Posts Tagged Fear-Self

The End of Projection


Today’s post is Chapter 20 from my book Liberation from the Lie.

The End of Self-Identified Projection
Chapter 20 of Liberation from the Lie by Eric Gross


The Fear-Self is projection. The vitality of its projection varies from the intense and profoundly unstable to the extremely subtle, where it is all but invisible.
We cannot see how life really is unless we are able to see how we project our psychology onto life. Operating from the perspective of projection, we are ceaselessly reactive. Our sensed world is divided up into discrete categories of what serves our purpose (a very small percentage of what is actually sensed) and what does not serve our purpose (everything else). When we are dominated by projection, we are not open to authentic life. Instead, life is only what we experience through the filter of a Fear-Self.
Projection pulls us away from the now. Living in projection, we are sensitive only to the ceaseless press of a Fear-Self: “I must do this”; “I must do that”; “I must find things wrong”; “I must locate potential dangers.” The now, where everything actually happens, is overlooked. We know ourselves and our world only through projection.
Underneath all projections is the Wound. Projection organizes experience into crude categories of good and bad. Because it is predicated on an iron-hard belief in our own inadequacy, the purpose of projection is to discover opportunities to counter this belief. It is, in fact, projection that creates Fear-Selves and Fear-Selves that maintain the projection that gave them birth.
Let’s see how this operates. A Pleaser fears rejection (her Wound belief that she is worthless). Through projection, she categorizes people into those who help to counter this painful belief and those who do not. The latter group she hates because they threaten to bring attention to her Wound. She works tirelessly to produce opportunities to maintain and improve her standing in the “approved” community of “good” people and thus sustain distance from her Wound.
When we see through the Wound and the Fear-Selves, the power of our projection diminishes greatly. As it declines, our own authentic power fills the space. The Pleaser can finally take a rest from dividing people into friends and foes and living in terror of failing at her next public exhibition. What a relief that must be!
When the Body Person sees through his Wound and dominant Fear-Self, he can still be active and fit, but he is no longer haunted by his inevitable physical decline or other fears related to his appearance. He is free to be himself. For the first time he can have a good laugh at himself, and those around him can breathe a whole lot easier when his compulsive projections have relaxed their dark grip
The Loner can begin to re-engage with the raw vitality of life and stop being a slave to her fears. She can recognize and honor the power of her Wound, yet take steps to connect with people. At first, she might be tentative and guarded, but she no longer needs to flee. She may preserve her preference for aloneness, but now this preference is informed by understanding and compassion. It is no longer compulsive and desperate.

The relentless Achiever can stop and ask herself, do I really want to be doing all of this? Is this really me? What sacrifice am I making for my self-interested accomplishments? If I’m telling myself that I must do these things for the sake of my family, am I certain that is true? When the Achiever sees through her projections, she can finally take a long, languorous breath and start regaining her balance. Indeed, she might find that she truly loves what she is doing, but she is no longer driven by fear of failure or by compulsion. People around her can feel her transformation. Suddenly she is warm and vulnerable and capable of deeply connecting with others in her life. Even her dog greets her with more excitement when she returns home after a “not as long” day at the office.

Living life through our projections assures us that our insecurities will be maintained. This is a world of danger, where our survival as a worthy being is always in doubt. In direct contrast with the world of the hunter-gatherer, in the world of projections, trust, if it manifests at all, is a very fragile and tenuous commodity. The mind needs to constantly survey its small world for enemies and threats to its flimsy security. For many of us, this is the only way we know how to live.
Projection is like a fog that surrounds us with its distorted perspective on the world and life. It is the price we pay for our purported psychological protection. The consequence is a life lived with fear. It is toxic not only to ourselves but to everyone else in our life.

Projection is a ceaseless flight from projected fear. As it turns out, passing through our fear—a fear that we now can see to be an insubstantial phantom—is the only journey worth taking.

Key Point: Resistance to Projection
Projection is part of the interplay of the Wound and the Fear-Selves. It is never advisable to resist it or seek to stop it. Instead, we honor projection by understanding it as a sign of our Life Force. Seeing projection without getting involved in its voice or even allocating too much of our attention to it is the secret to seeing through it. A feeling of relaxation will naturally emerge as its grip on your identity is loosened.

Finding the Place of No Harm

Every Fear-Self is created to provide safety to a wounded image of one’s self. Thought ceaselessly spins stories of danger, and thus the Fear-Self is sustained throughout our lives.

A young child needs love and care. That is the full expression of their being. But when he is invalidated, a new element of being is created—the unwanted self. Of course, the unwanted self morphs into our more mature sense of inadequacy and insufficiency. The unwanted self is the Wound in the form of the injured personality.

As long as a baby or young child is received for its innate beingness, which is expressed as through unconditional love, support, and care, the “unwanted self” is not formed.

All of our Fear-Selves are adapted to counter identification with the unwanted self and make ourselves safe from harm. Yet here is the irony: We can only be harmed by something with which we identify. Our images of ourselves as an Achiever, a Tough Guy, a Pleaser, an Expert, a Body Person, a Spiritualist can and will be damaged. An image is always tenuous, not fully certain of itself, and often brittle. It is a belief set out into the world, and it will suffer all the wear and tear that the physical universe inflicts.
No matter how great the hurt, no matter how great the tribulation, there is always a part of us remains untouched. That is our authentic being. It needs no image. In fact, if we try to attach an image onto it, it is not possible! Our authentic self is not an image. Yet we seem to “know” only our images of ourselves and others. All Fear-Selves, no matter how refined they might be, are ultimately images.

The final knowing of one’s self is not a knowing at all. We can only trick ourselves into “knowing” something outside of our authentic being. Our authentic self can never be known. It can only be, no matter what else we do or is done to us in our lives.
That is why our authentic selves can never be harmed. We are absolutely 100% safe when all our false images are allowed to disperse and our authentic selves can finally live in the light of day.

When that happens, we are nothing and everything at the same moment, for no dividing line can be drawn between the authentic self and anything the mind labels as “other.”

Anything you are defensive about is an image! Observing your defenses is a great way to discover your false self-images. Nearly all of us are defensive about our bodies, our feelings, and our thoughts. They are, therefore, not our authentic selves. They are fake. The instant we identify with any image, thought, or feeling, we indulge in the fantasy of the falsely known self. We are not our bodies; we are not our thoughts; we are not our feelings. But while the body, thought, and feeling are not who you are, they are a part of you! It is a paradox.

The intensity of our defensiveness is also a mark of how identified we are with a particular image. That image is a marker of our dominant Fear-Self. Conversely, we most intensely engage with those invalidators who remind us of our original invalidators, especially our parents. If we are still seeking approval, we will find merit in their invalidation. If we are still hurting from our invalidation (and most of us are), we will very deeply resent them. These intense feelings sustain our identification with the Fear-Self. We are most ready to take offense with those we need most. Children need their parents, and often it is the parents who receive back the lovelessness they displayed many years ago.

The liberated person is all but indifferent from any form of attack on her image. She has discovered her true self and identifies with no image. This is the only place of sustainable and tangible safety. She is always safe and secure.

Note:

Terms like the “Fear-Self” and the “Wound”, as well as Fear-Self Types, like the Pleaser, the Loner, the Body Person, and the Achiever are described in detail in the full text. To find out more, please Liberation from the Lie at amazon.com.

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How to Be Insecure


Isn’t insecurity something we do really well? Who among is isn’t insecure anytime there is some perceived threat to his sense of self? We can imagine a universe of threats that keep us worried, uptight, and wakeful at night.

But what are we insecure about? What is it that we believe is threatened?

Let’s say I believe in a heaven and a hell. Then I will be insecure that the way I’m living my life might result in an eternity in hell. The same beliefs that created heaven and hell in the first place, we’ll tell us how to live a life where we can avoid hell and gain, instead, an eternity in heaven. As a result we become Christians or Muslims or Hindus. We follow the rules as they were set down centuries ago. We abandon our Authentic Self and become an imitator. Because I really am a sinner and I really crave sex, booze, sloth, and all the rest, I learn to distrust my Authentic Being and become a good little Muslim or good little Christian or good little Hindu.

But we can never be sure we’re good enough. We are haunted by the fear that we’re not getting it exactly right. We know, down deep, that our inner devil just needs to be expressed. Or, maybe we are so secure in being right, that we lord our superiority over all the sinners and ne’er do wells that fill our world. We become superior beings, smug in our self-righteousness.

But then we risk the sin of pride and we’re back where we started, just another miserable sinner, full with our self-contempt and misery.

Or if I am a pious jew, then I must obey a mere 613 commandments. Of course, from the very start it’s hopeless. I am condemned to be the failure that I know in my heart I am. And if I dutifully manage to stay kosher, well then I can feel superior to all those other jews that eat bacon with their eggs in the morning. We can learn to really resent each other with our competing beliefs.

If I believe that abortion is wrong, then I am enabled to feel different than those people who support it. I can feel superior or I can feel sorry for those horrible people who believe that women have a right to abortion. But then I hear about someone who gets knocked up by her father and suddenly I don’t know what I believe – but I gotta believe in something!

Actually you don’t.

Or, if I believe that life is sacred then I will be racked by guilt anytime I eat a hamburger or a tuna sandwich. If I choose to be a vegetarian out of the conviction of my superior beliefs, then I can feel good when I eat my plate of brown rice. But then I attend a talk given by an eminent Buddhist lama from Tibet (as I did) who asks his audience if they feel good about eating their plates of brown rice and when they wag their heads in confident agreement, he bitterly informs them of the tens of thousands of sentient beings who die in each and every rice harvest.

So we’re back where we started. Stricken by the knowledge of our inherent inadequacy.

Let’s go back to our original question. What is it, exactly, that experiences insecurity? Is this “thing” real? Or are we just defending phantoms – fantasies? If we can understand this question, really understand it, then insecurity become a problem that no longer haunts our existence.

Notice that everything we’ve talked about in this post is a belief. I believe in heaven and hell. I believe I am a jew. I believe in the sacredness of life. Each of these is a belief. But these beliefs, in themselves, are really quite harmless.

They are an overlay to a much bigger belief; the belief that this self that I label with the pronoun me is real. This me is not a belief. And because we believe it is real, then the beliefs it holds to be true are also real.

Okay – now let’s step back for a moment and take a deep breath.

We know that the earth revolves around the sun, even though our senses would seem to indicate that it’s really the sun that revolves around the earth as it rises in the morning and sets in the evening. But we know that that isn’t true. It’s an apparition of the senses. And because we know it isn’t true, then the belief no longer has the power to hold us in its trance.

The same applies to the precious self (“me lovely precious”). This self is a belief. But this is something that needs to be seen directly. That is why the question, who am I, is so key.

Yes we ARE, but we are not the belief in this body and mind based me. This body/mind, this cluster of beliefs with beliefs about its past and beliefs about its future, and its judgments and identities – all of it is just a belief.

The believer of the beliefs keeps the illusion alive.

But the only belief who’s seeing through assures our liberation in this very moment is the core belief. And this core belief will always relate to the concept and sensation of lack. And lack is always inadequacy and because it’s linked to inadequacy it needs a whole mass of other beliefs to make it real, to give it substance. We lack. We are empty. In our emptiness we are agonizingly vulnerable. So Lack creates a Bible and a Koran and a Bhagavad Gita – these books are full of rules designed to cover over the underlying Lack. These books have just enough connection with authentic being to give them staying power, but they are founded on a fiction and it’s a toxic fiction because it sustains a belief in what isn’t real. It sustains the belief in what keeps us mired in insecurity and misery.

Religious zealots are simply those people so wrapped up in their holy books that they are entirely disembodied phantasms. Their misery is so gut wrenchingly great that they MUST have these books to keep them safe from the terrifying torment that hides just under the surface.

And because inadequacy feels shitty, we engineer a whole plethora of beliefs that are designed to make us feel superior or just give us some sense of substance. So we spout nonsense about the sacredness of life as a belief without looking further. We are married to a belief rather than to the far more variegated textures happening in this very moment. Because we are identified with lack, we will consistently substitute our unexamined thought (beliefs) for reality.

You are not any belief, but as long as you’re identified with beliefs you won’t understand that statement – as long as you need beliefs to make you feel real, you won’t understand this statement.

Waking up means waking up to the only truth in the universe – the only thing that isn’t a belief. Every single thought is a belief. The thought of the sun isn’t the sun. The thought of hunger is not hunger. They are closer to the truth of beingness than far more far-fetched beliefs like heaven and hell, but they are still unreal.

This is why these posts are so important. You are not a belief.

So let’s return to our primary theme; insecurity. Everything we are insecure about is an illusion. They are just beliefs about beliefs. And the core belief is the false-self – that enduring cluster of thoughts linked so closely with lack and inadequacy. They are ways of avoiding the misery of lack and identification with inadequacy.

Beliefs are strategies designed to deal with lack. Lack creates its own immensely powerful slumber. It is hidden under a hundred self-protecting beliefs. So why waste another day supporting beliefs that are no different from a wall designed to keep you safe from illusions? No matter how high and strong your wall is, it can never protect you from illusions. Those fears – those beliefs, will overcome any defense. Misery and hopelessness can’t be kept away forever.

Those walls we construct around ourselves, around our group identities, around our perceived gender, around our countries, they are all prisons and we are both the prisoners and their wardens. The higher and stronger our psyche builds these walls the harder it will be to escape our own self-made prison.

How vast are the constructs of belief? They are vast indeed. We will do anything to protect us from the descent into lack.

That is the path we must take if we ever want to be really free. Lack is the primal echo of an ancient Wound and it created the false-self. It is a story drawn from experience, retained by the hardened and fearful heart – but it’s just not true. It’s a belief – a belief system and you are not that.

There is a way out*, but it takes commitment to the truth. It takes the courage of a warrior. It takes the insight of a philosopher.

It takes only you.

*There are many good books out there and many wonderful teachers and friends out there, but I can only speak from my own direct experience.

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Fear. Hate, Division, and Ignorance – Yeah, We're Talking about Republicans and the Tea Party


Buddha said that the difference between the awakened and unawakened is ignorance. Buddha was right.

Right now, America is in a love affair with ignorance. It’s not a beautiful thing.

The Republicans rail against the new healthcare law, which they disdainfully call Obamacare. They say, “get the government off our backs.”

Yet they just love Medicare, an entirely government run program providing health care for the elderly.

Do you want to know the difference between the new Healthcare law and Medicare? Medicare, unlike the new law, is a lot more radical. It’s a single payer system and the single payer is the government. The only problem with the new law is that it is a Republican program. It keeps the power in the hands in the private sector and they couldn’t care less about our health. They care only about one thing and that’s their bottom line. They have shareholders they are legally bound to serve. As a result the new law if full of loop holes that work against the needs nearly all of us.

What Obama should have worked for was a single payer option that would allow people to choose between the government program and the private programs. After all, the Republicans can’t stop extolling the virtues of a free market and this would provide a free market choice for all of us. But they knew that the private sector could not compete against a government program. Thus the well-being of massive corporations won out against the well-being of people. And that is the true mission of the Republican party and their millions of flunkies – known as ordinary Americans who refuse to think, refuse to explore, and refuse to open themselves up to truth.

They are ignorant. They are slaves of their hackneyed beliefs. They love a hateful and wrathful god. In effect, they love to hate. People like Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Michelle Bachman are their haters in chief. They lie, distort, and demean virtually everything that is good and decent in our world.

For the Republicans, this new Republican program isn’t greedy enough. They don’t want to force private health insurers to provide for pre-existing conditions or healthcare for chronically ill children. They would prefer if these non-rich people people would just die and stop bothering their corporate overlords.

When it’s all said and done, the Republicans really stand for the glorification of their ultra-rich masters and the exploitation of everyone and everything else. It’s not beautiful. It’s really very ugly.

The Republicans say that only the private sector can save our sick economy. Yet it was this same private sector that is the root cause of our economic decline, as well as the millions and millions of foreclosures based, initially, on their legions of snake-oil salesman and then on the assault of millions of vulnerable customers who they breezily and illegally drove from their homes – the very symbol of the American Dream.

They are thugs and criminals and deserve to be treated as such.

They claim that they are for the ordinary, hard-working Americans. Then how could we ever explain that their financial supporters are some of the richest and most powerful people in the world, like the Koch Brothers and other billionaires? How could you explain that they insist to keep their financial supporters a secret? They must remain a secret, otherwise, you would realize the truth – the truth that you are being used and exploited – that you are dupes of the wealthy – you will realize that your ignorance makes their power possible. The more compliant you are, the more exploited you will be.

The Republicans deny global climate change. This is just a small part of their universal contempt for science in general. For they also reject the whole field of modern biology, which is based on evolution. Sarah Palin and many others claim they are not monkeys. I agree they are not monkeys – they are something infinitely worse; they are ignorant, ambitious entertainers who express their hatred through their all but limitless personal ambitions. And what is their ambition based on? It’s based on nurturing hate and division. They deny their deep-seated racism, but they have much more in common with their Nazi – Black and Brown shirted predecessors than they would ever admit.

There are 20 Republicans currently running for the Senate. Not one of them links the actions of people with global climate change. This is earth-killing ignorance of the first order. We are called to reject this agonizing ignorance and celebrate the truth.

Income inequality is more extreme in the US than any other time in our history. The top 2% of Americans own and control about half of the capital in this country. The mission of the Republicans is to make this group even richer. For they are nothing but whores and the super-rich are their Johns. Those that support these enemies of everyone and everything (except the super-rich) are in love with their own rapists. This is the social Fear-Self in action on a massive scale (see Liberation from the Lie to learn much more about Fear-Selves). They express their shared self-invalidation through supporting groups and policies that assure their continued debasement.

They wrap themselves in the tawdry costumes of god and country and besmirch both. This is a white, Christian country. We are open to Blacks and Hispanics as long as they don’t challenge that fundamental truth. They love to draw the line between us (Christains, the ignorant, the phony patriots) and them (Muslims, progressives, those concerned with the well-being of our communities and the earth itself). They love to mock those who love what is true. They love to demean and disparage. They are smug in their self-confidence and certain in their underlying self-hatred.

They love power more than anything else. For they know, down deep, that they lack the power the believe they need to build their edifice of hate and division. In seeking all of the power, they are driven to deprive every one and everything else of the power they might already possess. Thus this is truly a conflict and we need to stand up to the challenge.

We do that by being open and embracing of the truth that is everywhere and in everything. Where there is division, we must seek to bring connection. Where there is hate, we must dedicate ourselves to connection. Where there is ignorance founded on division, we must commit ourselves to connection. But getting to connection may require us to make the division between them and us even wider. Just as Krishna advises Arjuna to accept his responsibility as a killing warrior and the battlefield of life, we must now assume the weapons of conflict and dedicate ourselves to victory.

It’s all part of the cyclical nature of existence. We are living in the darkest of times. We bring the light by embracing that same light. Let the progression to light happen through our collective energies and bring all that is false to the light of what is true.

,

5 Comments

Fear. Hate, Division, and Ignorance – Yeah, We’re Talking about Republicans and the Tea Party


Buddha said that the difference between the awakened and unawakened is ignorance. Buddha was right.

Right now, America is in a love affair with ignorance. It’s not a beautiful thing.

The Republicans rail against the new healthcare law, which they disdainfully call Obamacare. They say, “get the government off our backs.”

Yet they just love Medicare, an entirely government run program providing health care for the elderly.

Do you want to know the difference between the new Healthcare law and Medicare? Medicare, unlike the new law, is a lot more radical. It’s a single payer system and the single payer is the government. The only problem with the new law is that it is a Republican program. It keeps the power in the hands in the private sector and they couldn’t care less about our health. They care only about one thing and that’s their bottom line. They have shareholders they are legally bound to serve. As a result the new law if full of loop holes that work against the needs nearly all of us.

What Obama should have worked for was a single payer option that would allow people to choose between the government program and the private programs. After all, the Republicans can’t stop extolling the virtues of a free market and this would provide a free market choice for all of us. But they knew that the private sector could not compete against a government program. Thus the well-being of massive corporations won out against the well-being of people. And that is the true mission of the Republican party and their millions of flunkies – known as ordinary Americans who refuse to think, refuse to explore, and refuse to open themselves up to truth.

They are ignorant. They are slaves of their hackneyed beliefs. They love a hateful and wrathful god. In effect, they love to hate. People like Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Michelle Bachman are their haters in chief. They lie, distort, and demean virtually everything that is good and decent in our world.

For the Republicans, this new Republican program isn’t greedy enough. They don’t want to force private health insurers to provide for pre-existing conditions or healthcare for chronically ill children. They would prefer if these non-rich people people would just die and stop bothering their corporate overlords.

When it’s all said and done, the Republicans really stand for the glorification of their ultra-rich masters and the exploitation of everyone and everything else. It’s not beautiful. It’s really very ugly.

The Republicans say that only the private sector can save our sick economy. Yet it was this same private sector that is the root cause of our economic decline, as well as the millions and millions of foreclosures based, initially, on their legions of snake-oil salesman and then on the assault of millions of vulnerable customers who they breezily and illegally drove from their homes – the very symbol of the American Dream.

They are thugs and criminals and deserve to be treated as such.

They claim that they are for the ordinary, hard-working Americans. Then how could we ever explain that their financial supporters are some of the richest and most powerful people in the world, like the Koch Brothers and other billionaires? How could you explain that they insist to keep their financial supporters a secret? They must remain a secret, otherwise, you would realize the truth – the truth that you are being used and exploited – that you are dupes of the wealthy – you will realize that your ignorance makes their power possible. The more compliant you are, the more exploited you will be.

The Republicans deny global climate change. This is just a small part of their universal contempt for science in general. For they also reject the whole field of modern biology, which is based on evolution. Sarah Palin and many others claim they are not monkeys. I agree they are not monkeys – they are something infinitely worse; they are ignorant, ambitious entertainers who express their hatred through their all but limitless personal ambitions. And what is their ambition based on? It’s based on nurturing hate and division. They deny their deep-seated racism, but they have much more in common with their Nazi – Black and Brown shirted predecessors than they would ever admit.

There are 20 Republicans currently running for the Senate. Not one of them links the actions of people with global climate change. This is earth-killing ignorance of the first order. We are called to reject this agonizing ignorance and celebrate the truth.

Income inequality is more extreme in the US than any other time in our history. The top 2% of Americans own and control about half of the capital in this country. The mission of the Republicans is to make this group even richer. For they are nothing but whores and the super-rich are their Johns. Those that support these enemies of everyone and everything (except the super-rich) are in love with their own rapists. This is the social Fear-Self in action on a massive scale (see Liberation from the Lie to learn much more about Fear-Selves). They express their shared self-invalidation through supporting groups and policies that assure their continued debasement.

They wrap themselves in the tawdry costumes of god and country and besmirch both. This is a white, Christian country. We are open to Blacks and Hispanics as long as they don’t challenge that fundamental truth. They love to draw the line between us (Christains, the ignorant, the phony patriots) and them (Muslims, progressives, those concerned with the well-being of our communities and the earth itself). They love to mock those who love what is true. They love to demean and disparage. They are smug in their self-confidence and certain in their underlying self-hatred.

They love power more than anything else. For they know, down deep, that they lack the power the believe they need to build their edifice of hate and division. In seeking all of the power, they are driven to deprive every one and everything else of the power they might already possess. Thus this is truly a conflict and we need to stand up to the challenge.

We do that by being open and embracing of the truth that is everywhere and in everything. Where there is division, we must seek to bring connection. Where there is hate, we must dedicate ourselves to connection. Where there is ignorance founded on division, we must commit ourselves to connection. But getting to connection may require us to make the division between them and us even wider. Just as Krishna advises Arjuna to accept his responsibility as a killing warrior and the battlefield of life, we must now assume the weapons of conflict and dedicate ourselves to victory.

It’s all part of the cyclical nature of existence. We are living in the darkest of times. We bring the light by embracing that same light. Let the progression to light happen through our collective energies and bring all that is false to the light of what is true.

,

5 Comments

My Mother Makes Me Crazy – A Chronicle from My Fear-Self


My mother, who is almost 90 years old, is in the process of moving to a retirement community. The process has been replete with stress, confusion, and conflict. Just this morning I became involved in a very confrontational discussion with her. What happened in this conversation provided me with a vivid example of how my own belief system contributes to my own suffering as well as hers’. I think the story is worth retelling. Even more importantly, it shows how our most intimate belief systems sustain the belief in an “I/me” that isn’t real in the first place.

My mother is taking only some of her possessions to her new home and therefore has to dispose of most of her larger items at some personal expense. Since my mother lives on social security, I thought that it would be helpful to sell some of these items on craigslist. By selling them, I would be helping those who could use her old furniture and lower her moving costs.

Well, we tried selling some of the furniture at very low cost and wound up selling none of it. So, after, a heated discussion, my mother agreed to give most of it away.

So this morning I called her because several people wanted to arrange a time to pick up some of the free furniture. She immediately went into a rage complaining that she was giving her stuff away for nothing and that she really couldn’t be bothered with all of the aggravation of greeting strangers and all of the other minor inconveniences of giving her possessions away.

I responded with anger. I accused her of always dumping her anger on me, as opposed to my brother, whose nature is far less confrontational than my own (please note). I also angrily brought to her attention that she had already agreed to give the furniture away for nothing, because it would save her money during the move. I reminded her that I was sacrificing much of my time to help her with the move, not to mention that I would need to be there for the move and for the removal of all the stuff she’s not taking. I was demanding recognition of my sacrifice, as well as all of the good things I was doing for her and all I got in response was her own anger and blame. From her perspective, I was a big part of the problem. I also noted that every time I make a suggestion she immediately rejects it, but if her favored niece makes the very same recommendation she commends her, to me, for the excellence of her suggestions. I then, of course, brought to her attention her hypocrisy and favoritism.

The conversation went on and on like this and it left me exhausted and feeling miserable about her, the move, and me.

So what can we take away from all of this from the perspective of Liberation from the Lie?

Liberation, as it is described in this book, is liberation from our habitual beliefs and conditioning. And that we we are free of all of our underlying beliefs, that even the sustained belief in an “I/me” diminishes greatly. In other words, the direct experience of liberation is the freedom to “be” in this present moment. The greatest challenge in the whole process of Self realization is seeing our own (in Yiddish) mishegas, our own bullshit, our own hypocrisy.

As I reflected on this very unpleasant conversation I made some, for me, astounding realizations.

The source of suffering is the belief in a “me” that isn’t real – it’s just a concept – a belief and this sticky belief is kept alive and well exactly in those circumstances that allow it play its role in exactly the way that role is defined by the ego. This belief is an energetic manifestation and it helped to create this painful interchange. It showed up in the form of “I am right and you are wrong – I deserve your accolades and all I ever get is your complaining – You are old and confused and you should listen to me because I am right – I am expert at finding evidence that shows that I am right and you are wrong – I need to be right (and I need to be the expert) because that’s who I am – (finally) – it is clear that I’ve always been smarter and more together than you and this conversation is just more evidence supporting that “fact”.

Through this conversation I expressed the full fear-self Eric in all his agonizing glory. Can you see this? My psychological self was imposing its hard-edged beliefs from itself to my mom and in the process contributed to making this an extremely painful conversation.

Now let’s make on bigger statement about this conversation.

To some extent, this same “expert” Eric writes this very blog. I regularly assert the correctness of my views. And when I pontificate about the leap of faith that takes us to the place free of All belief, that I am, perhaps, speaking from my own comfortable place of belief. That the person who participated in this difficult conversation is, to some large extent, the same person who writes this blog.

As I write in my book, we don’t transcend our Wound and fear-selves, but we do, to some extent, cease taking them as seriously or we stop believing that they define who we are. In this conversation, I regressed and I fully embraced my own fear-based belief system. It also shows that we tend to most often ‘back slide’ when we are relating to members of our own family, those people where the relations are most effected by old beliefs and many years of conditioning. This is, really, where “the rubber meets the road”.

This conversation also shows us a profound teaching, which is why I’m blogging about it. Conflict, old habits, repeated painful scenes are some of the best vehicles to see our fear-based selves in action. I wrote extensively about this in my book. But, sometimes, the author needs to return to kindergarten to re-take the course he didn’t do so well in the first time around.

Believe nothing you read. Do not believe me. Rather see what is unquestionably true in your own moment-to-moment experience rigorously free of all your beliefs, all of your need to be right – to be the authority. See that the “I” you think you are is really just a belief; a persona that needs to be seen and felt. And then explore whether that is true for yourself.

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Is Life a Burden?


Sisyphus

It seems that right now everything just … sucks.

Morons and fascist wannabes have taken over the airways. The planet’s whole ecosystems are in chaos and decline. Extinction is the main theme of the natural world. I read today that about 20% of the world’s plants are facing extinction and I also read that about 80% of the world’s drinking water is under threat of contamination.

And no matter how crappy things appear to be, we seem to know in our hearts that they will probably get worse.

How do we deal with all of this “bad” news?

I will speak only from my own perspective.

The persona who takes on these problems as his own lives as a “fear-self” who has created a compelling story that these stories are his to bear. He can use his visibly passionate caring as a way to separate himself from the ignorant rabble. Or his fear-self can use all of this information to allow himself to identity as a single suffering victim among the billions of other victims. The moment we assume that an object is what we are, our reservoir of fear can use this object to create a persona to compensate for the fear that is inwardly denied. Or, he can assume ownership of the object and take it on as “his” burden. This is what most of do.

The “fear-self” that labels this information as “bad” has passed judgment on systems and processes that, in truth, he cannot understand. If nothing else, natural history shows us just how incredibly resilient the earth is. No matter how pervasive the loss of habitat and the extinction of so many species, the earth will always bounce back with or without human beings.

Thus as much as I find the news painful and frustrating, I also realize that the ever-bright “I am” transcends the spectacle and possesses the tranquility to deal with problems as best as his body/mind can do in the moment they arise. I know that “I am” is neither the source of these problems or their solution. Rather, the light of “I am” allows the seeing to happen just as it does. The seeing pierces my heart and engages the body/mind in the challenges of the time with compassion and focus, but it does not define the “I am”.

In this way, life can never be a burden. Rather, it is light filled with feeling and fleeting knowing.

Instead of being a burden, the “information” received by this body is the very invisible blood that connects us all with everything. It is the unavoidable profound connections that bind us together in this time and place. All of the light manifests inside each and all of us.

Where is the burden of life? It cannot be found.

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How to Cure Human Cancer


If we are ever to cure human cancer we must focus on the root rather than merely treat the symptoms. So our first question is this: what is the root of human cancer? And our second question is, who is our healer? How can we find the person who will bring healing to us?

Cancer’s Root

Cancer is a form of war. Healthy cells mutate into cells that wages a war against the very cells which gave them birth. Cancer is division, conflict. The unhealthy, vigorous, voracious cells displace the healthy cells. It begins with health and ends in death.

We too begin in health, but through circumstances entirely out of our control we split into two. The unhealthy self, just like the cancer cells, possesses far more apparent vigor than the quiet, quiescent, balanced healthy self. The self out of balance, quite literally, attracts all of the light of the authentic self. This compulsive self becomes the being we believe ourselves to be. Thus as verbal, functioning human beings, we come to believe that we are the cancer and that this out-of-balance diseased state becomes what we believe to be normal!

How this happens is, like cellular cancer, rather complex and multi-faceted. To truly understand the process in its totality you will either need to fully understand the content of this blog or read my book Liberation from the Lie. Our human cancer is a direct result of a combination of events including our forced separation from our life-givers (our biological parents) and the requirement in civilized society to impart on the pre-verbal and very young child with the understanding that she is not right as she is. The great Greek philosopher Aristotle made this very clear in his extraordinarily influential work The Ethics, where he made the case that children are born as savages and require discipline to learn the arts of civil society. Children need obedience training in order to become civilized.

The separation trauma occurs when the child is forcibly separated from the life-giver in the very first days of life. The practice of separation, which is most common in western cultures is remarkable in how vividly different it is from what we can observe in the hunting and gathering world and those of simple agriculture societies where children are, literally, attached to their life-givers for the first 3-4 years of life. As I said, this is not a simple story, but cancer is not a simple disease. Understanding the details and seeing them in your own life and immediate experience is truly essential, if we are to realize this truth in our own lives.

As a result of the separation trauma and our early childhood education to “get” right, we learn that we must agree with the vital authorities in our life and also reject our “savage” self, that being born from the perfect light of the universe. We come to realize the painful lesson that love is not a birthright – rather it is earned and it is earned through our conforming to the expectations of others, particularly our parents. Even before we can form words, we understand that we are not quite right – there is something wrong with us. This realization becomes our core source of existential pain and suffering. Over time, it becomes the great fear motivator. I call this core belief in our innate inadequacy the Wound.

Through the Wound the unhealthy self is born.

Because the Wound is so painful, we quickly create adaptations to distance ourselves from its effects. We form sub-personas designed to compensate for the terror and self-negation expressed by the Wound. These sub-personas, which I call Fear-Selves, are secondary selves designed to reverse the core self-negating belief expressed by the Wound. Thus we become pleasers – we please our parents (aren’t you a good little girl/boy) and we learn that to get ahead in life we must please those with power over us. Our Fear-based selves will inversely mirror the criticisms of our parents. If they consistently tell us to be smart, their messages will convince our very young and vulnerable minds that we are stupid, if they ignore us, we will learn that we are not worthy of love and attention, etc. etc. etc. And then when we form false, fear-based personas that seek to earn the approval of important others in our life, it is our false (cancerous) selves that become validated and real. We are the pleaser, the expert, the ambitious, the spiritualist, the sexy manipulator, etc. It doesn’t take much time to loose our connection with our authentic, pre-Wound (healthy) self and, ultimately, the only self we really know is our Fear-Based selves!!!!

The root of the human cancer is invalidation that results in the Wound. This is the cause of human cancer. The effect of this cause is the array of Fear-Selves we develop over the first 30 years of our life to compensate for the terrifying content of the Wound. Just as the Wound was created through well-intended invalidation by our parents, we sustain the process by first agreeing with the invalidation and thus becoming self-invalidators, but we maintain the process with our own children. Human cancer is passed through the generations. It can be stopped but only through profound, transformative self-understanding. You will never find your Authentic Self until you fall out of your trance-like relationship with your false-selves.

The human cancer is seen by one decisive behavior. It is this: the drive to become someone out of an underlying fear. This is human cancer.

Finding the Healer

Now that we have a sense of what is the root of the human cancer, we now must find a healer who can bring all of this ‘to light’ in our own lives. For lasting healing is a matter of seeing and understanding that which is false, so as to allow to arise as the false is shed. That healer can only be you. You are the only person who can bring healing to a self that is out of balance. But because we have become so out of touch with our Authentic Being, since we have been cut off from this Self for so long, even believing the content of this message can become an overwhelming challenge for most of us.

The healing path is described in massive detail and with many exercises in my Liberation book. This is the key manual to finding not only your Fear-Selves, but to find the underlying Wound that forms the whole living process of the false self.

It is the task of the healer to be a warrior of the self. It requires the highest level of courage to explore and question everything you have agreed to be true, but which is false.

You must come to know that the Fear-Selves can be extremely subtle. While their underlying life is governed by fear, often they assume forms that appear loving and caring. The difference between authentic love and fear-based love is that the latter is compulsive, necessary, and designed to be seen by the fear-based self and often others. The fear-based love says, look at how loving I can be. The need to be seen is the key attribute of the fear-based self, even if its primary audience is the false self itself. This is the form of love that can turn to hate and contempt in an instant when it fails to achieve its goals. It is a brittle love.

In contrast, authentic love needs to be seen by no one. It is love for its own sake. It has no goals but to be itself real in this very moment. It doesn’t seek to impress the self or others. It is just vital love in the living moment of life. But as we go through this work, the difference between the authentic and the false can be so subtle, that we will often loose ourselves in the process. All of that is just part of healing. We move from false self certainty to confusion and, finally, to light.

Because Fear-Based selves are selves, meaning that they are objects we can hold up to the light of inspection, we come to believe that the Authentic Self is also a self that is, essentially, an object. So we read a book like Liberation from the Lie and this motivates us to improve and to become Authentic. That is yet another false path. It is just a Fear-Self needing to become a better Fear-Self.

True liberation means that you are no longer the slave to any psychological self of any kind. It is not a self. It is light without attributes. It is the living truth of this moment. This is the only true healing reality.

What takes the greatest act of courage and for some of us the great leap of faith is the realization that most of what we believe ourselves to be is the human cancer. The self that needs to be someone is the very self that is out of balance growth that mirrors the cancerous cells on the cellular level. This is growth that kills what is healthy and we kill what is healthy by replacing the subtle, silent, Authentic Self, with the vigorous, aggressive psychology of the Fear-Based self, the self that is birthed by the Wound. Who we believe ourselves is, exactly, who we are not and who we truly are is invisible to the Fear-Selves.

Welcome to the pathless land that is you. You are your only healer. Healing means a return, a forsaking of all that is false and often that means a falling away from just the clusters of belief that we most cherish about ourselves – after all, authentic healing means severing exactly those beliefs with which we are most attached. That is a truly heroic act of self-realization.

Can you take that path? If you can’t, don’t feel badly about yourself. Few are able to be their own healer. But I know that you will take this path when you finally get disgusted with the second-hand life. If you have reached that point then I invite you to explore Liberation from the Lie or if you have read it already – read it again. It is the manual of self-discovery.

I had intended to include examples of human cancer on the individual, group, and species levels in this post, but it has already become too long. So I will do that in tomorrow’s post and I will link those examples with this discussion so that our understanding of human cancer evolves to be the light of our own healing.

Please spread the word.

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