Posts Tagged stress
Everything needs cleaning – even the self.
But how do we clean the self?
It’s easy – and it’s not so easy.
When psychological discomfort arrives, as it surely will, just allow it to express itself fully. Don’t do anything to block it or ameliorate it. Don’t interpret it or try changing it in any way. Just let it be what it wants to be.
This is how nature cleanses the self. The pain will pass. Just go about your day, but the one thing you won’t do is try talking yourself out of it or analyzing it. Just let it be. There is nothing easier than allowing, but it may be tough to allow pain – but this is what we all need to do when pain arrives. It wants to be. It is like a storm – it arrives – it manifests – and it passes.
When it passes – ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. It’s like the bright and clear sunlight after a storm. The air is clear, everything is in order.
The ego is not real. It is a label we place on those personality traits we define as demanding, insistent, self-righteous, and controlling.
In fact, all such qualities are of the self. The self is those energies that originate with a fear of being nothing. This is the identification with universal insecurity. The fear of being nothing creates and maintains the needs of the personality.
Contextualized within spirituality, this means that the pursuit of personal enlightenment is no different from any other self drives. It is the fear of nothing demanding to be something. See it for yourself.
The fear of being nothing is an illusion, for when we realize it is false, when we realize this to the depth of our false being, we are open to everything. This is the key to living life free and secure.
What makes Liberation from the Lie unique?
I wrote Liberation from the Lie because of the overall failure of nearly every other approach to awakening. I asked myself these questions:
- Why was awakening to the truth of presence so difficult?
- Why do most of us struggle with depression, seeking, and persistent stress?
- What is missing from the teachings of Buddhism, nonduality, and even psychological therapy?
While everyone’s path is subtly different, there is much more we have in common than what sets us apart. My own ‘intellectual’ breakthrough came as a result of reading Morris Berman’s Wandering God. The evidence presented by Professor Berman clearly showed that depression, restless seeking, and persistent anxiety are not endemic to the human condition. They are, in fact, relatively recent developments that are tied to how we are raised and socialized.
I integrated what I learned from Wandering God with my direct experience working with traditional Navajo healers and my extensive immersion in the philosophies of Buddhism and Nonduality.
The result was a comprehensive approach to understanding and a direct path to self awakening that is Liberation from the Lie.
What sets Liberation apart from every other book available to the reader is the remarkable and life changing realization of the Wound and the ensuing Fear-Selves. On account of our primal Wound, we naturally developed an array of Fear-Selves. It became clear to me that the person suffering from persistent depression and anxiety, the person endlessly seeking spiritual awakening, and even those of us struggling to make sense of our lives were, in fact, forms of the Fear-Self. They were not the authentic person.
This was the life-changing insight and this is what makes Liberation from the Lie unique. This book presents a comprehensive explanation why conventional forms of therapy and spiritual practice cannot work for most of us. As long as we believe we are a Fear-Self, we will spend the rest of our lives spinning our wheels believing that we are making “progress” when we are sustaining a deeper belief in a person that is false. The seeker, the stressed-out person, the depressed person, none of these are our authentic identities. As long as we continue “working” on these artifacts of the Wound, no enduring transformation will result.
This book presents an easy to understand pathway to understanding how these false-selves evolved in us and what keeps them going. Until we understand the immensely powerful role they play in our lives, we will continue living under the trance of the false authority.
Summary: High anxiety and depression occur when life circumstances link up with an underlying belief about who we believe ourselves to be and how we assess our world. Therefore, depression and paralyzing stress are NOT just a consequence of external circumstances. They need an anchoring belief we carry within us. This linkage causes painful emotional episodes characterized by self-sustaining blockages in our thought stream. Note how thoughts flow freely when we are not experiencing intense stress or depression. Learn more below.
Take a look at the computer you’re using. Is that computer you?
Obviously it isn’t. You can look to the right and left and be unchanged. These are only objects in your field of vision.
Have you ever had a stray violent thought that passed through your consciousness that you would never actualize in your own life?
Does that thought tell you who you are?
Obviously not. It’s just a stray thought. Everyone has them.
Have you ever had the thought that you are a jerk?
Probably yes. Is that thought you? No, its just a thought, but if you read this whole post, you will see that irrational self-critical thoughts are a inevitable consequence of an underlying and generally unseen belief in our inadequacy.
Now notice your body and imagine that your natural legs were amputated. Would the essential sense of self, of you, change? You might be less mobile, but the essential you would not be changed.
Have you ever known anyone that you really liked and your feelings about that person change over time?
Of course, we all have had that experience. You might have been sure of your feelings at one time, but life changes, we learn, others change, and our feelings change. We are certain of a feeling one day and that feeling can change completely the next day.
But if this little exercise shows us that we are clearly not our thoughts, feelings, sensory field, or body, then why do we cling to certain thoughts, particularly when we are feeling badly about ourselves and our life? When we are depressed a special thought stream becomes stuck – almost nailed into place and the process that nails it is our agreement that this particular thought stream IS who we are even though we might not even believe its agonizing message. So what is happening?
A thought stream can become anchored in our consciousness because it links into a much deeper cluster of thoughts which is, normally, below our everyday level of consciousness. The merging of these thoughts with the internal thought nexus creates a special and profoundly personal relationship.
The internal cluster is our identification with what I call the “Invalidation Triad”; a belief in our inadequacy, insufficiency, and unlovability. The Invalidation Triad (IT) takes root in us even before we are verbal. It is a direct result of a repeated and sustained experience of invalidation which is a consequence of our physical separation from our parents, often in our first moments and months of our lives, as well as being raised in an environment which believes that children need to be obedient, loving, well-behaved, and pliable. Our natural being as children was rejected by not only our parents (who could parent no differently because they knew no other way), but our society. Essentially every social institution from school, summer camp, and work require our obedience and the undermining of our authentic self. We loose our connection with our authentic self at a very early age.
In this environment the burden of love falls on the shoulders of the very young children who soon realize that love, even from their parents, must be earned. Even in loving and caring families, the underlying theme of invalidation is unavoidable. Most of us grow up in an environment of both love and invalidation, but because we need love and support, invalidation tends to trump love. As a result we need to abandon our natural being, our authentic voice, and develop a secondary fear-based personality, which becomes the person we believe ourselves us to be. This is the Lie of Liberation from the Lie.
Our life of insecurity, uncertainty, and confusion is part and parcel of this incomplete fear-based personality. This is a complex subject that I devote nearly 250 pages of text in my book Liberation from the Lie, so it is not possible to present the whole theory in this post, but this is the general outline. It cannot be fully appreciated without the detailed support of the book, but suffice it to say, that when life challenges us, and our secondary fear-based self experiences defeat, it will make contact with the core invalidating identity cluster. When this happens, the Depression link is made complete. We feel really bad and life feels hopeless. So even though we understand, intellectually, that most of our thoughts are NOT who we are, this, particularly painful thought, IS who we are. It has linked up with our underlying self-identity and we are now debilitated by depression.
So what can we do? When we are happy and are feeling confident, our thought stream just flows like a burbling brook. It isn’t a problem. But when our thoughts link up with the underlying inadequacy identity, the flow is obstructed and we become deeply identified with the obstructing event. What we need to do is to see the whole dance of the external thought stream with its, largely unseen, underlying self-identity (which is called the Wound in Liberation from the Lie). I strongly recommend purchasing the book, which will take the reader on a detailed healing process, because the journey can be a difficult one, but if we are to liberate ourselves from the depressing and debilitating trance this underlying invalidation cluster has on our life, we need to stop believing it. We need to examine its whole structure – we need to dis-entrance ourselves with it. Also, we need to stop fighting it. We need to see both our infantile pain, as well as our beauty as people who have lived with this weight, for no one is spared the mark of invalidation; it is a part of who we are. So we make friends with it. Our heart goes out to it, so the next time the linking thought structure happens we are able to develop a natural and self-empowering resilience to it in the midst of challenge.
Eventually, the linking thought structure will weaken and we will no longer selectively believe what it tells us about who we are. As we become liberated from its thrall, our authentic, passionate, and resilient voice will emerge and we will live in our truth. Thoughts will assume their natural flow and the love that we are will allowed to emerge all on its own.
You can learn more about this process at my web site www.liberationfromthelie.com. You can also download the first chapter for free. I am always open to comments and questions. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org – I will always respond. Eric
Finding Balance in a World of Change
There are two sources of identification. When we are identified with lack, which the vast majority of us are, we are identified with the changes in our life; changes in thought, feeling, emotion, circumstances, and experience. The alternative identification is with that which is aware of all change; that part of us that has never changed and never will. The luminous screen of identification is the source of everything and it is always and must be balanced in all circumstance without exception.
We are told over and over again that the enlightened state is one of awareness. So true! But if we are all awareness, then we isn’t everyone enlightened?
What do we mean by awareness? I think it comes in 3 overt flavors.
Dog Level (no offense to dogs): Level one can be called incidental awareness. We are aware of what’s going on around us, but we’re investing very little of our sense of self into what we are immediately experiencing. Sounds are there, things are in our field of vision, and that’s pretty much it. We are, usually, more aware of the thoughts that most strongly draw our attention. For the most part, we are led around by these thoughts like a dog on a leash. But within the field of thoughts that are those that emerge that glow with a special light – which leads us to the second level of awareness …
Settled in the now, we are a lot more aware of our immediate world. We see more clearly, we hear more keenly, we taste, we feel, we sense our thoughts and feelings coursing through “our” consciousness and we also more space around them. They don’t, necessarily, pull us around with the same force as level 1. But there is still “our” sensing within the larger story of “our” life. It’s personal and no matter how strong sensed experience may be, the larger story of our life trumps immediate experience.
In the Now: This level is very much level two, but the story of me no longer trumps direct experience. We are, literally, one with everything. And, I don’t know about you, but I love my hot dogs with everything.
p.s. – we will return to levels one and two – but don’t sweat it, once you have a taste of level 3 there’s no going back. Please pass the mustard.