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Recovery and Rehabilitation

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My current state

I've been trying to put my finger on the changes that have happened more than six years out from the first look at myself. I don't want to be one of those people that goes away and never reports back to this work as I think the community is important. However I do understand the impulse to get pulled, subsumed, into this wondrous life without taking the time for reflection. Self reflection and trying to figure out what went wrong seem almost habits of the fear and not necessary now, a habit that lingers. I also know that I greatly desired word from the other side when I was in my long recovery.

I now somewhat understand John's loss for words when trying to describe a life without fear. I have a taste of this life. The neurosis and anxiety has calmed down for some time now. When all that is gone, now what? I am going to call it the startle phase. It started with noticing that I am a little more jumping and easily startled by sudden movements or sensations. I've never been jumpy, perhaps a cultivated, cool exterior, perhaps a deadening to the world around me to counteract the craziness inside. Anyway, I became jumpy and easily startled, even though I'm calmer than ever in my life. Hmmmmm. It's taken awhile, but I've realized this startle instinct is a deeper response to the inrush of life. The richness and 'magnificence' of life as John talks about before he trails off at a loss for words. I'm wide open, or wider open, and can feel things like never before, with the paradoxical sense that they don't affect me or hurt me. I'm raw and safe simultaneously. Unmoored, yet anchored. Life seems a balance of continuity and freshness. We maintain our sense of self, our memories and history as the world is reborn in each moment. It seems I am holding onto less and embracing the freshness more.

As the filters and barriers come down I am less and less in the deadened inner world of the habits of fear. The world around me is enlivened and endlessly fascinating. There is a feeling of rightness, even when there is something wrong externally, and of course much is externally wrong with the world right now, as ever. This feeling of rightness is deep and pervasive from the surface to the bones of me.

Anyway, that's my best shot at describing the changes brought on by this incredible act. Please hang in there if you are feeling lost and overwhelmed by the recovery. Look for the subtle changes and movements internally and externally. I am one of the many who can say, "if it can happen to me, it can happen to anyone."

Peace out.

Thank you for this post, Jackx! This is an excellent description of a life free of the fear of life. And you are correct, once the fear is gone and we start settling into our lives there is a tendency to disappear, to not come and report back. But reflecting on what the experience of life was before and after the looking and what has changed in the process of recovery is very helpful not only to the person who is reporting but to everyone else who, like you did at some point, "greatly desires word from the other side" while they are in recovery. We encourage everyone to come back and post their reflections and impressions of their own process of recovering from the fear of life.

I had the first experience a couple or so months back. Changes are subtle but significant. I have not been writing because I am in loss of words. Thanks John n Carla.

Hi, Jackx, I'm so glad you mentioned the "startle phase," a good name for it (because considering it a phase instead of a permanent situation makes it more workable), that you've given it serious thought and found a reason for it that makes sense to me. I've noticed in myself and couldn't figure it out. As kids, my sister and I used to sneak up on each other and cause each other to jump and shriek until Mom stepped in and made us stop. For decades anyone coming up behind me would evoke a startle response, and going by what you've written and reflecting on what John has said, I think because I was never in control of my attention and regardless of what I was doing, my mind was constantly somewhere else, daydreaming or whatever, so I was never aware of anyone nearing my personal space and would react with surprise when they suddenly appeared seemingly out of nowhere, but this is different and worse. I am way more engaged with life since JOL/SDA, though it's only been a few months, am far more present, so seeing it as a regression was confusing and disappointing. Since I started JOL/SDA, even a loud bang on a tv show or film has made me jump right out of my chair, and I've told my husband I couldn't understand because I'd never been that much of a coward before. This new jumpiness was so paradoxical because in so many ways I'm growing stronger and more resilient and even a bit braver than I've ever been. But your take on it, Jackx, nails it. Will that make it stop? Possibly not, but now it's just another stage to work through and mine for its lessons, part of the fascinating journey. Thanks for all the help you give, and best wishes, Carladownunder

Thanks, Carla.

Jackx

The world around me is enlivened and endlessly fascinating. There is a feeling of rightness, even when there is something wrong externally, and of course much is externally wrong with the world right now, as ever. This feeling of rightness is deep and pervasive from the surface to the bones of me.

Hey Jackx, thanks for your detailed follow up of your experiences with the looking. There is one thing I am curious about and wondered if you could elaborate on it, if you are able. I have had a couple of mystical type experiences after deep meditation of this. Sensing that everything is perfect just the way it is, and nothing needs to change. But, 99.9% of the time my outlook is that things need to be healed and suffering needs to be ended. I think I was tapping into some higher wisdom in those experiences though. J+C certainly are devoting their lives to trying to help people end their suffering. Is it that you are you saying that you have a feeling of rightness about the world even when you might be trying to change it and alleviate suffering? Thanks and all the best, Lex

Yeah, I guess so. I am no longer looking for salvation or the answer to the end of my suffering. I'm simply not suffering. Therefore what is in my life is fine. I do like to tweak things though. Lately I have been interested in plant based eating and healing effects of mushrooms. I have stuck to a wonderful plant based diet and have relished the challenge of cooking vegan and making it taste great. This is just texture and richness with no desperation or need for something to be different. It seems like when we are living a fear based life we have little or no control over our circumstances, however when we live without fear we can have more choice, more freedom, more agency. I think this is what John means about gaining facility over our attention. It's like I know where the line is and that if I cross it I will suffer. If I eat a poor diet, drink too much alcohol, aren't attentive to my relationships, etc I will suffer. So I simply don't cross the line, whereas in the old days I was zigzagging all over the line constantly. Then I direct my attention elsewhere, follow my curiosity.

My world is right and true, but the larger world is suffering immensely and needlessly. I don't think I can save it and have very little effect over it, even though I work with kids with emotional and learning issues every day, there is not much I can do to make things better for them. While I have greater agency over my life and enjoy it immensely, I don't seem to have the same effect in the larger world, and this causes some sadness and a world weariness. I don't know if this is answering your question. What's weird is that there is nothing special about this point of view, even though it beats the old way of living, it feels very ordinary, but of course it's extraordinary.

Hey Jackx, thanks for sharing your experience. Yes, it's answering my question. Having studied spiritual healing for a number of years, I do think one person can have a huge impact on people at large, but I think you have to be at a very high place in consciousness. The qualities of the few very effective healers I know of that have been able to have a mass effect on a large portion of people in helping them to end their suffering has always included a lack of the fear of life. I definitely think that is a step in being able to have more and more of a positive effect in the world.

Even if, right now, you can't actually physically/emotionally heal the children you are working with, I am sure your current experience of life, where you are at right now in your consciousness, has a very positive effect on them.

Going back to the healing thing, being involved in this world, I have seen and/or read many people healed of addictive tendencies. The desires they used to have simply fell away. I knew a lady who was healed of heroin addiction. She got up one morning and forgot to take her heroin! And suffered no withdrawals. This is just one of many examples. I bring this up because of what you said. I'm curious if you feel you are using your will-power to not eat a poor diet, abstain from too much alcohol all at once, being more attentive to relationships, etc. - Or, rather, is it just now your natural inclination to behave in this new way? Thanks and all the very best, Lex

Another great question. Let's be clear, I had a binge eating disorder. I spent most of my life eating enormous amounts of food, in periodic cycles, to manage my emotions. This made everything worse, obviously. I'm not addicted to alcohol per se, but I have an addictive personality and alcohol use led to binge eating, as did other substances. So will power didn't work, not did any of the other spiritual/psychological things I tried. I think it was a combination of knowledge......I have a vast amount of knowledge about nutrition and brain research, and having it simply fall away. I read a neurologist's account of her research into sugar and how, for some people, sugar can't be handled in even small amounts. It's like alcohol to the alcoholic. Once I understood this wasn't a character flaw but my neurology and that I simply can't eat even a small amount of sugar, I haven't touched it. (I enjoy fruit and dried fruit and natural sweet Whole Foods).

But the context of psychological fear and my neurotic depression and anxiety is gone, so that gave me breathing space to understand and manage my addictions. At some point I simply chose not to start them and the downward cycle became an upward cycle......the more I indulge in healthy food and exercise the better I feel rather than the opposite, and the better I eat.

I'm sure I do have more of an effect on the people around me than I realize. I've told some kids about the looking and have done group relaxation exercises where I incorporate the looking. They also have an effect on me and it seems so unfair and unnecessary when I see kids (and adults) suffer and spread their misery around like a never ending flu epidemic. So, yeah, I've told a number of people about this work and I'm always thinking about better ways to spread the message. I may teach adult relaxation classes and insert this into the class during focused breathing or something like that.....not sure, yet.

Just wanted to concur with what you said about Jack having a positive effect on the kids he works with...it's not so much about what we do or say, but about who we are. Call it your "vibe," or whatever, I'm sure the kids feel it and it helps them.

Hey Jackx, that's really wonderful. Thanks so much for sharing your experience. I can definitely identify. A big cause of addiction can be anxiety and/or depression so, if that's not addressed, then it probably will never be a 'complete cure'. Some people talk about intuitive eating - or just being intuitive about whatever you put into your body - and it sounds like that discernment is at a high level now for you.

It certainly makes sense to me that the less depression, anxiety, fear, etc. you have in your life, the more you are able to exude a positive energy and not respond from a place of fear...even unconsciously. I believe a human being's nature, when fear is gone, is to come from a place of love/compassion. I think it's fear and insecurity that cause such huge distortions in human behavior.

That's been my experience too jr.. Being involved in spiritual healing for a number of years, I go into all different types of places where 'unconventional' healings occur. I've met some 'born-again' pentecostal type christians who are able to effect healings and, while I don't subscribe to their belief paradigm, I certainly respond to their energy of love and compassion in a very big way. I've had several experiences of my own in these paradigms of 'falling out in the spirit', spontaneous glossolalia going on for a month in my head, and other similar type experiences. Each time, I was always shocked it happened to me because I don't share those people's belief paradigms and approach those things with skepticism. So it goes to show me, something else is going on despite what people may intellectually believe. To be poetic, I think of it as 'living from the heart'.

The reason why some of the ideas that J+C talk about are so appealing to me is because they are stripped of belief paradigms and the term 'spiritual' doesn't need to come into play. As we've discussed before on this forum, the term 'spiritual' can have too many connotations. Psychological and 'self-reliance' feel much more stable, clear, and powerful to me in most cases. Depending on the teaching, or person/people I am speaking with, I am comfortable using terms such as spiritual, God, etc.. but, really, for me, it is all about improving practical experience in this life. These days I only concern myself with matters beyond this life, if they are of practical benefit to me IN this life.. and that's really rare (but you know specifically what I'm referring to jr;-)

Ok, great discussion here guys and gals!

Yes, it certainly all starts with fear. That's a good way to say it, distortion! The loss of fear means seeing more clearly, I suppose.

A little late, but thanks for your report Jack! Your recovery and the relaxed way you described and share it, has always been helpful. To me your current state seems like a natural state.

To introduce the looking in the context of relaxation exercises is a very good idea, I think. Such a setting seems unthreatening for most people. There is very little stigma in wanting, and finding methods, to be more relaxed. Being tensed is normal. I really think the looking could be presented in such a context with great effect. Lets talk more about that...

Thanks Niklas, it's been an interesting little trip and it never seems to end. I appreciate your contributions as well.

Hi Jack, thanks for all your comments here. I was interested to see what you had to say about food. I've been suffering for a long time with a variety of physical ailments deemed incurable and chronic by the medical industry, so naturally I've looked in many directions for something that might help me. Funny thing, one day I was wondering why it was that I felt hungry all the time. I was eating a lot, but not gaining weight, and I wondered about that, too. But this particular day, I seemed to be especially focused on those thoughts.

Recently several of my friends have decided to become vegans and were pressuring me to do so as well. Actually, I had tried veganism twice before, and always ended up feeling weak and undernourished. Undernourished! That word jumped out at me, because even though I wasn't a vegan, I was still quite close to it, eating mostly veggies, grains, fruit, etc., with an occasional egg or piece of fish. I thought, "What if I'm suffering from malnutrition?"

I decided to Google some of my symptoms, and sure enough, there they were, listed under protein and vitamin B12, etc. deficiency. You mentioned that some people can't eat sugar. Well, I took an online metabolism test, and it turns out that I'm one of those folks that can't get by without animal protein. Not to drag this story out too long (you saw my FB post, I know), but I have to credit the SDA for my having seen this. It was something right under my nose and I never had a clue.

SDA definitely helps us to see more clearly and to think more rationally about things. I think John hit the nail on the head when he says it makes us "sane." As I continue to work with SDA every day, my eyes are being opened to just how insane some of my beliefs have been!

I'm glad it's working! I find I have quiet down to listen to the messages of intelligence and knowing. They may be subtle and often come up when I am doing SDA work.

Jackx

I'm glad it's working! I find I have quiet down to listen to the messages of intelligence and knowing. They may be subtle and often come up when I am doing SDA work.

Exactly! This is why I'm gradually starting to see many things I didn't before, and see them in new ways. And I credit the practice of SDA for this.

Jackx

I'm glad it's working! I find I have quiet down to listen to the messages of intelligence and knowing. They may be subtle and often come up when I am doing SDA work.

Exactly! This is why I'm gradually starting to see many things I didn't before, and see them in new ways. And I credit the practice of SDA for this.

Jackx

I'm glad it's working! I find I have quiet down to listen to the messages of intelligence and knowing. They may be subtle and often come up when I am doing SDA work.

Exactly! This is why I'm gradually starting to see many things I didn't before, and see them in new ways. And I credit the practice of SDA for this.

Jackx

I'm glad it's working! I find I have quiet down to listen to the messages of intelligence and knowing. They may be subtle and often come up when I am doing SDA work.

Exactly! This is why I'm gradually starting to see many things I didn't before, and see them in new ways. And I credit the practice of SDA for this.

Jackx

I'm glad it's working! I find I have quiet down to listen to the messages of intelligence and knowing. They may be subtle and often come up when I am doing SDA work.

Exactly! This is why I'm gradually starting to see many things I didn't before, and see them in new ways. And I credit the practice of SDA for this.

Jackx

I'm glad it's working! I find I have quiet down to listen to the messages of intelligence and knowing. They may be subtle and often come up when I am doing SDA work.

Exactly! This is why I'm gradually starting to see many things I didn't before, and see them in new ways. And I credit the practice of SDA for this.

Jackx

I'm glad it's working! I find I have quiet down to listen to the messages of intelligence and knowing. They may be subtle and often come up when I am doing SDA work.

Exactly! This is why I'm gradually starting to see many things I didn't before, and see them in new ways. And I credit the practice of SDA for this.

Jackx

I'm glad it's working! I find I have quiet down to listen to the messages of intelligence and knowing. They may be subtle and often come up when I am doing SDA work.

Exactly! This is why I'm gradually starting to see many things I didn't before, and see them in new ways. And I credit the practice of SDA for this.

Jackx

I'm glad it's working! I find I have quiet down to listen to the messages of intelligence and knowing. They may be subtle and often come up when I am doing SDA work.

Exactly! This is why I'm gradually starting to see many things I didn't before, and see them in new ways. And I credit the practice of SDA for this.

Jackx

I'm glad it's working! I find I have quiet down to listen to the messages of intelligence and knowing. They may be subtle and often come up when I am doing SDA work.

Exactly! This is why I'm gradually starting to see many things I didn't before, and see them in new ways. And I credit the practice of SDA for this.

Jackx

I'm glad it's working! I find I have quiet down to listen to the messages of intelligence and knowing. They may be subtle and often come up when I am doing SDA work.

Exactly! This is why I'm gradually starting to see many things I didn't before, and see them in new ways. And I credit the practice of SDA for this.

Jackx

I'm glad it's working! I find I have quiet down to listen to the messages of intelligence and knowing. They may be subtle and often come up when I am doing SDA work.

Exactly! This is why I'm gradually starting to see many things I didn't before, and see them in new ways. And I credit the practice of SDA for this.

Jackx

I'm glad it's working! I find I have quiet down to listen to the messages of intelligence and knowing. They may be subtle and often come up when I am doing SDA work.

Exactly! This is why I'm gradually starting to see many things I didn't before, and see them in new ways. And I credit the practice of SDA for this.

Jackx

I'm glad it's working! I find I have quiet down to listen to the messages of intelligence and knowing. They may be subtle and often come up when I am doing SDA work.

Exactly! This is why I'm gradually starting to see many things I didn't before, and see them in new ways. And I credit the practice of SDA for this.

Jackx

I'm glad it's working! I find I have quiet down to listen to the messages of intelligence and knowing. They may be subtle and often come up when I am doing SDA work.

Exactly! This is why I'm gradually starting to see many things I didn't before, and see them in new ways. And I credit the practice of SDA for this.

Jackx

I'm glad it's working! I find I have quiet down to listen to the messages of intelligence and knowing. They may be subtle and often come up when I am doing SDA work.

Exactly! This is why I'm gradually starting to see many things I didn't before, and see them in new ways. And I credit the practice of SDA for this.

 

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