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.
EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON?
The human mind wants to make sense of things. That’s natural and healthy. It helps us survive.
It can also go a bit further. Our mind can assume that things happen for a reason, and try to find that reason.
That’s often not so helpful, unless we channel it in a constructive way.
Someone dies. And to cope with the grief and pain, our mind may go to just these kinds of thoughts. Why did it happen? Did I do something wrong? Is it a sign? Does life or the divine want to send me a message? That’s the spin of thoughts. That’s our mind trying to make sense out of a difficult situation.
Whatever ideas we come up with are imaginations. It’s not reality.
It’s futile since we cannot know.
Fortunately, there is a more constructive approach. We can make it meaningful for ourselves. We can use the situation and what comes up in us in a meaningful way.
How that looks is up to us.
We can use it to identify and question painful thoughts and identities.
We can use it to deepen empathy with ourselves and others.
We can use it to deepen into following our inner guidance and what feels right to us.
We can use it to reprioritize, to examine our priorities and find our more real and essential priorities.
We can use it as a reminder that we are it, and notice what shifts. If I am this situation – the whole field of experience – what happens with the impulse to make sense of it? (I find it diminishes and looses its charge. It loses identification.)
JANUARY 26, 2024
GRATEFUL TO BE HERE / WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK
Yes, that sums up my experience pretty well.
I am immensely grateful to be here. Life is amazing. Reality is amazing. Magical. Awe-inspiring. Just that there is anything at all is baffling and beyond comprehension.
At the same time, it’s often challenging. Painful. Confusing. Overwhelming. Humbling. In my case, perhaps especially because of old trauma.
ALL IS OK, ALL IS NOT OK
As consciousness, all is OK. I find myself as primarily consciousness, and that consciousness is always OK. It cannot be touched by its own experience.
As consciousness forming itself into my experience of the world, all is not OK. Being suffer. We have an ecocidal and suicidal civilization. I have made choices in my life I would have done differently if I could.
As usual, there is a lot more to say about this.
It can seem like a paradox at a superficial word level. It’s all OK and not OK at the same time.
And yet, it’s not a paradox since they refer to different things. As consciousness, it’s all inherently OK. As my experience of the world that the consciousness I am forms itself into, there is definitely room for improvement.
My ideas about improvement have both a universal and personal flavor. Beings don’t like to suffer. We can do what we can to create a society that’s more beneficial for everyone in society, our ecosystems, non-human beings, and future generations.
There is also a difference between the big and small interpretation of awakening here, and there is something valuable in the small version.
In the small interpretation of awakening, I know that I cannot assume that my nature is the nature of all of existence. As consciousness here, all may be OK in a certain way. But I cannot assume that all of existence is consciousness (AKA the divine, God) and that all of existence is OK in the same way. To me, that’s an upside since it requires me to be engaged and do my best – in whatever limited way I can – to make things a little better in the world. (For instance, in my case, through working on regeneration right now.)
JANUARY 29, 2024
SIMPLICITY IN NOTICING
I have explored my nature in different ways for almost four decades now, and also healing.
What I find myself coming back to these days is simple.
I notice my nature and that, to me, everything happens within and as what I am. It’s all flavors of the consciousness I am. I already am it, so how is it to consciously be it?
How is it to already be it, notice I am it, and embrace and sink into that noticing and being? (When I notice identification with struggle, discomfort, etc., it’s a sign that I forget that it’s all happening within and as what I am, I shifted out of consciously noticing I am it, I forgot to be it.)
Similarly, when it comes to healing, I explore it in a more gentle and simple way.
I go back to a time in my life when I experienced something similar to what’s here now, perhaps the first time I can remember. Then I stay with that image and myself back then. I may say: I love you. I bring whatever perspective and experience I have now to that situation. I become a friend to myself from back then. I offer a different context and perspective than I had back then. I allow myself from then – that part of me that’s still with me – whatever gentle love and new contexts are here. That happens mostly wordlessly and sometimes with a brief dialog added. I allow that part of me to rest and be in it, and shift and reorganize if that happens.
MATURING WITHIN AWAKENING
When we are on a path of exploring our nature and healing, how does it tend to change over time?
I am not sure, of course, since I haven’t done a big long-term study of people on that path.
But I have some impressions, organized by my mental field and my filters and biases.
Even in my teens, it was clear that existence is a mystery to us and perhaps even to itself. It was also clear that thoughts are wonderful to help us make sense of things, and terrible at capturing anything in any full or final way. Now, a few decades later, it’s still that way but it’s more visceral. It’s more lived. I have experienced it more through a lived life.
That’s one change that seems to often happen over time. We go from a mental field understanding (which may be clear, thorough, and relatively accurate) to a lived experience.
Earlier in the process, and earlier in life, many tend to try to find answers in all sorts of ways – models, maps, astrology, psychics, palmistry, and so on. We try to find safety through understanding. This is understandable and innocent, and it does motivate us to become familiar with some or many of the maps, which has benefits. This tends to shift over time. As we have more lived experience, it’s natural to hold all of this a little more lightly at a visceral level. We know from experience that the mind goes into it to find safety, and that it doesn’t work. We know from experience that life is different from all of these maps. The maps are pointers and generalizations, and life is something different.
One expression of this is to assume that we can deal with and fix anything. If something is unhealed, we know this approach that can heal it. If we have a physical illness, we can fix it by adjusting our thinking or visualizing or something similar. If we have a trauma, we can fix it with this other approach. And so on. Of course, many approaches work to some extent and there is nothing wrong in exploring it. But the idea that we can fix or deal with anything is a kind of youthful folly. Life is more complex than that. Not everything can be “fixed” according to our ideas about how we should be able to fix it. We may realize that this all comes from our ideas. We have an idea that we should be able to fix whatever seems off. We have an idea of how that should look. We have an idea that if it’s not fixed, we just didn’ try hard enough or sincerely enough or we didn’t used the right approach. Life is not like that. Life doesn’t conform to our ideas about how it should be. Life lives its own life. A more mature approach may be to hold it all more lightly in a more visceral way. We may prioritize finding genuine peace with what is as it is, including our very natural wish – at some level – for things to be different. If it feels right, we can explore different forms of healing within that context, without attaching too much to our ideas about any particular outcome.
THE UNIVERSALITY OF CONSPIRACY THEORIES
There are some universals about conspiracy theories.
Just like with any thought, if we hold it as true we will perceive and live as if it’s true. We will go into confirmation bias and more. It will give us some apparent reward. It will help us feel better about ourselves, at least apparently and for a while.
We go into a conspiracy when we believe a thought, no matter what that thought is. We go into a conspiracy with ourselves and sometimes others to prove that it’s true and overlook or explain away anything that doesn’t fit. The conspiracy happens here and now. (Whether or not it’s also out there in the world.)
It’s healthy to question authorities and stories and any source of any stories. Mainly, it’s healthy to question our own ideas about anything, especially when we notice we hold it as true.
A FEW YOUTUBE CHANNELS
I have chronic fatigue (CFS) and it’s been much worse over the last 10-15 years.
That means that where I used to be engaged in reading books (often two or three a week), learning (vernacular architecture, permaculture, sustainability, Breema, programming, etc.), organizing community events and projects, and so on, I am now resting almost all of the time.
Since CFS impacts the brain’s executive functions, it’s difficult for me to read or watch movies or documentaries for more than a few minutes at a time. It’s also difficult to process information.
For that reason, I am listening way more to simple podcasts and watching brief videos on YouTube than I otherwise would.
Here are some of the YouTube channels I tend to watch or listen to. (This is not a recommendation since I am sure I would listen to and watch other things if I had the capacity for it.)
The Slomo Guys, Tom Scott, GeoWizard, Veritasium, Be Smart, Big Think, Vox, Wired, The British Museum, The Guardian, BBC, BBC Reel, BBC Earth, BBC Earth Science, BBC News, BBC World Service, The Royal Institution, Objectivity, Half as Interesting, CBC Docs (very good), PBS America, PBS Storied, PBS Eons, PBS Terra, Timeline, NASA Space News, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, European Space Agency ESA, Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell, TLDR News, Great Big Story, Mark Rober, Physics Girl, Simone Giertz, Adam Savage’s Tested, SciShow, Long Now Foundation, Smithsonian Channel, TED, TED-X, TED-Ed, SETI Institute, National Geographic, The Atlantic, The New Yorker, Penguin Books UK, Cleo Abram, Vlogbrothers, Vsauce, CGP Grey, Joolz Guides – London History Walks, Colin Furze, Legal Eagle, TaskMaster, QI, WILTY, The Fat Quiz, and also sometimes… Absolute History, Joe Scott, CineFix, Astrum,
FEBRUARY 4, 2024
SOME OF MY STRUGGLES
I have a good deal of trauma from childhood (developmental trauma), so that’s colored my life.
It has led to choices that went against a clear inner guidance and knowing (first marriage, moving, leaving a career, etc.), which in turn has led to paths that went in a direction that felt profoundly off track. And that has brought up new layers of distress.
In the early 2010s, I also asked the divine to “show me what’s left” which took the lid off from deep primal survival fear and old layers of trauma. I am still in that phase.
What I write about in these posts is sincere. I write from my own experience. I write about what seems to work for me. And it’s obviously not the whole picture. Sometimes, I struggle, and sometimes a lot.
Right now is one of those periods. I had a Chronic Fatigue (CFS) crash in December which I haven’t recovered from.1 And when my system has less energy, it has less energy for everything – including organizing and dealing with old traumas and life in general. It makes what I normally could deal with far more challenging.2
It’s humbling, messy, and very human.
How do I relate to it? I rest. I try to avoid making big decisions. I allow myself to feel shitty. I remember that what I am experiencing is what many are experiencing and have experienced, in different variations. I sometimes get caught up in what’s coming up. I sometimes remind myself to notice what I am. It’s more comfortable to BE it than react to it. (I already am it whether I notice or not, and reacting to it shows me that I forget that.)
(1) It happened as it often has in the past. I had planned for food and drink, things came up that delayed it and made me use more energy than I had planned (because I got distracted by someone else’s priorities), and my system crashed. If I am on my own, I can avoid crashes. But if I am with others, I often get distracted and set aside my own needs.
(2) I am wondering if this is also connected with the Amma experience. Instead of mainly just noticing all as happening within and as what I am, or all as the divine, there was an opening that happened at a human bodymind level. That kind of opening seems to bring up unprocessed materials. More material comes up to join in.
THE SMELL OF RAIN
Here in Cañon del Chicamocha, the rain tends to come up the valley from the south. That means that I often smell the rain some hours before it arrives here.
Last night, I smelled the rain in the evening, and it arrived around 3am. The rain here seems to come at night and end in the morning.
I love that I can smell the rain before it comes. I love the smell of rain (petrichor). I love learning about and experiencing these patterns in nature.
[Made into a regular article]
FEBRUARY 5, 2024
Steve-O talking about his life and motivation in a very honest and clear way.
One thing I would add is about feeling not good enough.
Yes, he was likely driven by a sense of not being good enough (and wanting attention and approval), and that gave him his career and many good things in life.
Yes, there is always room for improvement, especially when we have a background of neglect and trauma.
And at the same time, it’s OK to see through the not-good-enough story and identity. We can see through it and still have passion for things in life and still work on ourselves and our life. The two can go hand in hand. It’s not just one or the other.
If we don’t have the not-good-enough drive, we may find a motivation that comes from somewhere else in us. From curiosity, joy, a sense of adventure, wanting to do something for others and life, and so on.
FEBRUARY 6, 2024
I have mostly ignored food fads in my life. A particular food or diet gets a lot of attention, and then there is something else.
I prefer to make it simple. Eat low on the food chain. Eat varied foods. Eat local and with the seasons as much as possible. Eat organic food. (Why would I want to eat food grown with toxins?) Be flexible and not too strict.
WHO & WHAT WE ARE
I sometimes talk about who and what we are.
Who is my human self in the world. What is what I am to myself, which is what a thought may call consciousness.
If I am mostly focused on who, I miss out on what I more fundamentally am. I miss out on the more fundamental and real context of my life. I miss out on what comes with noticing my more fundamental nature, which – at the very least – is a sense of alignment with reality. It’s a sense of relief.
If I am mostly focused on what I am, I miss out on important things with this human life. I may miss out on being a good steward for this human self. I may miss out on intentionally living from a conscious noticing of what I am. I may miss out on supporting this human self to realign within the oneness I more fundamentally am. I miss out on the life of this human self in the world showing me what’s left, where I can find more clarity and maturity.
It’s natural to have periods in our life where we focus on one more than the other, and also periods of the day where we focus more on one or the other. It helps us get to know each one more in-depth, and circumstances may invite us to focus more on one or the other at different times.
There is also a maturing into both and living from and as both. They are both what I am. They are both here. Any sense of a dividing line is created by my mental field as a way to make sense of the world.
FEBRUARY 6, 2024
MAGIC TRICKS AND OUR MORE FUNDAMENTAL NATURE
Most magic tricks work because we make assumptions and make use of mental shortcuts. For instance, I see a head and feet poking out of two ends of a box and assume they belong to the same person. It’s a natural assumption to make since that’s how it is most of the time in daily life.
Magic tricks make use of that to make us think something is happening that isn’t.
We get tricked largely because we are not aware of these assumptions and shortcuts. They happen outside of our conscious awareness.
There is a central magic trick that existence plays on itself through and as us.
We take ourselves to be this human self, a doer, an observer, or something else within the field of experience, while the reality is that we more fundamentally are something else.
These things are most of the time here in our experience, and others tell us that’s what we are, so we assume that we are this human self, a doer, and so on.
It’s an assumption and a mental shortcut, and like most assumptions and shortcuts, it’s not completely wrong. In life, assumptions and shortcuts work most of the time, otherwise we wouldn’t make use of them.
When it comes to our nature, the assumption that we are this human self is not completely wrong and it works most of the time, but it’s also missing something essential. It distracts us from noticing what we more fundamentally are. We don’t notice that we more fundamentally are what our whole field of experience happens within and as. (Even more fundamentally, we are capacity for all of it.)
GIVING IT ALL TO THE DIVINE
When life is a wreck and we are in the depths of despair, all we can do is give it all to the divine. Our life. Situations. The despair. Any emotions coming up in us. Our reactions to it all. Our behavior. Give it all over to the divine.
So why not do it otherwise as well? Why not do it now? Why not take a minute to give it all – outer and inner situations – to the divine?
FEBRUARY 6, 2024
WATER USE & HABITS
This diagram shows the water use for the tiny house for the last few months.
For June, July, August, and half of September, someone else lived in the house. And for half of September, October, and November, I lived here with my partner. In this case, one person used four to six times as much water as two people, which is eight to twelve times as much water per person.
I am not sure how it’s possible, but it obviously has to do with habits and awareness. My habit is to use minimal water since it saves money for me and resources for the municipality, and water is precious. It just makes sense.
TATTOOS AND DECISION-MAKING
I don’t have any tattoos.
Why? For a couple of different reasons.
I don’t know what I would want that I would want to live with for the rest of my life. It’s like putting on clothes or a ring that I knew I would wear 24/7 for the rest of my life. I wouldn’t do it.
More importantly, I have never heard anyone regret NOT having a tattoo, and I have heard many regret having it.
FEBRUARY 10, 2023
EVERYONE IS A WHOLE WORLD
Every being is a world. When someone is born, a new world is here. When someone dies, a world is gone.
If we are a conscious being, then to ourselves, we are that consciousness. The world, to us, is created within and as the consciousness we are. It’s a unique world. That world doesn’t exist anywhere else. It doesn’t exist before or after. The world, as it’s experienced by any one consciousness, is one of a kind.
That goes for every single being. An ant is as much consciousness to itself as anyone else. It is as much a world as anyone else.
What’s different is the body it operates through and as and the world it creates for itself. Each of us perceives the world differently. We have a particular body and sensory organs, we are in a unique place in the world, we have our world we bring with us from the past. The world we create for ourselves is different.
Our fundamental nature to ourselves is the same. (Very likely, judging from reports and what makes sense.) The body and content of the world is unique.
What a beautiful combination.
CG JUNG: THE BRIGHTER THE LIGHT
The brighter the light, the darker the shadow.– CG Jung
What is Jung referring to here? I am not sure, but I can find where the quote seems accurate.
The more I am identified with desirable qualities, and the more I see them as exclusive, the more the rest of me will go into the shadow. It’s something I see in others and not (so much) in myself.
There is another dynamic here and I am not sure how to talk about it: The more light, the stronger the shadow. When my system goes “up” it’s followed by going “down”. There is a sense of a lot of light coming into my system, it tends to bring up new layers of what’s unprocessed in me. This can happen, for instance, after focusing on heart-centered practices and so on.
The invitation for me here is to engage in these practices differently, in a way that opens to all of me – what’s desirable and not to my personality, what my culture sees as “light” and “dark”. In a way where there is less identification with the “light” side of me and more of a conscious embrace of all of it, including the “dark” sides.
I am exploring these dynamics right now. After the Amma experience some weeks ago, and after going into heart-centered practices, it was as if new layers of unprocessed material came up quite strongly. It’s clear that the more I wish for the light and try to hold onto it, the more the dark comes up and it feels challenging and unwanted. The more I recognize all of it as expressions of the divine and the mind, and the more I can intentionally embrace it all, the easier it is. That’s when it all can work on me and make me more consciously whole and aligned with reality and what’s already here.
What specifically has been coming up? First, grief and pain from Merlina dying. Then, a lot of anger and I didn’t always deal with that anger gracefully. Likely because I never really learned to deal with and work with anger from my birth family, and because a part of me tells me it’s bad and wrong and my mind still believes it to some extent. In addition to this, just generally feeling uncomfortable, which may be discomfort about underlying anger. The anger is partly from me not taking care of my own needs in my life and also recently.
Right now, how is it to fully embrace the anger that’s here? How is it to embrace the fear behind the anger? How is it to embrace the discomfort? How is it to embrace the messiness? How is it to embrace anything in me reacting to what’s coming up?
You are welcome here. You can stay as long as you want. Thank you for protecting me.
FEBRUARY 15, 2024
DREAM: GURU & WEIRD PROJECT
I am with my childhood crush. We haven’t seen each other since then, but have a very good, mature, honest, enjoyable interaction. Seems we have a good connection and may continue a friendship. (There is no romantic connection.)
I am with another school mate from elementary school. (Audun.) In the back of his car, he has some flyers. He sees that I have seen them, and starts talking about a guru he is following. He can apparently get people awake quickly without any meditation or any work on their part. I sense that he is doing something in their brains so they have the experience of it but it’s not the real or full thing.
I am with my wife. (Ale.) I tell her about a situation I find myself in by accident. It involves a piece of land somewhere and aliens and the government somehow. I know the story is very weird and outlandish and tell her that I wouldn’t believe it if I was her. She doesn’t quite believe it but is curious and open.
These are three parts of the same(ish) dream.
I am listening to the audiobook version of Patrick Stewart’s autobiography. He followed his passion and apparently took just about every opportunity presented to him and made full use of it.
It brings up my own distress around this. I have had several passions and lots of amazing opportunities in each area, and have not done much with any.
Why? Partly because of trauma from school where the other kids would bully me for my passion and interests.
The other side of this is that I did bring all of it to life. I had started and was passionately involved in all of it in my teens and early twenties. Then, I went against a clear inner guidance on a major life decision and was unable to follow up on any of it. I felt deeply off track and I have not been able to get back on track.
There is still a kind of inner pressure there. When I look into it, I find my inner knowing saying “do it”.
The pressure itself is not from my inner knowing, I assume the pressure is from something in me pushing against it. It comes from my reactions to it and issues around it – fear of bringing it to life, that it won’t be good enough, traumas from childhood, distress about getting off track, and so on.
FEBRUARY 25, 2024
DREAM: LOOKING AT WAR FROM A DISTANCE
I am looking at war from a distance. I see Cardassians (from Star Trek) fighting in a large hall, maybe a kind of cathedral.
This is the last dream image from a much longer dream I don’t remember.
The first that came to me was that this is how my mind learned to survive. This is trauma created in early childhood as a coping strategy. And I can learn to relate to it a little more firmly. I can remind myself more firmly that this is what it is.
MARCH 1, 2024
MAKING AN IDENTITY OUT OF NOT CARING
In elementary and middle school, I was in a class that had a very bad and destructive culture. A few core people bullied and mocked others in the class, and even led a teacher to have a nervous breakdown.
My sense is that these kids had created an identity out of not caring. They took pride in not caring and mocked and despised anyone who did.
I cared a lot. I cared about a lot of different things, so I was one of their targets. (I was also a bit socially awkward which didn’t help, although I suspect that anxiety and awkwardness were at least partially created by having to be in that culture.)
Why did they seemingly take pride in not caring? I suspect as a way to protect themselves. The mind tells itself: If I don’t care, I won’t be hurt. They were likely hurt, so they hurt others.
Hurt people hurt people.
SUPPORTING THE SYSTEM TO HEAL ITSELF
One of the major issues in my life seems to be that I repeatedly squander opportunities.
DANGEROUS PRAYERS AND DARK NIGHT OF TRAUMA
YEARS OF “DOWNLOAD”
DREAMWORK: BECOMING WHOLE THROUGH EXPLORING PARTS OF US
––– DRAFT –––
BEING ON TRACK
two ways, ask the divine, allow to transform me, be open for it looking differently in the past or how I imagine
THE ESSENCE OF REACTIVITY
fear, stressful stories, wanting to protect me, don’t have to fight, can understand,
Image created by me and Midjourney.
HEALING EXPERIENCE WITH VORTEX HEALING
LIFE PRIORTIZES INNER GROWTH?
IS DRAMA EXCITING?
OCTOBER 12, 2023
FINDING OURSELVES IN THE SITUATION WE LEAST WOULD LIKE TO BE IN
A common strategy for story-writers is to put a character in the situation they least would like to be in. If someone is strongly identified with something, take that away from them. If they hate something, let them spend time with it. It’s interesting and sometimes entertaining to see how people deal with being put in situations they don’t like.
That’s life as well. I assume we all frequently find ourselves in situations our personality really doesn’t like.
For instance, I have sound sensitivity and love silence, and now I am finding myself in an apartment with very noisy streets directly outside. On top of that, the apartment was freshly painted with oil-based paint and I have chemical sensitivities, so I need to have all windows open. I was supposed to be here for just a few days, and now it looks more like weeks due to circumstances outside of my control.
I was also identified with my intellect, productivity, and doing a PhD, and all of that fell away due to the onset of strong Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) some years ago. I was identified with an extensive library I had built up over a couple of decades (books you wouldn’t find in a regular library) and lost it and everything I owned.
The examples from now and the past are endless.
So what can we do when we find ourselves in these situations?