Fearsome Presence

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Rick
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Fearsome Presence

Post by Rick » Fri Oct 26, 2012 8:10 pm

I became vividly conscious of where I was, what I was doing, aware of everything around me; aisles of bright and beautiful produce and fruit, the aroma of fresh baked bread, others busily shopping, the assortment of noises, voices, wheeling carts. It was all so clean, bright and beautiful and I had a knowing that everything was exactly as it should be. I was overtaken by a deep feeling of joy, and I burst out in a laugh right there and then. I couldn't contain it…

There is this semi-retired older guy I sometimes worked with that is the kind of guy who loves to constantly talk about his myriad medical issues; operations he has had, operations he is going to have, ills he has or had suffered with. He never simply states he needs a break to eat lunch or a snack, he uses it as an opportunity to tell you about his low blood sugar issues, diabetes and his entire medical history...over and over and over again. That’s just the way he is.

He worked thirty years as a hospital orderly, but since retiring from there he has had countless operations in the same hospital and, always, it seems, has another operation coming up for a new condition. It is plain that he is conditioned to find identity and purpose, sympathy and attention, from being ill, in need of a medical procedure or being hospitalized. In some ways I can actually understand this. I once, only a few years ago, had occasion to spend 5 days in a hospital, my first time. I was quite ill with a serious infection after a hernia repair. Anyway, I was babied and attended to around the clock, right up to the moment of discharge. As I walked off the hospital grounds, I felt oddly abandoned and alone. “How interesting” I thought. Now I could understand how/why some people can become addicted to hospitals, the care and attention. I observed the phenomenon many times earlier in life when I worked in the VA Medical Center world. Then I couldn't understand how it is some will do anything to be admitted, over and over. Now it made sense.

Anyway, back to the man in the story. At the place I did some work, whenever he would come around, most would give each other a knowing look and make a hasty exit, for they knew what was coming. If he got your ear, he would suck you dry of any attention/sympathy he could find. In the past I had always been too business with my duties to give him much more than a passing word or two. But one day, circumstances would put me in a position where I had no choice. He could come and go, but I could not. It wasn't long before his conditioning kicked in and he directed his unconscious "suckathon" for sympathy and attention towards me.

So, compelled to listen, as it were, instead of resisting, I would give him full, undivided attention willingly. Nothing else would matter except listening to him fully, without reservation, without thought, without judgment, without looking for escape. I would be “there” for him, as long as required, listening intently to every word he had to say, and soon a remarkable thing began to happen. He slowly began to freak out. To my surprise, even as he continued speaking from his conditioned script of troubles, his face began to show puzzlement and even a hint of fear. He slowly backed away toward the door and abruptly made a hasty exit from the room as if he’d seen a ghost, leaving me amazed, alone and in wonderment at what had just happened. After that, he would avoid speaking to me about anything beyond normal business conversation…even as he continued to feed off anyone else who came within range. Eventually I wouldn't work there anymore and I have no idea whatever became of him, but I would see new found meaning in an old scripture. Matt 5:38-41
Daily life IS spiritual exercise.

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smiileyjen101
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Re: Fearsome Presence

Post by smiileyjen101 » Sat Oct 27, 2012 2:27 am

That is a very powerful realisation Rick.
Such acceptance and attention can lead people to break through their fears.

I've had quite a few encounters like that - the beauty of the person inside is not defined by the layers of their story they hold around them to protect their vulnerable core.
Now I could understand how/why some people can become addicted to hospitals, the care and attention. I observed the phenomenon many times earlier in life when I worked in the VA Medical Center world. Then I couldn't understand how it is some will do anything to be admitted, over and over. Now it made sense.

It's the same as those who are comforted in 'victimhood' and those who find their place of acceptance in institutions like prisons. Our imprisonment and our lack can be in our minds or in the actual institutions that accept the 'aberration of imperfection'.

I left the reference to Matt 5.38-41 until here, without 'knowing' the reference, the resonance was the one I found when I googled it and not dissimilar to the Dalai Lama answering the question of balance from a mother whose son was going off to war.
38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’[a] 39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. 40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. 41 If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles
Applying the latter part of it - 40-41 allows an immense explosion of gratitude/generosity - love - that many resist in fear and ego.

Our abundant capacity is a joy to experience ...wherever... whenever.

Thank you for sharing Rick.
Our rights start deep within our humanity; they end where another's begin~~ SmileyJen
http://www.balancinginfluences.com

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Rick
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Re: Fearsome Presence

Post by Rick » Sat Oct 27, 2012 3:44 pm

Thanks Jen,

Finding the bones of this story recently cast the issue of fear in a new light for me.

When we talk of the "fear of life" the question is who is experiencing the fear...and why?

Someone on another board said that when we give another fully Present, undivided attention...it has the affect of calling forward their own awareness. This can be frightening for the ego that is not ready to awaken from it's dream and is forced to see itself in an unflattering manner...or it can be gratefully received. Is it any wonder that some have been nailed to a cross for simply being a shining Light?
Daily life IS spiritual exercise.

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rachMiel
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Re: Fearsome Presence

Post by rachMiel » Sat Oct 27, 2012 4:50 pm

Interesting.

So would you say that, on the psychological level, dis guy was trying (for whatever dysfunctional reason, perhaps validation of a negative self image) to get people to dislike/hate/shun him, and that when you did the opposite, thus thwarting his goal, he sought greener pastures (with others who would be repulsed by him)?
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...

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Webwanderer
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Re: Fearsome Presence

Post by Webwanderer » Sat Oct 27, 2012 6:09 pm

Great story Rick. It seems your open presence allowed so little resistance that your friend talked himself into such an open space that he could no longer deny his own story making. If he wanted to maintain it, it's no wonder he ran from such clarity.

I also liked the grocery store experience. I've had quite a few similar experiences in the grocery store and other such environments. Adya's True Meditation is great in engendering such clarity.

WW

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