Speaking from pain, fear, and wounds

When I experience pain, fear, and wounds, and rest with it, perhaps ask myself simple questions about it, and find love for it, something happens. I find more peace with it. I befriend it. I see it’s coming from worried love. I see it’s coming from an attempt to protect the (imagined) self.

And something else happens. When others act and speak from their own passion, fear, and wounds, it’s easier to recognize it as worried love, and deep caring.

To the extent I am familiar with the first, the second may happen as a side effect.

Identification = worried love

Why is there suffering?

That’s an old questions for us humans. (I realize that the real question, the one behind this one, is what can we do about it? That’s a topic for other posts.)

One answer is perhaps equally old: Suffering comes from beliefs. Identification with certain thoughts. Velcro. Mistaken identity.

These point to the same thing: Mind takes certain thoughts, certain images and thoughts, as real and true. It identifies with these thoughts. It takes their viewpoint. It sees the world from their perspective, and holds onto it as true. And it does that through associating these images and words with certain sensations (often different depending on the thought), and these sensations seem – to the mind – to lend solidity and reality to the thoughts.

Why does the mind do this?

It may be because we observe those around us doing it, as kids and later as adults. It seems to be what people do here. So we do it too. And we pass it on.

It may have an evolutionary function. Perhaps the stress created an extra urgency that somehow has offered a survival advantage for our ancestors. An advantage that outweighed the drawbacks of stress, struggle, and conflict.

It may also be a quirk of evolution. We evolved that way, to be inclined to identify with thoughts rather than recognizing them as thoughts, through a coincidence. Perhaps it could have gone a different direction. (I am not so sure about that, but it’s possible.)

It may also be that since thoughts – abstract representations using words and images – is a relatively new phenomenon in our evolution, we still haven’t quite figured out how to relate to it well. We are still novices when it comes to using this tool called thought. So we stumble. It’s still messy. And perhaps sometime in the future, we as a species will relate to it with more clarity.

In any case, it’s innocent.

And it’s Lila. The universe expressing, exploring, and experiencing itself. The dance of life. Divine play.

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Evil, pain, confused love

When we see actions that seem less than loving in ourselves and others, we interpret it in different ways. And these interpretations are based on our experience, understanding, and assumptions about people and life.

Behavior: Theft, lying, killing etc.

Surface psychology: Greed, anger, jealousy.

Moralistic, metaphysical: Evil.

Evolutionary: Behavior that, in some situations, helps us survive and bring up children.

Cultural and social perspective: Learned patterns. Learned ways of dealing with pain, fear, being a human in the world.

Family dynamics: A natural and understandable reaction to certain family dynamics.

Ordinary psychology: Coming from pain, wounds, trauma, reactivity.

Fear perspective: Reaction to unloved and unquestioned fear. Or, more precisely, unloved fear and reaction to the fear, and unquestioned assumptions behind the fear and the reaction to the fear.

Love and inquiry perspective: How we sometimes live when parts of us and our experience are unloved and unquestioned.

Living Inquiries: Deficient self, trying to protect an identity and/or fill a perceived hole.

The Work: The natural consequences of beliefs and identifications.

Satsang inquiry: Worried love, confused love, misguided love. An expression of love for the imagined self, trying to protect the imagined self.

Self-inquiry: Unquestioned assumption of being a separate self. Unexamined experience of (a) this seamless field of experience (b) being split, and (c) identifying with one part (me, I), and seeing the rest as “other” (others, the wider world).

Awareness: The play of awareness/awakeness.

Spirit: Divine play, lila.

War metaphors, health, and love

It’s common – in our culture, and our time – to use war metaphors in medicine and about our health.

As many have pointed out, it reflects a few different assumptions. It shows an assumption of a basic duality, or split, in ourselves and the world. An illness or medical problem is “other”, something that happens “to us”. And it also reflects an assumption that what’s happening is bad or wrong.

These views can be traced back to early Christianity, and Judaism, and perhaps even further back. And they can be found in some other cultures as well, in different flavors, although certainly not all cultures. Even that is a hint that these assumptions perhaps do not reflect something inherent in the world, and also that these type of assumptions are not inevitable. They are learned, and they can be unlearned, and perhaps be replaced with more helpful metaphors or assumptions.

I notice these basic assumptions in myself. Somewhere in me, there are assumptions that the CFS is “other”, something “other” that is impacting, me, and also that it’s wrong, bad, or at least unfortunate. There is also an assumption behind the label CFS, and what it means for me and my life.

When I notice that, there is the possibility to shift how I relate to all of this. Instead of taking it as how it is, and identify with the views created by  these assumptions, I can relate to these assumptions – and what they trigger in me – more intentionally.

I can, for instance, say you are welcome here. Thank you for protecting me. I love you. And repeat this, quietly, and sit in it.

It’s often easier to first do this towards one assumption or reaction at a time, and then perhaps with all of it.

I can also use ho’oponopono towards these parts of me, these parts of worried love. I am sorry. Please forgive me. I love you.

I can experiment with simple loving kindness. I love you.

This is a 180 degree turning around from the war metaphor mentality. It’s an experiment. There may be fears coming up, especially at first. Worries that I won’t take care of myself and my health if I genuinely find peace with and love for the symptoms, and the reactions in me towards them. I can meet those worries too in this way, and see what happens. Is it true I won’t take care of myself and my health? What is the reality? What really happens when I shift into finding love for what’s here, including that which I previously saw as “other” or wrong?

Also, how do I change my view on these symptoms and what’s triggered in me (worry, confusion, fear, anger)? Do I see it as worried or confused love? How is it different when I genuinely see it more that way? Is there a sense of love meeting love, presence meeting presence?

Ancestral vs karma

What’s surfacing here to be loved is largely – if not all – ancestral.

They are patterns passed on to me from my parents, other adults, and my culture.

They are patterns of delusion passed on through generations.

Now, they are here with an invitation for me to meet it with love, see through them, and feel what hasn’t been fully felt. They wish their own release, their own liberation.

And this ancestral stuff is really karma. Seen with the idea of time, everything has infinite causes stretching back to beginning of the universe and out to the extent of the universe.

Some of this karma, some chains of causality, are these ancestral patterns. Many of them are very useful and even invaluable. They help me to orient and function in the world.

And some of these ancestral chains are from delusion. They are from identification with words and images. They are from confused love. They are painful. And they are here in me, inviting me to be a loving presence for them, see through them, and feel what hasn’t been fully felt. They wish for their own release. They wish to align with reality. They wish to align with whatever love and clarity is here.

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Draw to death, anger at life, self-destructive patterns

Most of us have parts that are drawn to death, angry at life (God), and appear to be caught in self-destructive patterns.

All of these seem to come from confused love.

The draw to death is really, it seems, a draw to death of suffering. In other words, a draw to death of certain painful beliefs and identifications. There is love behind this draw, and sometimes a confused love (making it appear as it’s a draw to the death of this human self, instead of painful dynamics.)

Anger at life (God, Spirit) similarly comes from a deep wound, often formed in childhood. And this wound is created and maintained by beliefs and identifications, or velcro as it’s called in the Living Inquiries. It’s good to acknowledge and feel this anger, and also inquire into what’s behind it.

Self-destructive patterns are similar. They too seem to come from deep wounds created early in life, and they are created and maintained by beliefs, identifications, and velcro (words, images and sensations “stuck” together). There is a perceived benefit here, as there always (?) seems to be with beliefs, identifications and velcro. The apparently self-destructive patterns too come from confused love. They are, in a very real sense, confused love.

So there is often a shift here, as it was for me. Initially, I saw these impulses as wrong and something to correct, or pretend is not there. That’s meeting these parts of ourselves and others from the place where they were created. They were created from a mindset that itself was wounded and fearful. The antidote is love.

The antidote is recognizing these dynamics as coming from fear, wounds and confused love. The antidote is meeting them with love, holding them as a loving presence. And the antidote is inquiring into any stories and identifications creating and holding them in place.

P.S. As Adya points out in Resurrecting Jesus, Judas is an image of these wounds in ourselves. He may be genuinely drawn to Jesus and what he sees in Jesus, and yet, he is also wounded and that wounding is sometimes expressed in lashing out at the ones we love the most. We all (?) have done that. I know I have.

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