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Re: Can anyone help me, please?

Posted: Tue Jan 08, 2019 1:33 am
by Sighclone
Very nice post, turiya - thank you!

Andy

Re: Can anyone help me, please?

Posted: Tue Jan 08, 2019 1:42 am
by turiya
Also, these videos may be helpful in answering some of your questions:

On using the mind as a tool, rather than being used by it and having it "f--- up your life" :wink: :

https://youtu.be/yk1R0fYRLFE

and

On genuine relationships vs. egoic ones:

https://youtu.be/dX0KmgbNaaA

On humor :D :

https://youtu.be/nyUG5KnutTo

Re: Can anyone help me, please?

Posted: Tue Jan 08, 2019 1:48 am
by turiya
Sighclone wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 1:33 am
Very nice post, turiya - thank you!
Thanks! :D

Re: Can anyone help me, please?

Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2019 2:31 pm
by pabl692
Does it boil down to this?

Suffering is born out of a resistance to life.

Is it about acceptance?

People are always going to upset you and unfortunate things are always going to happen. It is natural to feel disappointed or sad etc up to a point. It is when these thoughts rule you that it becomes a problem.

Regarding ye olde ego.. I think it would be impossible to rid yourself from it. So why not recognise and accept you have one, and work with it? In trying to dissolve it, doesn't that become an egoic persuit?

Re: Can anyone help me, please?

Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2019 2:48 pm
by kiki
Ego does not "dissolve". Rather, attachment to and identification with it does. Once you see clearly/grok its artificial role it assigns itself as "director" of your life then it fades away until it actually serves some useful purpose in a given circumstance. So, yes, trying to "dissolve" the ego is actually an egoic endeavor. Who/what other than ego would make such an attempt?

Re: Can anyone help me, please?

Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2019 12:38 am
by turiya
pabl692 wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 2:31 pm
It is natural to feel disappointed or sad etc up to a point. It is when these thoughts rule you that it becomes a problem.
Yes. :)
pabl692 wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 2:31 pm
Regarding ye olde ego..
(Although Kiki already addressed this, I'd just like to add some stuff:)

Yes, ego tries to dissolve ego... which only strengthens ego. :wink:

However, ego dissolves effortlessly in the light of knowing/being who you really are (Consciousness).**

**I think it's important to note here that different spiritual teachers define "ego" differently... and that may lead to some confusion. Some teachers consider the unidentified-with/practical/creative mind and overall personality structure (which doesn't lead to suffering) to be part of the ego... They would say this is "the healthy ego" which is necessary in order to navigate and live in the world. Others, like Eckhart, use the term "ego" to refer to only the identified-with mind... which (although it was a necessary step in our evolutionary development) is now destructive, impractical, and makes navigating and living in the world unnecessarily difficult (and leads to suffering).

Here's a video that might be helpful:

https://youtu.be/NQnOQdmp6aE

Re: Can anyone help me, please?

Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2019 2:17 pm
by pabl692
Right, I will ponder a little more.

I'm struggling to get up in a morning, though. I just don't see much point in anything. Which I know is resistance, and we need to just accept what is, but what is wrong with trying to help people and stop suffering? Perhaps to bring a little bit of wisdom to this world.

For instance, I started my MA to try and help stop suffering in the world through blind assumptions (my MA is in International Relations). Not as an ego-trip, to say, "look at me and how brilliant my mind is". By blind assumptions, I mean the like typical foreign policies of western nations. I mean, look at the invasions of both Afghanistan and Iraq. It hasn't defeated terrorism, it has only fuelled it, in my opinion.

Alan Watts says that trying to do good is futile. Absolutely futile. Trying to help people is futile. Trying to improve yourself is also futile.

He also says that we cause neurotic guilt by resisting our true feelings. For example, children are told to love their parents to be 'good'. Then if they feel like they don't, this causes inner turmoil. They are resisting. I have pondered this myself. In fact, at times I felt like I didn't love my dad, and I would say, well there is no rulebook that states I should. Today, I get on great with my dad. I don't love him out of duty, that would be dishonest. I love him because I see the sacrifices he's made for me, and the unconditional love he gives to me.

My point is, there is no rulebook stating I should love someone. However, where is the rulebook stating that I shouldn't love one person more than another? What's more, in Watts says that all your emotions are real and there are no wrong emotions. If a man wants to cry, then cry. But if I think someone is a bit of a 'dick', then isn't that also valid? I never would really call anyone a bad person, however. Nobody is born inherently evil. I've never subscribed to that. But there are some people who seem to 'get off' on making other people miserable, and they know it. If their misery is real, then why not try and stop it with actions or trying to be a better person?

If Alan Watts subscribed to all this, basically saying don't do anything as it is all pointless, then why did he marry a few times and have several children, of which I assume he loved very very dearly? Animals all love their children dearly. So many of them will fight to the death to protect them.

Re: Can anyone help me, please?

Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2019 6:17 pm
by Sighclone
Watts wrote a number of books, and I'm sure there are conflicting statements in them that could be studied. I think you should trust your own instincts and judgement. Tell Ghandi that making an effort to help people doesn't matter. Your challenge now is to stabilize your daily life, adopting whatever activities that enable you to have peace, regardless of how they resonate with your reading.

Andy

Re: Can anyone help me, please?

Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2019 7:55 pm
by pabl692
Sighclone wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 6:17 pm
Watts wrote a number of books, and I'm sure there are conflicting statements in them that could be studied. I think you should trust your own instincts and judgement. Tell Ghandi that making an effort to help people doesn't matter. Your challenge now is to stabilize your daily life, adopting whatever activities that enable you to have peace, regardless of how they resonate with your reading.

Andy
Hi Andy,

It just seems a bit easier said than done. Yesterday, for a few hours, I felt a little better. But this feeling of absolute hopelessness has just come back. The world I had known has been shattered. What is the point in getting out of bed in a morning if no matter what I do, it won't have any effect on anything, be it positive or negative?

I've just read a post from a few years ago on this forum. A young man from India (I believe), who was suicidal. He seemed to be say a lot of things that I am thinking, too. I think it was WebWanderer who was encouraging him to explore what makes him happy. He asked him, does he enjoy nature? Or helping a friend, or a stranger? Find out what makes you happy and to do it as a service to the Source.

What is he saying here? Is it that in those things you enjoy, that is your true nature? And that that experience in itself, is a service to the Source? Or to do things, make yourself enjoy it, as a service to the Source?

Is my true nature just everything that I enjoy? People might find this odd, but I enjoy going to the supermarket late at night. Even sat here now, in the state that I am in, thinking of having a late wander around the supermarket tonight gives me a warm feeling. I can't put my finger on what it is. I'm not even interested in buying much half the time... I just enjoy being around the people and the life... is this my true nature? I love being kind to people. Making people laugh. Helping people in distress. I love all those things. They make me happy. Not because I want them to think ohhh look how great he is. But because I just want to help human beings who are perhaps just scared of life. Is this my true nature?

If it is, then I wow, I could tip this on its head right now. But then Alan Watts will tell us that these things are out of our control and it is futile to help, or love, or try and improve something.

Re: Can anyone help me, please?

Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2019 8:49 pm
by Sighclone
Why did you shift your existential negative focus to Watts from Tolle?

And why listen to / believe someone who says things that are completely contrary to your experience?

Re: Can anyone help me, please?

Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2019 9:38 pm
by Webwanderer
pabl692 wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 7:55 pm
I've just read a post from a few years ago on this forum. A young man from India (I believe), who was suicidal. He seemed to be say a lot of things that I am thinking, too. I think it was WebWanderer who was encouraging him to explore what makes him happy. He asked him, does he enjoy nature? Or helping a friend, or a stranger? Find out what makes you happy and to do it as a service to the Source.
Here's the crux of it pabl. Energy follows thought. The more you focus on something, the more energy you give it, and the more it will draw your attention to it. It's a cycle. I told him then, and I tell you now, the more you focus on the things that make you happy, the more energy you will give them, and the more they will attract you to them.

This in not a 'should'. It's simply a matter of the physics of consciousness. Make it a point to notice the things in your daily life that bring a feeling to you that you like. Don't be concerned about about doing it for this cause or that. Just do it because you enjoy it.

As to Source, unconditional love is the nature of Source. It's quite an elevating feeling to unconditionally love. It feels like joy and happiness. So most anything you feel that makes you feel better than you did a moment ago, is a movement toward the fundamental nature of Source. It's a little bit of Source experiencing Its true nature through you.

Consider exploring this: appreciation is the closest approximation that we as humans have of the unconditional love of Source. Appreciation is the expression of love - free of expectation or anything in return. Learning the art of appreciation (distinct from gratitude) is a life changing skill. It is for me. The more appreciation you have in and for life, the more manageable the challenges of life become.

Remember also that by definition, to 'appreciate' is to grow in value. So when you are appreciating something, you are...

WW

Re: Can anyone help me, please?

Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2019 9:39 pm
by pabl692
Sighclone wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 8:49 pm
Why did you shift your existential negative focus to Watts from Tolle?

And why listen to / believe someone who says things that are completely contrary to your experience?
I was just reading some stuff and he came up a lot. He also says that you shouldn't try and dissolve your ego. I have been on the forums at Actualized.org, you might have seen them, and they are all obsessed with dissolving the ego and becoming a state of nothing. But they're all chasing their tails. I'm sure Tolle talks about dissolving the ego. But Kiki above, and yourself, have said that trying to dissolve it is an egoic endeavour. That actualized.org forum freaks me out, to be honest.

RE your second question: I don't know. These people are revered by so many. They all claim to know the truth. A part of me thinks that this whole thing explains a lot. But a part of me says it has many holes. I just want to know where I stand.

What is my true nature? Don't we all have the same true nature? Is my true nature when I am actually happy and not resisting anything? Is it that simple?

Re: Can anyone help me, please?

Posted: Wed Jan 16, 2019 6:41 am
by kiki
The thing about ego is that it isn't an actual entity unto itself, it's not something real to begin with. By "real" I mean something that is always present at all times. In fact, all it is is a bundle of thoughts that weave together that give the appearance/impression of a separate self, a separate self that one simply identifies with as "me" - it's what sets the apparent individual apart from other apparent individuals and things. Thoughts that separate "me" from everything else only serve to create the appearance of "other" that is "not me". It is these thoughts that center on how "I" am different than everyone and everything else that are egoic in nature. But, without the thought structure that comprises ego the ego vanishes. Thoughts of all kind come and go, and when thoughts are absent ego is automatically absent.

When ego goes on a spiritual quest it often hears from others that "one must get rid of ego", so it makes a point of trying to "dissolve" or "kill" the ego. The result is it is working against itself. Thought trying to get rid of thought simply perpetuates thought - in other words, it's a recipe for struggle and frustration. I compare it to standing on a board and trying to lift yourself off the ground - it can't be done. Ego trying to get rid of itself results in the same thing, struggle and frustration.

What is to be done then? First, look for yourself and see if you can even find an ego. Apart from thoughts where is it to be found? Next, notice what's still present when thoughts are absent. What remains when mind/thoughts/concepts are absent must necessarily be one's true nature. What is that? What you actually are, the consciousness that realizes thoughts are gone. Consciousness is "knowingness", and without consciousness nothing could possibly be known. It is this "knowingness" that is hallmark of your true nature. Whatever your current experience is it is known because consciousness is present to know it.

What usually happens, however, is that the ego will co-opt that knowing and claim it for itself. Instead of consciousness simply witnessing emotions like anger, for example, the ego will say, "I am angry". In other words, the "me" I believe myself to be is angry, or confused, or lost or whatever the case may be.

You see, for the most part most people believe they exist as a separate entity without really truly challenging this long held assumption; it's what they've been taught since infancy so it's rare to think otherwise. Awakening is what happens when you challenge the assumption and do some actual investigation into the veracity of this belief. Who/what am I really? What am I beyond any thoughts of me? What's present that sees thoughts come and go? Can I be a thought? These are the things one must discover for oneself. Nothing can take the place of finding these things out directly, and that's solely upon your shoulders. It's not enough to adopt another belief about all of this because that's just more "mind stuff". Waking up is waking out of "mind stuff" completely, and that's where reality shines.

Re: Can anyone help me, please?

Posted: Wed Jan 16, 2019 6:14 pm
by Sighclone
As a coda to kiki's and WW's fine comments, I would remind you that Ramana Maharshi taught that the ego depends on the "I thought." That thought is the precursor to all other thoughts "about yourself." Absent the "I thought," there is no ego, really. However, a microsecond after the "I thought" arrives, there are a million following egoic thoughts : "That guy is a threat, I'm a victim, he/she hates or loves me, I'm better than him, I'm good at math, I need to become 'an awakened being.' Etc....

Resting in stillness, as you say you have been able to do, is helpful. Waking up is not a key to successful and wonderful relationships, by the way. In fact, integrating your Self-realization into the rest of life with 'unconscious people' is a new kind of challenge...but that's not one for you to wonder about today. It's not helpful to wonder about how to turn a bicycle down a narrow path until you can ride it.

And none of this thinking and reading, in books or from this forum contain a valid suggestion that you should not eat and enjoy chocolate (or whatever.) WW's comments about appreciation are so true.

And it's also not helpful to attack yourself for obsessing. ET says that stressful situations, events and habits can be approached in one of three ways: acceptance, changing it, or leaving it. I would refer you to Duhigg's "The Power of Habit" for a great review of the formation and transformation of dysfunctional habits.

Andy