Is this regression?

Here you may share how the words Eckhart Tolle have affected your life.
Jbrooke
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Is this regression?

Post by Jbrooke » Thu May 10, 2012 3:05 am

Hi,

I have been enlightening myself with Tolle's books for awhile now and about 2 weeks ago started applying a great deal of my energy towards the teaching and such. As the days have come and gone I have gained a great deal of insight and awareness. I feel I am learning and awakening more and more in a progressive manner. But today I felt completely out of control. My severe depression and obsessions, ruminations, incredible anxiety were causing a lot of suffering and I couldn't seem to manage them regardless of how much I wanted to be in the present. Regardless of how much I tried to apply Tolle's insights. I felt incredibly out of control with my thoughts and emotions. It took so much energy to simply survive the day. It just felt that all the progress I have made these past weeks is now obsolete. That I really haven't grown at all. That everything I have gained, so to speak, is lost now. There wasn't necessarily an external trigger today that caused such pain to erupt -other than my sleep has been horrible because of midnight feedings for my baby and such and I have been incredibly tired.

I felt like a failure today. Full of excessive fear, depression, anxiety. Was my gain of awareness just a joke? Does this mean I will never truly awaken because I couldn't handle today at all and I felt I had regressed so much and just out of the blue? I know that this is the ego talking, but it still feels so real. Why wasn't I able to use what I now know to get through today the way I have been for the past few weeks? Why did I plunge?

Sorry for all of the questions. I just feel so desperate right now,
Jen

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kiki
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Re: Is this regression?

Post by kiki » Thu May 10, 2012 4:24 am

I felt like a failure today. Full of excessive fear, depression, anxiety. Was my gain of awareness just a joke?
No.
Does this mean I will never truly awaken because I couldn't handle today at all and I felt I had regressed so much and just out of the blue?


Absolutely not.
I know that this is the ego talking, but it still feels so real. Why wasn't I able to use what I now know to get through today the way I have been for the past few weeks?
It may take some clock time before you become adept at returning to presence in the face of struggle. For now, the best thing you can do is understand that what is happening is normal, and to accept what's happening rather than fight it. Just recognizing that you have returned to mental entrapment is a big step. Be gentle with yourself and accept what you may perceive in yourself as "failures" or "weaknesses".

Why did I plunge?
There is a lot of momentum built up over many years to becoming trapped in thinking so it's easy for mind to get trapped again. Did you expect that suddenly you wouldn't have any challenges anymore? Let go of ALL expectation for how things should or shouldn't be.
Sorry for all of the questions. I just feel so desperate right now,
Just stop, relax, breathe, and let yourself drop into THIS moment, however that moment appears to you. Be open and accepting of everything, including what is interpreted as failure. Every situation is just another invitation to awaken, another opportunity to let go of everything and every viewpoint and just be. Those difficult moments show you where you are stuck, so in a very real way they are a kind of gift, so embrace them rather than reject them. Embrace them because that's what is arising for you now. As you become more present with them in a nonjudgmental way they will dissolve of their own accord, so your "job" is to give them room to be there when they come. Give them the space to be there and they will expend their energy and drop away, and what remains will be what is actually real.
"Miss Kelly, perhaps you'd like this flower. I seem to have misplaced my buttonhole ... Miss Kelly, you know, when you wear my flower you make it look beautiful." Elwood P. Dowd
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far_eastofwest
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Re: Is this regression?

Post by far_eastofwest » Thu May 10, 2012 10:30 am

ditto to kiki's post
and something my mother would say: 'two steps forward, one step back'.... it is natural progression, be it weight loss, breaking bad habits or acquiring new habits.
You will notice it with children too... sometimes they appear to master a skill, then drop back for a little while, then pick it up better than ever later on.
you ask 'why'.... could be any reason, from the weather, a bill in the letterbox, hormones.... but you answered you own question.... midnight feedings of baby....
just try the breathing and not try to do too much at once, baby steps... it is enough.
when baby sleeps is time for mother to nap too, not to rush around cleaning, catching up on stuff, preparing things for 'later'. babies sleep (believe it or not) about 14 hours a day... its just in small stretches, so it may help for you to have lots of 'little sleeps' too. Tiredness in itself can create anxiety, depressed feelings etc.
There is nothing harder to find than a black cat in a dark room
Especially when there is no cat....

Jbrooke
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Re: Is this regression?

Post by Jbrooke » Fri May 11, 2012 10:29 pm

Thank you both for your insights. Hope you know you are helping another human being by reading my post and taking the time to share those insights :)

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mega_nix
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Re: Is this regression?

Post by mega_nix » Sun May 13, 2012 12:31 am

it seems then you are drawing back to pain, the feeling is more intense than ever. That is because your expectation to the term "enlightenment" is greater than anything else you have experienced. Then you think it is maybe an illusion, life doesn't seems to make sense anymore. It is a desperate action from the ego. It knows, it is dying
It isn't important if you live 20 or 1000 years. The only thing that it is important, is to loose the fear of death

Jbrooke
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Re: Is this regression?

Post by Jbrooke » Sun May 13, 2012 3:12 am

mega_nix,

Wow. Interesting. So, perhaps these past few days of "regression" are actually progression in disguise to some degree?

I can feel the ego fighting like hell. At least I know it's existence or power is being compromised if it is fighting with such gusto!

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mega_nix
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Re: Is this regression?

Post by mega_nix » Sun May 13, 2012 2:44 pm

yes just remember. When you can feel you are been drawing back to pain, read a new book about spirituality, or just read a random chapter in The Power Of Now . If you just remember, you can only evolve further in spiritualism :D
It isn't important if you live 20 or 1000 years. The only thing that it is important, is to loose the fear of death

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Webwanderer
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Re: Is this regression?

Post by Webwanderer » Sun May 13, 2012 4:43 pm

Jbrooke, my sense is that what is dying is not the wholeness of the ego, but your attachment to it as the exclusive perspective through which to view life. In a way it depends on how one defines ego. Is ego the attachment to a thought construct of self identity, or is it the perspective from the identification?

It's likely that the egoic identification will persist for some time - maybe the rest of your life, and that's really okay. However, releasing the exclusive attachment to thought as identity opens up to you the more fundamental perspective of/as conscious being.

Thoughts and thought constructs can be deeply ingrained and quite habitual. We've been trained into them our whole lives. Recognition of thought identity however, and realization that life is more clearly perceived from the perspective of aware conscious presence, is a first great step of awakening. But continued enhanced clarity/awakening is a lifelong evolutionary process. There is no awaken and now your done. It's ever greater clarity of being, and in that movement there is a valuable ebb and flow, in and out, of that shifting perspective of conditioned to awakened perspective.

No self judgment is necessary in this ebb and flow. It all has value, and it is quite natural for this human experience. Now that you recognize that you often slip back into thought perspective, that knowledge will always be there to guide you back to the clear/natural state. Explore. Enjoy. Life is an adventure that is now more available to you.

WW

Jbrooke
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Re: Is this regression?

Post by Jbrooke » Tue May 15, 2012 6:27 pm

Thoughts and thought constructs can be deeply ingrained and quite habitual. We've been trained into them our whole lives. Recognition of thought identity however, and realization that life is more clearly perceived from the perspective of aware conscious presence, is a first great step of awakening. But continued enhanced clarity/awakening is a lifelong evolutionary process. There is no awaken and now your done. It's ever greater clarity of being, and in that movement there is a valuable ebb and flow, in and out, of that shifting perspective of conditioned to awakened perspective.
Very helpful insight, WW. Thank you for that.

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ashley72
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Re: Is this regression?

Post by ashley72 » Tue May 15, 2012 11:49 pm

jbrooke wrote: I feel I am learning and awakening more and more in a progressive manner. But today I felt completely out of control. My severe depression and obsessions, ruminations, incredible anxiety were causing a lot of suffering and I couldn't seem to manage them regardless of how much I wanted to be in the present. Regardless of how much I tried to apply Tolle's insights. I felt incredibly out of control with my thoughts and emotions. It took so much energy to simply survive the day. It just felt that all the progress I have made these past weeks is now obsolete. That I really haven't grown at all. That everything I have gained, so to speak, is lost now. There wasn't necessarily an external trigger today that caused such pain to erupt -other than my sleep has been horrible because of midnight feedings for my baby and such and I have been incredibly tired.
Hi Jen,

When you feel very overwhelmed by "your" story. A story which makes you feel anxious, desperate, tortured at times.

Learnt knowledge won't help you.

Realization directly that your "true nature" is what "attends" to these stories. All mind stories have a certain duality about them. You said "it took so much energy just to survive the day". Therefore this is an expression of the victim... which no doubt is "you"... which is a mental concept/thought of what you represent.

What "thoughts" arose in that day about certain "things" happening were the victimizer. Victimizer thoughts only arise when the concept of victim arisers. So as long as you attend to the story of a victim, victimizer thoughts will be arising in tandem.

What attends to these victim\victimizer stories is your true nature. Your true nature is attentive. Awake space. Stories arises about things including the mentally constructed Self. Which in your case is a victim of circumstances.

You need to rediscover this awake space. By turning the arrow of your attention around 180 degrees to where your head/face reside. What do you find? I find empty space... not a solid head face.


This realization can be an important first step in breaking out of the mental stories that keep capturing your attention.

Attention needs to become attentive of itself... for real freedom to occur.

At the moment there is no "space" between the victim "thoughts" which arise spontaneously and the attentive nature that you are. The more anxiety/fear thoughts get created the less attentive you are to your attentive nature. Therefore whenever fear arises make a habit of being attentive to the awake space as soon as you remember. This might be sometime after an anxiety attack initially. But that is ok, because any habit of realizing your attentive nature will be of great benefit.

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mega_nix
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Re: Is this regression?

Post by mega_nix » Fri May 18, 2012 3:41 am

I just realized that you can never "kill" your ego. It is a wrong term. But it can be totally powerless

It is true what Webwanderer said about it :P
It isn't important if you live 20 or 1000 years. The only thing that it is important, is to loose the fear of death

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far_eastofwest
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Re: Is this regression?

Post by far_eastofwest » Fri May 18, 2012 4:08 am

thats true i think, you can't kill your ego, in fact i can't see any reason to want to kill it off, as long as it doesn't have the power over you, it can provide power for you sometimes (ie, in protecting what is 'yours', ie, children, home, self).

Having a baby to look after is a big job, there's the worry and guilt if you are not careful. And if you have a baby thats a screamer... sometimes its nice to just look forward for a few moments to buying a pair of shoes.
Apparently women's brain shrinks a little during pregnancy.... don't know where i read that (apparently it is factual) but having had three children, i do feel it takes about a year to get past 'baby brain'. Maybe certain bits get switched off whilst the mothering (which rewarding as it is can be repetative and draining) kicks in.
:-)
There is nothing harder to find than a black cat in a dark room
Especially when there is no cat....

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ashley72
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Re: Is this regression?

Post by ashley72 » Fri May 18, 2012 11:51 pm

There is no one that can kill off an Ego..

Our true nature "attends" to the concepts/thoughts that arise about all "things".... Including the idea of "me" (Ego).

Others will always continually reinforce and project an identification (Ego) on to all body-mind organisms.

Awakening occurs when realization happens... that our true nature is what attends to those concepts and ideas of a "me".

If the idea of killing of an ego arose, our true nature would simply attend to those thoughts/concepts of killing of an ego.

All ideas/thoughts have a duality about them.... Ego / No-Ego. The idea of a killing of your Ego also carries a duality. That is our non-ego self will eventually eliminate our Ego self. Which is a dual-pair of concepts which our true nature attends to.

Being attentive of our attentive nature will help bring about that realization.

Jbrooke
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Re: Is this regression?

Post by Jbrooke » Sat May 19, 2012 4:05 am

Being attentive of our attentive nature will help bring about that realization.
And therefore, being attentive of our inattentive nature will also help bring out the realization, I imagine? I mean, being aware of when our ego speaks, regardless of whether or not we are able to let the thoughts go or even accept them, still brings about some realization in the process and leads to further awareness?

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kiki
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Re: Is this regression?

Post by kiki » Sat May 19, 2012 5:08 am

And therefore, being attentive of our inattentive nature will also help bring out the realization, I imagine?


That's right.
I mean, being aware of when our ego speaks, regardless of whether or not we are able to let the thoughts go or even accept them, still brings about some realization in the process and leads to further awareness?
Yes.
"Miss Kelly, perhaps you'd like this flower. I seem to have misplaced my buttonhole ... Miss Kelly, you know, when you wear my flower you make it look beautiful." Elwood P. Dowd
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