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 made into a regular article in time.
WILLPOWER VS CLARITY
When we want to do something we have resistance towards, we can rely on willpower or clarity.
We can train willpower, as just about anything else. We can get used to override resistance, fear, and so on. And it works to some extent but not always. It’s also tiring, and a fight against ourselves.
The other option is to find clarity about what’s happening in us. If there is resistance, it usually comes from fear. What’s that fear? What are the fearful beliefs? What are the emotional wounds connected with it? What happens when I examine those beliefs and find what’s true for me? What happens if I invite in healing for those emotional wounds?
The first option may be attractive since our culture may tell us it’s the way forward, and it’s also a kind of shortcut. And we may not know any other way.
On the other hand, finding clarity opens up for more ease and less struggle. What we wanted to do may become far more effortless. Although we do need guidance or know how to do it on our own. Sometimes, the resolution can come relatively fast. Other times, it may take more time and work. And if we keep exploring it, we’ll notice shifts along the way.
JUNE 6, 2021
I am organizing a gathering, and set up tables and so on. Several people are there, and I especially feel a connection with one woman.
That’s about it. There are some streaming curtains, music, food, perhaps a band, some are dancing. The seed for this scene may be the dance scene in Back to the Future which I rewatched the night before.
THE BOUNDARY BETWEEN PSYCHOLOGY AND SPIRITUALITY
Some may see psychology and spirituality as fundamentally different. Psychology is pragmatic and typically can be tested, and spirituality is about some other world.
To me, they are facets of the same and sometimes only the label differentiates.
They are both about exploring who and what we are, and many approaches do both: Inquiry, heart-centered practices, inner dialog, and so on.
ISOLATION, SOLITARY RETREAT & BASIC MEDITATION
As many others, I have been relatively isolated during most of the pandemic, and this has helped me notice how grounding ordinary activities are – going to the store, spending time with friends, going for a walk, traveling, going to exhibits and concerts, and so on. It reminds me I am a human being, it provides focus and enjoyment, and it helps put things in perspective.
When we are isolated and less grounded in daily activities, it seems that unprocessed material is more present in our experience. It may not come up more than it usually does, but the absence of distractions and life-in-the-world grounding allows it to take up more space. It’s less easy to avoid.
I imagine that’s one of the functions of solitary retreats. It allows unprocessed material to surface, be seen, met, loved, and perhaps understood.
This is also one of the functions of basic meditation. We sit or lie down, and our main activity is to notice and allow what’s here. This too allows unprocessed material to surface, be witnessed, and over time find healing.
JUNE 7, 2021
DREAM: TRAIN TO BERGEN
I am at the (old) Oslo train station, about to take a train to Bergen with a group of people. It seems it’s for some kind of conference. Three men had disappeared (literally into thin air) and then came back. On my way to the train, all the buttons on the sleeves of my coat fall off and it takes a while to collect them all, partly because someone helping me with it wants to talk with me. I miss the train, and my other option is to take a train the next day or possibly take a bus.
I only remember fragments of this dream.
JUNE 8, 2021
DREAM: IN THREE PARTS
Scene 1: I at the corner store. It’s different from and more interesting than it is in waking life. Seems it’s the first day it’s open after holidays or perhaps a pandemic lock-down. Several people are there and enjoy being out. I talk with several.
Scene 2: I see a viral video of an amazing feat. A woman supports a man so he gains leverage to get over an impossibly tall fence with elegance, simplicity, and ease. It’s a playful and creative parkour move that nobody had seen or thought of before. I recognize both from Breema, and then meet and talk with the woman (Sarah F.). She says a few words about the video, and says he mostly does parkour and extreme endurance running now. As she talks, she draws an amazingly beautiful 3D map showing where he runs.
Scene 3: I am at the cabin. Two large roundish objects float in the water and move quite fast. The smaller dark one moves ahead of a larger white one, and there are several people on top of the white. They are enjoying themselves.
In all three scenes, people are playful, creative, and at ease. They are enjoying themselves. I am also enjoying it, although I am slightly an observer.
I watched a parkour video the night before this dream, news stories of people enjoying themselves outside in the summer, and talk with my partner about her going on a hiking trip in Utah. Because of the pandemic and energy level, I have been mostly inside or by the house for a few weeks, so I feel a bit like an observer, and it’s a reminder of what I would like to do. It also brings up an issue of loneliness that I have, which is not terribly strong.
MOVIE: ONLY YESTERDAY
I just watched Isao Takahata’s Only Yesterday which I enjoyed. It’s a quiet and quietly moving story about a young city woman going to the countryside on vacation while having memory flashes from when she was in fifth grade.
There are always many ways to look at stories. One way to look at this one is that she was somewhat unable to move forward in life – she had an unfulfilling job, didn’t like city life so much, had no partner, and so on. She processed a lot of experiences from childhood. And at the end of the movie took a major step to move forward in her life, perhaps because she had processed these childhood experiences, wounds, and dreams. She was no longer stuck in them, and the process had given her a new perspective and reminded her of her real priorities in life.
JUNE 9, 2021
GRACE & GRIT
I have loved Ken Wilber’s general approach since I was in my teen and read myself through the psychology, philosophy, and alternative sections of the largest bookstore in Norway. (The Tanum bookstore on Karl Johan Street in Oslo is now sadly gone.)
These days, there is a movie based on his book Grace and Grit, which is about his relationship with his wife, and her death a relatively short while after they met. I read this book when I was around twenty, and found it a moving and sad story, especially considering it’s from his own life.
That aside, I remember also noticing that there were quite a lot of projections and fantasies in that book. On the one hand, that fuels and enhances the sense of awe and magic over meeting someone you resonate with. And on the other hand, it fuels and enhances the experience of pain and suffering when the relationship ends.
I understand that projections inevitably happen in any relationship. It’s one of the psychological functions of a relationship, and it’s one of the great gifts of a relationship when we recognize and work with it. If I wrote about one of my relationships, I would probably include the projections and what I found when I explored it in myself. (At that time too, in my teens and early twenties, I intentionally worked with projections in this way.)
So I was surprised that he included so many apparently unprocessed projections and fantasies in the book. It’s still what I remember the most from the book. For instance, I remember major projections in how he describes the relationship, and also in how he describes how some New Agey types responded to her illness.
I assume he did this intentionally in order to get the projections out so he could see them and then work on them more thoroughly. I assume this may be a part of the movie as well.
And a part of me is not sure if he did it intentionally. For instance, he does seem to like his apparently unprocessed “green level bogeyman” projections.
Some nondual folks say that finding meaning comes from the ego. When we discover what we are, it falls away.
In understand where they are coming from, but there is a bigger picture.
It’s true that finding meaning in a conventional sense may lose its charge. This is all happening within and as what we are, and any idea of meaning comes from thoughts.
At the same time, we are also a human being in the world. And as a human being in the world, it is important to have some meaningful activities.
It’s not one or the other. We are who we are, as a human being, and we are what we are, as capacity for the world.
If we think it’s one or the other, it’s mostly likely because it comes from just that – thoughts.
JUNE 12, 2021
I go into Odd Nerdrum’s current studio. He is there, painting. He sees me, and talks to me as if he is continuing a conversation we are in the middle of. He talks to me as an equal, and we have an interesting conversation. I feel remorse for having left that life and my own art. Seeing him again reminds me of the contrast between what I lived then and what I live now.
The contrast is passion and living a deeply meaningful and engaged life, and resting and doing just about nothing due to illness (perhaps as a consequence of life choices that brought me away from my passion and that life). When I sink into this now, I see that all I can do is give my life over to the divine.
DIALOG WITH O.N.
Dialog with O.N. as mature, wise, kind.
What would you do if you wound yourself in my situation?
I would find meaning in daily life. Do what creates sparks in me. Follow the small sparks, intuition, passions. Allow it to build. Allow it to grow over time.
I would do whatever I can for my health. I would be fully committed to what I know works for me.
I would be fully committed to myself. To what I know. To my intuition and guidance.
I would be fully on my side. On the side of what’s good for me. I would be fierce in being on my own side.
I would know that I don’t know. I cannot know anything about this life story and how it looks in the bigger picture.
WHAT DOES KILL YOU MAKES YOU….?
What doesn’t kill you makes you…. harder? traumatized? more resilient?
I have a feeling that when people say “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”, most mean it as a joke. And if they don’t, they talk about hardening up – creating a touch image and use that to push down emotions and “weak” thoughts.
When we go through difficult experiences, what does it do with us? It all depends on how we meet the situation. It depends on how we are able to meet the situation based on our past experiences, how generally safe and loved we feel, and whatever other inner and outer resources we have.
We may adapt in ways that brings up chronic anger, fear, frozenness, or even collapse.
We may adapt through cynicism, blame, shame, victimhood, and so on.
In the best case, we make use of it to deepen our humanity and resilience, whether we are able to do this as it happens or some time after.
June 13, 2021
I am in Madeira (or Malta?), in some kind of institution. I meet regularly with a team of 6-7 people, and I am the only patient in those situations. They are kind to me and there to help me, but don’t seem to do much. I am not aware of any particular therapy or rehabilitation program. I am also not aware of exactly why I am there and nobody tells me much. My memory is not good. My brain feels numb and is not working well. My room is number 10, in a quiet wing of the building complex. I forget and get a bit lost, but then find it again.
The seeds of this dream may be reading about Madeira the night before, and my brain feeling numb from the CFS. I have especially strong brain fog these days, and the dream reflects that experience. The people on the team are kind but I don’t know exactly what’s going on, and I don’t receive any treatment or rehabilitation. It was a slightly unsettling dream, but it’s also slightly unsettling to feel my brain numb as I do these days.
I am exploring energetically how to work with it, but haven’t found any clear solution or path. Perhaps the team in the dream reflects just that.
Update: I received energetic work for my brain while I was sleeping, using Bioelectric Currents from Vortex Healing. Knowing this, I wonder if the dream reflects a kind of preliminary phase of the healing of my brain. A phase where energy may be building up for a future shift. That fits the sense of the dream.
A TANTRUM IS AN EXPRESSION OF PAIN
This is pretty obvious but worth mentioning.
Any tantrum is an expression of pain. It’s a reaction to pain, a way to deal with pain, and it’s also a way to communicate pain.
Any time we go into reactivity, it’s a way to deal with and communicate the pain we are experiencing.
We may say or do things we don’t really mean and normally wouldn’t. And we may also go into anger, sadness, hopelessness, and so on that seems out of proportion to the situation.
All of this is a way to communicate and deal with our own pain, and it helps to be aware of this dynamic. It can help us have a little more understanding for ourselves and others, and perhaps find another way to communicate our pain (“I feel…”) and another way to relate to it.
WHEN OUR EMOTIONAL ISSUES BECOME THEIR OWN GUARDIANS
When I work with clients and myself, I often see how our issues become their own guardian.
If we have a victim issue, we may feel a victim of this issue and that may prevent us from actively and thoroughly work on it.
If we have an issue around hopelessness, we may feel hopeless about working on it.
If the issue is expressed as arrogance, we may feel we know more than others so we are less receptive to learning and help.
If we have an issue around anger, we may get angry at whomever is trying to help us with it.
And so on. When we work on an emotional issue, the issue itself may create a hindrance for us, but only until we notice and address it. These trolls also burst in the daylight.
I sometimes hear people talk about having resolved issues, or that issues coming up are “on their way out” meaning that the issue is leaving.
When I hear this, I often ask myself “how can you know”?
I may work on an issue, and it’s no longer active and I may be unable to trigger it again. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s resolved or healed. It just means it’s not here right now.
And the same with whatever comes up. How can we know it is “on its way out”? It’s coming up, and it may come up again.
To me, this seems like wishful thinking. I find it more helpful to keep an open mind about all this and speak about what I can speak about.
JUNE 21, 2021
Some folks talk about “downloads”. They download information and insights.
The downfall here is that it gives the impression that the information and insights come from somewhere else. They must be true since they were “downloaded”.
In reality, our insights and views are our own. They are created by our own mental field. They help us navigate in the world. They are pointers at most. They reflect our culture and psychology. They say more about us than the world. And they do not hold any final or absolute truth.
JUNE 23, 2021
When I have minor annoyances, I find it helpful to look at the bigger picture.
If my neighbor is making noise, I can remind myself of what allows me to have that (slightly annoying) experience. I am alive. I am at home. I have a home. I have a house to live in. I am in a place where the weather is nice enough so I want to be outside. I am in a place quiet enough so a lawn mover seems noisy. Nothing more serious and acute is happening in my life right now, so I can allow myself to be annoyed by the lawn mover.
There are many conditions required for me to experience this annoyance right now. And there is a lot to be grateful about in those conditions.
JUNE 24, 2021
DREAM: DAMAGED SOFA
I am entering a university building in the US, possibly for a conference or a course. Someone directs me to sit at a sofa. Others sit on other sofas, and we wait for the even to start. I notice the sofa I sit on is heavily damaged, as if someone has done it on purpose, and I tell the organizers. They assume I have done the damage, and treat me with suspicion and as they would a criminal.
This is a recurrent theme in my life, from my childhood up. I have been accused of things I haven’t done, and don’t even know about, and I have gotten into trouble for doing what I consider right and anyone’s civic duty – like in this dream. It also ties into the victim issue, which has been coming up for me lately.
JUNE 28, 2021
DREAM: MY FATHER IS YOUNG
I am in Oslo with my partner and my father. We go to an art store (Andvord), and it turns out we need to climb some stairs and then a kind of ladder to reach the level we are going to. My father is young and healthy and dances his way up the stairs. When I am half way up the ladder, my fear of heights kick in and I decide to climb down again. My partner and father are in the store.
AUGUST 7, 2021
IS BIG MIND / HEADLESSNESS A PERSPECTIVE?
Someone asked this about headlessness.
In itself, what we are – and noticing what we are – is not a perspective. It’s what allows any and all human perspectives.
When we live from it, it does become a context for our life, and it can become a kind of orientation or perspective.
And when we put it into words, it also becomes a kind of perspective.
It’s difficult to say yes or no to that question. In itself, it’s not. When lived from, then we can say yes, in a way.
AUGUST 9, 2021
THE PROBLEM WITH STAGES
In the integral world, they seem to be very enamored with stages. To me, that seems a bit odd considering some of the obvious problems with stages.
It all depends on how it’s measured. We can get different results depending on how it’s measured.
It all depends on the situation. Sometimes, we may act or perceive in a way that fits one stage, and at other times and in other situations, it will fit another stage.
Stages are not inherent in reality. They are imagined and put on top of something we observe.
There are innumerable types of stages, or lines of development as Ken Wilber calls it. Again, there are as many lines of development as we would like there to be. These too are imagined and put on top of life and not inherent in life.
In general, life is far more complex and rich than any model. Models and thoughts are different in type from what they refer to. Life is always more than and different from our thoughts about it.
That doesn’t mean stage models are useless. They can still serve as valuable guides, for certain things, and in certain situations. We just need to be aware of their limitations and hold them lightly.
WHY ARE YOU SO QUIET?
People sometimes ask quiet people this.
The mirror question is: Why do you talk so much?
I realize that the first question often comes from concern or wanting to draw someone out, while the second question can be perceived as “you talk too much” and impolite.
Still, I find it interesting that the first question is socially acceptable, while the reverse question is typically seen as transgressive.
I imagine this is because we, in the western world, traditionally have valued talkativeness over silence. We admire people who stand out, take space, express their views, and so on.
It’s easy to imagine a culture where it’s reverse. Where they value silence and listening, and ask people why they talk so much and not why they are quiet. I am sure there are cultures like that in the world.
UPSIDES OF THE SMALL INTERPRETATION OF AWAKENING
The small interpretation of awakening has several upsides.
It’s honest and closer to what we can say something about from our own immediate noticing.
It keeps it grounded and closer to our ordinary life.
It makes it more available to those not interested in spirituality or religion.
An important reason for me is that it avoids the overwhelm that comes from the big interpretation. I suspect that overwhelm comes from making assumptions about things beyond what we notice in immediacy here and now.
THE HUMBLING EFFECT OF TRAUMA
When we talk about post-traumatic growth, we need to include the humbling effect of trauma.
Facing our own trauma is humbling, and can be humbling in the best possible way.
We get to see we can’t “pull ourselves up by the bootstraps”.
Even if we find ways to deal with the trauma, it doesn’t always work at the moment. Sometimes, we have to let the storm pass.
We get to see that perhaps the only real way to resolve trauma is to heal our relationship with it, and befriend it and see that it comes from and is made of love.
We get to see that there is always further to go.
WANTING TO KNOW HOW FICTION STORIES END
I find it interesting that many want to know how fiction stories end, after starting to read a book or watch a movie or TV series.
On the surface, it seems a bit silly. The story is made up anyway. It can go in any number of directions depending on the fancy of the author(s).
A surface answer is that we may mix up fiction and reality. It’s important to know something about how stories from real life end since we may learn something. And with fiction, the specific ending is perhaps less important.
A deeper answer is that good fiction stories reflect some universal human truth, and they are a way for us to learn about ourselves, others, and the world. There is likely an evolutionary drive in us to seek out and take in stories – whether fiction or from real life – for just that reason.
There is, of course, not such a clean line between stories from real life and fiction. Stories from real life are told by someone and they interpret, filter, reflect a certain worldview, leave out some of the messiness of life, may get things wrong, may be told quite differently by others, and so on. And good fiction reflects universal human dynamics and insights and has a deeper truth. There is always an element of fiction in stories from real life, and elements of real life in fiction.
AUGUST 26, 2021
When I was little, I quickly gave up on learning chess because I thought you needed to have planned out all the moves until the end of the game, and that was obviously not possible for me.
It wasn’t until much later I realized that good chess players move to improve their current position. Of course, they know strategy and have studied positions and games, but the main guideline is to improve their current positions.
And that’s how it is in life too. We cannot know what will happen in the future. But we can make moves to improve our current position.
EAGER TO SAY IT’S RESOLVED
I am sometimes puzzled when someone says they have resolved an issue.
We may have worked on it and experienced some kind of apparent transformation of it, and it may not be currently triggered. But does that mean it’s resolved?
It may be dormant until a trigger triggers it again. It may have more layers that we haven’t seen or recognized yet. We may draw on resources from other sides of us so it’s not currently triggered.
And it may be that we are eager to declare it resolved out of wishful or hopeful thinking.
For me, it makes sense to hold this too lightly.
AUGUST 31, 2021
LANGUAGE & LIFE
I remember a dinner in my teens where my uncle complained about how young people used language. It apparently wasn’t correct, according to his view. For me, it seemed odd since language always changes. That’s the nature of language. Each generation brings something new to it. As long as it’s understood, it’s fine.
I still see it that way. Language is about communication, not rules. And one of the fascinating things about language is how it’s always changing. It adapts. Evolves. Mixes. Shifts.
What I learned growing up will eventually and inevitably be a bit outdated. (Already, some younger folks in Norway are fusing what I learned as two distinct sounds, and I find it fascinating since it’s a shift linguists have predicted would eventually come based on how languages typically change.)
In many ways, how we relate to language says something about how we relate to life. Do we it as about facilitating a good life? (Communication) Or do we see it as primarily being about rules?
SEPTEMBER 3, 2021
VIEWS OUT OF ALIGNMENT WITH REALITY ALWAYS HAVE CONSEQUENCES
When we hold onto views out of alignment with reality, it always has consequences. And so also when we tell someone something out of alignment with reality.
I was reminded of one version of this, and that’s when a health practitioner (usually alternative ones) says “this will help you”, “this will help you get much much better”, “this will heal you”, and so on.
I have had a chronic illness since my teens, and have heard this innumerable times. They promise more than they can promise, and they present something they cannot know as a certainty. It may come from their own wishful thinking and perhaps a wish to get a client.
And it also doesn’t make much sense to me. How can they know? How can they know for certain?
What works for some may not work for others, especially when it comes to complex conditions and herbal medicine, diet, energy work, and similar.
Don’t they understand they are setting their clients up for disappointment? And whatever ways people deal with disappointment? (Cynicism, hopelessness, and so on.)
It seems easier and more sensible to stay grounded. We can say: “This has helped others with a similar condition, let’s try it and see what happens”. That’s honest and leaves it open.
Of course, many are more grounded in the way they approach and talk about it. And some seem happy to be out of alignment with reality by promising more than they can.
I have always seen it as a red flag, and these days, I’ll just avoid practitioners who seem ungrounded in this way.
I found myself in a group of people I don’t know and imagined the different life each one of us lives. We are all our own world.
It’s easy to imagine other people’s lives as more interesting or “better”. In many ways, our consumer culture encourages just that so people can sell us more and different things and experiences.
It’s not necessarily true in a conventional sense.
We all present a certain image to others, and only know the interior life of one person and that’s ourselves. So it’s easy to imagine that other people have “better” lives than we do.
We all go through phases of life. Right now, my life may seem boring or not what I want, and your life may seem exciting or more enjoyable or meaningful. And tomorrow or in a year or ten years, it may be different. We all shift roles and positions and go through different phases.
The idea of what’s better is an idea. It’s a human-made idea, and it’s not inherent in reality.
We can make use of FOMO. What do I imagine others do or experience that I would like to have in my own life? What’s the essence of it? Can I find examples of how this is already in my life?
What stops me from bringing more of it into my life? What are my painful beliefs? What are my unexamined fearful stories, and unloved fears? How would it be to actively bring what I really want into my life? What are some ways I can do it? What are some first steps?
More fundamentally, we all miss out on the lives everyone else has. You miss out on my life. I miss out on your life. That’s how life works. It’s the same for all of us.
And we cannot miss out on our own life. No matter what we do or don’t do, we cannot miss out on our own life.
DRAFTS / NOTES
OUR INNER CULTURE
GHOSTS AND THE MENTAL FIELD
AWAKENING AND HUMAN TRANSFORMATION
Some assume that awakening, in itself, will lead to a great transformation.
That’s not necessarily the case.
If we engage in spiritual practices prior to noticing what we are, those practices may lead to some transformation. And if we notice what we are, and keep noticing and living from this noticing, that will also lead to some transformation. But noticing what we are, in itself, is just that – a noticing. It may not lead to any particular transformation, especially not of our human self.
AWAKENING & HEALING
I have written about this several times, but thought I would revisit it.
For me, awakening and psychological healing go hand in hand. They support each other, require each other to go deep, and are two sides of the same coin.
WANTING AND NEEDING
A MANUAL FOR HUMAN LIFE
What would a manual to our human life look like?
I know a few things I would include.
The main one would be befriending ourselves and our experience.
- heart-centered practices + self-compassion, notice what we are, inquiry into stressful thoughts, body-centered approaches (the essence, similar to Buddhism)
DISTRESS IS A SIGN WE ARE AVOIDING SOMETHING
Distress is often a sign we are avoiding something – in our life or in our mind.
THE AWAKENING PROCESS IS SOBERING
This is pretty obvious: self-examination is sobering.
And the awakening process, which does involve self-examination, is sobering.
It’s a process of disillusionment.
SOME POINTERS FOR THOSE WHO SET OUT ON A SPIRITUAL OR AWAKENING PATH
- clarify what really want
- identify the deeper motivation
- see what combination of healing / awakening work makes most sense
- get a taste of it, he/bm
- find a guide, experienced, familiar with the territory, good match/resonance
- don’t abandon your judgment, autonomy, always your own final authority
- find the ones that work for you, resonate
- orientation – receptive, sincere, diligent (what you put in, what you get out, most of the time)
RUMI: WHAT YOU SEEK IS SEEKING YOU
What you seek is seeking you.– Rumi
If we seek Spirit, in what way is Spirit seeking us?
I can find two ways.
Spirit or life seeks to express, experience, and explore itself as us.
And if we seek Spirit, Spirit will meet us half-way.
All of this happens within and as Spirit. It’s the play of Spirit. It’s Spirit temporarily taking itself as a human being seeking Spirit.
Other ways to talk about it
There are many other ways to say this.
Similar to above, we can say that life – Spirit, God, existence, the universe – seeks to experience itself as us. And when we seek God, God meets us.
We can also bring this home to what we more easily can find for ourselves, and using a more secular language.
When we find what we are, we find ourselves as capacity for the world, and what our experiences – of this human self and the wider world – happens within and as. To make it easier to talk about here, we can call this Big Mind or consciousness. (I usually don’t use “consciousness” since it gives thought something to hang onto and this is about noticing and not something we can “get” within thoughts.)
What we are takes the form of all our experiences, including of this human self. In that sense, we can say that what we are seeks to experience itself as this human self (and the wider world as it appears to us).
So when Big Mind takes itself to be this human self, and seeks itself as Big Mind, how does it meet itself halfway? This is complex and multi-faceted.
Big Mind as this human self seeks itself and may engage in different spiritual practices.
At some point, we may realize that “we” are not in charge of the process anymore.
Other ways to talk about it
There are many other ways to say this, including a more secular way.
To ourselves, we are capacity for the world, we are what our experiences happen within and as. We may not notice it, since we tend to take ourselves as fundamentally this human self, but it’s what we are.
And it’s what we seek, whether to us it’s the divine or truth or love or our true nature.
What we are is already expressing, exploring, and experiencing itself as our human self and the wider world. In a metaphorical sense, we can say that it “seeks” all this. It seeks us.
And when we, as a human self, seeks Spirit, it’s really Spirit seeking itself. It’s Spirit seeking to consciously notice itself. Spirit plays all the roles, and there is an experience of mutuality between Spirit and the human. The awakening happens from both sides, even as it also all happens within and as what we are.
Since this is all happening within and as what we are, it’s difficult to find a simple and clear way of phrasing it. It tends to go in circles and bite its own tail.
I assume this is about seeking Spirit or the divine. This can be understood in a couple of different ways, and it can be worded in even more ways.
In what way is Spirit seeking us?
Spirit seeks to experience itself as us.
And Spirit meets us half-way when we seek Spirit.
We can phrase this in a different way.
What we are is seeking to experience itself as us.
And what we are is meeting us half way when we seek what we are.
In more detail
- what we are is seeking to experience itself as us
- what we are is seeking itself, while temporarily taking itself to fundamentally be this human self, and is meeting itself half-way
- context – it’s all what we are, playing all the roles
There are two ways to understand this.
First, I’ll assume that what we seek is Spirit, the divine, or whatever word we use for it.
What we are seeks to express, experience, and explore itself as us. It’s seeking us.
And what we are seeks to be consciously aware of itself through and as us, so when it takes itself to fundamentally be a human being, it seems as if Spirit is meeting us half way.
I’ll write from Big Mind/Heart here.
What you seek is seeking you.
What you seek is me, and I am seeking you.
I am seeking to express, experience, and explore myself as and through you.
And I am seeking to find myself through and as you.
- (a) what we are seeks itself, notice itself
- (b) what we are seeks to express/experience/explore itself through and as a human being in the world
What we are is playing all the roles.
MEETING PEOPLE WHERE THEY ARE
meeting people where they are, speak a language they understand
THE POLITICS OF AWAKENING
- create myths around it, status, used to justify hierarchy etc.
What if the way we respond to the crisis is part of the crisis?– Bayo Akomolafe
In the world today, we have created our crisis – ecological and social – from a certain mindset, and we typically respond to the crisis with the same mindset.
That happens in our personal lives as well.
SEEING WHAT’S HERE
healing, awakening, embodiment, about seeing what’s here, consciously aligned w. reality
THE BEAUTY IN VULNERABILITY AND REMINDERS FROM NATURE
vulnerability, powerlessness, as an animal, plant, very beautiful
WILL THIS GO MAINSTREAM?
Will acknowledging and exploring our true nature go mainstream?
It is already happening, to some extent. There is research on meditation and awakening, and we have more and more teachers who present it in a pragmatic and down-to-earth way that fits the modern mindset.
A DIVINE & EVOLUTIONARY SET-UP FOR ADDICTION
In order for Spirit to experience itself as separate, it needed to set itself up to believe in thoughts.
addicted to thought, required for the illusion of separate self / separation consciousness
a set-up for all the other addictions,
painful beliefs/identities, avoid painful sensations/thoughts, leads to addiction
can be addicted to anything – racism, ideologies, food, drink, movies, distractions, health, awakening path, spiritual practice, etc.
evolution – good to want sugar etc., but evolved in a different setting, different now
objectify people, ourselves – instagram etc
taking ourselves to fundamentally be an object
FROM FLOW TO CHAOS
When I was in my late teens and twenties, I was in a constant state of flow and grace. Things fell into place in amazing ways. I did well in whatever I did. I had a huge amount of passion for life, nature, art, studies, and so on.
The awakening and embodiment process is also a humbling process.
Why humbling? Because that’s how we get more consciously aligned with reality.
Separation consciousness assumes we fundamentally are a separate self, and that creates a certain tense survival mindset – with assumptions of being better and worse, and so on.
THE MECHANICS OF AWAKENING AND MYSTICISM
Awakening and mysticism is often seen as something mysterious. It is, to some extent, just like anything else. And there are also ways to demystify it.
What we are
What we are to ourselves is capacity for the world. We are what our experiences – of this human self and the wider world – happens within and as.
From logical reasoning, it’s clear what we are to ourselves is consciousness. It has to be that way. Any experience happens within and as consciousness, they happen within us as consciousness. All experiences change, and the only thing that’s left is consciousness and what our experiences happen within and as.
What we are is capable of taking itself to be a particular content within itself. It can take itself to be this human self.
How the mind creates its experience
Examining the effects of practices & pointers
- mechanics of awakening and mysticism
- what we are
- examining how the mind creates its experience
- examining the effects of practices / pointers
[drafts & unfinished posts]
We sometimes think the basics are something we learn in the beginning and then don’t need to pay much attention to. We move beyond the basics.
But that’s often not the case. And a better word for basics is perhaps essentials.
That’s how it is in spirituality as well.
So what are the essentials of spirituality?
It depends on our approach. For me, it’s….
Kindness, exploration, and life. To find kindness and love for my own experiences, which makes it easier to extend it to others. To explore, also through inquiry. And to live from it, to the extent I can.
- stable attention – mind, body as an anchor
- notice + allow
- notice + allow what’s here, this experience as it is
- helps create some distance (softens identification) + easier to notice what we are, mimick what we are
- prayer, devotion – open to something much larger
- tonglen, ho’o, metta – opens the heart
- learning – pointers, traditions, pitfalls, etc.
- investigate the mind, beliefs, etc.
- notice what we are – BM, headless way
- living from it
- notice when I don’t and take a look at what happens – fears, beliefs, identities etc.
Many of us have some behaviors or attitudes that can seem self-destructive. In some situations, in some periods of life, we act in ways that’s not in our own interest.
What do we find if we look a little closer?
These behaviors come from our reaction to our own painful beliefs and emotional issues. And behind these dynamics and parts of us is a desire to protect us. It ultimately comes from care and love.
So what can we do about it?
We can explore how to relate to these painful parts of us in a more conscious and intentional way. We can recognize them, see they are ultimately innocent, and create some space in how we relate to them so we don’t always need to act on them.
We can also explore and invite in healing for these painful and suffering parts of us.
What we are is capable of taking itself to be a particular content within itself. It can take itself to be this human self. And to create that experience for itself, it needs to take thoughts – mental images and words – as if they are true.
In this case, it’s the thought that “I am this human self”. It makes sense to perceive this way. It’s what we are taught by parents, friends, and our culture. And it looks very convincing until there is a shift out of it.
People relate to their image of us, and if they admire that image, we may take it as being about us. We may use it to create an inflated sense of ourselves and cover up our own insecurities.
If he is responding to, for instance, Byron Katie’s approach, then I disagree. Here, it’s immensely helpful to find what’s more true than the initial story, and that can include finding in myself what I see in the other. For instance, I had a story of being bullied or frozen out in school, and when I looked at it in more detail, I found that I disliked and secretly judged those people from early on. Although their actions cannot be justified or condoned, I can understand. Their response makes sense to me. And that’s immensely healing.