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The not-done feeling

I feel that I want to talk about something--but when I try verbalize or write, I'm not able to put it in words.

I have seen that the basic problem in humanity is the mind's context of the fear of the life. With that understanding about a year and half ago, I was happily able to give up a five year spiritual quest. Overnight I lost interest in spirituality and spiritual concepts and words, and I understood how in fact spiritual thinking had been a pretty big obstacle. The fear makes everything else uncertain.

I felt relief and delight.

A few months later I discovered John Sherman's site. I understood the looking right away--I had no questions. It was what Nisargadutt and Ramana had said, but my head then had been full of spiritual notions so I did not understand them. John is clear, direct, and unspiritual.

I looked at me for about three months. Then the urge went away.

I do have questions about looking. For example, in doing the looking, I remembered the times when I had withdrawn into myself, and one of those times was a very early memory, when I was perhaps 4. This indicates to me that I've looked at me before. So then why did the recovery not start at that time? And I have other theoretical questions, but I can put them aside. Right now I'm more interested in the practical aspects of this.

I see some positive confirmations. The sense of relief in the giving up of the insanity of the spiritual quest, the increased ease with which I relate to people, the easy honesty which comes about as the motivation to defend goes away, the disappearance of the desire for life to be any specific way, the falling away of the fear of the future. Worrying still happens, but there is a different quality to it. It's not personal. And so on.

There is enough confirmation that the noticing of the context of fear and the looking do do something --enough confirmation that I recommend it to people on my website. Try it out, explore.

But the feeling "I am not done" persists. It's not just a feeling, there is truth in it. Earlier this week I had an flare-up, when the need to be right raised its ugly head. There has been a frustrating back-and-forth-ness, something like three-steps-forward-two-steps back. There are intertwined periods of high confidence and high doubt.

So if I truly am in recovery, I am not done.

And I suppose, based on experience, what I expect will happen, if I am truly in recovery, is that the question and the feeling "I am not done" will disappear. That's what's happened with some other insecurities--like the fear of the future. It might happen such that there is not a sudden contrast between "not done" and "done" and so it's not noticed.

I can be patient.

I do wonder, like some others have expressed, why the "done" people are not more vocal, more insistent, more encouraging. Where are they? Why so quiet?

-Kaushik

Back-and-forth

karmarider

I see some positive confirmations. The sense of relief in the giving up of the insanity of the spiritual quest, the increased ease with which I relate to people, the easy honesty which comes about as the motivation to defend goes away, the disappearance of the desire for life to be any specific way, the falling away of the fear of the future. Worrying still happens, but there is a different quality to it. It's not personal. And so on.

...

But the feeling "I am not done" persists. It's not just a feeling, there is truth in it. Earlier this week I had an flare-up, when the need to be right raised its ugly head. There has been a frustrating back-and-forth-ness, something like three-steps-forward-two-steps back. There are intertwined periods of high confidence and high doubt.

Hi Kaushik.

This is a good description of what I've been going through these last few weeks. But for me the only difference is that I don't see these back-and-forths as good and bad anymore, they're two sides of the same story for me, and they both have lost that personal smell they used to have. It's great to see positive change, it sucks to still be confronted with these old (spiritual) doubts about me not being finished, or not having received my Degree of Perfection yet, but they're just new and old stories. They're opposing teams playing the same sport. And like John suggests, I try to enjoy the experience of the game. My attention gets sucked up by them from time to time - the new and positive, as well as the old and negative - but I feel the distance between me and the narration growing over time.

Hope this makes sense.

Wouter

the not-done feeling

karmarider

I feel that I want to talk about something--but when I try verbalize or write, I'm not able to put it in words.

I have seen that the basic problem in humanity is the mind's context of the fear of the life. With that understanding about a year and half ago, I was happily able to give up a five year spiritual quest. Overnight I lost interest in spirituality and spiritual concepts and words, and I understood how in fact spiritual thinking had been a pretty big obstacle. The fear makes everything else uncertain.

I felt relief and delight.

A few months later I discovered John Sherman's site. I understood the looking right away--I had no questions. It was what Nisargadutt and Ramana had said, but my head then had been full of spiritual notions so I did not understand them. John is clear, direct, and unspiritual.

I looked at me for about three months. Then the urge went away.

I do have questions about looking. For example, in doing the looking, I remembered the times when I had withdrawn into myself, and one of those times was a very early memory, when I was perhaps 4. This indicates to me that I've looked at me before. So then why did the recovery not start at that time? And I have other theoretical questions, but I can put them aside. Right now I'm more interested in the practical aspects of this.

I see some positive confirmations. The sense of relief in the giving up of the insanity of the spiritual quest, the increased ease with which I relate to people, the easy honesty which comes about as the motivation to defend goes away, the disappearance of the desire for life to be any specific way, the falling away of the fear of the future. Worrying still happens, but there is a different quality to it. It's not personal. And so on.

There is enough confirmation that the noticing of the context of fear and the looking do do something --enough confirmation that I recommend it to people on my website. Try it out, explore.

But the feeling "I am not done" persists. It's not just a feeling, there is truth in it. Earlier this week I had an flare-up, when the need to be right raised its ugly head. There has been a frustrating back-and-forth-ness, something like three-steps-forward-two-steps back. There are intertwined periods of high confidence and high doubt.

So if I truly am in recovery, I am not done.

And I suppose, based on experience, what I expect will happen, if I am truly in recovery, is that the question and the feeling "I am not done" will disappear. That's what's happened with some other insecurities--like the fear of the future. It might happen such that there is not a sudden contrast between "not done" and "done" and so it's not noticed.

I can be patient.

I do wonder, like some others have expressed, why the "done" people are not more vocal, more insistent, more encouraging. Where are they? Why so quiet?

-Kaushik

Hello Kaushik,

I feel a similar not-done-ness as you mentioned. I gauge my not-done-ness by how many "no's" still arise; by how often I look for a better experience than the one I am having. Still, this is just a noticing, not a problem that needs me to fix it. I know my life will change. (and, in my experience, for the better.) It always has. But I am no longer waiting, waiting, waiting for it to change. Just living what is here now, feeling into it all. Feeling myself say yes, and sometimes no, to my not-done-ness along with everything else.

I am mostly drawn to reply to your question about seeing yourself at age 4. John mentions that we see ourselves all the time, that we are always here and always knowing it on some level. Perhaps we've simply been ignoring ourselves. Perhaps the difference is in consciously looking at ourselves. A 4 year old would not even think of doing that; nor would most of mankind. It's the turning of our attention--with conscious intention to see ourselves--that does the trick.

I would like to be more insistent, more encouraging, for you. But I find for me this is truly a quiet, subtle, and wonderful thing that is happening. No less than freedom from the burden of fear. But it is a moment by moment kind of thing. Not a, I have arrived!! kind of thing. Lera

FluoSmurf

Hi Kaushik.

This is a good description of what I've been going through these last few weeks. But for me the only difference is that I don't see these back-and-forths as good and bad anymore, they're two sides of the same story for me, and they both have lost that personal smell they used to have.

Yes, I see the same. I posted this four days ago I think. Yesterday, in a conversation with someone I found myself saying that I'm very satisfied with life. I don't think I would have been able to say that a year ago.

Perhaps it is that during my spiritual quest I had the expectation of some big event, some defining line of "before" and "after."

More and more, I can let it be, which is why I think that eventually the question will vanish, as other questions have.

Thanks, Wouter.

well defined line

lerajane

I am mostly drawn to reply to your question about seeing yourself at age 4. John mentions that we see ourselves all the time, that we are always here and always knowing it on some level. Perhaps we've simply been ignoring ourselves. Perhaps the difference is in consciously looking at ourselves. A 4 year old would not even think of doing that; nor would most of mankind. It's the turning of our attention--with conscious intention to see ourselves--that does the trick.

This is a good explanation--makes sense.

I would like to be more insistent, more encouraging, for you. But I find for me this is truly a quiet, subtle, and wonderful thing that is happening. No less than freedom from the burden of fear. But it is a moment by moment kind of thing. Not a, I have arrived!! kind of thing. Lera

Yes, I think I had an expectation of a well-defined contrast-line of before and after.

Hi Kaushik,

By some strange coincidence, I was just listening to John's podcast on the 18th April.. and one of the things I liked the most was his comment "You will never be done." smily The reason I like that is because as soon as someone (speaking of the 'small-me' or mind) thinks they're done, that's just another thought or concept.. something else to let go of, and keep moving on. So many so-called "masters" get caught thinking they're all done.. and conceptually they might be.. but the universe just rolls along anyhow.

It's my belief, and practical experience that we can't every be done completely, since we're limitless.. there's no limit to simple awareness, or even things arising and disappearing. I can't find any limits anyhow.

I guess though, over time, there may be an acceptance of "OK-ness" to that feeling of 'incomplete' or 'not done' when it arises and momentarily disappears again back into the ether.

KR,

Dean.

Usually I have some kind of response which involves an add-on remark to what someone has said in the forum. I've got nothing more to add to the succinct and accurate statement Lera Jane has made. trimpi

Acceptance

deanp

Hi Kaushik,

... I guess though, over time, there may be an acceptance of "OK-ness" to that feeling of 'incomplete' or 'not done' when it arises and momentarily disappears again back into the ether.

KR,

Dean.

Hi Dean, yeah that's probably what happens. I have the feeling of "not done", but someone like John doesn't have that feeling. Which probably just means there is some resistance in me about this.

That not done thing

OK. So you all want to hear from someone who is done. I am done. I am done with being not done.

Anyway who wants to be done? Done with what? Consider that when the fear of life departs not being done is not a problem. The way it occurs to me these days is that I am always done, and always not done. It no longer appears to me that it should appear any particular way other than the way it appears.

Another way to view this is that we are all done, we started done. The looking results in process in which being incomplete gets complete and it can be uncomfortable, confusing, and upsetting at times.

Anyway I was just kidding about being done, or was I?

Love

David

Doneness

Dparrish

OK. So you all want to hear from someone who is done. I am done. I am done with being not done.

Anyway who wants to be done? Done with what? Consider that when the fear of life departs not being done is not a problem. The way it occurs to me these days is that I am always done, and always not done. It no longer appears to me that it should appear any particular way other than the way it appears.

Another way to view this is that we are all done, we started done. The looking results in process in which being incomplete gets complete and it can be uncomfortable, confusing, and upsetting at times.

Anyway I was just kidding about being done, or was I?

Love

David

Well, that's not quite satisfactory.

To say things like "I am done with not being done" and "who wants to be done" and so on, is something that makes sense to you. I appreciate that. But it's a little too mystical and tricky for me.

I want to be done. It's perfectly fine if that comes in the form of knowing I am done, or if the question disappears completely, or the I have the full acceptance that I'll never be done, or some other thing.

But if the question is present then there is resistance.

Little Robots

karmarider

But if the question is present then there is resistance.

For me, I know now that the source of these kind of questions has always been out of my control, and they have always been picked up inside the context of feeling unhappy with my life, or just feeling like crap. There was a time when they made sense inside everything else I knew about myself and the world, but now I see that these questions and uncertainties were just more thoughts on the mountain of thoughts that used to be the only reality I knew. If that sounds convoluted, that's exactly right, the patterns involved in this kind of thinking are ridiculously complex. And totally redundant now.

Fact of the matter is, there was never a time in my life when I was dependent on the idea of being done or not, and once I saw that my life and reality weren't restricted to thought activity alone, that fact become so obvious it became funny. All the important, life-deciding elevated rules I needed to conform to to be happy are just a joke now, and usually not very funny ones. Although some of them really made me laugh in recent times!

In any case, looking at yourself will eventually make you see that you are always free from all these stories, and from that moment on they will lose their function and the role they play inside the way your intelligence interacts with the world.

Wouter

Hi everyone

What I have noticed is that the notion of being done or not being done has become moot since I have been involved in the looking. Life seems bigger... all of it... the good.. and the bad. I don't even know what being done means. It used to mean arriving at a place where I am not touched by life.... Dispassionate. That no longer seems to make sense. How could one be untouched by a life that seems to be feeling bigger and bigger. It is like a pie chart that is 90% filled with life...so there is not a lot of room for questions like..."Am I done yet?" I guess that could change but right now it is nice to not be concerned with those kinds of questions.

Paul

Yes

Wouter, I understand what you're saying.

What it feels like to me is that there is remaining resistance in me. And I've posted this question here and asked John about it at the intensive, but I really don't expect a mental answer. I don't expect that some answer will suddenly click in head. What might happen is that at some point the entire question will become irrelevant--just as many of the existential questions which banged around in my head when I was on a spiritual quest now are irrelevant to living.

The not-done thing is not just a thought. It's a feeling, a feeling of feeling incomplete. The feeling that John has talked about--where there is no separation between me and life, or where there is sanity and naturalness--well, that's not happened yet.

There is plenty of other confirmation, so I'm not discouraged. What else is there to do anyway? If John is correct and this is recovery, then all I have to do now is to be patient and wait. Wait for sane way in which intelligence interacts with world, as you say.

Thanks.

-Kaushik

Paul Freedman

...What I have noticed is that the notion of being done or not being done has become moot since I have been involved in the looking...

People have said that. So it's encouraging.

I did go through a very delightful time, right after recognizing that the only problem there is with life, is the context of dissatisfaction. The only problem there is, is that I thought there was a problem--and in this context of conflict, my mental structures have formed, so everything is uncertain. That realization was very freeing. And the expansive feeling you describe last for about a year, and I didn't even have a solution to the problem, until I discovered John's site and did the looking.

Things became confusing again maybe three months ago. This I suppose is the back-and-forth nature of the recovery. Frustrating, but it is what it is.

Thanks, Paul.

-Kaushik

Being patient

karmarider

There is plenty of other confirmation, so I'm not discouraged. What else is there to do anyway? If John is correct and this is recovery, then all I have to do now is to be patient and wait. Wait for sane way in which intelligence interacts with world, as you say. Thanks. -Kaushik

Hi Kaushik,

This statement reminded me of how I am not in charge of it, anyway. Forever, it seems, I have carried mother issues which I have projected onto all female authority figures, fearing interactions because of lack of trust. I've been aware of it for most of my life. I learned to compensate, avoid and hide it. I have worked on it but no technique or insight made a real difference to the inner feeling of danger. Recently near a coffee table at a meeting, I came in close accidental contact with someone I had felt this way about. Spontaneously, without time for a thought, I hugged her warmly and we smiled and said, Hello. It was so weird that I asked myself, Why did I do that? Within a two week period I found several examples like this. I poke around in my psyche for this particular projection but it seems to be gone. I know not how. For me, this is not a fast process, but times like this make it all worthwhile. Lera

OK

OK, I get your frustration. Sorry if my attempt at levity rubbed you wrong. I guess I was coming from a point of the story where the man was chased to the end of a cliff by a tiger, he climbed down below the cliff and hung by a branch to get away. The branch was breaking free from the wall of the cliff and he was going to fall to certain death in a matter of moments. He noticed a berry growing on the branch and reached up picked it and put it in his mouth.

Love.

David

karmarider

Well, that's not quite satisfactory.

To say things like "I am done with not being done" and "who wants to be done" and so on, is something that makes sense to you. I appreciate that. But it's a little too mystical and tricky for me.

I want to be done. It's perfectly fine if that comes in the form of knowing I am done, or if the question disappears completely, or the I have the full acceptance that I'll never be done, or some other thing.

But if the question is present then there is resistance.

Thanks

Thanks for that, Lera. I have similar confirmation. I am unemployed right now and I find that I'm doing what is sensible without much worry. In fact I worry about why I don't worry so much, hehe. Thank you for sharing that.

-Kaushik

The contrast

From within the quest of many years that something is missing and needs to be found, the realization that there's nothing to be found sometimes feels a little empty. I sit here asking myself am I at home in my life? Am I comfortable in my own skin? The answer is not a resounding yes, but a mild "yes, it's better and the questions are not looming as large as they once were."

I am patient.

Thanks everyone for taking the time to respond.

And thanks John and Carla.

Ditto

lerajane

Hi Kaushik,

This statement reminded me of how I am not in charge of it, anyway. Forever, it seems, I have carried mother issues which I have projected onto all female authority figures, fearing interactions because of lack of trust. I've been aware of it for most of my life. I learned to compensate, avoid and hide it. I have worked on it but no technique or insight made a real difference to the inner feeling of danger. Recently near a coffee table at a meeting, I came in close accidental contact with someone I had felt this way about. Spontaneously, without time for a thought, I hugged her warmly and we smiled and said, Hello. It was so weird that I asked myself, Why did I do that? Within a two week period I found several examples like this. I poke around in my psyche for this particular projection but it seems to be gone. I know not how. For me, this is not a fast process, but times like this make it all worthwhile. Lera

Hi Lera

I can so relate to your post ...for me it has been Father issues ( surprise surprise). In fact for years, I avoided seeking work in hospital settings so as to avoid the assumed male egos I thought I would have to contend with. I did, in fact, take the plunge and began working in hospital settings Years ago and prior to engaging the looking and those issues did continue to play themselves out. Since engaging in the looking there has been less and less energy devoted to that well worn track. Male (and female) authority figures can be challenging to deal with but it just seems to have become uncoupled from the old energy that was part of my relationship with my father. Also, I can see more and more how many of these people, like me, have just been trying to muddle through this fear based context Like all of us. When I think of what could have accounted for this shift, the looking is the only new piece that was added to the pot. I was still meditating as before...still in Therapy as before.....still exercising same as before....but the looking was the new piece. I agree with you that this is not a quick fix by any means.... And the old stuff can still come up...but it comes up in a context that , now, won't allow it to take hold in the same way.

Paul

Patience

karmarider

The not-done thing is not just a thought. It's a feeling, a feeling of feeling incomplete.

For myself, those kind of feelings are not a problem anymore. The tendency to be annoyed by them still comes up from time to time, but the idea that those feelings are bad or my opinions about them have any importance is no longer the core reality. They're just old opinions about bad feelings about even older opinions, etc, etc... Useless, redundant, convoluted mind junk ! But even that's OK.

karmarider

If John is correct and this is recovery, then all I have to do now is to be patient and wait.

The P-word! Again, for myself, I've found that Patience used to be about waiting, postponing stuff to make sure I got better stuff, where patience NOW is more an absence of striving to control the tempo at which life unfolds. Life happens at its own pace, and now that my mind is more and more busy with "the things in front of me", it works in an increasingly synergistic fashion with life. Or rather, it just acts as the natural part of life that it is, instead of picking fights with itself or its experiences. If that makes sense.

Wouter

Very valuable thread

Thanks everyone... Now about four years since I first started looking at myself, so many levels to the recovery. Some days I feel very vulnerable, childlike, I see the fear of life in others close to me and often this automatic reaction of anger, irritation in them. I still feel shaky inside at times when confronted with this kind of energy, a feeling in my heart probably felt many times as a child, a collapsing feeling of helplessness kind of wafts through me but now the fear doesn't kick in. The emotions flow through easily and the certainty of me is more and more present and in shorter and shorter time this feeling passes.

So I have no idea what turns the recovery will take. I have more compassion for the crazy, unpredictable arisings of this personality and often have a little laugh when they arise...

Love, Maureen

karmarider

From within the quest of many years that something is missing and needs to be found, the realization that there's nothing to be found sometimes feels a little empty. I sit here asking myself am I at home in my life? Am I comfortable in my own skin? The answer is not a resounding yes, but a mild "yes, it's better and the questions are not looming as large as they once were."

Thanks Kaushik and everyone else for this thread.

I can definitely relate to the feeling of emptiness that comes from realizing there is nothing to strive for or be found. I went through a long period of time where there was a lot of drama and when most of it left my system I was left with a feeling of deep boredom. I watched myself try to create more drama so I didn't have to deal with the boredom...eventually it passed. Some days I wonder is this it, really? Other days I feel incredibly grateful to be alive. I guess I've just become more comfortable with being uncomfortable.

I also want to thank you for sharing your experiences through your blog--it's how I found out about John and Carla's work. You helped me through some tough times as I could see the parallels in our experiences.

As to everyone who has had issues with authority figures...I can relate. It's been a life long pattern for me which stemmed from feeling inadequate and insecure around people in positions of authority. But this is shifting for me as well and I'm able to communicate more openly with people I would have subtly rebelled against or completely idealized in the past. Instead of projecting all my stuff I'm able to see them as regular people going about their life just like everyone else.

Natalie

Hehe, I've heard that story. I never got it. Now that I'm not spiritual, it doesn't bother me that I don't get it.

Thanks for lightening it up!

Some days I wonder is this it, really? Other days I feel incredibly grateful to be alive. I guess I've just become more comfortable with being uncomfortable.

This sums up my experience. I guess the way I'd experience feeling more comfortable being uncomfortable is that a part of me feels unmoved and not involved when there is emotional turmoil- it is just present. I attribute this to the looking.

This question of being done is something that has come up for me many times, especially over the past year. I discovered John's work in 2006. I always felt confident that I knew what he was pointing at when he would talk about looking. I engaged in looking with tremendous energy and put a lot of time into it (I was a Buddhist monk in a monastery at the time and had a lot of time on my hands). There were big changes in me and I suppose at some point I felt "done". I felt done with searching and trying to find a solution to life. I left the monastery in 2008 and, after 10+ years as a full time searcher, felt excited about doing nonspiritual things.

The question about being done started arising not long after leaving the monastery. I found myself at times experiencing irritation, longing, worry, etc. Again, there was a sense of part of me being untouched by these feelings, but I could still get lost in them. However, the urge to "do something about it" just wasn't there. Is this because I am "done". Or am I just complacent? I just don't have a feeling that anything needs to be done about my life (certainly nothing spiritual!).

But over the past few months I've found myself occasionally listening to John again. I've heard him refer to people taking a certain amount of time to rid themselves of the fear of life ("it took so-and-so 6 months or 1 year"). This sounds like he is saying they are done. Is this done with fear, self-consciousness, worry, etc., or done with needing to do anything about it?

Much appreciation for this forum and all the postings.

Ryan

suddhano

But over the past few months I've found myself occasionally listening to John again. I've heard him refer to people taking a certain amount of time to rid themselves of the fear of life ("it took so-and-so 6 months or 1 year"). This sounds like he is saying they are done. Is this done with fear, self-consciousness, worry, etc., or done with needing to do anything about it?

Ryan

Glad you asked Ryan.

Whenever it seems that things I have said contradict other things I've said, the most likely explanation is that I am still groping for a way to say what I think about whatever it is I'm talking about. What I see is simple, and hasn't changed in the slightest. What I say about what I see is in constant development, always being shaped and clarified in the course of conversations like this.

I advise everyone to take what they hear from me always with a grain of the salt of self-reliance, that is to say an attitude of open-minded consideration, testing what you hear against what your sense of things tells you is useful and true, what is consistent and what is contradictory, just as you have here.

As the effects of the fear context in which your mind was first formed fade, the capacity to trust yourself intelligently grows quickly.

But you will never be done.

That which we seek to be done with is always only part of the ever-shifting and changing ocean of characteristics which taken together constitute the experience of life itself.

This thread has been for me a great gift, and I'll have more to say about it soon - next week. Thank you all.

And welcome to the forums, Ryan. It's good to see you here.

John

I also want to thank you for sharing your experiences through your blog--it's how I found out about John and Carla's work. You helped me through some tough times as I could see the parallels in our experiences.

Natalie

Good to see here, Natalie!

-Kaushik

Not much has changed

Something I'd like to add : whether I'm done or not, I have no idea about that. Just like prior to looking at myself, even prior to all the spiritual stuff, I can still feel angry, sad, tired, frustrated, annoyed, stupid, horny, unwanted or just wanting to be alone. But since the looking none of these feelings or states of mind cause me any real grief anymore. They're usually short lived phenomena, with the exception of the stuff that's been with me since childhood, like getting frustrated and angry about injustice (usually towards myself). And I can also say that since I looked at myself, I have not felt the deep unhappiness and loathing of life that has been with me for so long. I haven't felt lonely or suicidal anymore either. Not much has changed, but the things that have changed are fundamental to how I experience this life.

It's great to see this thread going and going, I don't think there's ever been a place or a time on this planet where something like this occurred.

Wouter

On being done

karmarider

I feel that I want to talk about something--but when I try verbalize or write, I'm not able to put it in words.

Dear Karmarider A couple of years ago I got fixated with the feeling I was done. And I went searching for confirmation from others. What became clear was that the idea of being done is just another hangover from spiritual journeying and it does not mean anything, because in the next minute something can trigger a reaction and then you have to reckon you are not done. And all the time you are there anyway. So my solution... whenever a feeling causes concern I look for myself. Sometimes it just intensifies the feeling but very soon it completely disappears. Also in the last couple of days I suddenly feel the need to search for something or someone and I recognised I need to look at myself and everthing rights itself. This looking at yourself is utterly different from anything else because you yourself within yourself have all the answers. much love keep looking Helen Waterhouse

I have seen that the basic problem in humanity is the mind's context of the fear of the life. With that understanding about a year and half ago, I was happily able to give up a five year spiritual quest. Overnight I lost interest in spirituality and spiritual concepts and words, and I understood how in fact spiritual thinking had been a pretty big obstacle. The fear makes everything else uncertain.

I felt relief and delight.

A few months later I discovered John Sherman's site. I understood the looking right away--I had no questions. It was what Nisargadutt and Ramana had said, but my head then had been full of spiritual notions so I did not understand them. John is clear, direct, and unspiritual.

I looked at me for about three months. Then the urge went away.

I do have questions about looking. For example, in doing the looking, I remembered the times when I had withdrawn into myself, and one of those times was a very early memory, when I was perhaps 4. This indicates to me that I've looked at me before. So then why did the recovery not start at that time? And I have other theoretical questions, but I can put them aside. Right now I'm more interested in the practical aspects of this.

I see some positive confirmations. The sense of relief in the giving up of the insanity of the spiritual quest, the increased ease with which I relate to people, the easy honesty which comes about as the motivation to defend goes away, the disappearance of the desire for life to be any specific way, the falling away of the fear of the future. Worrying still happens, but there is a different quality to it. It's not personal. And so on.

There is enough confirmation that the noticing of the context of fear and the looking do do something --enough confirmation that I recommend it to people on my website. Try it out, explore.

But the feeling "I am not done" persists. It's not just a feeling, there is truth in it. Earlier this week I had an flare-up, when the need to be right raised its ugly head. There has been a frustrating back-and-forth-ness, something like three-steps-forward-two-steps back. There are intertwined periods of high confidence and high doubt.

So if I truly am in recovery, I am not done.

And I suppose, based on experience, what I expect will happen, if I am truly in recovery, is that the question and the feeling "I am not done" will disappear. That's what's happened with some other insecurities--like the fear of the future. It might happen such that there is not a sudden contrast between "not done" and "done" and so it's not noticed.

I can be patient.

I do wonder, like some others have expressed, why the "done" people are not more vocal, more insistent, more encouraging. Where are they? Why so quiet?

-Kaushik

Dear Karmarider

A couple of years ago I got fixated on being done and went searching for confirmation from others. It became clear that the idea of being done is just another hangover from spiritual journeying and it means nothing, because in the next minute you can have a reaction and then you have to decide you are not done.(This was one of the most painful things I have ever done). And all the time I was there anyway.

My solution is to take the oppportunity to look at myself whenever I get caught in any aspect of searching. In the last few days I have found myself suddenly craving recognition and (oh the irony) there is only one thing that is actually recognition and that is to look at myself. Hope you enjoy this love Helen Waterhouse

I was there anyway

helen waterhouse

Dear Karmarider

... It became clear that the idea of being done is just another hangover from spiritual journeying and it means nothing, because in the next minute you can have a reaction and then you have to decide you are not done. And all the time I was there anyway.

My solution is to take the oppportunity to look at myself whenever I get caught in any aspect of searching. ... there is only one thing that is actually recognition and that is to look at myself. love, Helen Waterhouse

Dear Helen and all,

I LOVE this: "And all the time I was there anyway." This says it all, doesn't it? All the time I was there anyway. Perfect.

And thank you for reminding us: "there is only one thing that is actually recognition -- and that is to look at myself." That, truly, looking at myself, is the recognition we all are craving.

Love this, love you.

Dawn

 

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