stories reflecting dualistic views can be very helpful whether or not our conscious view aligns with the dualistic view of the story.

DECEMBER 20, 2020

SENSATIONS THROUGH MY WHOLE BEING

When I got into – started exploring – tantric sex in my teens, I read about the difference between local and global/whole-body orgasms. For me, it was a surprise that not everyone experience them as global.

The way I experience anything – sensations, taste, smell and so on – is through my whole body and being.

Why is that? Perhaps it has to do with noticing ourselves as consciousness, or – more accurately – consciousness noticing all its experiences as happening within itself. Any experience happens within oneness. It’s both local and global. Any sensation happens in a particular location, and it also happens as what we are and throughout what we are.

DECEMBER 22, 2020

INTERNALIZING THE DYNAMICS BETWEEN OUR PARENTS

When we work on our own healing and maturing, there is one specific dynamic that’s central and that’s the dynamic between our parents. In addition to the usual ways it happens within us, it’s something we often have internalized. We have the dynamic between our parents within us, and it often colors our life in more ways than we initially notice.

I have explored my own internalized “inter-parental” dynamic more lately and notice how it has colored just about all areas of my life through my life.

How have I gone about that process? I have looked at the dynamic between my parents, the role they each (typically) play, what beliefs may be behind it, what childhood traumas and circumstances may have incubated these patterns, and so on. I have then looked at the same in me, how I have acted from it in situations in my own life, and how and when I treat myself as they relate to each other.

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