My Life Feels So Mundane

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My Life Feels So Mundane

Postby nightowl » Wed Mar 02, 2011 8:33 pm

I get up, go to work, come home, watch tv, go to bed, get up, go to work, come home, play on the computer, go to bed, get up, go to work, etc. Sure I socialize a little and exercise a few times a week, but I think you get the picture.

"The background became the foreground and the foreground became the background." I heard this in an interview between Gangaji and another gentleman (can't remember his name now.) He was telling a story about a friend of his who met Gangaji when he asked someone in a car for directions. That someone turned out to be her. His friend said when he looked at her he let out a big laugh and "The background became the foreground and the foreground became the background." He said his life changed forever.

This is what I desire (yes - I do desire this.) Stopping the thoughts of desire doesn't make the yearning disappear. I want my little unimportant mundane life to become the background while consciousness and awareness becomes the foreground but I am getting tired and discouraged. I cried this morning before I went to work.

I must not be in a state of acceptance otherwise I wouldn't be feeling so unhappy and hopeless. I can stop my thoughts but that just leaves me with the same feelings less the mental noise.

I'm not sure what to do at this point. I don't want to live the rest of my life in this state. I know the little me and my life situation is just a bunch of mental constructs, but knowing intellectually is not the same as experiencing the truth of all this.
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Re: My Life Feels So Mundane

Postby Webwanderer » Wed Mar 02, 2011 10:47 pm

nightowl wrote:I'm not sure what to do at this point. I don't want to live the rest of my life in this state. I know the little me and my life situation is just a bunch of mental constructs, but knowing intellectually is not the same as experiencing the truth of all this.


Take some time to rest in the knowing that is experiential of being clear awareness. Be aware of the constructs and recognize the distinction between constructed perspective and the awareness within which it resides. If you genuinely know the little you which is a bunch of mental constructs, what is it that knows? Be clear in this knowing for that is what/who you are - not the identified, not the construct. Rest in this knowing often, many times a day, every day. Never stop. Soon it will be an just interesting dance between perspectives where ego has its place and clarity rules the day.

That being said don't worry about pursuing your desires, even if it is coming from ego. When properly behaved the ego is like a child at Christmas. Just know desires for what they are. They do serve a useful purpose. Pursue them with vigor where appropriate for they are the fuel of the evolution of consciousness. Life serves little purpose sitting alone in a cave. Far better to engage with life exploring experiential possibilities, even if it be the ego's goals. Engaging life with clarity makes for opportunities to love the experiences and participants that come our way, and there is after all, no higher expression than love.

Don't worry about mistakes, they're sure to be a part of a healthy exploration. Simply be of a mind that life is meant to be a challenge and that you are willing to learn from the cause and effect nature of your experience.

Be forgiving of others, but mostly of yourself. Forgiveness it seems, frees us from our ego's wrath. And nurture genuineness and honesty within, it will save a lot of pain down the road.

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Re: My Life Feels So Mundane

Postby runstrails » Wed Mar 02, 2011 10:48 pm

nightowl wrote:I know the little me and my life situation is just a bunch of mental constructs, but knowing intellectually is not the same as experiencing the truth of all this.

Hi nightowl,
This is a very important realization. Even if it is intellectual right now, keep at it and it will sink in deeply. Once it does and you realize that anyone's life situation is just illusory for the most part--you'll loose interest in the illusion and then turn to seeing things with clarity. That will allow you to focus on the reality of things. When seen clearly, the most mundane existence becomes one that gives great peace and joy. So do the work, keep realizing what it illusory and what is real and focus on the real.

Hope this helps. Keep us posted.
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Re: My Life Feels So Mundane

Postby erict » Thu Mar 03, 2011 12:10 am

nightowl wrote:I get up, go to work, come home, watch tv, go to bed, get up, go to work, come home, play on the computer, go to bed, get up, go to work, etc. Sure I socialize a little and exercise a few times a week, but I think you get the picture.

I so totally relate to this, especially right now. It's so relevant to what is going on in my life.
But what I think you're trying to do, is use enlightenment as an escape strategy. What you quoted is very close, to what is in my opinion one of the best definitions/descriptions of what enlightenment is - a shift in identity, from form to the formless.

From what you say, I feel that you have misunderstood some of Eckhart's teachings. The fact that you feel unhappy (depressed?) may very well mean that your life needs some changes.

Here's how I see the situation (please correct me where I am wrong). You are unhappy with your life, with the repetitive routine. We all try to escape unhappiness through various strategies and it seems the one your ego has adopted is enlightenment (not uncommon around these parts :) ). But perhaps you should consider that what you feel inside only means you should stop and reevaluate your life, perhaps a change is needed? When your tooth hurts, does that mean you need to awaken, or go to the dentist? Pain, it seems for the most part, is absolutely functional. It comes to draw our attention to an area that has a problem and requires some action. I think emotional and mental pain often serves the same function.

Yes, Eckhart talks about acceptance, but he talks about accepting and from that place of acceptance taking action if action is necessary and possible. He does not advocate a stale, passive, stagnant life. So ask yourself, maybe you just feel stuck, like you're threading water and not actually developing in whatever direction that is meant for you, and that is why you feel the way you do.

For a while now I've been thinking that my life is good, and though there is much room for improvement, it is quite good in a lot of ways, but... but it seems its time for me to learn that evaluating my life in that sort of "dry", rational way is just incorrect. Inside me there are deep, genuine desires and potential that I cannot ignore for very long, if I wish to be happy. Life appears to be moving in a certain direction, and if I resist or ignore this movement, I suffer. The solution isn't to escape the unhappiness through enlightenment. Sure, it seems a nice ego strategy, the ultimate solution to all of life's problems, the end of suffering. But realistically, it doesn't feel like the direction in which my life is moving. Yes, I adopt some things from the teachings, but my life goes on and I can't neglect it.

I hope this perspective helps.
"Be sincere; don't ask questions out of mere interest. Ask dangerous questions—the ones whose answers could change your life."
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Re: My Life Feels So Mundane

Postby erict » Thu Mar 03, 2011 12:23 am

runstrails wrote:
nightowl wrote:I know the little me and my life situation is just a bunch of mental constructs, but knowing intellectually is not the same as experiencing the truth of all this.

Hi nightowl,
This is a very important realization.


I'm sorry, but I really have to disagree. I feel that it isn't a genuine realization, but a mere belief for you. You're also implying that your life circumstances are insignificant and unimportant, but they are! Of course they are important.

It's like if I go somewhere, traveling in a jeep and it gets stuck in the mud someplace, and I get frustrated and miserable about being stuck, but then I do nothing to get out, instead telling myself that I know this is just the little me and my life situation and it's all just a bunch of mental constructs, all the while doing nothing to get out of the mud, and the feelings of frustration are naturally only getting worse all the while.

All these pointers Tolle offers, are to help us break free from being stuck and lost on the mental level of concepts, but what good is it to take them to the opposite extreme and start ignoring the actual reality of our lives?
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Re: My Life Feels So Mundane

Postby erict » Thu Mar 03, 2011 12:59 am

"My life feel so mundane"

I'd like to share some more thoughts on this. In my experience, I've noticed the very same circumstances in my life to evoke absolutely different internal experiences. When I do not feel well inside (whether physically, emotionally, mentally), nothing, nothing brings me any pleasure, satisfaction or joy, but when I am in a different state internally, so many things, regardless of how big or small, regardless of how mundane can feel so wonderful and deeply satisfying.

So perhaps the emphasis should be not so much on what is going on in your life, but what is going on inside you. Although it is almost inevitably connected to some aspect of your life circumstances. So I think the answer will be inside. The unhappiness and lack of satisfaction, are mere symptoms. Your life feels mundane because of your inner state, not the other way around.

It may sound like I'm starting to contradict myself a little, but if that is so, I'm not expressing myself clearly enough. I'd be glad to try to clarify further, if necessary.
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Re: My Life Feels So Mundane

Postby heidi » Thu Mar 03, 2011 1:29 am

Wow Eric, the tiger :D is roaring. Thank you for your honest insights.
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Re: My Life Feels So Mundane

Postby nightowl » Thu Mar 03, 2011 1:33 am

erict wrote:"My life feel so mundane"So perhaps the emphasis should be not so much on what is going on in your life, but what is going on inside you. Although it is almost inevitably connected to some aspect of your life circumstances. So I think the answer will be inside. The unhappiness and lack of satisfaction, are mere symptoms. Your life feels mundane because of your inner state, not the other way around.
No arguments here. I should have been more specific in my original post. I don't think it's the external situation causing the unhappiness, or whatever these feelings are. As I understand (intellectually), if I am residing in awareness (the foreground), the external situation (the background) really shouldn't matter.

Thank you all for your comments so far. I am taking everything in but wanted to respond to erict's comment right away to give a better understanding where I am coming from.
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Re: My Life Feels So Mundane

Postby erict » Thu Mar 03, 2011 1:54 am

nightowl wrote:I don't think it's the external situation causing the unhappiness, or whatever these feelings are. As I understand (intellectually), if I am residing in awareness, the external situation really shouldn't matter.


But exactly this is a huge part of what I was trying to convey in my first post, it does matter! What is happening in your life does matter. It isn't something to be discarded, but considered along with everything else. This "intellectual" understanding of all these spiritual concepts is getting in the way of moving towards a solution. Even if a shift occurs, from being totally identified with form and content to awareness, the external situation still matters. Of course it matters. It may no longer be as primary and consume your entire attention, but enlightenment isn't a means of escaping from your life.
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Re: My Life Feels So Mundane

Postby runstrails » Thu Mar 03, 2011 2:06 am

erict wrote:
but enlightenment isn't a means of escaping from your life.

Great stuff, eric!
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Re: My Life Feels So Mundane

Postby Sighclone » Thu Mar 03, 2011 6:08 am

Many many people report a period of disorientation during this "process." (Of course there are those who say there is not a process, just a big bang, but I'm not in that camp.)

The "disorientation" arises when the former mental egoic onditioning is suddenly brought into sharp focus and witnessed when it launches what have normally been autopilot responses, but now, everything gets exposed to the searing rays of Presence. And there is really "nothing familiar" around to replace it. So...you stumble around without much enthusiasm. It is a period which will pass, probably in a couple of months.

There are several actions to take to get past this. One is to take some quiet time to just be still in nature. You have cast off a lot of conditioned baggage -- go enjoy this planet you inhabit for an afternoon. Walk among the trees or fields with an empty mind. Thoughts arise -- let them pass away. Just be. And see if the sacred beauty of natural things doesn't appear....not only appear, but actually jump out at you. Or is it jumping into you....or is the boundary between "you" and "it" suddenly unclear. You have reached a watershed moment, and the energy streams from Source are still not natural for you -- your antennae are not yet tuned in fully. Listen to your intuition...listen deeply.

It is also possible that you have a mild form of clinical depression (just a physiochemical imbalance which has been exposed in your process of awakening.) Chat with a psychologist. If you are in the USA, there are some trained nondual psychotherapists (yes Eckhart, there are such creatures) and I can send you a list if you PM me.

Also try journaling -- there may be some unconscious fixations which are unwilling to emerge on their own and are "blocking" some free expression of Being. Journaling your feelings helps expose them.

Andy

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Re: My Life Feels So Mundane

Postby nightowl » Thu Mar 03, 2011 8:03 am

Sighclone wrote:Many many people report a period of disorientation during this "process." (Of course there are those who say there is not a process, just a big bang, but I'm not in that camp.)

The "disorientation" arises when the former mental egoic onditioning is suddenly brought into sharp focus and witnessed when it launches what have normally been autopilot responses, but now, everything gets exposed to the searing rays of Presence. And there is really "nothing familiar" around to replace it. So...you stumble around without much enthusiasm. It is a period which will pass, probably in a couple of months.

There are several actions to take to get past this. One is to take some quiet time to just be still in nature. You have cast off a lot of conditioned baggage -- go enjoy this planet you inhabit for an afternoon. Walk among the trees or fields with an empty mind. Thoughts arise -- let them pass away. Just be. And see if the sacred beauty of natural things doesn't appear....not only appear, but actually jump out at you. Or is it jumping into you....or is the boundary between "you" and "it" suddenly unclear. You have reached a watershed moment, and the energy streams from Source are still not natural for you -- your antennae are not yet tuned in fully. Listen to your intuition...listen deeply.

It is also possible that you have a mild form of clinical depression (just a physiochemical imbalance which has been exposed in your process of awakening.) Chat with a psychologist. If you are in the USA, there are some trained nondual psychotherapists (yes Eckhart, there are such creatures) and I can send you a list if you PM me.

Also try journaling -- there may be some unconscious fixations which are unwilling to emerge on their own and are "blocking" some free expression of Being. Journaling your feelings helps expose them.

Andy

Andy

Thank you so much. Your post is extremely helpful to me.

Disoriented...yeah, that's the ticket. :shock:
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