unpleasant step back?

Here you may share how the words Eckhart Tolle have affected your life.
Agnieszka
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unpleasant step back?

Post by Agnieszka » Wed Jun 27, 2007 10:52 pm

Hi!

I just want to share and ask if you've had similar experiences of sudden and unexpected setback. Almost whole day today (with few moments of expanded awareness in situations when I least expected them; they as if interrupted the dominating unawareness) I was totally unaware. What is even weirder :) I was very much aware that I was being unaware! And I couldn't help it. As if something stronger was "operating" my mind and body. Lots of pain, despair and unfullfilled need to cry. As if I was carrying some kind of burden in my heart and it was so overwhelming that I wasn't able to watch it, to be present, and was simply led by these sad feelings (a feeling of some... wrongness, of not being right in everything I do with myself - the self-work, the teachings, etc. - dominating) all day long.
I would very much appreciate any comforting comments from you.
I haven't had such emotional time and haven't been so helpless for several months. I think that it's not just a release but a setback.

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Post by eseward » Thu Jun 28, 2007 12:06 am

The feelings and mood mimic those that were present when the original identifications occurred; even the gravitational pull of the mood is similar. The conditioned mind overlays the present with the past, so to speak.

If you can disidentify from these feelings, while letting them be there, their hypnotic power over you diminishes, and you eventually find yourself effortlessly back in the present, actually freer than ever.

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Post by kiki » Thu Jun 28, 2007 12:21 am

What is even weirder I was very much aware that I was being unaware!
Sometimes we integrate the idea of being "aware of being unaware" into our storyline of the awakening process. If, however, you truly were aware of being unaware then there was some measure of distance from what was happening, which is a good thing. Just continue to feel fully whatever is happening without judgment of any kind.
eseward wrote:If you can disidentify from these feelings, while letting them be there, their hypnotic power over you diminishes, and you eventually find yourself effortlessly back in the present, actually freer than ever.
Feelings come and go, they are not you; watch them arise and dissolve and the disidentification with them begins, and as eseward said, then you find yourself back in presence.

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Post by Webwanderer » Thu Jun 28, 2007 1:02 am

There is also the natural ebb and flow of life. I have undergone many such setbacks. After so many I have come to know that they will only last for a while. This knowledge gives me comfort in that, with a little patience, what generally happens on the other side of such unpleasentness, when the tide of energy turns, is a surge of clarity that may be gained if I but stay present throughout.

Be prepared, be present. An opportunity awaits.

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Post by Lozza » Thu Jun 28, 2007 4:41 am

I totally agree with you Webwanderer. I have the ebb & flow also, sometimes periods of great clarity and it all seems so easy and other times just nothing and you wonder where it all went so suddenly. The only answer I have is persistance...stick to you practice untill the tide changes.

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Post by Finbarr » Thu Jun 28, 2007 5:24 pm

Lozza wrote:The only answer I have is persistance...stick to you practice untill the tide changes.
Agree wholeheartedly. I view this kind of thing as the critical spiritual phase, the initiation. This is where your emotional/pain body is resisting the transmutation process and where you must stand firm in your practice and fight rather than give up, relax your spiritual practice and let the negative ego live to fight another day. This is where the spiritual wheat is separated from the chaff. You may not regain your presence quickly but you must continue fighting through this. Be cool, dont panic and just continue doing what your doing regarding spiritual practice :wink:

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What cause the ebb and flow ?

Post by weichen » Thu Jun 28, 2007 6:25 pm

When I see "natural ebb and flow", Eckhart's teaching of "the power of not knowing" rings in my ear. That leads to tremendous peace. Interestingly, now the mind has been rested, it may be ready to search, to know and to share.

When a two year old sitting next to me in the car and she asks me why the car sometimes goes faster and sometimes goes slower, I don't have to tell her that it is the natural ebb and flow of life. I can tell her that when I step on the gas the car goes faster and when I step on the brake, the car goes slower.

When someone wants to know why ebb and flow of ocean happens, one can explain that through the gravity and the relative positioning of moon, earth, and sun. I guess that was closer to Agnieszka's original intention for this thread.

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Post by Agnieszka » Thu Jun 28, 2007 7:35 pm

Thank you so much for all your responses!!!
The ebb and flow, Weichen... Initially I thought that I could control this ocean. That if some ebb occurs, I will stay in presence, even if nearly overwhelmed by pain, still in control, in awareness, as I used to, really. But - no. Higher forces then? OK, I won't think, wonder nor ask to find out what, who or why. I just woke up yesterday and found myself another person. Kiki, of course it's not that I was aware that I was unaware, but I KNEW intellectually that I lacked presence and still I went on and on in this unawareness. I tried to be in my inner body - no way, I tried to embrace the emotions in my body, like I used to - zero effect. I felt the emotion, I was the emotion and, Web and Lozza, I wasn't mentally and physically able to disidentify. As if I've lost all the force and stamina I managed to accumulate and stabilize throughout the recent months. I'm sorry for playing the little poor me - in fact I felt like a little poor me yesterday :cry: . It's a little better now.
Finnbar and Lozza, I'm not sure if I understood you correctly: do you mean that sometimes we just have to relax, let it be and actually stop trying to be present, quit it all, wait for a better moment, come back to it next time, when a low ebb is gone (who knows why :roll: )?
In the recent past, whenever the overwhelming material reality (or the intrusive world of form) drew me forcefully into its illusory realm (e.g. when I had some intensive intellectual work to do and had to concentrate on it quickly) I consoled myself that in a minute or in an hour I will just sink back into the presence and that in fact I can do it, I can BE any time, any minute, any place. Now I'm not so sure abou it.
Thanks again for your help, I appreciate it very, very much your support.

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Post by Agnieszka » Thu Jun 28, 2007 7:36 pm

Thank you so much for all your responses!!!
The ebb and flow, Weichen... Initially I thought that I could control this ocean. That if some ebb occurs, I will stay in presence, even if nearly overwhelmed by pain, still in control, in awareness, as I used to, really. But - no. Higher forces then? OK, I won't think, wonder nor ask to find out what, who or why. I just woke up yesterday and found myself another person. Kiki, of course it's not that I was aware that I was unaware, but I KNEW intellectually that I lacked presence and still I went on and on in this unawareness. I tried to be in my inner body - no way, I tried to embrace the emotions in my body, like I used to - zero effect. I felt the emotion, I was the emotion and, Web and Lozza, I wasn't mentally and physically able to disidentify. As if I've lost all the force and stamina I managed to accumulate and stabilize throughout the recent months. I'm sorry for playing the little poor me - in fact I felt like a little poor me yesterday :cry: . It's a little better now.
Finnbar and Lozza, I'm not sure if I understood you correctly: do you mean that sometimes we just have to relax, let it be and actually stop trying to be present, quit it all, wait for a better moment, come back to it next time, when a low ebb is gone (who knows why :roll: )?
In the recent past, whenever the overwhelming material reality (or the intrusive world of form) drew me forcefully into its illusory realm (e.g. when I had some intensive intellectual work to do and had to concentrate on it quickly) I consoled myself that in a minute or in an hour I will just sink back into the presence and that in fact I can do it, I can BE any time, any minute, any place. Now I'm not so sure abou it.
Thanks again for your help, I appreciate it very, very much your support.

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Re: unpleasant step back?

Post by JD » Thu Jun 28, 2007 7:52 pm

Agnieszka wrote:I haven't had such emotional time and haven't been so helpless for several months. I think that it's not just a release but a setback.
There would be something very wrong with your practice if you didn't experience this sort of reaction every once in a while.

An unusually strong pain-body attack is often a sign that real progress is being made.

When parts of the pain-body get very low on energy as a result of your increased level of presence, they often use their last remaining energy to launch an all-out attack in an attempt to hook you again.

But as such attacks require a considerable expenditure of their energy - which is already low - they're a strategy of desperation and a measure of your success.

They signify only that the pain-body is becoming more desperate and not that it's in any way stronger - quite the reverse, in fact.

Stay calm, as others have advised, and you'll soon reap the harvest of your practice. :)

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Post by Webwanderer » Thu Jun 28, 2007 8:35 pm

Agnieszka wrote:I consoled myself that in a minute or in an hour I will just sink back into the presence and that in fact I can do it, I can BE any time, any minute, any place. Now I'm not so sure abou it.
You can't put a time limit on these "so called" set backs. Time is a concept of mind and not an essential reality. Duration has more to do with the intensity of the energy, and the amount of personal investment you have in your current circumstances. Forget about waiting it out for a minute or and hour, that is merely looking for an escape.

Just hold to the understanding that whenever the energy subsides, whether it be hours, days or weeks, you will return to the clear presence of now. Time is not the issue here, it is integration.

Meanwhile feel and be aware of the experiences at hand while being open to whatever understandings that may come from them. I'm not suggesting that you should try to figure them out, that may just generate mind stories to spin in. I am suggesting that you accept ownership of your own feelings without judging them as right or wrong. It's not that way unless you make it so. Rather, it is cause and effect, and all emotional experiences that come our way are but the returns on our own investments in the concepts we hold dear.

Have patience, as they say, this too shall pass. I've always said "I want to learn patience, and I want to learn it right now!" If it could only be so. On the other hand maybe it's the only place patience can be learned.

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Post by Agnieszka » Thu Jun 28, 2007 9:20 pm

Very helpful and practical as usual JD, thank you.
You see, after adopting ET's tools and consciously (=successfully) managing intense pain both emotional and physical, I thought that old ups and downs, with its characteristic feeling of being overwhelmed and helplessness, will never come back. I keep repeating this and whining but I really was 100 percent sure that now I can ALWAYS, in all circumstances (even in the face of an earthquake as Eckhart said :shock: ), be present.

Now a thought came to my mind, two thoughts in fact: I was on a diet (fruits and vegetables) in preparation to fasting which I'm going to do at the end of July. Fasting provokes depressive states. But a two-day diet? Maybe it triggered the setback. Second thought is this: whenever I say openly and in public something general (like e.g. "I never...", "I always..."), I'm shown that in fact it's on the contrary :D . On several occasions, when I stated e.g. "I never catch colds" - I had a severe flu the next day, and the like. On this forum I recently wrote something about how wonderfully and with ease ET's tools work for me, because they really do! (did?) True - it was a good time for me. Now, thanks to this short (hopefully) period, I know that there's no magic tool in spiritual life. Life is life, I am as I used to be.
It's wonderful that there are people here whom I can talk to, ask for advice, share... and give advice too. Thank you all.

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Post by eseward » Thu Jun 28, 2007 10:42 pm

Webwanderer wrote:Duration has more to do with the intensity of the energy, and the amount of personal investment you have in your current circumstances...

Just hold to the understanding that whenever the energy subsides, whether it be hours, days or weeks, you will return to the clear presence of now. Time is not the issue here, it is integration...

... all emotional experiences that come our way are but the returns on our own investments in the concepts we hold dear.
Very well said, Web.

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Post by Finbarr » Fri Jun 29, 2007 1:36 pm

Agnieszka wrote: Finnbar and Lozza, I'm not sure if I understood you correctly: do you mean that sometimes we just have to relax, let it be and actually stop trying to be present, quit it all, wait for a better moment, come back to it next time, when a low ebb is gone (who knows why :roll: )?
Hi Agnieszka! Yes we need to relax sometimes, let it be and stop trying to be present but NOT quit it all! We must persist and not give up when the low ebb occurs. Its like winter. It seems barren but inside all those trees, life is busily preparing to blossom forth in the coming spring and summer!
JDs response I found very illuminating :)
Also, I'd like to add that when we have a surge of presence, we spark off a psycho-spiritual reaction where our being starts to detox us and release a lot of negative 'baggage'. Kind of like automatic therapy (considerably cheaper too!) Needless to say, this can feel alarming and extremely unpleasant.

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Post by Agnieszka » Sun Jul 01, 2007 8:42 pm

I only want to again say thank you. I'm printing out all that has been said. The set-back time continues and my life circumstances are being very supportive in this spiritual "crisis". Or, maybe I'm wrong and it's only my ego that has got stronger?

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