Can I really accept this?

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Can I really accept this?

Postby Midnight » Tue Aug 02, 2011 5:51 pm

It's something that Eckhart mentions time after time, surrender, acceptance..

In some situations, where the content of the situation or event is uncomfortable but not riduculously uncomfortable, acceptance seems like a fair enough option.

With my current intense feelings of unreality, repressed emotion, memory loss and anxiety seemingly caused by nothing in particular, I don't see how acceptance of this moment could help. It seems odd to be writing this in a way, because when I refer to this 'me' whos having an experience, it doesn't actually exist, so the whole thing seems a bit silly really, but alas - these disconcerting feelings still exist.

I don't want to surrender to these feelings, for I honestly feel as if I will be overwhelmed. Again, I don't even know who the 'I' is I'm referring to, it seems as if only an imagination, but really, I don't know what to do.

Is acceptance really the ticket? In a way, it feels as if I've already tried to surrender but to no avail.
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Re: Can I really accept this?

Postby Webwanderer » Tue Aug 02, 2011 9:12 pm

Midnight wrote:I don't want to surrender to these feelings, for I honestly feel as if I will be overwhelmed. Again, I don't even know who the 'I' is I'm referring to, it seems as if only an imagination, but really, I don't know what to do.

I suggest you give up the belief that you don't exist. There is a false 'me' identification, constructed of thoughts and ideas and concepts and even emotions, that doesn't exist other than as an experience. But don't throw the spirit out with the dirty laundry - not that you could anyway. The best you might do is pretend you don't exist and create an experience of nothingness. I don't recommend it however. Others who have gone that route didn't particularly enjoy it.

The reality is that you are not what you think you are. Thinking can only create an imaginary identity. The more you think about it the more you are distracted from your true nature. Your true nature is known when thinking is not present, but clear alert awareness is. When you get a genuine sense of the 'being' that you are, and clearly recognize that the thoughts, feelings, anxiety and fears that concern you are just experiential content within you, you will also recognize that the only power it holds over you comes from the focus you place upon it.

The point of acceptance is to get past fighting with your concerns. What fights with it is just more identification thought structure. But if you accept all of it as just the content that it is, and no more permanent than any other content, you can begin to focus on issues (content) that you prefer - thoughts of love and appreciation, of compassion and beauty. You pick it. Let go of thinking about things you don't like and move on to those you do.

Don't condemn yourself if you pick them up again, just recognize what's happened and replace it with 'stuff' that you enjoy. And of course, always know that it's all just content. None of it is actually you. What it is is the stuff of experience, and you can affect it and your experience in a positive manor by the things you hold important. There's nothing wrong with the fears and anxieties. They're just not much fun, and you don't have to continue to fuel their presence with your focus and attention. It's really that simple

WW
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Re: Can I really accept this?

Postby RCharles » Tue Aug 02, 2011 11:17 pm

Hi Midnight,

WebWanderer gave a wonderful answer. I'd like to boil it down to something simple:

Your don't have to believe your thoughts or the emotions that arise from them. You can just say no and let it go. Same for thoughts about whether you exist or not, etc. It's the thinking that's the problem. Just let the thoughts go.

Easier said than done, I know, but that's why spiritual practice is called "practice." :)

Wishing you all the best,
Chuck
"They are all...perfect..." --Ken Watanabe, dying scene in the movie The Last Samurai
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Re: Can I really accept this?

Postby Midnight » Thu Aug 04, 2011 12:16 am

WW, that's a great response, thanks alot.

Thing is, if it is a belief ( that I don't exist) then I don't know how it came about. I'm not sure if it's a belief or not frankly, it's all very confusing, but I'm sure it's all tied in with this derealization/depersonalization business.

Cheers.
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Re: Can I really accept this?

Postby Webwanderer » Thu Aug 04, 2011 6:18 am

Midnight wrote:Thing is, if it is a belief ( that I don't exist) then I don't know how it came about.

Well, let's explore. What is this 'I' that you may, or may not, believe doesn't exist? And what is it that can even consider the issue? This is not intended to be a rhetorical inquiry. If this 'I' (you) doesn't exist, what is it specifically that you are referring to?

Midnight, or what ever proper name you normally go by, is just a label attached to a thought/emotional structure that has been adopted as an identity. In that it doesn't exist as a reality. On the other hand, that identification and its perspective does exist as a genuine experience. We all experience life as an identity even if it turns out to be imaginary. But experienced by what? What is it that is living this construct of personification?

Consider that consciousness is fundamental to experience. There is no experience without consciousness of it. And while the perspective conditional to any experience may vary, the inherent presence of consciousness does not. To have any experience, regardless of its qualities, consciousness must be present. So that begs the question: Are you a construct of identity, malleable with each adjustment in perspective, or are you the consciousness that perceives all such identities and perspectives? In other words, even if you determine and believe you don't exist, are you not conscious of that belief? So what then is your essential nature, you true being? What is it that is aware of this consideration?

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Re: Can I really accept this?

Postby Midnight » Thu Aug 04, 2011 4:23 pm

Webwanderer wrote:Well, let's explore. What is this 'I' that you may, or may not, believe doesn't exist? And what is it that can even consider the issue? This is not intended to be a rhetorical inquiry. If this 'I' (you) doesn't exist, what is it specifically that you are referring to?


I'm not sure anymore frankly.

Webwanderer wrote:Are you not conscious of that belief? So what then is your essential nature, you true being? What is it that is aware of this consideration?


Consciousness/ That / whatever.

I can't seem to see that somehow, or know it in the heart. I think perhaps an emotional understanding of the lack of a separate self hasn't taken place.
Thoughts?
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Re: Can I really accept this?

Postby Webwanderer » Thu Aug 04, 2011 8:18 pm

Midnight wrote:
Webwanderer wrote: Are you not conscious of that belief? So what then is your essential nature, you true being? What is it that is aware of this consideration?


Consciousness/ That / whatever.

I can't seem to see that somehow, or know it in the heart. I think perhaps an emotional understanding of the lack of a separate self hasn't taken place.
Thoughts?

So consider: What is consciousness? I'm not suggesting you write an answer to that question, just spend some time considering it without the application of analytical thought to form a mental construct. It is solely an experiential perceptive exploration. Right now, right where you sit, take a few minutes and be aware of being aware. Now, when you recognize awareness in clarity, say hello to you; and then rest in this thought free clarity for a few moments and regain familiarity with thought-free being. It's who you are and it's always present, even in the background of a cacophony of mental chatter.

A separate self should not be confused with a unique perspective (of consciousness). You do not perceive as I do, nor does anyone perceive as anyone else. We are all unique in our perspectives. All of us exist as living perspectives within consciousness - unique in our experiential perspective as are all other perspectives on this human level - but not separate as the common conditioning of mind would suggest. There is awareness, and there are conscious perspectives within awareness. This is 'Self' (Awareness), and 'self' (conscious perspective). Neither is the constructed human identity known as 'me'. Ego identification is a thought construct within one's conscious perspective which is within the One Awareness.

This belief of a separate self, or the experiential perception of it, is a mind created belief system and identification within consciousness which may, and usually does, change over time as different beliefs are adopted and incorporated into the structure. While one may always feel like a 'me', the makeup of that identification changes over time. But once clearly seen for the thought structure that it is, ego loses dominance in the choices we make. We begin making choices from a more natural sense of being, born of the love and compassion inherent in the oneness of our essence.

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Re: Can I really accept this?

Postby heidi » Fri Aug 05, 2011 2:55 pm

Your don't have to believe your thoughts or the emotions that arise from them. You can just say no and let it go. Same for thoughts about whether you exist or not, etc. It's the thinking that's the problem. Just let the thoughts go.


And I'd like to add this, easier to say than to do, but it is the most worthwhile practice: Above all keep your heart open.
If this is the only thing you do, you will find that no matter what the thoughts are, acceptance is there. :)
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Re: Can I really accept this?

Postby tod » Thu Aug 11, 2011 11:06 pm

Midnight wrote:
Webwanderer wrote:Are you not conscious of that belief? So what then is your essential nature, you true being? What is it that is aware of this consideration?


Consciousness/ That / whatever.

I can't seem to see that somehow, or know it in the heart. I think perhaps an emotional understanding of the lack of a separate self hasn't taken place.
Thoughts?


You cannot see Consciousness. No emotional understanding takes place in my experience. What 'happened' here is that it ever so gradually dawned - that I could not really be defined. And eventually - that all I was was conscious.

In a sense, there was nothing to dawn, it was a sort of elimination, or exhaustion of all known possibilities. Nothing actually happened, it was just that, in exhaustion, there seemed to be no alternative, no way to really define myself, and so in this 'acceptance' I noted that I was conscious only.

So please do not expect verification of what you are other than already present being/consciousness.
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Re: Can I really accept this?

Postby Sighclone » Sun Aug 14, 2011 6:37 am

Midnight -

How can we accept the unacceptable? Eckhart doesn't say we should. Return the cold soup. He mentions he was about to confront an animal abuser when another did (Oprah webinar.) But we do have to accept the reality of the unacceptable.

In her fine new book "Choke," Profesor Sian Beilock recalls Matthew Lieberman (UCLA) who discovered that "putting your feelings into words changes how the brain deals with stressful information." It has to do with how the amygdala (the part of the brain which is involved with our emotional experiences and reactions) is dampened. Journaling has for years been recognized as a way release some stresses. It is also consistent with the discoveries of "flooding therapy" which is fully feeling and even re-experiencing bad events. And there are many older posts here which encourage you to address the specific unpleasant, angry, depressing and recurrent stuff which arises with two other tools: The Sedona Method and Byron Katie's thework.com.

We do know for sure that repressing and resisting emotions which arise actually adds energy to them and prolongs their ability to hook us.

"You" might not be "real" in nondual-speak, but suffering is real in any language. Try different therapies, even conventional ones. Accept the reality of the unpleasantness, write about it in words. The more you can identify it, the farther from it you reside...the less it defines you. The problem is that your "sense of self" includes all those dysfuntional vibes...a large measure of the content of your ego is "my problems." Donald Trump's ego might contain all his golf courses -- yours contains "all that old dysfunctional stuff." Nonduality reminds us that you actually are simply the vessel to contain all of it...part of the art of awakening is watching the old habits arise, welcoming them in, but knowing that they are not in charge. The Witness is much closer to your true Self, than the victim of old behaviors and thoughts you feel you must be.

Andy
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce
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Re: Can I really accept this?

Postby alex » Sun Aug 14, 2011 9:26 am

Midnight everyone is different and what may work for another may not be right for someone else. I can only offer my own experience with acceptance. I really do think that acceptance is like the absolute groundwork of spirituality. That if you get acceptance right then you have a really strong foundation to build upon. I first learnt acceptance. It was my very first taste of freedom. I had overwhelming dark feelings and practiced allowance, I'm not talking some surface thing, like a thought 'Ok I allow this', I'm talking actual from the bottow of your being, true to yourself allowance. A complete turn around of resistance. You know when you get it because you experience a total shift,a real opening up to that darkness... the darkness (or whatever) is then felt fully, 100% and in that full facing of it it is let go. You are freed. You see that you are bigger than that, you are what surrounds that.
Why I believe it is such a good foundation is that the spiritual/enquiry path itself can cause so many strong emotional/egoic reactions within you. When the mind is begun to be seen through (like in your case) so much confusion can come about when it resists this. I know in my experience, once truly waking up from the mind begun to happen I went through some serious terror. Having this foundation of being able to accept, truly accept where I was at just saved my butt. Sure there was still a lot of uncomfortable stuff going on but it just eased it all up when I could allow it to happen.
What is that you feel right now? Right this instant? Instead of running from it just feel it, feel your reality at this moment. Discover what the story is that is perpetuating this. There is always a story. Now feel your emotions and welcome them, allow them. Notice how the story might start to change... see if you can become aware of what all this is happening within. The story and the emotions are all happening within this free, empty aliveness. That is what never changes. That is what freedom is.
As you've probably got by now I think that acceptance or at least acceptance of your non-acceptance to begin with is so vital. Don't have any notion to turn it around or feel better just fully allow what is.
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Re: Can I really accept this?

Postby Sighclone » Mon Aug 15, 2011 5:56 am

alex -

You are such a delight. This is so absolutely true:

Why I believe it (acceptance) is such a good foundation is that the spiritual/enquiry path itself can cause so many strong emotional/egoic reactions within you.


How many posters here have we heard express or demonstrate this? ...hundreds.

Acceptance can also, as you say, be thought of as "non-resistance." My experience, and the experience of others is that all these big scary ugly thoughts and their accompanying feelings...all those real hideous monsters.......well, if you invite them in, they become just another ol' thought. Then if you hammer them with cognitive work such as Byron Katie's four questions and a turnaround...whoo-ee....they lose all their power. They fizzle. Yeah, they can come back, but they cannot ever be real. Remember the core of Course in Miracles: "Nothing real can be threatened, nothing unreal exists; Herein lies the peace of God."

I've never been afraid to look at stuff which arises in me, but many are. So I respect the power of that fear. But somewhere there is a false belief which cannot stand the withering gaze of Presence.

Bring 'em on. It's all sound and fury...signifying only what you choose to let them be. What you resist, persists. To yield is to conquer.

Andy
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce
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Re: Can I really accept this?

Postby alex » Mon Aug 15, 2011 1:22 pm

Bring 'em on. It's all sound and fury...signifying only what you choose to let them be. What you resist, persists. To yield is to conquer.


Amen.

Somewhere down the line you even start to see that all these little pieces of 'darkness' are a part of the whole. They are a part of you. An anology I like is to imagine that someone very close to you was in an accident and ended up a quadraplegic, like really broken. How would you feel about them? Really imagine a specific person who is very close to you in this position Midnight, what would you feel to them? Would you shun them and reject them, turn away from them because they are broken or would you feel utter openess and compassion. Even though it might hurt to see them I know I'd give all of myself that I could and welcome them as much as humanly possibly so to not add to their suffering. It's just the same with these pieces of you, these feelings of confusion and fear, they're like broken little children that just need utter welcoming with open arms.
Can you be vulnerable, humble enough even to put yourself back a step and let all of your experience be. Let the whole be the whole.
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Re: Can I really accept this?

Postby Midnight » Mon Aug 15, 2011 1:35 pm

:)

Thanks guys (and gal)
x
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Re: Can I really accept this?

Postby Sighclone » Mon Aug 15, 2011 7:51 pm

Froms a Wings Seminar:

"Vulnerability is the courage to be whole.

Andy
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce
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