Just One Look Forum Archives
Recovery and Rehabilitation
I feel like i needed this my whole life and it came too me a bit late.
When I was very young I apparently refused to take part in group walks at the playgroup Ii went to; I screamed and kicked and refused it for reasons no one understood. At every new school I went to up til the age of 10 I would worry and cry at having to go there each morning and again, no one knew why. I especially had a great fear of the school showers, after sports class, where I remember dozens of kids having to squash into this narrow changing room and push to get to the water. For that reason, I am quite indifferent to the conformity of mandatory schooling for children.
I have never been a conformist and I eventually shaped this fear into rebellion when I reached the age of 12-13. I became tougher, I got in fights, I smoked as much pot as I possibly could, I did everything the school teachers asked me not to and I continuously disrupted classes with my clowning around. I don't feel ashamed about any of this now of course, I realize why I behaved this way and why so many other people do.
It annoys me when my parents (especially my goody-goody step-mother) makes coy remarks about how bad I was and how I failed school. GOOD! is what I say each time, and I mean it. Had the world been more open to ideas such as the looking before I reached that age of rebellion then surely it wouldn't have been so rough and people would of known what was needed at time. Instead, trips to psychiatrists, hypnotherapists, counselors, doctors etc. etc.
I am quite indifferent to the world actually. People are so scared they can't even admit it. They seem pretty dumb to me now; I mean most people. They would rather just sit and wait for the next good thing to happen and pretend they know what life is all about. THAT IS HILARIOUS! When you see people acting as if they've really got it together. Sounds cynical but it's really terrible. There are hardly any natural human beings in the world. I am no longer part of the popularity contest and I'm glad! This post is just a venting rant, I don't expect any response.
I do think the looking can only be shared with people who need it though. Too many people are, like I said, going round as if they have got life figured out, even though you can see they suffer their trivialities. They don't want to hear you tell them otherwise. The only people who will really take it in and digest it are the victims/neurotics. This work surely needs to make itself recognized in the mental health field first before it has any chance. How many psychologists are prescribing the looking cure? Can it break through the madness? Think of the prescription drug companies that would be deemed obsolete if people were taking the natural cure to depression and anxiety rather than there costly little pills. I know in the States they make millions out of the people there. It's Sanity vs Insanity.
Preach brother, preach. Like George Carlin used to say, I'm not learning anything here so why not deprive others from their education (class clown). I've recently felt frustrated about the complete lack of response when I suggest looking to others. In retrospect, my mechanism has selectively ignored so much in my lifetime. I'm so thankful that I was open when John's message came my way. Wow, duh statement. I was so happy to look at what I have always been seeing. Maybe the blatantness of it is part of the problem. In the 6 months prior to the looking, I was experiencing a lot of revelations about everything being right in front of me, all solutions, opportunities. Like you said, you gotta be ready for the truth. Now it's interesting to observe my personality as a characteristic rather than the focal point of every critical person in the universe, especially me. Whew! Now I can die of natural causes instead of killing myself by constantly sending stress messages inward.
My personality enjoys commenting on this profound change that is in many ways a fading memory, a decaying reverberation.
I may start a new topic titled 'babbling tangents related to that which I'm trying to explain'.
Everybody got his or her own rant, I suppose. My current version goes as follows: I am scared, sitting around paralysed with fear that any action will bring me closer to the anticipated catastrophe, which I know is unreal but will unfold nevertheless following the mechanics of a self-fullfilling prophecy. Like an ancient Greek tragedy. Everybody sees it coming, but there is nothing one can do about it.
Of course, the advice is: "Do not to feed this script with attention. Just starve it. The fear is gone after the looking. It is just the momentum of obsolete psychological mechanics operating." But clinging to such thoughts is just another delusion. I mean, there is really nothing else than doing this attention thing and wait. Funny thing is: it seems to work. More and more good things happen, normal things, not that symbolic big heavy stuff that I am used to. But I am looking forward to the moment this terror will be gone.
The mind is like a drunken GPS. It constantly recalculates but it can't walk a straight line from insanity to sanity. The blinds have been pulled up and the morning sun is shining but we're still fumbling through the darkness of the night. Our destination has always been reached.
"Red is grey, and yellow, white,
but we decide which is right,
and which is an illusion." The Moody Blues
Cytex, how long since you first looked? I'ts been about three years for me now. Bradley, I understand you are fairly new too this? You may well have a very smooth transition like some, hopefully. I haven't got much to say on what's been said. I actually regretted posting this thread as soon as I'd done so because it was a very personal rant and not many people speak up on this forum.
Hi Jim, it's been 2 years. I like to read here, especially the personal stories! It is just hard to comment. To me, the most adequate seems to "listen". My story changes all the time, with the mood, what memories surface etc. Actually, motivated by yours, I started to write a lengthy post, but then got lost in words and deleted before posting.
Drunken GPS... that is a good one.
As a long time spiritual seeker, the looking was the answer to much that my mind had tried to accomplish in the past. So perhaps my mental struggle is not as bad as it is for others. Listening to John's and others accounts is so very helpful. 53 years of pain is hard to let go however.
More people should share their comments. I feel like a minority here but so what. Hopefully more will speak up.
I'm glad you guys are speaking up and I personally love rants. I have less and less to say the farther I move away from my first look, but I don't want to be one of those who just fades away. I think this work, this forum, is incredibly important and dynamic and I love to read all the posts.
Ok, I kind of re-created that lengthy post...
People are so scared they can't even admit it.
I checked out many things in the search for a solution: spirituality looked very attractive at first, but I considered it a fairy tale, something far away, and I really, really detested the guru aspect. Religion seemed to be for weak people, who dare not to face the truth and look for soothing. Power seemed boring, giving you false friends, responsibility and loneliness. Well, sex and rock'n'roll never failed to attract me, but genuine intimacy is something very fleeting, at least I never found it to last, and the problem was I was afraid of people. There was homeopathy and their concept of disease that I found fascinating. Their working model is that disease follows a pattern, has a specific form of expression that can be mapped to the expression of a remedy. But it takes a true master to recognise the character of the disease and find the matching remedy (there are about 5000), if the whole thing works at all, which can be doubted.
I realised immediately that the looking is the real deal. Now, I am not sure anymore. Or, I do not want to decide whether it works or not, that only gives me headaches.
Something else: I wonder why the messaging system is disabled. Sometimes I read a post of a person that seems no longer active but I would like to directly ask how he or she is doing. Or just contact somebody.
1) John mentions that we can determine how it works by noticing any change in our relationship to our own lives. This seems most profound when I do/experience something that I haven't done in awhile. It's like being in a very similar situation lets the mind see and compare the differences and the difference is noticeable.
2) from what I've gathered around here, you sincerely look with intent, then you focus attention as an ongoing practice. When I catch myself in thought loops I sometimes now remember to focus on my breath. I never did that before looking. Read about it so many times before but with a fear-based schema, I lacked a clear enough baseline to think of that option let alone practice it.
Do you practice focused attention/redirection or whatever it's called?
3)John got to the point where he enjoyed the rare occasion when some of his old patterns would show up but it took a LONG time.
Seeing as I am currently living very simply, don't have to work very much and have a fairly stress free job when I do work, I haven't really felt I need to train my attention. But I do see how it can be advantageous to people who are constantly rocked by the waves of thinking and need to feel centered and calm, as some people have more rushing lives and relationships. I have been more concerned (though not really) of the fact I am extremely calm and my desire to live seems to have vanished. I think that what I mean is, the search for identity among all the other identities has gone, leaving me in the so called 'limbo state' people talk about. I hope this goes and I can find some kind of ambition and goal which seems worth while eventually. Like Cytex, I am also very into music and art, literature. I've been thinking recently how the fear of life has actually worked in favour of artists producing some truly great pieces of work. I don't see it being done in this limbo state.
Ok, only into this 2 months now but have had some taste of that. I have a demanding job and create music when not working but have enjoyed the lessening of the intense need to fill the void. I suggest you challenge the thought that you aren't doing exactly what you should be. I've just recently been able to just be with some of my strong emotions rather than riding them. I'm hoping for you that this period of unknowing is yet just another temporary phase chock full of references from a fearful past and that it will pass.
Bradley, yes, I did the looking correctly, and directing attention helps to get over this attacks. I also see changes. So we will see how this ends--it does not really matter whether I believe in the process or not.
Jim, I got the same issue with the lack of zeal, and I need to be creative and do mental work for a living. My work is also competitive--and almost everybody of my peers runs on steroids. I reason my energy levels are more or less the same as before the looking--so this period of limbo could be important for the body to regenerate from the frenzy before. I can help my body in this recovery process by living a more healthy life (less alcohol, sports, etc). I am confident that energy and goals will eventually align.
I have a strong suspicion at this point that any and all desires for resolution are baseless works of the mind and do not reflect our true nature. They come and go so therefore they fail the truth test. I think we tend to struggle when we confuse our personality with the truth of who we really are. It is part of our personality to want resolution perhaps. But who we really are has no care whatsoever. So when the day is done we should recognize our concerns as outputs from personality not reflections on reality. Which is ok. If we can't see personality for what it is we will feel a void when faced with the truth. Your mileage may certainly vary and I don't intend to diminish anyone's particular struggle. Sorry if you thought I was implying that you didn't look properly or what not. Not my intention, just stating the 2 steps as I have deduced them from John's talks. I was hoping for clarification if I was incorrect.
I am not sure I really understand what you are saying Bradley, but I will comment anyway.
It is ok to fight and to struggle. Everything is still around after the fear of life is gone, including confusion or anger, etc. The ingredients of life do not change, our biology does not transform into something else. One can even be wrong on certain things. This also applies to John. I admit I did feel a bit lectured by your post, I did not want to express it in my answer, but it seems it did shine through nevertheless--I apologise for that. I appreciate your reply. Based on your point 3) I have this image: I feel like being the doctor and the patient at the same time. As a doctor I know I did the surgery correctly (the looking) and gave the correct medicine to support healing (focused attention). On the other hand, as a patient I am in pain, I blame the surgeon for it and I am begging for pain killers.
Yeah, in retrospect I also feel that I was being a bit on the lecture side. So cool not to ruminate on such an 'error' to the ridiculous level that I did up until recently. What freedom. Part of my personality is to spin things into something positive, the tough it up approach. I believe at this point that it's just a feeble attempt to dance around the despair of living in fear and I habitually get on my high horse and shake my pom poms. A coping strategy from my past still playing on. I agree that the looking removed the fear and it really does nothing else, at least not directly. Nor does it have to as this one thing is all we could ever ask for. I still have loads of issues including BS-ing myself daily but the fear is gone and I'm slowly seeing that. I'm struggling with expecting the looking to resolve things but the work of the looking seems to hint to me not to do that. But the process uncovers pain in a way that is so raw, perhaps because I don't run from it so much. The pain is now there to examine and it has such complexity and roots and mental supporting variables galore but at the same time, I'm not seeking an answer to it anywhere as much as I used to. This feels so much more grounded. But yes, not all roses here. And there's nothing I can do about it but experience it. Very strange stuff.
One Buddhist saying is "all phenomena are dreams". When we realize we're dreaming at night we usually shrug off what we thought was reality and go back to sleep or wake up and start our day. I've read so many teachings on not taking your thoughts seriously but I never could get a solid perspective on that until I did the looking. It's like I did years of classroom training then the hands on part of the course was the looking. Now all the truth that I read and heard about makes so much more sense although it doesn't have to. But I have a whole catalog of relevant data in my head that now sticks so much more. All the absorbed knowledge I was grasping at before now is part of the repository that my brain uses when it comes up with new insights, all enabled by the looking. And it doesn't really matter. To babysit myself is a choice I still unconsciously make many times a day.
On a side note, the new clarity is making my job easier at work, but it has increased my intolerance for all the extra blah blah that has nothing to do with the task at hand. My desperate need to climb the corporate ladder has chilled, which in some ways opens up opportunities. My creativity and ability to focus on things has grown. But that stuff was always there, just had been increasingly fogged up by mental banter of the fear based variety. I like where things are going in a general sense but the idea of having any opinion or commentary on my life now comes with a lingering thought that I'm babysitting when I do that. How can you think about how your life is? It just is. Any thought about it is a conditioned mental concept based on comparison to some other concept. Wtf?
I like reading your post. You have a lively way with swift turns but never losing the target out of sight. Whenever I am writing something, it feels like first shooting fleeting thoughts, stuffing them and then arranging them lifelike, very cumbersome process. I agree on the content too. Currently I like the energy point of view. The fear binds huge amounts of energy. After the looking, more and more will become available to be directed where ever our attention decides to.
Almost like holding on to the energy is a defense mechanism. Like taking a big breath before going under water.
Although overall the general feeling of peace and sanity is undeniable, as time goes by I feel a bit shipwrecked, longing for the time when someone I know personally does the looking. I never thought that sanity would leave me feeling alone. This thought is strictly mind stuff and it doesn't run all that deep. Maybe that's why I make notes here. The good news is that my relationship with others is improving which makes sense.
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