The worst situation I can (reasonably) imagine...

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The worst situation I can (reasonably) imagine...

Postby Jonski » Fri Sep 19, 2014 5:21 pm

BEING ‘PRESENT’ AT A TIME OF UNBEARABLE PAIN AND DISTRESS FOR YOURSELF AND YOUR LOVED ONES

First I'd like to paint a rather harrowing scenario (so please don't read on if you are sensitive). Then I would like to pose some questions that have been troubling me for quite a few years.... Apologies if its a bit long, and thanks in advance for any responses.

Imagine yourself in a Nazi Gas Chamber with your small children at the moment in which you have all just realized that you are about to die - just as the gas starts coming in and they start choking and looking to you to help or save them.

You realize that the facts of the matter are as follows:

- that you can do next to nothing to help or console your children.
- that you, and they, are about to die slowly and with great suffering (over the following 15 minutes or so).
- that, in addition to your own agony, you must witness the agony of your small innocent children, who are even less prepared for this horror than you are.
- that you (and they) are about to lose everything they have had or known, in addition they may have had or known in the future.

The teachings of Eckhart would indicate that you should:

- Immediately completely accept the situation. (because it would be insanity to do otherwise)
- Do not resist the situation. (E.g. by crying out, or by whatever other form of denial may come to mind.)
- Do what you can to improve the situation (in this case probably very little, or nothing, can be done – except perhaps hugging your children while you are still able)
- Be present and live the experience to the full without getting lost in your mind or thoughts about how awful it is.

The teachings would seem to indicate that suffering is caused by resistance to what is, and letting go of resistance to the present moment will also take away much of the suffering.
However, the following points arise :

a) Clearly your own physical pain and suffering will continue unabated by your acceptance and will be fully experienced to whatever unbearable level is humanly possible.
b) Your mental suffering will be somewhat reduced because you have accepted your fate, and are not making it worse by thinking about it. However, this relief would appear to pale into insignificance in light of the physical pain, and horror of witnessing your children’s suffering.
c) One could choose to cover ears and turn away from the children in an effort to minimize the horror of witnessing their suffering. And a new dilemma would arise - if you choose to turn towards your children, you could in fact increase their suffering as they witness your suffocation during their own, but if you turn away, it could seem like an act of abandonment.

It would appear that being ‘present’ in this scenario, and following the teachings of Eckhart, would do little to reduce the terror, horror, physical and mental pain of this particular situation.
I can see that Eckhart's teachings are of real value for small matters – for example, when stuck in a traffic jam. But, can these teachings be considered to be of value if they don't help when things get really tough?
To put it another way: You can alleviate the stress of minor inconveniences by accepting rather that resisting them; but if something really bad happens, is it going to make much, if any, difference?

I also have the following questions for other Eckhart Tolle followers about this scenario (which must have been a reality for some people during World War 2) :

1. What, from the Eckhart Tolle, perspective is going to happen immediately after this awful experience? Nothing at all? or reincarnation? or we disappear into the 'one consciousness' of the universe forever?

2. If, as Eckhart, suggests the personality does not survive death, do any memories survive? Thus, if we are reincarnated, would we ever again have any knowledge of this unthinkable experience? or that we had a relationship?

3. If there are no past memories in future incarnations - then how does the immortality of some part (the part which Eckhart refers to as being immortal and timeless) of us benefit us, given that we would never again be aware that we existed in that physical form? In other words, if all memory is gone forever, then are we not effectively, dead forever?

In summary, I find it hard to see in this situation how 'surrender' or 'acceptance' makes any difference?
I am also struggling to understand the value of an immortal 'soul' unless at some level we will remain or become again aware of previous incarnations?
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Re: The worst situation I can (reasonably) imagine...

Postby Webwanderer » Fri Sep 19, 2014 7:59 pm

You've made a lot of assumptions in your hypothetical scenario here. And dare I say a fair percentage are faulty.

First Tolle is not the final authority on his teachings. He merely offers his (very insightful) perspective.

I also have the following questions for other Eckhart Tolle followers about this scenario...

For the record I am not a follower of Tolle. I have however, gained a great deal from the insights that arose as a result of Tolle's teachings, and that is enough.

1. What, from the Eckhart Tolle, perspective is going to happen immediately after this awful experience? Nothing at all? or reincarnation? or we disappear into the 'one consciousness' of the universe forever?

Tolle has written little (to my knowledge) on the death experience. He has stated that one may continue on into the greater reality at death, or one may reincarnate. It's a matter of focus and choice.

2. If, as Eckhart, suggests the personality does not survive death, do any memories survive? Thus, if we are reincarnated, would we ever again have any knowledge of this unthinkable experience? or that we had a relationship?

Understand, just because the personality 'may not' survive death, that does not mean one's sense of self and being does not. A personality formed out of distorted human related belief structures is no more likely to survive than the dream personality one abandons upon awakening from a deep sleep. Again, one doesn't lose their sense of self and being just because a dream perspective of reality and self has left behind. Rather that sense of self is greatly enhanced and expanded.

Memories however are a different matter. Just as we can remember our dreams to some extent, as souls freed from the human perspective, with a far greater capacity to perceive and remember, we have perfect clarity and far greater perspective relating to all previous experience. Nothing is ever lost.

3. If there are no past memories in future incarnations - then how does the immortality of some part (the part which Eckhart refers to as being immortal and timeless) of us benefit us, given that we would never again be aware that we existed in that physical form? In other words, if all memory is gone forever, then are we not effectively, dead forever?

This is a faulty assumption. Incarnation in human form has its own unique dynamics. One of which is its uniqueness in limited consciousness. Generally speaking, no memories from other incarnations are brought into human form that could cause distraction from a soul's previous adventures. Imagine you remembered being a death camp guard with vivid memories of murders and rapes you committed. No, the adventures of the present lifetime are challenge enough. You as a human perspective do not reincarnate in any case. It is you as a soul, with a far greater vision and understanding of the human experience, that extends itself into the physical environment as a newly incarnated human.

This limited human you, from your soul perspective is more experience than identity - just as is a dream self from the human perspective. Memories available from this human perspective are stored in the brain from those experiences had during this single lifetime. They also have a vibratory counterpart that last forever. In the greater reality of being, there is no time, so forever is relative to our human perspective. Once some experience is, it simply is. There is no judgment of it, regardless of how we may perceive it from our fearful human identification - no more so than one would judge him/her self for the antics within a dream.

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Re: The worst situation I can (reasonably) imagine...

Postby Phil2 » Sat Sep 20, 2014 7:41 am

Jonski wrote:BEING ‘PRESENT’ AT A TIME OF UNBEARABLE PAIN AND DISTRESS FOR YOURSELF AND YOUR LOVED ONES



Right, I agree that it is very difficult to remain present in hard times ... when life challenges are high ... we will always look for an 'escape', 'doing' something, resisting, thinking, acting etc ...

However when the situation becomes really 'unbearable', this resistance might be dropped suddenly and instantaneously ... out of our 'helplessness', our 'defense system' could totally collapse ... and then the miracle happens: all this suffering dissolves and fades away ... this is what happened to Eckhart Tolle and probably to many others too ...
"What irritates us about others is an opportunity to learn on ourselves"
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Re: The worst situation I can (reasonably) imagine...

Postby smiileyjen101 » Sat Sep 20, 2014 8:55 am

Elisabeth Kubler Ross was inspired into her career on death and dying, grief and grieving by the incredible array of pictures of butterflies drawn by children actually IN those gas chambers, with their names written inside their drawings when she visited the chambers as a young psychiatrist.

She mused that even though they had been told they were only going for a shower, and had been taken to the 'showers' straight off the trains, they knew, they knew that death was upon them. And they had peace of mind to be inspired by those wonderful messengers of nature. Butterflies.


My question is .... why bother 'imagining' yourself, and encouraging others to imagine themselves, into suffering?

Phil said: However when the situation becomes really 'unbearable', this resistance might be dropped suddenly and instantaneously ... out of our 'helplessness', our 'defense system' could totally collapse ... and then the miracle happens: all this suffering dissolves and fades away ... this is what happened to Eckhart Tolle and probably to many others too ...


I agree. And therein is the peace that never again leaves you, and imaginings are seen as the playground of the fearful mind.

a) Clearly your own physical pain and suffering will continue unabated by your acceptance and will be fully experienced to whatever unbearable level is humanly possible.

If you get the facts right - being gassed is not painful, you go to sleep, you stop breathing. Any 'pain' is imagined.

b) Your mental suffering will be somewhat reduced because you have accepted your fate, and are not making it worse by thinking about it. However, this relief would appear to pale into insignificance in light of the physical pain, and horror of witnessing your children’s suffering.

Again, what physical pain? What suffering?
The 'horror' would only be in your panicking and scaring the children.

c) One could choose to cover ears and turn away from the children in an effort to minimize the horror of witnessing their suffering. And a new dilemma would arise - if you choose to turn towards your children, you could in fact increase their suffering as they witness your suffocation during their own, but if you turn away, it could seem like an act of abandonment.

Or you could hold the children to your breast, sing lullabies and soothe their, and your own fears and go to sleep peacefully.
It would appear that being ‘present’ in this scenario, and following the teachings of Eckhart, would do little to reduce the terror, horror, physical and mental pain of this particular situation.


That's because you are 'imagining' it, rather than being in it moment by moment in presence where what is, just is what it is, one moment at a time.

I can see that Eckhart's teachings are of real value for small matters – for example, when stuck in a traffic jam. But, can these teachings be considered to be of value if they don't help when things get really tough?
To put it another way: You can alleviate the stress of minor inconveniences by accepting rather that resisting them; but if something really bad happens, is it going to make much, if any, difference?

Simply, yes. Because it's real, it's not imagined.
Fear = false emotions APPEARING real.
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Re: The worst situation I can (reasonably) imagine...

Postby Jonski » Sat Sep 20, 2014 3:59 pm

Many thanks for your thoughtful replies. I'm going to think carefully about your words over the coming days and consider how that might change my perspective.

I want to make one point in reply the most recent post (from smiileyjen101): in the scenario I was imagining, I was envisaging the reality of exhaust gas poisoning (which I understand is how the Nazis did it before the construction of the gas chambers) described as follows :

"When an acquaintance of mine killed himself using exhaust fumes, he became so disfigured the police wouldn't allow his family in to see the body. All of the capillaries in his face burst, his eyeballs popped and his tongue was so badly swollen that it protruded from his mouth and held his jaw in a totally unnatural position."

This is in stark contrast to the widely held belief that one just falls asleep. Carbon monoxide works in the following way - hemoglobin, the body's way of carrying oxygen around the body, mistakes the monoxide ion for oxygen and 'absorbs' it. The difference between oxygen and monoxide is that monoxide 'sticks' to the hemoglobin, and isn't removed. This means, in short, that actual, life-giving oxygen is no longer distributed throughout your body


That's the kind of suffering I was imagining undergoing and witnessing. But, be that as it may, there are real situations where people and their families die with great suffering, and that's the kind of scenario I am mentally projecting myself into. A truly awful one, where there is little or nothing you can do to make it any less bad. It distresses me to know that such horrific things can happen. But they sometimes do, and it is in just such a situation, where one's worst fears become a reality, that I see a kind of 'acid test' for the value of 'presence'. Clearly, if appearances are anything to go by, for the poor individual described in italics above, there does not seem to have been any relief from the pain before the end. Had his children been with him he would be in no position to help them.

Rightly or wrongly, I suppose I'm thinking that if our beliefs don't stand up to scrutiny in the worst possible of situations, then maybe they don't stand up at all, and that is my underlying fear.

Any further thoughts or comments from you all would be welcome.
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Re: The worst situation I can (reasonably) imagine...

Postby smiileyjen101 » Sun Sep 21, 2014 4:21 am

Okay, even if it is really painful and really awful, you are still only IN it one moment at a time. And in that moment, and every moment your current awareness, capacity and willingness to be present with what is ---- dictates your response to stimuli - good or bad. If one stays present one is not creating more suffering than is real, one is not imagining all sorts of beyond this moment stimuli, one is responding to what is to the best of their ability - so in a sense at its worst, making the best of a bad thing.

If you reflect on the worst pain you've ever experienced in a moment - in reality, not in imagining, you responded to whatever it was to the best of your ability - we all do.

Our unnecessary suffering requires us to step outside of 'what is' into 'what if' - so a migraine headache, as bad as that is, becomes 'what if' it's brain cancer or a tumour and oh god, how will I cope with chemo, and what if I die and leave my children helpless, oh, what if they're so upset they turn to drugs and crime and end up in prison - what if they commit murder and ..... oh dear I couldn't cope with that..... whereas in reality we have a migraine. As bad as it is, we can cope with that - with what is.

We do what we can to alleviate the pain that is real, and stay in the present rather than create unnecessary suffering by our imagining, in our fearful mind, stuff that is not real.

In reality we do what we can, moment by moment by moment. Even if it is god-awful. It's why ET says extreme stuff brings us to presence, it's enough to keep our mind absolutely centred NOW, and on what IS. There's no room for imagining because it's all very real. Now I'm not saying one might not faint, but if one faints then one is relieved of the pain/tension, I'm not saying one might not cry - but crying allows the expression of the emotions - to get them out, I'm not saying one won't scream - screaming is a natural response to horrific stimuli - the difference is it is real, and it is absolutely in the present awareness only experienced one moment at a time.

Even after an event similar stimuli may throw one back into those emotional responses (flashbacks, PTSD etc).
Again the 'cure' is to bring oneself back into presence - it is not happening now/here. This 'cure' may need to be repeated often and on numerous occasions, but by bringing oneself back to presence the hormones that flood our brains don't take as much hold, so the reactions diminish in intensity until such time as they diminish in frequency and one stays in, or returns more quickly to, presence - hence alleviating the unnecessary suffering.

So unnecessary suffering is only possible outside of now. If you're actually suffering now, then it can't be unnecessary suffering, and one would revert back into doing whatever one could, or accepting if one can't change the situation.

Again the more often you stay in, or return to, presence, the more this becomes our 'normal'.

People see and experience horrific actual suffering all the time, but we mostly learn - by being in presence - to not spend time in it unnecessarily as a key to healthy living.

Our biological responses to horrific things creates flows of hormones to assist flight or fight mechanisms. If we learn to regulate these flows into appropriate - rather than imagined - scenarios then we are not living constantly in a reactive state, we are living in a responsive state. There is a huge difference in the quality of life, in the present moment- and in the increase in effective awareness, capacity and willingness to face what is as it arises rather than as it is imagined.

We're just growing different and more accurate / appropriate responses to stimuli.
If a bear really does appear on the path in front of you, being present will still assist you to respond in fight or flight to the best of your ability. If you just imagine a bear appearing on the path in front of you those hormones will still flood your system, they just won't have anywhere 'real' to be expressed, and so they are creating a distance between your reality and your imagined world.

Rightly or wrongly, I suppose I'm thinking that if our beliefs don't stand up to scrutiny in the worst possible of situations, then maybe they don't stand up at all, and that is my underlying fear.

What you've done here is a brilliant example creating unnecessary worry and suffering in 'what if' ... what if being present doesn't actually 'work' when I need it to the most.

Reflect again on the worst that HAS happened personally to you, and how you responded to that - and if being present with what is and not falling into 'what if' would have been or was, beneficial.

It may be that the best we can manage in a situation and following a traumatic situation is to put one foot in front of the other and remind ourself to breathe - and that - in that actual situation, if it is the best you can manage - is okay too.
Creating unnecessary suffering still needs to step outside of that 'what is' into ... oh I 'should' be able to do more than this, or I 'shouldn't' be feeling this weak and helpless - reality doesn't give two hoots about what 'should' or 'should not' be happening. What IS happening IS what IS happening - not if, not but, not should or should not, IS. To argue with that creates suffering, to respond to that creates peace - even if the response is fight - or flight. One learns to become discerning and frugal with those reaction hormones, if you cannot win a fight with it, and you cannot run away from it, then one has to learn to accommodate it. To do otherwise is just wasting time and energy.
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Re: The worst situation I can (reasonably) imagine...

Postby Jonski » Sun Jan 11, 2015 5:09 pm

Webwanderer wrote:
Understand, just because the personality 'may not' survive death, that does not mean one's sense of self and being does not. A personality formed out of distorted human related belief structures is no more likely to survive than the dream personality one abandons upon awakening from a deep sleep. Again, one doesn't lose their sense of self and being just because a dream perspective of reality and self has left behind. Rather that sense of self is greatly enhanced and expanded.

Memories however are a different matter. Just as we can remember our dreams to some extent, as souls freed from the human perspective, with a far greater capacity to perceive and remember, we have perfect clarity and far greater perspective relating to all previous experience. Nothing is ever lost.

3. If there are no past memories in future incarnations - then how does the immortality of some part (the part which Eckhart refers to as being immortal and timeless) of us benefit us, given that we would never again be aware that we existed in that physical form? In other words, if all memory is gone forever, then are we not effectively, dead forever?

This is a faulty assumption. Incarnation in human form has its own unique dynamics. One of which is its uniqueness in limited consciousness. Generally speaking, no memories from other incarnations are brought into human form that could cause distraction from a soul's previous adventures. Imagine you remembered being a death camp guard with vivid memories of murders and rapes you committed. No, the adventures of the present lifetime are challenge enough. You as a human perspective do not reincarnate in any case. It is you as a soul, with a far greater vision and understanding of the human experience, that extends itself into the physical environment as a newly incarnated human.

This limited human you, from your soul perspective is more experience than identity - just as is a dream self from the human perspective. Memories available from this human perspective are stored in the brain from those experiences had during this single lifetime. They also have a vibratory counterpart that last forever. In the greater reality of being, there is no time, so forever is relative to our human perspective. Once some experience is, it simply is. There is no judgment of it, regardless of how we may perceive it from our fearful human identification - no more so than one would judge him/her self for the antics within a dream.

WW


The ideas which you express above are interesting and appealing, but may I ask what is the reason that you have confidence in these beliefs? Have you had some kind of supernatural or meditation experience which gives you this extra insight, or have you simply chosen to believe in this particular way of looking at things? What gives you the confidence that these ideas are true please?
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Re: The worst situation I can (reasonably) imagine...

Postby Webwanderer » Sun Jan 11, 2015 6:41 pm

Jonski wrote:The ideas which you express above are interesting and appealing, but may I ask what is the reason that you have confidence in these beliefs? Have you had some kind of supernatural or meditation experience which gives you this extra insight, or have you simply chosen to believe in this particular way of looking at things? What gives you the confidence that these ideas are true please?

I've been in the study of consciousness and being for at least 40 years. In all that time I have found there is little of an external nature that is uniquely relevant - that is something I would cling to and cite. We are born with the capacity to feel truth. Not so much as an end or definitive product, but as a directional insight or flow of energy that expands consciousness into a more inclusive state.

External information is/can be valuable as pointers, but without a feeling of increased clarity relating to those pointers there is little lasting effect. True, evolutionary, insight is enlivening. It expands our perspective of life and being. A lifetime of genuine interest in the nature of life and our relationship to our True Source of being has brought me to this current perspective. It remains a work in progress.

My experience is that there are no external answers to our quest for understanding. There are only pointers and signposts outside of our own being. That said, the more inclusive our perspective becomes, the more pointers can be felt as internal insights.

So, to answer your question: "What gives you the confidence that these ideas are true please?" I would say, it feels right. Again it's not an end product. Experience tells me that as expansion continues and clarity increases perspective will continue to evolve.

My recommendation is to follow your own inner guidance that generally comes as feelings of insight. Ovoid clinging to ideas that may become traps and restrict the further growth and insights that will supersede current beliefs. Also, enjoy your exploration. If it's not fun (most of the time) then that is likely a message of insight that greater clarity is needed.

As a final note, consider, what did you feel when you acknowledged that the pointers I offered were "interesting and appealing"? That sense is your inner guidance responding with a feeling of insight. Follow it.

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Re: The worst situation I can (reasonably) imagine...

Postby Jonski » Fri Oct 02, 2015 12:10 pm

• Thanks for your reply. I’ve been thinking hard to try to communicate what the core point of my original post is: The reason that your ideas appeal to me is that I have entertained many similar ideas. I love the idea of reincarnation of a soul that lives through many lives to eventually attain a higher level of being. I love the idea of Near Death Experiences revealing that we are all actually going to be OK in the end. I can easily view my whole life as a sort of gentle education process, with tears of inexplicable gratitude coming to me unexpectedly, which feels like a fundamental recognition in me of the mercy and grace of a God who cares about me personally. I love the idea that we all may have guardian angels in the spirit world who help us out when most needed, and shepherd us through our lives. And the idea of negative and positive emotional vibrations which resonate between individuals. All these ideas, amongst others, appeal to me greatly.
• However, the ‘problem of pain’ particularly the pain that comes at the end of our lives, seems to me to form the biggest objection to believing in this kind of charming ideas. If we put ourselves in the position of the rat who was happily living his life until he accidentally fell in your swimming pool, where he swam about in growing alarm and pain until he could no longer stop himself from drowning. Think of a mouse who slowly died of thirst because he was caught in the humane mouse trap in your cellar (that you forgot to disarm before going on holiday for 2 weeks). Or the cat that plays for half an hour with a terrified mouse before it finally gets round to killing it. Thousands similarly horrific events happen in nature all the time within short distance of our comfortable homes. Some think that animal suffering is not as the same as ours, but look at the mouse while the cat torments it, the terror in its eyes looks very similar to me. And, of course, during war or in terrible accidents, human suffering can be just as bad (or even worse) than these examples.
• Are our currently comfortably lives not simply analogous to the rat before he falls into the pool? or mice before they’ve been caught? or a fly before he’s squashed? The really bad thing (the suffering that will lead to our death) hasn’t happened yet, but it is definitely going to happen. Those creatures may all have been thinking what a wonderful world they lived in and, and if they had our intellectual faculties, they might even start thinking about guardian angels, and the grace of a loving God. Because, basically, everything has gone really well for them (or at least acceptably so) right up until the point that it started going unacceptably badly. It’s easy to believe such illusions when you are healthy, safe, and comfortable – before the harsh side of reality bites hard into your own life.
• Eckhart Tolle would freely admit, I believe, that he was suffering from mental illness and he then realised this kind of suffering was caused by his own mind. He shut down a part of his mental processes and the suffering went away. This is, perhaps, not so remarkable. If thoughts are causing you suffering and you stop thinking then that kind of suffering will stop. That’s a great discovery for all who suffer to a greater or lesser extent from mind-made suffering (I’m guessing that’s nearly all of us). But isn’t real physical suffering is a completely different matter. It is not mind-made (or at least not in the same way as the first kind), you can’t easily shut off the panic, and terror, of real imminent death and destruction. (Ok maybe a handful of people in the world could). You can’t switch off the pain that goes with the body being about to die. Bodies don’t die for nothing.
• Is not inevitable that we can imagine that God cares for us, that we seem to be on a journey? That we seem to have guardian angels who have led us through and kept us safe up till now. That is, until the really bad things happen to us personally?
• I think Eckhart Tolle’s opinion on such harsh circumstances would be that we, when our time comes, should surrender fully to whatever agony is in store for us and not succumb to fear and despair, either in anticipation of it, or when it actually happens. I can see the strength of this approach to die in hope, and refuse to increase the actual physical torment by reflecting on it. But it seems a minor victory in face of what will actually be happening at that time.
• Are not all our reassuring ideas about caring universe in which we matter and have a purpose, simply delusions we can only entertain, because really bad things have not happened to us yet?
• I once saw an interview with a famous presenter of TV wildlife documentaries, he had seen much of the world and of nature, and he was asked if he believed in God. He said ‘No’ because he did not believe that God created parasites to torment small children in Africa.
• Please understand that I’m not trying to convince you or anyone else that this is the right way to look at things, on the contrary, I’m rather hoping the will be good reasons why I should not think like this. Maybe you can't say anymore than you've already said, that it's just a feeling. But when when it comes to my own inner feelings, I am sometimes reminded of lyrics in one of Leonard Cohen's songs "I don't trust my inner feelings, inner feelings come and go".
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Re: The worst situation I can (reasonably) imagine...

Postby Rob X » Sat Oct 03, 2015 11:37 am

Jonski, you (the human being) are going to die - and like everyone else, you will encounter some discomfort and pain in your life. This shouldn't be thought of as unreasonable. It's what happens to utterly expendable, finite, temporal, fleshy, squelchy organisms. So if it's physical pain that is your concern then I'm afraid that there's no way around this - it will happen to some extent. But I can promise you that expending energy and time anticipating and worrying about pain is utterly pointless and self-defeating. When pain (and death) comes, in that present scenario the organism will summon up resources to deal with it in the most efficient way possible. So why not leave it there and get on with enjoying your life.

As to the bigger picture: Everything that we know about reality, existence, life and death comes to us via the cognition of an evolved mammal (a shrew with a bigger brain.) It is extremely probable that what we know/understand/cognise is but a tiny fragment of reality's true depth. Even now, reality may be multi-layered in ways that we have no cognition of - in the same way that the universe holds vast depths of understanding that are withheld to an insect. And so our currently evolved perspectives/understandings (scientific and religious) on existential and metaphysical matters are possibly/probably wide of the mark.

Yet in stillness we can let go of all our knowledge and understandings and sense a vastness, creativity and mystery which defies logic - and there can be some peace in the intuition that we are not other than that.
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Re: The worst situation I can (reasonably) imagine...

Postby Webwanderer » Mon Oct 05, 2015 8:59 pm

Jonski wrote:• Are not all our reassuring ideas about caring universe in which we matter and have a purpose, simply delusions we can only entertain, because really bad things have not happened to us yet?

Maybe they are delusions, or maybe perceptions of a caring universe are genuine insights gained through an openness of heart and consideration. What is more likely? What evidence is there to suggest one way or another?

There is certainly a lot of information, research, and witness reports to consider for those who wish to explore the matter. And the 'bad things', events that you characterize as such, may only be as horrid as one imagines them to be. Maybe there is an 'easy' death for those with more clarity on the subject to where fear is not such a problem.

Death through a perspective of being an end of life and existence is likely to be more terrifying than one perceived as a transition as an experience of homecoming.

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Re: The worst situation I can (reasonably) imagine...

Postby smiileyjen101 » Fri Oct 09, 2015 5:53 am

• I once saw an interview with a famous presenter of TV wildlife documentaries, he had seen much of the world and of nature, and he was asked if he believed in God. He said ‘No’ because he did not believe that God created parasites to torment small children in Africa.

What if... you reframe the notion of 'god' to be all and everything in matter and in energy, the alpha and the omega, not a separate/d entity....
then the interaction/s between the parasites (who also get slapped, killed, hurt etc) is between elements of 'god' - the all, the everything in a moment of relative time.

Two fold perspective on this- a) the matter & the energy ' making up the small child & the parasite is the same matter & energy combined in different ways/densities. What makes the child's suffering, life existence, experiences more important to another human is purely in the recognition of (elements of) them self in the portrayal of the human child.

b) One does not have to believe in 'God', or that 'God' values one species or experience of life over any other. The all does not judge the experiences it just experiences the experiences (in this moment etc etc) and values it all equally.

That (b) is something I noticed / learned / absorbed in my own nde, even when really bad things were happening / did happen & still do.

‘problem of pain’
this is kind of cute - what makes it a 'problem' is our resistance to it, and possibly our failure to recognise that it is temporary. Pain can very much be our friend. Outside of physical form awareness there is only the equilibrium of the elements that are juxtaposed against each other in aggravation so all pain has an end, blending, balancing.

Are our currently comfortably lives not simply analogous to the rat before he falls into the pool? or mice before they’ve been caught? or a fly before he’s squashed?

For me, I think it more like the butterfly - once a caterpillar crawling along the ground, then wrapped up in a cocoon in blissful ignorance, & then unfolding its wings & flying freely in all its beauty that was a part of it all the time.

But isn’t real physical suffering is a completely different matter. It is not mind-made (or at least not in the same way as the first kind), you can’t easily shut off the panic, and terror, of real imminent death and destruction. (Ok maybe a handful of people in the world could). You can’t switch off the pain that goes with the body being about to die. Bodies don’t die for nothing.

Turn this upside down - bodies don't live for nothing.
Coming into this world is terrifying!
Our rights start deep within our humanity; they end where another's begin~~ SmileyJen
http://www.balancinginfluences.com
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Re: The worst situation I can (reasonably) imagine...

Postby randomguy » Fri Oct 09, 2015 7:51 pm

Holy crap that's touching about the butterflies drawn by the children.
Do the yellow-rose petals
tremble and fall
at the rapid's roar?
- Basho
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Re: The worst situation I can (reasonably) imagine...

Postby smiileyjen101 » Thu Oct 15, 2015 12:13 am

randomguy wrote:Holy crap that's touching about the butterflies drawn by the children.

It raised all the questions EKR spent her life unravelling, and sharing in her studies and her books.

I cannot recommend them enough - especially Death is of Vital Importance.

The ironies presenting and unravelling in her personal journey are sublime.

That visit to the gas chambers sparked the idea that 'somehow', on some level, the children knew, and yet as a student of science she understood the importance of those drawings being at odds with our cultural understanding and norms.

Her work, academically, scientifically, emotionally, logically, biologically exploring death, grief, dying, near death and after death communications studies, reports and books etc are truly an insightful, illuminating body of work.

I cannot applaud her enough, those who loved her gave three cheers on her final passing, and the tale of it is as touching and inspiring as those pictures that first inspired her.

Jonski may find the answers to their questions in her work.
Our rights start deep within our humanity; they end where another's begin~~ SmileyJen
http://www.balancinginfluences.com
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