Being Conscious is Causing Me More Pain

Topics related to physical, emotional and psychological forms of pain and suffering

Re: Being Conscious is Causing Me More Pain

Postby treasuretheday » Sat Mar 09, 2013 4:30 pm

Now that I have a cup of coffee (yay!) I was just thinking, isn't this "making friends with our feelings," seeing them as helpful guides, so counter-cultural? The psychological community presents articles in popular magazines all the time about "fighting" depression, "battling" the blues, "warding off" the doldrums. The net message sent: "unpleasant" feelings bad. Merrily we roll along...good. The other message sent of course, is that if we need meds to merrily roll along, so be it. It would be refreshing to hear the truth that we really can bear some discomfort for a while (which does not mean we wallow in misery & we certainly don't need to stay stuck in it) and move to a better place as our discomfort guides us to find one.
Life itself is the proper binge.
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Re: Being Conscious is Causing Me More Pain

Postby Webwanderer » Sat Mar 09, 2013 5:43 pm

Emotional discomfort is indeed a strong motivator. The issue is what to do with that motivation. We can rant, rave, blame and justify our concepts and beliefs about our troubles, which only focuses more attention and energy on the the discomfort(pain), or we can recognize the discomfort as a signal that we are not in harmony with our true nature. That then begs the question, what is that harmony and how do we get there?

Recognition is an important first step. But so long as we live in denial of our own contribution, through our current resistant focus of attention, to the discomfort/disharmony that we are experiencing, we are most likely to just continue feeding energy into that which troubles us. Once we recognize the true source of our pain, we can find the freedom to make peace with it and uncover the gift that the pain tells us about our negatively creative focus of attention.

It's truly about harmony/disharmony with our true nature. That true nature is forever loving, appreciative and clearly interested in our/its physical expression's well being. As a physical extension of a greater Consciousness and Being, with the freedom to choose how we perceive conditions in any given moment, we can be anywhere along a scale of harmony - disharmony with that greater Consciousness which is our true nature. Emotions and how we feel are the measure of that harmony.

Harmony, and thus our feeling experience, is enhanced towards enjoyment as the quality of our emotions vibrate more in alignment with our greater being, our true nature. Disharmony is thus increased as we find ourselves in vibrational expression that is out of alignment with our true nature - that disharmonious vibration, vibrating in resistance to what is inherently true about us, is what we experience as emotional pain.

Harmony gives us a feeling of expansion and appreciation of life because those are the qualities of our true nature - and of Source. Disharmony gives us a feeling of contraction and judgment toward life because that separates us from the sense of our true nature. There is endless subtleness along this axis. The more we are attuned to, and clear on this guiding principle, the more we can employ it to manage our life experience in a way that brings us more peace and happiness.

Mastering these skills will do more to awaken us as individuals and, when taught more broadly, the human race as a whole, than all the pharmaceuticals ever manufactured. As evolution of consciousness unfolds, both individually as unique conscious perspectives, and as the human race as a whole, this will be a key factor on that journey.

Well, that's my take in any case.

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Re: Being Conscious is Causing Me More Pain

Postby Yutso » Sat Mar 09, 2013 9:13 pm

WW writes, "It's truly about harmony/disharmony with our true nature. Emotions and how we feel are the measure of that harmony."

When Thich Naht Hanh was exiled from his country he felt angry, worried, sad, hurt. The same is true for the Dalai llama's emotions.

Were they then not aligned with source?
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Re: Being Conscious is Causing Me More Pain

Postby treasuretheday » Sun Mar 10, 2013 12:38 am

Yutso, several weeks ago, I posted a thread, "Judgement, Envy, & Anger" & I wrote the following about this quote
from Thich Naht Hanh :
"Serenity is not freedom from the storm but being at peace during the storm."

"Yes, this is a lovely, poetic way to describe being present to what is- allowing, not resisting the Now, in Whatever form it presents.
And...if we find ourselves unable to accept the storm and fear, not a sense of peace, comes up for us in the midst of it, we can have compassion for ourselves & accept that too. Then, we have still created a space for presence. We have accepted our unacceptance!"

I am sure as you suggest, that the spiritual masters you reference experience anger, sadness, the whole range of feelings that we all do! And...they are wonderful examples of practicing equanimity in the midst of... whatever happens.
Life itself is the proper binge.
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Re: Being Conscious is Causing Me More Pain

Postby Webwanderer » Sun Mar 10, 2013 2:34 am

Yutso wrote:WW writes, "It's truly about harmony/disharmony with our true nature. Emotions and how we feel are the measure of that harmony."

When Thich Naht Hanh was exiled from his country he felt angry, worried, sad, hurt. The same is true for the Dalai llama's emotions.

Were they then not aligned with source?

I don't know the source of the information on how those two teachers felt at that time, but if they were angry, sad, etc. it seems likely that they were were not as aligned or in harmony as when they were at peace with their circumstances. But I cannot say what another is experiencing. That is for them to determine. It seems likely that they would quickly recognize their discordant state however, and refocus their attention to an area of their preference when the opportunity arose and reestablish harmony with their true nature.

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Re: Being Conscious is Causing Me More Pain

Postby simba » Sun Mar 10, 2013 7:49 pm

Hi, all of you have taken the time to read and advice - i really appreciate it. It is rather difficult when you have no one to talk to who would understand - but i knew all of you would. i need to digest your responses and understand it and try to implement it in my life. i do have many many more questions and i will ask for your help again. this first post was out of panic and desperation. i felt so lost and needed guidance. thank you from the bottom of my heart for the kind words of wisdom.
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Re: Being Conscious is Causing Me More Pain

Postby smiileyjen101 » Sun Mar 10, 2013 10:27 pm

Nice to hear back from you Simba, look forward to your feedback when you've digested these varied responses.
Our rights start deep within our humanity; they end where another's begin~~ SmileyJen
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Re: Being Conscious is Causing Me More Pain

Postby Yutso » Sun Mar 10, 2013 11:00 pm

The philosophical view that emotions are an indicator of alignment with source is of and arises out of the ego. Ego (the subconscious compulsion to enhance the sense of self through association with form/content) in this case seeks to enhance its sense of self through emotions (form) as an indicator of the egoic thought form, "I am aligned with source."

What is worse and even more damaging is the added burden that one is somehow out of alignment with source when negative emotions arise.

Thank you treasurtheday for the beautiful quote from Thich Naht Hahn' and your very articulate and wonderful pointer to compassion, "And...if we find ourselves unable to accept the storm and fear, not a sense of peace, comes up for us in the midst of it, we can have compassion for ourselves & accept that too. Then, we have still created a space for presence."

I leave this quote from Yongey Rinpoche, "We think that calming the mind means to get rid of thoughts and turbulent emotions, rather than to connect with the natural spaciousness of awareness itself, which doesn't get any better when there are no thoughts or any worse when there are."
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Re: Being Conscious is Causing Me More Pain

Postby Webwanderer » Mon Mar 11, 2013 2:53 am

Yutso wrote:The philosophical view that emotions are an indicator of alignment with source is of and arises out of the ego.

Maybe the philosophical view does. But I suggest a more experiential one. Forget what the Dalia LLama, Thich Naht Hanh, or anyone else, are said to have felt. Consider your own experience. When you are joyful and clear do you not sense being closer - more in alignment - to your your true nature than when you are emotionally upset? I simply recommend being perceptive to how you feel in that relationship while experiencing various emotional states.

What is worse and even more damaging is the added burden that one is somehow out of alignment with source when negative emotions arise.

It is only a burden if one adds self judgment on top the negative emotions making the experience more painful and longer lasting than is really necessary. There is an alternative perspective available through the understanding that negative emotions, or being out of alignment with one's true nature, is not wrong. Rather, it is just the unfolding of cause and effect from an out of alignment perspective in the ongoing exploration of life experience.

If we just don't see experience in terms of right and wrong, the unnecessary guilt of doing so is not present and we can look at conditions more clearly. That clarity allows us to see emotions as the guiding mechanisms that they are intended to be.

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Re: Being Conscious is Causing Me More Pain

Postby Yutso » Wed Mar 13, 2013 7:15 pm

You are not your thoughts, emotions, sense perceptions or experiences. You are the background out of which they arise; the vast spaciousness of awareness itself. As if awareness isn't big enough for emotions.

Why on earth would anything as fluctuating as emotions be an indicator of alignment with source?
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Re: Being Conscious is Causing Me More Pain

Postby Webwanderer » Wed Mar 13, 2013 8:11 pm

Yutso wrote:You are not your thoughts, emotions, sense perceptions or experiences.

I am not suggesting that is the case. Quite to the contrary, all of this is content within awareness, within consciousness. It's the stuff of experience - which itself is within awareness.

Why on earth would anything as fluctuating as emotions be an indicator of alignment with source?

Simply because of its effectiveness as an indicator to our true state of consciousness. Fluctuating emotions reflect fluctuating alignment with our true nature. Is fluctuating alignment not common, even in those of us who actively seek that alignment? Emotions are one of our greatest gifts. They bring richness to our experience of life and tell us when our thinking is delusive or clear.

I won't argue that there isn't a measure of subtleness to it, but at their extremes, emotions are clearly demonstrative of our perceptive state. In between such extremes emotions still guide in their reflective qualities, but can take a little more practiced perception to discern.

Don't take my word for it. Monitor your own experience over time and decide whether your emotional state doesn't reflect your quality of conscious being. Alignment/dis-alignment, or harmony/disharmony. What are your emotions like when in these relative states?

The issue is that our minds may not so easily recognize the true quality of our alignment with our true nature when perceiving through the egoic identity. Ego readily justifies its position in its perception and can often be quite judgmental and separated from a true understanding of conditions. Ego runs to a large extent on logic, albeit too often a distorted logic. Emotions however, are not so easily deceived. They more accurately reflect the true nature of our perspective through the emotions of pain or joy at experiential extremes, or through something more subtle in between.

So why emotions as indicators? It seems to be a most effective, wordless, universally human, guide to help us recognize our true relative state.

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Re: Being Conscious is Causing Me More Pain

Postby Yutso » Wed Mar 13, 2013 9:32 pm

WW writes, "Don't take my word for it. Monitor your own experience over time and decide whether your emotional state doesn't reflect your quality of conscious being. Alignment/dis-alignment, or harmony/disharmony. What are your emotions like when in these relative states?"

Awareness reflects my quality of conscious being, not emotion.
See live cardinal, happy.
See dead bird, feel sad.
In both cases awareness did not waver. Emotion wavered.
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Re: Being Conscious is Causing Me More Pain

Postby Webwanderer » Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:07 pm

Yutso wrote:Awareness reflects my quality of conscious being, not emotion.

Is it awareness that reflects your quality of conscious being, or is it experience that reflects it, of which awareness is conscious? And if it is experience, what makes up that experience?

In any case I've enjoyed the discussion and wish you the best. Whatever works for you is what I recommend. We all have to find our own way.

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Re: Being Conscious is Causing Me More Pain

Postby Yutso » Thu Mar 14, 2013 12:52 am

WW writes, "Is it awareness that reflects your quality of conscious being, or is it experience that reflects it, of which awareness is conscious? And if it is experience, what makes up that experience?"

Thoughts, emotions, sense perceptions, experiences arise out of emptiness/awareness rather then vice versa. I would encourage you to just connect with the vast spaciousness of awareness which doesn't get any better or worse no matter the externals. We don't have to get rid of negative emotions, or even destructive habits. We just need to recognize right here in the present moment that we are the knower of whatever arises. What could be more simple then that?
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Re: Being Conscious is Causing Me More Pain

Postby Webwanderer » Thu Mar 14, 2013 6:43 am

Yutso wrote:I would encourage you to just connect with the vast spaciousness of awareness which doesn't get any better or worse no matter the externals.

It's a good place to start, and it's a good base to keep in touch with. Life is far more dynamic and interactive however, than any expectations of living completely in neutral. I know of no one who maintains perfect clarity of being at all times.


Thoughts, emotions, sense perceptions, experiences arise out of emptiness/awareness rather then vice versa.

I don't see it that way at all. They do arise, often spontaneously, but it's more out of conditioning and personal experience than it is randomly out of emptiness. I've never had a spontaneous thought arise on a new technique in brain surgery. It's just not withing my experience. Virtually every thought I have, and whatever emotions may accompany them, arise with a sense of familiarity. They are not strangers, they are constructs of existing perspectives or insights relating to them. I may not be able to control their arising, but I can't deny their origin.

We just need to recognize right here in the present moment that we are the knower of whatever arises. What could be more simple then that?

Again, this is an excellent place to start and to hone, but when mind and ego draw our attention into ever more unique experience (and we all know it does so with regularity), it's good to know how to manage that experience with the inherent tools that our Source being provided us for use in regaining our clarity.

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