Posts Tagged ‘spirituality’

How to stop experiencing fear in 666 simple steps

September 20, 2013

Do you know how to stop experiencing fear? Do you know how to stop experiencing frustration?

First, by resisting the experience of frustration, does that perpetuate the experience and multiply it… or relieve the frustration and the fear behind the frustration? Do you recognize that frustration IS frightened and indeed IS the resisting of fear?

How do you stop being frustrated (resisting fear)? Stop resisting the fear. Experience the fear. Calm down. Stop pushing so hard and pretending not to be afraid.

Harry re-experiencing an event from his youth

Harry re-experiencing an event from his youth (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The frustration is a signal of fear. What exactly is feared? The trigger for frustration is probably related to the actual fear, but probably is a bit of a diversion or obscuring of the primary fear- like the one that when you reference that fear directly, that alters breathing and causes tears to come to the eyes.

So, you may say that the situation is bad. You may fear it “getting worse.”

What exactly does that mean? (Like how could it get “worse” that you would fear?)

Samantha talks with her bridesmaids

Samantha talks with her bridesmaids (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you notice that, then you can also notice a contrasting possibility: how “it” could be better, what you value, what you would appreciate, what you hope for. Rather than pretend not to value some outcome more than another, rather than pretend not to experience hope or disappointment or fear of disappointment, one could notice that the pretending has been pretending.

Beyond all of the pretense of advaita and similar forms of spirituality, there is the shifting of human experience. The spiritual disciplines provide for a “game” in which the emotions can be respected, then recognized, then even appreciated.

So, we begin by ignoring the game of spirituality, then being involved in it (because our family “expects” it, etc), then perhaps being cynical (rebelling against the family), then a renewed sincere interest (probably in a different form than whatever our family encouraged), then perhaps obsession and addiction, then sincerely “telling everyone” how great it is and how they should all be less like how they are and more like how we pretend to be (AKA “being a total asshole/ provoking people/ driving them away/ fucking with them”), and so on. We eventually get disappointed by the game, recognizing the futility of the pretense, and that may be the outcome for which the game is designed (which is consistently available through fully playing the game of spirituality): it can only be won by recognizing the game as a game and then quitting. By quitting, then one can actually play the game as just a game.

How do we stop being frustrated? We do not. We accept that being frustrated is just being frustrated temporarily and does not alter “who I am.” Then, the momentum of the resisting diminishes.The resisting is the source of the frustration.

Scared child

Scared child (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How do we stop resisting fear? Be afraid. Welcome it. Study it. Respect it. Appreciate it.

First, fear it. Then, permanently avoid focusing on the subject of reverse psychology. It is very frustrating to attempt to pretend not to be focusing on something by focusing on it.

After you have completed those two steps, then I can tell you the other 664 steps which consistently and inevitably lead to a spiritual awakening. You are very close. Just keep striving and concentrating and stressing over the issue.

Do not keep making the situation worse by relating to the situation as if it should not be how it is. Do not keep resisting fear by pretending that you are beyond fear because you are so spiritually arrogant that you no longer experience fear.

You are desperately terrified of fear. You are frightened of terror.

You are just like billions of other humans. So what?
What if you stopped trying to “get somewhere” just for a moment? What if you were okay with “getting nowhere” (no desperate, anxious urge to escape from your experience- including your emotions)? What if you calmed down and recognized your fears and your hopes clearly, then accepted pretense and avoidance as possible behavioral choices that you might practice in a moment of fear? What if you welcomed emotion and the variety of human experience? Would finally be reborn as a mere human, once again?

Stress, Dis-Ease, and Spiritual Rebirth

March 23, 2013

Stress, Dis-Ease, and Spiritual Rebirth


Stress (journal)

Stress (journal) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Light splitting

Light splitting (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Have you ever identified something to reject or resist and then focused on removing it whenever it is present and preventing it whenever it is not present? We could call that process by many names, such as an obsession, a preoccupation, a fixation, or an agonizing. We could also call that the experience of stress or dis-ease, as in a contrast to the experience of ease, contentment and relative relaxation or release or relief. 
Similar to opposing some possibility is identifying something to produce or promote and then focusing on cultivating it whenever it is present and preventing it whenever it is not present. We could also call that process by many names, including the same set as above: a preoccupation, a fixation, an agonizing, or a dis-ease. However, we could also use terms like a priority, an ideal, a dream, a goal, a value, or a commitment.
Briefly, hell is the experience of desperately repressing a particular possibility (which we could also call things like denial, agonizing, or even psychosis). Purgatory (neurosis) is the experience of obsessing over a single particular possibility as if it is the only method for hypothetically avoiding hell and earning one’s way in to heaven. (Note that purgatory is clearly still a state of stress or dis-ease, and those in purgatory speak in terms of “the only way” and “the only true doctrine” and so on.) Heaven (enlightment, salvation, spiritual rebirth, wisdom, maturity, etc) is recognizing that heaven is not earned. Heaven is a natural state which is available simply by grace, by inheritance, by faith, by a proper perspective. In other languages or traditions, the realm of heaven may be called paradise or Eden or nirvana or satchitananda.
El Purgatorio (1890). Óleo sobre tela 339 x 25...

El Purgatorio (1890). Óleo sobre tela 339 x 256 cm. GAN.Cararas – Venezuela. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sympathetic (red) and parasympathetic (blue) n...

Sympathetic (red) and parasympathetic (blue) nervous system Русский: Аанатомия иннервации вегетативной нервной системы. Системы: симпатическая (красным) и парасимпатическая (синим) Українська: Аанатомія іннервації вегетативної нервової системи. Симпатична (червоним) та парасимпатична (синім) гілки Polski: Układ autonomiczny: czerwony – sympatyczny, niebieski – parasympatyczny. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now, what is unusual about all of the above is just the way that language is being used. In the case of hell and purgatory, there is an implicit identifying of what should be and what should not be, which is the ancient model called “the knowledge of the tree of good and evil,” which is a reference to the branch of the nervous system called the sympathetic nervous system (the branch for dealing with stress). When the sympathetic nervous system (or the obsession over duality of either good or evil, either right or wrong) is prominent, that is a state of stress or dis-ease or mild panic or hysteria or paranoia or what ancient philosophers referenced as “sin.”
That is a normal stage of development. It is not itself evil, but is the perception of the power of some evil as being a real threat. In other words, there is the constant experience of a perceived threat ( areal experience of threat).
That is a state very vulnerable to delusion. Metaphors for that state of delusion (or “maya”) include sayings like “do not be afraid of the forces of darkness, for darkness has no power in the midst of even a single candle.” Darkness is just a word for the capacity to see along with the absence of any light waves in the visible spectrum. Darkness is not a presence of some “threat” to light. Darkness is a convenient linguistic contrast to the presence of certain wavelengths of visible light. 
Light always “dispels the darkness” because there never was any darkness except as a label in language. Darkness has no physical reality. It is just a convenient label. It has no power over actual light. It is merely a categorical label.
sRGB rendering of the spectrum of visible light

sRGB rendering of the spectrum of visible light (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Naturally, anyone in a state of delusion, trauma, or severe dis-ease cannot properly recognize or interpret the language of spirit or spirituality that is displayed here. They will twist words in to justifications for the perpetuation of their experience of hell and purgatory. Again, that is totally natural and normal.
What is interesting is that there is such a thing as blindness. The presence of light does not dispel blindness. So, ancient metaphors reference things like “those who have the eyes to see, let them see” and “the blind who lead others who are also blind” and “in the land of the blind (the realm of the spiritually dead), the one-eyed man is king.”

Blindness (Photo credit: Community Eye Health)

Darkness is not a threat to light. Blindness however is label for the inability to perceive the difference between the actual presence of light and the relative absence of light (“darkness”). One who is  blind cannot speak with any authority on darkness or light. Likewise, the spiritually blind cannot speak with any competence on issues of sin and salvation (or the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems). 
They are blind to sin, but of course they do not know that they are blind. Their sin leads them to say of others “look at them other there: they should not speak like that; they should remove the beam from their own eye before arrogantly presuming to remove a speck from the eyes of others!” They experience persistent contempt, animosity, jealousy, condemnation, and so on. They may speak of forgiveness, but without authority or comprehension.
They are typically anti-ego, which is the extreme of egotism and self-consciousness. They are often anti-negativity, which is the extreme of negativity. They may be hysterically anti-selfishness, which is the total absence of compassion and the extreme presence of resentment and contempt and animosity and arrogance.
Complete spectrum of electromagnetic radiation...

Complete spectrum of electromagnetic radiation with the visible portion highlighted (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Here is the kind of thing that the spiritually mature say: “One can refrain from presuming to remove darkness from the eyes of another, and instead remedy the blindness of  one’s own vision, instead developing the capacity to precisely perceive.” In those words, there is no panic of opposing darkness hysterically. There is simply the recognition that there is such a thing as the capacity to perceive clearly and there is an interest in developing that capacity is the practical, functional issue. One does not need to obsess over “removing sin.” It is a normal stage of development. There is a commitment to clarity, not to conformity to any doctrine or tradition.
An ancient teaching of the Hebrew Prophet Isaiah references the idolatry of worshiping tradition over clarity (sincerity over precision). In the New Testament of Christianity, there are several references by Jesus to Isaiah of “naive, arrogant, vain people worshiping their own sincerity with only their lips,” while their hearts and spirits are far from purity. Such people will argue and defend with animosity and ill will and terror, showing their spiritual development by their symptoms, their results, the “fruit” of their practices.
Darkness is no threat to the wise. Light will not be of any value to those who are blind. In the metaphors and parables of spiritual poetry, those who are “blind” to their own “inner darkness” will not have the capacity to recognize the light of spiritual maturity any more than a blind person would be able to identify red or blue or yellow.
For them, they must go through the experiences of hell and purgatory, obsessing over what should not be (but is) and what should be instead (but is not). That stress and dis-ease is how they will develop humility (through humiliations, disappointments, frustrations- the spiritual or metaphorical “death” of their ego fixations, which are simply natural stage of development). From humility, they will develop a new curiosity and from curiosity they will develop a new clarity, or what is called in the language of spiritual poetry by this label: a “rebirth.”
This shows The Virgin and The Child being pres...

This shows The Virgin and The Child being present while souls awaiting purification are brought out of Purgatory and into Heaven. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

stages of adaptive appreciation

October 14, 2011

The above audio contains a lot more clarification and information than the text below.

First, people begin innocent. Then, they are trained in how things should be and so become naively presumptive, though that is adaptive relative to the first stage.

Then, if the presumptive way does not work very well, some slight revisions are made in regard to the updated idealism of how things really should be, and now the reformed and refined presumptiveness becomes arrogance (as in self-righteousness). Again, that may be adaptive relative to the prior stage- using a more adapted model of presumptiveness.
Next, after perhaps a few distinct idealisms have been tried and have all failed to correspond to reality, a cynical perfectionism may develop. This is a reaction against all forms of presumptiveness, all models. This is a criticism against all forms of what allegedly should be. This can be called hypocrisy, for it is presuming that presumptiveness about how things should be is what should not be, which implicitly presumes that an innocent naivete is all that should ever be. Again, that may still be more adaptive than prior stages.
However, once that does not work well either, then humility and grace may eventually develop. Then there is an appreciation possible for every stage: naive innocence, naive presumptiveness, arrogant presumptiveness, arrogant cynicism, and humility.
These stages of adaption can be regrouped in to three distinctions: innocence, perfectionism, and humility. Perfectionism includes naive presumptiveness, arrogant presumptiveness, and arrogant cynicism.
We can even look at these as stages of appreciation. Initially, everything is equal. Then, various priorities and values are identified, learned and refined. Then, there is an appreciation for all models and all values and all priorities- just one at a time.
In other words, all of the models and presumptions are recognized as similar in that they are just models and presumptions. In any particular case, one or more models may be most relevant or useful. There can be an appreciation for each model as unique and for all models as only being models. There can be an appreciation for the creation of new models and discarding of old ones and naively or arrogantly clinging to certain ones or rejecting certain others.
Humility and appreciation may be two words for a single adaption. We might even call it “maturity.”

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