Determinism Makes Me Feel Helpless

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Re: Determinism Makes Me Feel Helpless

Postby dannydawiz » Tue Jan 13, 2015 2:00 am

Hey Kathleen. :)

I am still under 20 yes. I can't help it though. I feel so desperate to understand the world but over and over again it's like I always just end up back in this place... There have been times where things seemed to be going okay but then it's like suddenly my entire reality just starts crashing all of a sudden.

I overthink things. I definitely overthink EVERYTHING.

Trying to find the point in the present moment when all I can really notice are observations of internal thoughts and external things.
Trying to find a code to live by in which I can base my decisions.
Trying to find a reason for doing something but suddenly it's like all of a sudden theres a conflict in beliefs.
Trying to understand free will and trying to understand determinism.
Trying to figure out whether maybe this is all just mumbo jumbo and I should live for the future again.
Trying to figure out how to not make my life some sort of means to an end.
Trying to figure out whether some ends justify the means.
Trying to figure out what it is that people want when all I can find is "happiness".
Trying to understand what the point is in happiness.
Trying to figure out what causes depression.
Trying to figure out what the point in life but all I can find are subjective answers... Happiness, helping others, living according to god...
Trying to understand what truth is but suddenly it's like I can't even trust my own observations because there are things beyond my ability to observe. Just as there are things beyond my ability to understand.
Trying to understand whether I'm really even depressed or whether this is just a story in my head that I'm making up again.
Trying to figure out what it is that I want.
Trying to answer the question why not and not being able to find an answer.
Trying to answer the question why and STILL not being able to find an answer.
Trying to understanding how to create permanent change but I can't figure it out.
Trying to understand whether this depression i'm feeling is just a a chemical inbalance in my brain.
Trying to figure out how to reach flow.
Trying to figure out how I should interact with people.

There is just so little I understand about this world and so little I even understand about the self...

There are very few people who I can speak to of these things because they just don't understand... The only one who somewhat understands and does his best to help me is my uncle. I became a born again christian yesterday but now I'm having even more inner conflict because I cannot observe right and wrong as anything but a label of the mind. I have these thoughts and my uncle tells me that it's the devil implanting these thoughts in my head. He tells me to read the bible and that it is the absolute truth but I just cannot comprehend these things... If I'm to live according to god then I'll receive eternal life. I don't even see the point in life now. How could I possibly see the point in life eternally? I would definitely much rather go to heaven than I would go to hell however so I live according to his will because I simply don't know any better... I do my best to believe in him and live according to his will but for some reason I still feel so empty and sad...

Meanwhile with all of this going on inside of me I have to keep up with the expectations of society and family. I have to get good grades, get a job, find a wife... etc.

It's like whenever the external things fall into place the internal falls out of place and then the externals fall away again right after. :(

Well... I guess I'm done ranting. Sorry to put this on you guys.
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Re: Determinism Makes Me Feel Helpless

Postby dannydawiz » Tue Jan 13, 2015 2:07 am

Hey Kathleen. :)

I am still under 20 yes. I can't help it though. I feel so desperate to understand the world but over and over again it's like I always just end up back in this place... There have been times where things seemed to be going okay but then it's like suddenly my entire reality just starts crashing all of a sudden.

I overthink things. I definitely overthink EVERYTHING.

Trying to find the point in the present moment when all I can really notice are observations of internal thoughts and external things.
Trying to find a code to live by in which I can base my decisions.
Trying to find a reason for doing something but suddenly it's like all of a sudden theres a conflict in beliefs.
Trying to understand free will and trying to understand determinism.
Trying to figure out whether maybe this is all just mumbo jumbo and I should live for the future again.
Trying to figure out how to not make my life some sort of means to an end.
Trying to figure out whether some ends justify the means.
Trying to figure out what it is that people want when all I can find is "happiness".
Trying to understand what the point is in happiness.
Trying to figure out what causes depression.
Trying to figure out what the point in life but all I can find are subjective answers... Happiness, helping others, living according to god...
Trying to understand what truth is but suddenly it's like I can't even trust my own observations because there are things beyond my ability to observe. Just as there are things beyond my ability to understand.
Trying to understand whether I'm really even depressed or whether this is just a story in my head that I'm making up again.
Trying to figure out what it is that I want.
Trying to answer the question why not and not being able to find an answer.
Trying to answer the question why and STILL not being able to find an answer.
Trying to understanding how to create permanent change but I can't figure it out.
Trying to understand whether this depression i'm feeling is just a a chemical inbalance in my brain.
Trying to figure out how to reach flow.
Trying to figure out how I should interact with people.

There is just so little I understand about this world and so little I even understand about the self...

There are very few people who I can speak to of these things because they just don't understand... The only one who somewhat understands and does his best to help me is my uncle. I became a born again christian yesterday but now I'm having even more inner conflict because I cannot observe right and wrong as anything but a label of the mind. I have these thoughts and my uncle tells me that it's the devil implanting these thoughts in my head. He tells me to read the bible and that it is the absolute truth but I just cannot comprehend these things... If I'm to live according to god then I'll receive eternal life. I don't even see the point in life now. How could I possibly see the point in life eternally? I would definitely much rather go to heaven than I would go to hell however so I live according to his will because I simply don't know any better... I do my best to believe in him and live according to his will but for some reason I still feel so empty and sad...

Meanwhile with all of this going on inside of me I have to keep up with the expectations of society and family. I have to get good grades, get a job, find a wife... etc.

It's like whenever the external things fall into place the internal falls out of place and then the externals fall away again right after. :(

Well... I guess I'm done ranting. Sorry to put this on you guys.
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Re: Determinism Makes Me Feel Helpless

Postby smiileyjen101 » Tue Jan 13, 2015 5:02 am

No need to apologise to us Danny, we are here for you willingly.

Depression merely means 'world weary'.

When life or the perspective on it seems more than we can cope with.

No one 'is' an illness or a situation at a particular time in their life.

That book I mentioned over the page - the Reality Slap - is a very simple and honest, and at times humorous exploration of pretty much all the things you've highlighted above. The author also wrote another book that I haven't read, called the Happiness Trap.

Unlike some other 'mindfulness' ideas and strategies it totally accepts that thoughts arise, one can learn to accept that, put space around them and still be present, that emotions give strength and sensation to thoughts, and if we are overwhelmed in the fog of thoughts with powerful emotional sensations it's hard to see around, over, outside of them. The author does not exclude himself from any of those things - it's normal in humans - and he gives concrete examples of them arising in himself.

It has simple strategies and exercises in mindfulness and seeing beyond the fog - with love and compassion and kindness for your self. It also builds on moving forward, engaging with life in a way that is meaningful for you - no one else's values or standards but yours.

After all the questions here about doing, not doing, thinking not thinking etc it is a really fresh breath of air to read.

When things overwhelm, at first breathe out - notice the sensations and let them flow, you will be okay.

Kathleen I loved your post, xxoo
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Re: Determinism Makes Me Feel Helpless

Postby dannydawiz » Tue Jan 13, 2015 7:46 pm

I don't see the point in the present moment. I don't even see the point in heaven. I don't see the point in ANYTHING.

Those are the thoughts I'm thinking.

Is life really nothing but a bunch of perceptions?

Perceptions don't change the truth… they can only change our subjective experience.

Because I am able to see the thinking for what it is… Just a bunch of mental interpretations… How can any of these things possibly be true?

How can ANYTHING that I think possibly be true? Including everything that I'm thinking right now…
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Re: Determinism Makes Me Feel Helpless

Postby karmarider » Tue Jan 13, 2015 8:37 pm

Hi Danny,

I have not read through all of this thread--I am responding only to the depression part.

Depression and anxiety are what brought me to awakening.

Depression, my view, is our most honest response to life as most of us live it. When you don't know who you are, and most of us do not, the most honest response is depression. Many people are able pretend and power through, because that is what is expected, but some of us simply cannot pretend, and our response is labeled as depression.

My suggestion is to consider every solution you come across. Consider medication. Medication can help the symptoms. That can give some stability. Talk therapy is good. Finding support is important. You will find if you open up discrimately that many others feel the same way.

In awakening terms, what has helped me the most is self-observation. Everyone has their own path and way, and so will you. I recommend the three techniques which have worked very for me: self-observation, releasing emotions, and lookingat the sense of I am, in the way that John Sherman suggests.
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Re: Determinism Makes Me Feel Helpless

Postby KathleenBrugger » Tue Jan 13, 2015 9:54 pm

That is beautiful karmarider. I have heard other people say the same things about depression being a gateway to the spiritual experience. You are so right about the fact that most people are just pretending their way through life. It's really sad but true. This is why the average person watches 4-5 hours of TV a day--its the perfect distraction from the depressing state of their lives. Another way of saying it is that most people are sleepwalking through life. The film The Matrix showed that in a lovely way; most people are lost in a dream-world.

Danny--that list of "tryings" was awesome! What a compendium of philosophical questions. It's like you're trying to solve every religious/spiritual/philosophical problem ever conceived of by humankind over our thousands of years of history, all at once. That's why I think you're having trouble--you're taking on a huge challenge.

Also, I can understand why you would feel as if you are being pulled in two very different directions--the religion of your family is very different from the spiritual concepts held by people here and the reading you've done. I think karmarider's advice about finding someone to talk to is great, and a non-family member like a therapist would be good. I think you would find out that the questions you have show a healthy inquiring mind, and quite a good one at that, that just needs a little support.
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Re: Determinism Makes Me Feel Helpless

Postby dannydawiz » Wed Jan 14, 2015 5:31 pm

Hello Karma. :)

It's okay. This thread is definitely large and has a lot of things in it.

I agree that depression and anxiety brings many people to an awakening. It brought me to an awakening when I was 16 and at that point I thought that was it. I thought that I knew all the answers. I thought that I would never be back in this place again. After all the reading that I had done and all the searching and sadness I had put myself through it was like I was truly in a type of rebirth.

The worse thing about my depression however is that it seems to be recurring... Reading books gave me answers and so I thought that as long as I knew all the things that I knew I would never end up back here again.

Here I am in probably the worst days I've gone through in my life. The only days that I believe were worse than these was about 2 years ago when I was a sophomore and had just discovered all of these terrible acts of humanity. (Human Trafficking, Beheadings, Child pornography, Assassination markets, Human Death Matches, Pedophile forums, human mutilations...

The strange thing though is that when I went back to high school I truly felt that I was done with all of this... I was actually making friends, I was actually free from a lot of anxiety, I was actually making music that sounded decent, I was actually feeling somewhat satisfied and felt that I had everything going for me.

However it's like suddenly the inner state just collapsed again... The sad thing is that the causes are different each time. When I was younger it was because of the loss of social status. When I got a little bit older it was because I was unable to reach my goals. When I got a little bit older it was because of thinking about death... When I was really young maybe seventh grade is was simply insecurity issues because of the way I looked... Having gone through puberty at 4th grade I definitely always felt different. I always wanted to be different. I always wanted to be better than everyone else... stuck in my young mind of course.

It's like this is becoming such a regular cycle of my life...

The strange thing is that when I was younger I was very extroverted. I was always the loud kid talking to everyone and saying obnoxious things. I was always the kid who was trying to be the center of attention. I had a ton of friends and never felt alienated.

Now though... It's like my personality traits are completely different. I am so focused on my inner life to the point where it actually consumes me. I have trouble relating to other people. Certain situations give me anxiety... I'm almost ALWAYS alone.

I kind of feel like my inner life is just one big giant nightmare and nobody out there is able to see it because its all internal. Externally I'll go to school and people don't know anything which makes me even more sad...

Even knowing all this information... Having read all these books about success, learning, behavioral change, motivation, emotions, depression, happiness, spirituality, socializing, body language, voice tone, CBT, NLP, psychotherapy, neurochemicals, meditation...

Somehow I always end up back here.

I'll be honest... Even though most my family members know about this now, I don't feel a whole lot better. The doctor recommended me to a therapist but my uncle must've somehow convinced my mother that I don't need to see anyone because god was all that I needed. Satan was putting these thoughts in my head and If I let god in my life everything was gonna go away.

I don't feel better.

I read the bible, I listen to worship music, I do my best to pray whenever I'm feeling bad, I don't swear, I go to church, I do my best to be nice to everyone. I don't do drugs, smoke, or look at pornography...

So now I just feel guilty because I think the reason why my family doesn't wanna take me to see anyone or give me any medication is because they think it's just a phase and they don't wanna pay all that money.

By self observation... releasing emotions, and looking at the sense of i am... what are you referring to?

I observe my thoughts the majority of the day except for when I become so focused on something that I'm not listening to my thoughts.

Kathleen, I can observe what you're talking about when you refer to the TV. I'm somewhat grateful in the sense that I never watched tv much and It's never been a big part of my life. Ever since a young age I was always somewhat egotistical in the sense that I felt that I was destined for some sort of greatness. The thought of living a normal life was always like failing to me. I didn't want to just go to school, get a job, make good money, find a wife, have kids, and have it all end there. The funny thing is... If I had known that living a "different" lifestyle would've led to all of this I would never have done it. Now I wish for nothing but to be a normal person living in a dream because the truth is often just to much handle...
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Re: Determinism Makes Me Feel Helpless

Postby karmarider » Wed Jan 14, 2015 6:23 pm

dannydawiz wrote:It's like this is becoming such a regular cycle of my life...


There is a back-and-forth nature to awakening and to depression, and probably at your age, your cycles are more rapid. I think many people here will tell you that they often feel like it's three-steps-forward-two-steps-back.

I'll be honest... Even though most my family members know about this now, I don't feel a whole lot better. The doctor recommended me to a therapist but my uncle must've somehow convinced my mother that I don't need to see anyone because god was all that I needed. Satan was putting these thoughts in my head and If I let god in my life everything was gonna go away.


Perhaps there are friends or others outside your family you can reach out to. Support groups, perhaps. Meetup.com, etc.

By self observation... releasing emotions, and looking at the sense of i am... what are you referring to?


(copied from another article I had written):

1. Observe your thoughts. As you go about your day, observe your thoughts. Take a mental step back and simply watch yourself think. Do not judge your thoughts. Try not to participate in the thoughts. Just non-judgmentally and easily witness your thoughts. This may take a bit of effort in the beginning, as the habit is to get involved in the content of our thoughts. As you observe, thoughts will slow down, become distinct, and spaced. Observe the quiet spaces between thoughts.

2. Look at you. Similar to the Advaita inquiry (Ramana Maharshi) "Who am I" and Nisargadatta's "Hold on to the sense of I-am", this is powerful technique which eliminates the fear of life, which some people say is the root cause of humanity's troubles. Simply, turn attention inward to what feels like you. Look at you. Turn attention to the me-ness of you. For further explanation, see my website, Page on Beyond-karma, or John Sherman's How to look at yourself.

3. Release emotions. This is a very effective technique for letting go of harsh emotions like anxiety and anger, and letting go of negative thought patterns. It can be helpful to understand that emotions are simply energetic thoughts. They are thought which are strong enough to cause body sensations. The technique takes just few seconds to do, and it can take some repetition to realize that letting go of an emotion is simply a decision. When you feel anxiety or anger or whatever emotion you want to let go of:
Fully allow the emotion. Invite it in
Observe the emotion. See that it is a combination of thought and body sensations.
Ask yourself if you can let go of the emotion (it's okay to answer no)
Try to let go of it.
If you think about this technique, it will sound like something too simple to work. However, I don't know of anyone who has actually tried this and not suceeded in developing the ability to let go. I think letting-go is a natural skill that we have forgotten. For further explantion see my website Page on Beyond-karma or read the book the Sedona Method.
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Re: Determinism Makes Me Feel Helpless

Postby smiileyjen101 » Thu Jan 15, 2015 12:01 am

Great contribution Karma, allowing our thoughts and feelings to be as they are, but not necessarily being consumed by them, putting space around them and embracing the rest of our here and now experience as equally worthy of our attention. Widening the framing.

Danny I want to move you to this ---
Ever since a young age I was always somewhat egotistical in the sense that I felt that I was destined for some sort of greatness.


Firstly the only thing 'egotistical' about this is that you are pushing it away from who you really are, as if you are not already greatness. And so you are lacking grace, lacking gratitude & generosity for the 'greatness' that you already are.

You are pushing it away from this moment, every moment - not realising that the greatness always IS.
From the moment of your conception you already are greatness itself (biological you are an absolute winner!! the sperm that contained your unique dna WON the race into LIFE.

Life is greatness. Breath is greatness, skin and bones and blood and guts and mistakes and learnings and loving and fearing and laughing and crying and delighting and hurting already are an immense greatness and if you can see it an immense privilege in experience.

And it takes 'greatness' to experience it and greatness to have even little awareness of it, then it takes 'grace' to accept it, gratitude to embrace it fully and generosity to share it with others.

If you argue with your greatness, you're telling yourself a fib - an I'm not good enough right here right now fib. Let it sit there, put space around it as Karma described, then notice that you can by your own power wiggle the little finger of your right hand - you - you can do that with the power that is so often taken for granted, so often not recognised as greatness ... wiggle it ... yep just that little finger on your right hand ... you did that... and dear Danny ... if you will truly experience it in gratitude & generosity --- how much does your little finger contribute to your life and go unrecognised, unappreciated... truly what is going on in and with that connection within your own body is truly greatness.

:D

The I'm not good enough, I'll be happy when/if, etc thoughts can continue as they are, they can be there and we can look curiously at them, we can ask --- are they true? are they really true? are they helpful? are they really helpful? are they kind? are they really kind - grateful, generous, honest? If not let them sit there without attaching more energy to them, we have unlimited space in our mind and we direct the energy into the thoughts in it.

And even if we can't wiggle our little finger, we are still great - my son had C2 spinal injuries, if he could have wiggled his little finger, or even taken a breath --- a precious great breath of life that we take for granted however many times a minute - the achievement would have been ... but wasn't. So adjusting to reality, even without that capacity, even with the immense limitations I can tell you the joy, the love, the tears the frustrations the life, the moments, the presence the participation with and within capacity and willingness ---- immense!! Gosh such gratefulness & gratitude for every moment of LIFE = absolute greatness in every possible sense of the word.
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Re: Determinism Makes Me Feel Helpless

Postby smiileyjen101 » Thu Jan 15, 2015 12:17 am

Danny consider this - Mindfulness is merely ....
to be conscious of, open to, curious about my here and now experience.
from The Reality Slap by Dr Russ Harris


In this book he explains these elements of conscious of, open to and curious about --- what is this thought about? Okay, what is this feeling about? oh, okay, what else can I be conscious of, open to and curious about in this here and now experience.

He suggests - hold yourself kindly, drop an anchor in the wider perspective of the 'here and now' open yourself up, and 'take a stand' what do you want to stand for in the face of this here and now experience that is consistent with your values and your goals in being who you want to be, and find the treasures buried beneath and around our experiences. To 'acknowledge if pain is there AND appreciate all that life has to offer.'

You already are GREAT.
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