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Solitary or collective freedom

Hi all. I feel like saying something about freedom. After the looking, it seems that we are either drawn towards solitary freedom, and our focus is mostly inward, or else, we are drawn into our collective human situation, and everything that comes with that, and our focus is mostly outward.

For me, the latter has occurred. Since I have experienced, sufficiently, that there is nothing to be found inward, other than me, the feeling of me as person, I started to lose interest in myself (the feeling of me that is here all the time and has been so all my life). I have come to the conclusion that I don't have an inner life. Everything that goes on, thoughts, feelings and experiences, is going on outside of me. I am not even that interested in the looking anymore. It seems to me that it only gives meaning to talk about looking inward when we are talking about the act itself. But after that, I have found that the direction inward doesn't have any meaning.

My direction is outward. And because outward is where life is I get more and more involved in what is going on around me; what is happening in the world. And the more that neurotic fear leaves my mind, the more I get involved and interested in our actual human situation. When seeing our human situation for what it is, with no psychological mechanism left to make it possible to look away from life, it almost feels like I am "doomed" to take part in our collective destiny. I have no choice; I am human.

So my focus turns towards humanity and not away from it. And I am not only talking about the big abstract number of us humans that are called humanity. I am also talking about those whom I see every day. The woman I live with, my family, my annoying neighbors, the people I meet at work, and so on. I want to give what I have found to my fellow human beings. I care about the wellbeing of others.

And I am especially interested in sharing the simple and powerful possibility, to become free of psychological suffering, which we are working with here. And I think it is such a sad truth that so many of us suffer in silence and believe that that it is normal and just the way life is. I also have a lot of personal experience in psychological suffering, so the area of mental health is very dear to me.

So no, I don't feel free. I feel obligated to try my best to pass this possibility on to others. And that is also what I want to do. I am not interested in finding freedom. The troublesome nature of life is much more interesting than peace and stillness are. Why should I want peace while I am still alive? I want life, and as much as possible of it. When I am lying on my death bed, in hopefully many years from now, I don't think I will look back at my life wishing that there had been more moments of peace and stillness in my life. I guess peace and stillness comes one day when it is all over, but that time is not now, now it is time to live and participate in what is going on around me.


Very clearly and nicely expressed. Thank you, Niklas. Best regards,


Thank you, Marlowe!

But to be honest it has been a real struggle for me to express myself lately. Strange, because it is both easy and hard at the same time. Like the act itself in a way. The most simple act in the world can also seem as the most complicated. Maybe it has something to do with the restart of our minds (after the looking)? Even the most obvious thing (that we thought we knew) should now be learned again and expressed again, in a new fresh light. And when that is confused with the old fear based outlook, it become a struggle.

But I will continue to write no matter how it feels. It just seems as a part of the process.

Best regards to you too!


Hi Niklas, I really enjoyed reading your comments here... Very reassuring. I have to laugh at myself at times when I see the strong tendency to speak in spiritual jargon arises. I usually just don't say much or speak at online meetings etc. but when I have the opportunity to speak of the looking the conversation is wonderful and honest. This way of seeing things was really a lifeline for me for so many years and it seems to take a long time to fall away... So for me too it is struggle at times to express simply and clearly but I feel the difference when I speak without this layer of fear clouding my thinking. I just love it and feel so much more honest and accepting of others so it is always exciting to notice the effects of the looking. thank you I enjoy your blogs so much.

Thank you for sharing this Maureen!

Sorry for my late response. I just recently saw your comment, I must have missed the email notification about it in my new email inbox.

All the best,


Hi Niklas, likewise I too really enjoyed reading your comments and have found them useful. I would be grateful for your comments regarding my own personal experience. You say you have experience with mental health problems, I too have had my fair share of panic disorder, severe agoraphobia and depression in my life time. I am now well and have enjoyed 3 years of bliss and last year flew on plane for the first time in my life. However from time to time the old neural habits influence my mind and I can become sunk by the cloud of apprehension and fear that ensues. During these times I remind myself of 'looking inward' and practice John and Carla's method. They do help but I would like to know if you too have experience with applying the method in these times of despair and if so how did you find it?

Kind regards,


Hi Matt. Welcome to my blog and thanks for your comment.

I actually don't use the act of inward looking anymore, even in times of despair. I don't see or use the act itself as a practice to deal with my life (mind). I see the act itself only as a way to start the process of the regeneration of ones mind. The regeneration that we call the recovery process. I think that the big shift for me is how I relate to my life (mind). As I wrote in this blog post above I no longer experience having an inner life. I have one sense of my self and one mind that I use to experience my life with. And when I, for example, experiences times of despair I seem to be better and better to just see it for what it is. Times of despair is just times of despair. It is old reactions and patterns that has been created in our minds due to the life long fear based psychology. But please don't get me wrong, I know how tuff it can be. But I am certain of that seeing our experiences for what they are is a result of the act of inward looking and will be the truth to everyone that performs the act. I promise you that you don't have to do anything. Just make sure that you know what you mean when you say that you have looked at yourself. See that you have the sense of you as a person. The sense of you that you have had your hole life. After that it is only to experience and learn about how your new psychology is taking shape. And I could advise you to try to strengthen your attention with the focus attention exercise that is available here on the website. That seem to be helpful for most people. But the best advise I can give you and to everyone else that reads this is that you really don't have to do anything. When you have accomplices the act you have done everything that is needed. Try to find some rest in that. Times of despair will be less and less important until it wont be here anymore.

Something that has helped me a lot and that still is a continuous thing I do, is to read all the available material here on the website and on the blogs. I use to, from time to time, read all Johns blog posts. That always clears up something for me and helps me see this work for what it is and keep up with the development of the work.

All the best,


Thanks very much Niklas, very helpful indeed and yes I am currently reading through the material. I have begun doing 10 minutes each day of the inward looking (focusing on breath) and still am yet to understand exactly what I am looking at when I look at 'me'. Think my understanding is getting a little clearer.

Once again thanks a million.


You are very welcome Matt. I am just glad that I get the chance to express myself and learn more about the process. Really nice that you are truly trying, that will give results, trust me. Only one thing though. The act of inward looking is one thing in itself. That act starts the recovery process and is the basis for this hole work that is being done here. After that, when we are in recovery, we can use the exercise named focus attention (focusing and counting our breath) to strengthen our attention. We thereby get more skillful in dealing with the recovery process. We learn that it is us that is in charge of where we put our attention. So the act of inward looking is one thing and the focusing attention exercise is one thing.

And as to what to look at when we do the act of inward looking, it is the feeling of you that has been the same for your whole life. The feeling of you as a person. Not deep inside of you. Just you here.

All the best,


These post are great. I think that these matters can be helpful for people in recovery. I think the simplicity and clarity of these words also have potential to trigger interest in the looking for a person who have never heard about any of this (looking at me, attention-practice and recovery from the fear of life).

I'm taking all this with me and out, here in Stockholm.

Thank you.

Great that you find them useful. It is interesting to read old posts and see what one was trying to communicate. When I read them now I see that the driving force of the original post was pain. Feeling the pain of others. I had people around me at that time that proclaimed, with a relaxed smile on there face, that they where free. Free from others and from our collective destiny. But why wasn't I smiling? Why wasn't I relaxed and detached from others? Well, of course because of having really taking in the cause and cure of human mental suffering. The insight of the fear of life and what cures it is in my view at the same importance as, for example, the idea of natural selection. But for the the individual that takes the insight of the fear of life in, it doesn't lead to freedom and feeling good. It's distressing and deeply sad that we suffer from the fear of life and the consequences of it. And therefore, hearing someone talk about suffering in a detached way is still painful. And that is one thing that hasn't change during all this years of recovery. It actually gets worse.

Good day Niklas, I follow your posts and I am very impressed with what you say or rather what you want to convey to all those who are in the topic or trying to participate in it. Sincerely,



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