Panic on the Streets of London

Here you may share how the words Eckhart Tolle have affected your life.
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Panic on the Streets of London

Post by EnterZenFromThere » Sat Jun 20, 2015 1:55 pm

As a part of a process of my healing I thought it would be helpful to spend a little time talking through how panic has defined my life, how a spontaneous spiritual realisation 2 years ago began a process of healing, and how a terrifying recent experience on the streets of London moved me into a place of deeper acceptance.

I grew up in a broken home - dominated with confusion and insecurity. From an early age I did not trust people - seeing them as the source of my fear and uncertainty. In my teenage and early adult years I used alcohol and drugs as a way of diluting my mistrust of people - enabling me to keep up the superficial facade of a sociable and functioning human being. This continuous suppression of my fears led to panic attacks and periods of intense depression and suicidal ideation. As a young graduate struggling alone with crippling anxiety and depression, trying to find stability in a sense of life purpose, I made a vow that if my life did not improve by the end of my 26th year I would follow a friend's lead and commit suicide by jumping from a building.

Not long after this I secured a job in London and found a place to stay. During ice breaking conversation my future housemate asked if I had heard of Eckhart Tolle. I hadn't, but going with the flow of embracing new experiences I watched a video of him. He stood immediately and a man who had 'it'. I saw one of his videos was called 'how to stop thinking'. Rather than watch it, I sat on my bed to see if I could stop thinking. I found myself breathing deeply with my hands moving in a way that felt familiar and comfortable. I watched my mind in amazement as my thoughts evaporated within seconds, leaving me in a place of breathtaking serenity and clarity. Looking around my room I let out a sigh of immense relief and felt moved to tears. I realised immediately that my perception of reality had been mistaken. Reality was not what I thought it was. Within us all was a peace beyond words. After 15-20 minutes of exploring my environment in silent sensation I was startled out of my focus by the sound of my front door slamming as a housemate returned home. I knew it was my fear of people that had brought me from my peace. I knew that it was possible to exist within this peace at all times - and that doing this would free me from the tyranny of my own fears. My vow changed - making this peace my primary mode of life was now my life goal.

I began to read Eckhart's books and found in them a person describing the experiences I'd been having and showing a way to the lasting peace I had vowed to find. From my place of reflection now, I see that in that moment of peace I had begun a process of healing - where the darkness of my resistances began to unwind in the purity of my awareness. From the 2 years between then and now I have been constantly challenged with experiences closely associated with the roots of my fear. I stopped using alcohol and drugs as crutches and began to let down my psychological defenses. I began to experience my fear in it's purity. My fear began to manifest more strongly as it was brought forth from the depths of my being - stored within the contusions of my bodies. Coinciding with this I began to have unexpected and incredibly intense supernatural experiences. I began to leave my body and enter other realms of existence - an experience which is incredibly visceral, vastly more intense than anything I had experienced before - like dying - having the soul torn from the physical prison. the experiences I had in those places began to inform my waking reality - like I had taken a piece of that higher reality back to my physical body and was now emanating it within my perception - I could feel it brow within me - a light that radiated from me with a warmth I had never known. A fluidity began to push through my perception - like ice thawing, what was perceived as solid began to be perceived as liquid. Looking at objects I began to see the energies that made them - watching those energies flow and feeling them flow within me.

Though beautiful, it coincided with the emergence of an overwhelming fear within me - something primal - a feeling of destabilisation to the extent that I could barely stand and had to take 2 months off work. Leaving my house I was overcome with the panic I had hidden from for so many years. But it was more than just the psychological panic - it was infused with the supernatural and my experiencing of shifting energies. I felt as though I would pass out and felt nauseous and unstable.

A meeting with an energy healer stabilised me enough for me to get back into work and compete my contract. However, this healing was only temporary and the sensations returned as I prepared to leave London and return to my family home in the countryside for a period of work-free spiritual exploration.

For 7 months I have been allowing my demons to express themselves. In doing this my panic became even more intense, to the extent that going into shops was too intense for me. Slowly and patiently I began to allow myself to feel the panic. To accept my feelings of fear - instead of hiding from them. For the first time in my life I began to talk openly about this to other people - something I wouldn't have dreamed of doing only a short time before. I had imagined ridicule for having such ridiculous fears - to my surprise, I was met only with support.

Following a number of successful encounters with some key triggers of my panic a friend invited me to stay with him in London. The thought of returning to London with my sensitivity to anxiety so high was intimidating. However, motivated by my recent achievements I saw this as an opportunity to release more tensions and agreed to visit him.

On arrival in London I was hit with an immense wave of fear. My whole body was (from my perspective) literally shifting, the world a torrent of disturbing motion. The weather was hot and I felt like I would pass out. The sounds and sights of the center of this leading capitol city too much for my heightened senses. My non-physical senses became more intense - the auras of the objects in my perception more intense. I had to sit down and reassure myself - I don't need to rush things - allow the situation. It worked for a time, but on the tube, with the temperature increased and the thought of meeting my friend and having a full blown panic attack consumed me. My perspective shifted as though I were watching this chaos from a distance. Outside the station, talking to my friend on the phone, my voice echoed from far away and did not feel like my own. As he arrived I felt lost in the situation - having no control over what was happening, though acting in a way that he didn't seem to notice. The opportunity to let him in on my chaotic inner world didn't arise. Lost in the moment, I had no choice but to see where this would lead.

After spending some time in his apartment things became more stable - though far from comfortable. I was overwhelmed with the dread of going outside and threatening the relative stability of his apartment. When his girlfriend asked us to go to the shops I was horrified, though immediately dived into the situation - no hesitation, to my surprise. Walking through rush hour and going to the shops in hot central London was like diving into a nightmare - but I had no where to run, so I went with it - the fear was so intense that I entered a kind of focus and instinct took over. From the outside I suspect I looked normal, if a little shy (rarely making eye contact with my friend as, to me, his face with more like a liquid than a solid - flowing with energies). It's hard to describe exactly what I was feeling and why it was so intense. It's like I wasn't perceiving an external reality - it was internal, and that internal reality was melting. The stability I had been used to within that perceived external reality was being taken away and I was fearful for my life as if on a piece of floating ice - one hand in the waters and preparing myself for inevitably having to swim.

Later things calmed again as my friend and I listened to music. My being pulsated with the sounds and I began to let myself go into that sensation - it was like becoming the music - though intense, the initial chaos of this passed into enjoyment and peace the more I let it be.

Waking early in the morning I was met by the now familiar feeling of dread and sensation of destabilisation. Terrified of what the day might bring and how I would cope I felt depressed and afraid. I lay down to try and sleep again. While doing this, something changed. A voice came into my mind "can you love this?". "Feel this sensation - this sensation of dread and destabilisation - can you love this?". A sensation of warmth and love filled my chest and I realised I could move this sensation into my fears. The unpleasant sensations began to bloom in a radiance of warmth. The feeling of deep relief that I had felt when first entering my journey of healing came over me again. The now warm areas of my fears began to relax and release - like a cliff face falling into the sea.

From then on, the nightmare has been more like a dream. With less resistance comes less suffering. Though it is intimidating to let go into such unknown waters as non-physical reality and our deepest fears - we can all do this. The more we do, the less we suffer - the more we align with our true nature and experience a deeper reality beyond the confines of a purely physical, external perception.

It's like life is a roller coaster which is controlled by two elements. The first is our own will. We can choose to slow the ride down if it gets to intense. The ride will agree to this. However, it also wants to go faster. Forcing it to slow down creates a disconnect between it and you, leading to resistance / suffering. Accepting the momentum of the ride keeps the ride and the rider resonant and the journey peaceful and enjoyable.

I've got a lot left to let go of, but feel like a significant portion of my resistance has fallen away - making room for deeper resistances to come forward. That coming forward and falling away motion reminds me of a flower in bloom - the bud opening and the petals unfurling in a continous spiral.

Thank you for providing the space for this to be brought forth.

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Re: Panic on the Streets of London

Post by rachMiel » Sat Jun 20, 2015 3:02 pm

Respectfully I ask:

Do you ever just sit back and relax ... simply ... restfully ... no big whoop-fully?

Edit: Not trying to be contrary or disrespectful ... rather: to challenge you to leave your zone of comfort. :-)
Last edited by rachMiel on Sat Jun 20, 2015 4:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...

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Baba Bozo
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Re: Panic on the Streets of London

Post by Baba Bozo » Sat Jun 20, 2015 3:38 pm

The question that always occurs to me regarding Tolle type teachings is....

Is our focus on "me and my situation" the cure, or is it the disease?

This is not pointing fingers, as we all have such a focus or we wouldn't be here. All humans have such a focus, with the differences between us being only a matter of degree. It's quite unlikely any of us will ever fully escape that focus, nor is it clear that should even be a goal to pursue.

All that said, the central question of the Tolle realm remains.

To what degree is a focus on the state of our personal psychology a solution, and to what degree is such a focus the same old problem we've long been afflicted by, now posing as the solution?

An example....

Imagine that somebody came out with a program which claimed to be able to cure alcoholism with cases of booze. This would likely be a very popular idea with many alcoholics, as it offers the promise of having one's cake and eat it too. The plan suggests that they can be cured of their addiction, and keep drinking as well.

Because the idea would be popular with many, whoever offered the idea would likely become famous, and perhaps rich as well. Obtaining those social positions would earn them credibility, which would make their message more convincing, and thus even more popular, making them further famous, and so on, creating a self reinforcing feedback loop which would sustain itself. Sooner or later the author of such a plan might wind up on Oprah and hit the big time.

We might recall that strategies for escaping the prison of self do not always rely on focusing on one's own situation. Christians and others often propose service to others as an alternative solution.

His Holy Blowharding Bozoness has no particular talent for such a strategy, nor is he selling such a strategy, or Christianity, or anything else really.

I'm just reminding my esteemed fellow great sages that liberation from "me" does not automatically require a focus on our own situation. We are choosing that focus from a menu of options.

It seems reasonable to ask why.

Whether to ask such a question is helpful is unknown.

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Re: Panic on the Streets of London

Post by Onceler » Sat Jun 20, 2015 4:38 pm

You make a good point, Baba Bozo. You might find this essay interesting as, I think, it addresses this point directly. Sherman's theory is simple and subtle, but also intensely radical.....a departure from the typical spiritual, psychological rhetoric. It also changed/is changing my life.


As usual, I am in awe of your honesty and vulnerability. Thanks for that and an entrée into your experience. I also subscribe to the belief that it all happens in the mind (whose mind, localized where? I'm not sure). This individual and collective mind can heal. I suspect our healing changes the texture and nature, the expanse and breadth of 'big mind' in ways that are incalculable. Through you description I feel your suffering, been there, and shift to peace. Thanks.

Be present, be pleasant.

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