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Recovery and Rehabilitation

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Getting better and better

I can't believe how much my world has changed over the last month or so. I went to a pub on my own last night and played at an open mic for the first time in my life and I was shocked at how natural and at ease I felt when I went up. I was also shocked at the lack of worry before hand. This is me, the one who has experienced severe, dysfunctional social anxiety all my life! It's amazing.

I want to mention that I did go ahead with the psilocybin idea a couple of months back and although I'm not saying that doing this is what has really boosted my confidence; that drug made me even more present, conscious and in awe of the everyday mundane stuff. A week later I heard John mention how amazing water was in a retreat video and I couldn't believe it as I had literally been sitting in the bathroom watching the water run into the bath and the steam rising up a couple hours before and was amazed at how amazed I felt at that :D It's hilarious and most people would think i was going mad if I mentioned it haha!

I didn't want to put this in the reports section as I don't want to make definitive report as yet, as I feel i'm still in the process of recovery. I am using my attention when needed and I am letting myself be miserable when I'm miserable, letting myself be happy when I'm happy, letting myself off when I've done/said something 'wrong' or stupid, etc. etc. Just allow, allow, allow. Not easy but once you've looked, like john said to me on the phone, you can either learn to use your attention and engage in life skillfully, or you can go on hating everything. I believe expectation is what made me miserable! Maybe we can actually speed this process up if you start allowing stuff and use attention once you have looked!

I read a Zen inspired book recently called 'there is nothing wrong with you'. I found it really helpful! I highly recommend it after looking at yourself.

Nothings a problem. Love to all!

Jim

Very cool Jim! It must have felt great to perform your music. As for the other stuff, when the fear is gone it seems to free us up to try new things and see what works and what doesn't.

I also have been getting absorbed in things. It's great to be able to dial into details and immerse oneself in something. I have been stopped in my tracks by various patterns and texture in nature this fall. Also, certain tastes become really intense when focused on. Oddly, I am more easily startled. I've never been a jumpy person, even in the worst of my anxiety states, but lately loud noise or unexpected movements will give me a start.

Anyway, I'm very happy for you and hope you have many more performances.

Looking back a few moments in life really stick out. You know those moments when everything changes and you know life will never be the same. The aha-moment of figuring out how to count above 20 at the age of four, a family decision to move abroad at eight, coming back two years later, my first "real" job at eighteen, military service, getting my own place. The first true love and heart break was like that. A close friend died when I was twenty-five. The passing of family members. The looking. You know, all those things. My first psychedelic experience was also like that. Probably the most difficult six hours of my life up until that point. That trip brutally showed me how I had been so so wrong about pretty much everything. Some may sneeze at it, but for me it really was a major event that turned out to have much influence over my person. My friends have told me afterwards that it made me more harmonious and settled. Over the years I kept going back to psychedelics of varying kind in search of more enlightening truths and insights but they became ever more scarce, however I did become pretty good at at letting go and enjoy myself in the moment, even facing adverse circumstances, how to make an adventure out of something frightening. It can be said that psychedelics are a form of escapism similar to other drugs, for sure, but it can be equally argued that they rather induce a brutal wakening to the moment. During a such states you have nowhere to run, you are left alone with your demons right in front of you.

I thought these drugs, psilocybin in particular, would save the world. Transgressive demeanor and going beyond one's own believed identity, exploring and smudging the boundaries of separation between the self and the rest would open peoples hearts. This was when I still believed that the right or wrong ideas was the cause of all suffering, and that other people would actually be interested in such pursuits, just because I was. Today I am so grateful to know this is not the case. The cause and the cure are so much simpler than that. Thank god, because people bound by the fear of life are generally not interested in transgression of any sort. This master plan would never have worked. In retrospect, it didn't even work for me. Only the looking works.

On a side note; after the looking, in a fear free context, I find psychedelics, especially mushrooms, are still really something. Hands down the most interesting, fun and worthwhile way to get high/drunk if you ask me, and I have tried many ways. Nothing wrong with wanting to get a high every now and then in my opinion.

And Jim I thought a little about allowing. Allowing is a verb, ie something that happens. If you attend what is, then it is only what it is, isn't it, whether you allow it or not? Like the allowing - it is a thought happening - and there is no opposite to it. No disallowing to negate the allowing. How could there be a disallowing of what simply is? Well there's the fear obviously but that is gone now. I think this allowing is a bit redundant, typical mind business... but it's up to you what to look at.

See what I mean? Let me know if I'm wrong!

Thanks for the book recommendation, today I see, which I couldn't before, how some writers are so remarkably exquisite and clear and it's really enjoyable. I will check it out.

Maybe 'allowing' is the wrong word, as like you say, it sounds like something to be done. I suppose 'acceptance' could be more fitting; like accepting that you feel miserable (like I do now) for no good reason. Accepting when you think you've done something socially embarrassing or even been rude or bad to someone else. Accepting when you don't have much to say at a party or social event. Anyway, it's all in that book. It's a great read.

Although I will never know, I now feel that maybe I have let my recovery drag on a bit by expecting that suddenly, some kind of enlightenment was going to happen. Instead I could have chosen to use these other strategies to help burn the old thought patterns and behaviours that still linger. All the mindfulness teachings are clearly very beneficial (which is obviously why John teaches focusing attention) but when you are using them, expecting to reach some sort of goal, you will no doubt suffer.

Thank you Jackx, for your response! I am sure there's going to be many more performances and also, you mention how things make you jump. I think I know what you mean. Like a car door slamming really hard, or a powerful engine running, seems to go straight through me and sometimes I'm also startled.

roed, I agree that there is no escaping stuff when you are willing to 'let go' on the mushroom trip. I took some for the fourth and last time this year, on Saturday night, and there was some strange emotions coming to the surface, and like you say, instead of freaking out, I was being creative with them and trying to enjoy the party I was at. There is always a lot of laughter on them. I had many friends there so I didn't have to worry about my physical safety too much. I have found that certain people are good to be with on this drug and others don't quite get the letting go part. There are a lot growing here in England right now (liberty caps) and if people do decide to try them out, I wouldn't recommend more than a couple of grams first time. I think I may have gone a bit over the top the last two times. Anyway, I don't want too turn the looking forum into a drug awareness one.

I am grateful I can have these conversations here, because I still feel pretty alone when it comes to the looking. I haven't really tried to persuade many others to try it yet. Maybe that will come when the time is right and the person is open enough.

Maybe 'allowing' is the wrong word, as like you say, it sounds like something to be done. I suppose 'acceptance' could be more fitting; like accepting that you feel miserable (like I do now) for no good reason. Accepting when you think you've done something socially embarrassing or even been rude or bad to someone else. Accepting when you don't have much to say at a party or social event. Anyway, it's all in that book. It's a great read.

I see what you mean. It seems you are not hating on yourself anymore and have an easier time getting on with stuff, good and bad, which of course is wonderful news.

What I was trying to get at is that attending something is the same thing as accepting or allowing it. Only the mind needs a story behind it. And ultimately the events in the mind can't help or hurt you. When the fear goes it goes instantly and it goes for good.

Although I will never know, I now feel that maybe I have let my recovery drag on a bit by expecting that suddenly, some kind of enlightenment was going to happen. Instead I could have chosen to use these other strategies to help burn the old thought patterns and behaviours that still linger. All the mindfulness teachings are clearly very beneficial (which is obviously why John teaches focusing attention) but when you are using them, expecting to reach some sort of goal, you will no doubt suffer.

My suspicion is that these thoughts and behaviors will be gone before you know it - literally before you know it. When new stuff comes in it is easy to notice but when old stuff goes it takes a while to discover it is gone. Some things leave without us ever noticing them going too, maybe some we didn't even know of when they existed. Speed things up by paying attention, it has done wonders for me. Reading your texts I get the impression you are quite the clear minded person and in the OP it seems you have already come a long way in a very short time frame! Which brings me to:

I am grateful I can have these conversations here, because I still feel pretty alone when it comes to the looking. I haven't really tried to persuade many others to try it yet. Maybe that will come when the time is right and the person is open enough.

QFT. This little corner of the web is such a gem. Where on earth would I be without the contributions of everyone here.

And I'd like to, if I may, suggest you to introduce the looking to your close ones. A couple of months into looking I just had to do it of what seemed selfish reasons. The fear and neurosis around me drove me nuts. Always having to combat other peoples' angst, which they themselves most of the time didn't even know they suffered. Everything's easier now when I can shoot straight with these people. Turns out there's actually no distinction between my pain and others' so in the end I did it for all of us, just couldn't see that at the time. Remember they don't have to believe you, they just need to do it. Figure out some way to package it so they intentionally attempt to feel the feeling of you. I think you will notice who has done it.

I did it for similar reasons, Roed (introduced the looking to those close to me), and it has really changed the dynamic in those relationships, especially with my wife. However, not only is there less negative energy coming from those around me but, unexpectedly, they are more accepting of my negative energy when I get into those states. A nice reversal.

Yeah that's right! I feel like there's more room when all parties are independent, y'know? A thing about this though. It's easier than ever for me to establish new relationships nowadays, but these relationships never feel as meaningful for me as they seem to be for the other part, and this leads them to be disappointed because they notice it too. I recently read Hermann Hesse's Siddhartha (1922) and when Siddhartha, after having stayed with the ascetics, returns to the city he calls the citizens there 'the child people' because of how he sees them as naive and impatient, like children. Perhaps I'm making a mountain out of a molehill here, but it's like I have to bring the looking to new acquaintances before we can build something truly mutual. Just an observation on the subject of relationships. Glad to hear yours have been helped too.

Edit 2015-12-09: I now think this was mostly a false trail and born out of confusion.

After initial anxiety it brings peace and a feeling of aliveness when I accept and witness all states or feelings that arise. At first, this can be hard, as I fear experiencing anger, shame, abandonment, helplessness, and I used to go far avoiding them.

"Instead I could have chosen to use these other strategies to help burn the old thought patterns and behaviours that still linger." I want to stop this war against parts of me. It does not help.

So you guys are into mushrooms, eh? I've never tried any psychedelics, maybe always too scared of what could happen. I've smoked masses of weed for many years but now there is not even a faint desire to do so again. Okay, there is, but I don't pay attention to it. You know there is a mushroom I've been taking, it's not psychedelic nor is it a normal edible mushroom. It is helping me a lot in the recovery as it balances my energies very gently and also improves clarity and attention. It's not at all strong and also has many health benefits. Very beatiful thing. It's called Reishi or Ling Zhi (Ganoderma lucidum).

I have a friend who was like a spiritual companion during the spiritual phase of my life, which ended radically (guess why ;-). A year ago or so I met him after a long time and told him to look at himself, I didn't say what this is all about, just told him to do it. Now, I spoke to him some weeks ago again after quite some time. He's like: "Man, I feel like everything I have been doing and believed doesn't make sense to me again". His beliefs and restrictions are falling away and he doesn't know what's happening to him he just says "things are falling apart".

I was astonished, really as there is no better words that could describe what has been happening to me after the looking and I'm very curious as to how this will unfold. You guys can't imagine how zealous we were.

What I have also recognized is that I always had this attitude of not allowing myself to fell good, as if there was something wrong with experiencing pleasure. It's a very fundamental expression of the sense that something is wrong with you. And this I would say now is the most significant impact that the looking has done for me, it took that notion away and that's why I feel so good at times. And spirituality works with that assumption a lot; that there an original sin that needs to be covered somehow by denying yourself of this and that, you know. It's very self-destructive and it's just now that I really become aware of the fact that this kind of self-denial really has been disappearing drastically when I started with the looking.

Peace.

Jaja83, the book I mentioned at the very beginning of this thread covers what you say in your last paragraph very well. She (the author) talks about the fact that we feel we don't deserve to be kind to ourselves, feel joy, happiness and take credit for things, because we feel there is something wrong with us. Her theory is actually that it's the conditioning passed onto us by 'conditioned' parents who in-force this notion that in order to be ok and loveable, we must earn it somehow and be perfect. This of course (only being a theory, a good one I think) could cause a load of suffering. The whole book talks about self-hate and the ways we reinforce self-hate to keep ourselves safe.

I have felt quite miserable this week and I fell back into old patterns of blaming my misery on external forces; 'It's my brothers fault', 'It's my housemates fault', 'I must leave this house if I want to be happy'. It got to a point last night when I just wanted to break down in tears I could feel myself fighting to stay in this stubborn glut of misery I was feeling and refusing to open up and instead my negativity was bringing down the household (or so I felt). Anyway, I went upstairs and picked up that book again and I read this paragraph.

'I can give you the simplest of all possible rules of thumb: Any time a voice is talking to you that is not talking with love and compassion, don't believe it! Even if it is directed at someone else, it is the voice of your self-hate. It is simply hating you through an external object. It can hate you directly by telling you what a lousy, rotten person you are, and it can hate you indirectly by pointing out what's wrong 'out there'.'

I felt like this was the paragraph I needed more than any other last night, as what she is pointing too is exactly what I had been doing the last few days which just kept me trapped in misery.

About the mushrooms, I have some suspicion that once someone has looked at themselves, even a so called 'bad trip' isn't going to affect them that much; I mean like some people take them and end up in a mental institute. Each time I have taken them this year I was aware that no matter how crazy things seemed to look and get, I could come back to myself, clear, present and unchanging. But they are not for everyone and I actually think I went over the top last weekend which may have actually contributed to me feeling so low afterwards. I'm sure I will go back to them one day but I think a controlled, curious approach to any drugs is needed rather than a 'I need to escape this dull world' attitude. I'm sure the numerous pints of beer didn't help either.

Also JaJa, I will look up ling zhi! sounds good.

Thanks.

Yes, Jim Glover. I just ordered that book. I love reading, and that topic is what occupies my mind right now. Thanks, man.

You know I just found an appropriate term for "feeling that there is something wrong with me", it's SHAME. Psychologists define: "We feel guilty for what we do. We feel shame for what we are."

And also "Shame is when we feel disappointed about something inside of us, our basic nature." That really struck me when I just read it! Isn't that the reason why the act of looking at yourself works? The looking brings to attention and proves to you the fact that essentially nothing is wrong with you, nothing ever was, and ever could.

Yeah, I've been thinking that shame, the internal version of contempt, is one of the most destructive permutations of the fear.

Love this thread!

I play at blues jam nights here in Memphis once or twice a year. Usually anxiety factors in a lot. (What fun is that?) I barely know the players and there's an audience. I'm looking forward to the next time. I haven't jammed since before I did the looking.

On a practical level, tasks are so much more straightforward now and the dire need to execute everything my mind can drum up has diminished a lot. I end up producing more because the decisions are clearer. Things get done more because I want to do them, not because I have to.

Playing blues in Memphis. No pressure there, right? Enjoy!

I am actually thinking about performing again next week, minus any alcohol, so that might bring up more fear than last time, I had drunk a few drinks before and like I said, I was shocked out how easy it was and also how I had felt very little 'relief' after, which is a common thing when someone does something for the first time I think.

I keep on going back to that book and I have been noticing when I have hateful thoughts and get angry at things, that that is born out of shame. It seems the feet are a good area for attention to go when you find yourself in those modes. Someone recently said to me, when I was full of anxiety, 'think about your feet, your feet, your feet!'. It helps.

In Qi Gong practice there is a visualization technique where one imagines things like pain, emotional negativity, etc, as smoke. On the exhalation, you breath out the smoke and breath in 'energy' on the inhalation. When I'm anxious, especially performance anxiety, I imagine the anxiety as smoke and push it down my body thru my feet on the exhalation. This is a good directed attention exercise as well. I find it helpful to move the anxiety away from my chest and heart and down my body. So, yes, the feet!

The energy center in Qi Go g is called the lower Dantien, or right behind the navel. This is also a good place to move extreme anxiety and pain. Then from there down the body like smoke. Hope the performance goes well!

I think I'm turning into a Qi Gong addict. I really love to do the movements and check out too all the subtle feelings of anxiety etc.(great smoke visualization. Will use for sure). The standing in stillness is amazing really slows me down and I see clearly how I choose where to focus my attention. It's all fun now to explore anything since I have no desire for any particular outcome or romantic idea about these techniques like I used to have. I'm 68 and I love to feel physically stronger and more balanced. I never really had social anxiety but lately I've been pulling back from social interaction. Lately I have persistant thoughts that grab me that I am rejected by this or that person etc.("the voice of self hate" ) but again all there is to do is choose if I want to put my attention there. I love you all what great conversations!

Hi Jim,

Thanks for your postings.

I have been performing at open mics since June 2014. I am a guitar player--solo instrumental pieces. I have found this to be very challenging as I am a shy/introverted type of personality. Just lately, after looking in September, I find that I am not anxious or nervous but something happens before going on stage now that feels very similar. I find that there is a life force energy that is almost vibratory in the body but it is not fear but a type of life-affirming now/joy. It affirms that I am doing exactly what I should be doing at that moment. If the fear of life was still dominant I might not have noticed or transitioned to this growth and self-affirmation regarding sharing my creative side.

Ian Weir

I always get a very clear type of high after performing. At least when I do a jam night type of thing. When I drive home the car seems to glide. Everything just seems perfect for a bit. Something about opening up yourself to a crowd maybe.

I've been doing online music collaboration for a few years now on numerous sites with people from all over the world. PM me if you want more info. Cheers.

"...but again all there is to do is choose if I want to put my attention there."

Yes, and why not put the attention there? Maybe this voice belongs to a part of you that needs attention, that you neglected or suppressed for a long time? Now it may be the time to welcome this part, an inner child that feels abandonment or neglect or unworthiness. If you acknowledge it exists and allow it to stay for good, it will calm and relax.

Hello Bradley, The PM option seems to be out of order right now. I am writing solo guitar pieces currently in A=432 Hz. You might want to investigate 432hz.com for more info.

Love & Respect

Ian

I wanted to come back to this post as I am now feeling a lot different and in much less of a good place as I was when I started this thread.

I could say that when posting it, I was at another point where I thought finally everything was suddenly going to clear up and be ok for me, but I now understand the patterns I have been falling into, and the fact that a lot of my suffering actually is a choice. Admitting this almost feels more painful because I am accepting it is my stubbornness and indifference towards others and the world which is keeping me from lifting myself out of my current slump of misery.

This suffering here feels so familiar and more comfortable than trying to be happy right now, so this is how I remain. I live with my brother and an old friend who seem so so happy and I'm finding it extremely difficult to be nice to either of them. I am very deep in self loathing now and I am struggling for inspiration to try get out of it again. I don't really know what did it before.

I don't have a job at the moment and my social life is non existent. People don't understand how I can live like this, sitting round the house all day in a low mood and not even be bothered about not having any money, social interaction, or even bother to look for work. I don't really understand it either. Something has to happen. Or actually, I need to make something happen to get out of this rut. I can see that the looking has worked because at times just 'being' feels really nice. I see myself as 'the first person' now (douglas hardings description) and I am no longer seeking for anything permanent as I have found 'me'. I am only writing this because it's the only place I want to express how I am feeling right now. I am so closed to people and I don't really get why.

I have always been very uncommunicative and felt like everyone has something I don't when it comes to socializing. I realize it's because I prefer to suffer it seems. I think maybe if I go out and meet new people and opportunities in my life, I may become more open to change in my attitude and personality. At the moment it is very difficult to even want to string two sentences together to another person. I don't doubt the looking has worked it's way with me, I just want to be an example of the fact that I now have choice what to do and attend to and right now it's suffering.

So not only is attention important. Intention must also be important too. Intention to get over suffering by doing stuff maybe. I don't understand why it seems so hard to want it right now though. Does anyone understand what I'm saying? If we want happiness so damn much, why do we choose to suffer and suffer. It seems very strange.

There are many parts of the world where they say, 'don't like the weather? wait a minute' or some version of that. I feel this has been my experience post-look. It's been a roller coaster of experience, emotion, and perception. The hills get smaller and the ups and downs begin to flatten, but I definitely get what you're saying. All I can say is that we are in completely new territory with this stuff. New terrain, that shifts as we think we have our bearings. Fortunately, this surface shifting is taking place over a solid core of 'me.'

I read a Rolling Stone interview with Scott Weiland, the Stone Temple Pilot lead singer that just died from an apparent drug overdose. It was mesmorizing to read through the lens of the looking. His life was one of pain and attempts to escape from the pain. He talked about his drug experiences, particularily his first herion injection. He described it as coming home and finally feeling like he was okay in his body. That it took away fear and the constant discomfort of being human. He likened it to a 'warm, golden glow' and stated this was what Buddhist and other spiritual seekers were after. This was the only way he could escape the fear, pain, and paranoia of his life. Reading this, something gelled for me about the looking. It isn't the warm glow that everyone is seeking. It isn't 'happiness', or some ephemeral notion of satiety and contentment beyond the human realm. It is an okayness with life as it is in all its crazy glory. It's lower the walls and letting the hounds run wild. It's re-writing the script we have been speaking to all our lives, or even throwing it out the window. It's hanging on by the skin of our teeth one day, awash in emotion, and feeling a pervasive calm the next that feels like an energy field that will never dimish.

I have stopped most of the analysis of my life, the constant mental tweaking that I have felt necessary to make it through the day. I am more and more okay with what happens and I forget to be upset during upsetting moments and happy during blissful moments, or at least constantly check the emotional meter for trouble or overload. It all just happens now, like it was before the look, but with much more acceptance and without the running commentary or the strain of trying to change things that are already happening or will happen no matter what.

Not sure this speaks to your post, but it's what has been on my mind lately. One thing I am sure of, your experience will shift, maybe already has.

432 is cool. I know some folks that use Audacity to adjust to that frequency. It's definitely mellower.

The looking allows our brains to rewire. How the new wires are run must surely vary from person to person. I believe the looking pulls the fear rug out for good but we can't just lay on the floor where the rug once was. It's like a line Rodney Dangerfield said in Back To School, "the war's over...get new parts for your head". I got a lot of burned out parts and that's ok.

I think this is depression. You should take an action and do something to feel better. Start with little things one by one but every day. If you don't, this can make you sick. You can start with simple walks to take some fresh air. Do something man, you are stronger than that!

P.S. It's good to find what makes you to feel in that way.

I think my experience has shifted. In quiet moments, I see life moving in a way I never used to notice before. I can't really explain what this is. I could say there is an absence of a me + life. It's just 'this' or what's happening. I am undefined in those moments. But it's not like I am trying to be there, it's just the case in many moments throughout the day.

I can understand from your communication Jim that you are reacting to the porousness of compassion. John talks about this in some of the retreat talks. He stated that if his circumstances had been different soon after the looking that he would chosen seclusion to get away from all the insane behavior. There seems to be a lot of indoctrination about how one is supposed to feel-happy sad, etc. in certain situations. These coerced behaviors are revealed as such after the looking and probably cause what looks like a lack of ambition but I feel that it is a type of shock at the realisation of how much is training rather than genuine emotion.

riewnai1

These coerced behaviors are revealed as such after the looking and probably cause what looks like a lack of ambition but I feel that it is a type of shock at the realisation of how much is training rather than genuine emotion.

Interesting interpretation, and new, too. This seems a very plausible way to explain that limbo state we have been talking about.

Jim Glover

So not only is attention important. Intention must also be important too. Intention to get over suffering by doing stuff maybe. I don't understand why it seems so hard to want it right now though. Does anyone understand what I'm saying? If we want happiness so damn much, why do we choose to suffer and suffer. It seems very strange.

Hey Jim, this speaks volumes to me right now. Why am I constantly choosing to stay bitter when I know the sweetness of interaction with life? This has come and gone as a pattern throughout my now eleven month long recovery. A period of euphoria and lots of deeply satisfying interest, gratitude and curiosity with life and people, everything's great, I make others happy too. After that follows a longer period of normality, which is kind of dull but that's ok, I can put attention where it's useful most of the time and the only negative feeling is boredom and the nearly omnipresent suffering of others. Then comes depression, self loathing, wanting to pull my bed cover over my head: a wish to go back to the womb and forget about it all. This is normally shorter, calendar time wise, but it feels really long and at times like it's never going to end. Eventually it fades back into dullness, then back to euphoria. Over the year I've seen maybe three-four full cycles of this, although each day can be it's own chapter of course.

Thoughts about what to do about it all arise constantly during the dull and depressive periods. When I'm depressed my thoughts can be very persuasive and trick me into believing I'm doing something wrong often leading to more self-hatred. I see they cannot hurt me, yet my emotional life is bound to them, so I feel silly for feeling bad. I ask the same question! Why do we choose to suffer and suffer? How will it all feel once the clouds of anxiety are dispersed, what am I looking for?

John says one day it will all be gone no matter what we do and to make the best of this time to exercise focused attention. Not as a band-aid during this difficult time but to master the skill of intentionally choosing what to attend. I stick to that and just watch as I trip over my own feet.

I just heard this and found it really helpful, thought I'd transcribe it and share (so yeah mind that punctuation is actually mine here, not John's).

John Sherman, webinar video "Misidentification".

Responding to a participant around 58:00:

The reason we get tricked is because we are looking for an instant solution. The reason we get tricked is because the disease itself has convinced us that what we need is to have no trouble, is to have no problems, is to have nothing to do, nothing to figure out.

...

The actual experience of human life, with all of its difficulties, with all of its confusion, with all of its surprises - is itself the food that solves the hunger of wanting what we don't have. It's life itself. It's the difficulties of human life, it's the joy of human life, it's the intelligent engagement with human life that is everything we ever wanted. And we can't know that until it reveals itself to us. And it will. You've done the work, it will. I really advise you to keep up with the business of directed attention. There's nothing else that we can do you see - we can't do anything - everything that's here is already here! All the problems, all the solutions, all the history, all the expectations, all the desires - they're already here. We can't do anything about that. But what we can do something about is what we attend to. And that's all we can do something about: the development of clarity, skill and depth of understanding of the power we have, which is the only thing we can do - to determine for ourselves where we put out attention. And that does it all. Once the disease is gone, that does it all. But it takes time, it's not instantaneous. And it takes engagement, it's not magic. When expectations do appear about what might come or what we should be doing that we're not doing or anything of that nature we can just decline to attend to it. It is of no use to us whatsoever. That's the results of the looking. They're not magic although in retrospect it may seem so.

Cool thread! I found it liberating to hear that there are some other people here who can appreciate mushrooms. I have used them several times (in moderate doses) over the past year. The experiences were different each time, but mostly worthwhile because I always got some insights - for example, the first time I took them, a year ago, I heard an inner voice telling me "your prayers and intentions are powerful" - it was so unexpected, but sounded very true (and is true) and important. I took them because I was still going through the internal hell that the looking (and life) brought into my life. I was like a drowning man grasping for anything I could use to get out. In retrospect, I don't know how much the mushrooms helped, but they probably did help in some ways that I cannot define.

Anyway, I almost feel ready to write a report of recovery, but I don't do it yet because it would perhaps be immature. I'll just see what happens and how I feel in a while. Right now I still consume alcohol, smoke cigarettes and weed, so I'm not exactly a recovered person, am I? :D

But things have changed! It is almost unbelievable to suddenly realize that the anxiety that was almost constant in the past, has disappeared, and instead there is increased clarity, peace, contentment and happiness. Oh gosh, it feels so good to write something positive here after years of writing about intense, relentless suffering!

Thanks for being here.

Very cool. Glad things are going well! I'd like to hear a more in depth report soon.

We're all in this together. 5 1/2 months in and I'm getting a feel for it, I think. I think keeping an open mind lets the circuitry rewire easier. Patience and a knowing or conviction that it's a rebuild that you can't choreograph is important. Don't judge anything based on sporadic external events and your conditioned reactions and thoughts about them. We're like diseased and undernourished plants that have been transplanted into fertile soil with abundant sunlight. It takes time but it happens. If it was quick, it would be BS. Why do we always want BS? Conditioning? Laziness? Who knows.

Thanks for sharing this.

Well, I suppose the weather has changed a bit these last couple of days. I have actually been uttering a few sentences :D I almost took up one of my old habits of reading a spiritual book for the second or third time so I could then 'be ready' to face life again. I declined because I sense it is all in my hands now.

Like you Lee Harry, I still use alcohol and I feel I should try to stamp it out a bit because I am definitely using it to numb the social anxiety but to be honest even alcohol didn't work for me a few months ago. It didn't make me happy anyway. Last night it did. Mushrooms and LSD have both been proven to be very therapeutic in small doses. My last mushroom experience was probably too powerful and although I felt very clear minded the next day, I felt very low. I might indulge again (sensibly this time) next summer but until then I'm taking a break.

I'd love to write a report, but not just yet. I'd like to give it a bit more time - for things to settle and solidify. So yes, hopefully soon!

>>We're like diseased and undernourished plants that have been transplanted into fertile soil with abundant sunlight.

Nice!

>>Why do we always want BS?

The Fear of Life.

So since our entire schema has had the fear of life as its root (which is bullshit) we by default assume all solutions will be modifications or offshoots of what we have always known (more bullshit). Although the recovery shows us the fallacy of such a framework, it does so more like how a fog clears, revealing a landscape has never been noticed before.

 

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