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Hello everyone,

It's been several months since I posted here and since I've been serious about the looking. The posts I' read recently from people who have said that they' had been doing the looking for some period of time and then suddenly got a glimpse of themselves have encouraged me to begin trying to look again, something that I' had pretty much given up on after two and a half years as it did not seem to have worked at easing the intense fear of life that I have been conscious of for many years now.

Recognizing that I have not had a conscious experience of me and that the fear of life has not dissipated, I''ve realized that I''m not one of the lucky ones who have gotten a glimpse of me even though they weren''t aware of it. That combined with the simultaneous recognition that any other approach (spiritual or otherwise) to try to feel at home in my own life will not work has made me decide to re-dedicate myself to the looking.

Niklas''s exhortation to just RELAX seems to be right up my alley as I'm guessing that my need to do it right has made the looking something stressful and that was ultimately painful to do because I felt like I wasn''t getting it. I''m sure this is just neurosis and an aspect of the fear, but it's made taking the medicine difficult. Regardless, I'm renewing my efforts and will report back as to what I'm finding.

Any stories or reports of people for whom it's taken some time to have success would be very encouraging and greatly appreciated!

Best,

Ansley

Hello Ansley, it's good to hear from you.

I'd like to call your attention just three things from your posting.

... it did not seem to have worked at easing the intense fear of life that I have been conscious of for many years now.

So far as I can tell, the fear of life I speak of is pretty much beyond conscious experience. It is rather a name for or description of the fundamental psychological context that determines the default assumption underlying the entire structure of personality and all its parts and pieces to be one of distrust, wariness, and the hostile interrogation of all arising phenomena for signs of threat and in so doing spoils the experience of life.

... I’m sure this is just neurosis and an aspect of the fear, but it’s made “taking the medicine” difficult. Regardless, I’m renewing my efforts and will report back as to what I’m finding.

This is good news. You only need 'take the medicine' once Ansley - all else follows naturally (though sometimes unpleasantly).

Any stories or reports of people for whom it’s taken some time to have success would be very encouraging and greatly appreciated!

Actually there have been several recent reports from people who took up the looking some time back (two or three years as I remember) and have come to report results and take part in the community. I can't remember where to find them, but they are here. If you start reading the posts and catching up, I'm sure you'll find them (and much more).

I'm sure you'll get some good response to this post.

Please let me know if I can help.

love,

John

Hi Ansley,

I think the fact that you are still here and increasing your effort is a tell tale sign that you're on the home stretch, so to speak. The initial results of this simple act that John recommends, have turned out to be the most miraculous non-event of my life to date. But I kept at it because I knew I was on to something. Now, almost five years later, life is and always was, good. The unwinding of the knot of neurotic thinking and behavior continues. In fact, I am sometimes in awe of how deeply rooted my defense-against-life mechanism's still are, but I also have a kind of natural un-dying faith in life's capacity for what we might call "healing." I used to believe what John says about the fear of life, how nothing worked to affect a cure for the problem (till now), how this life, just as it is, is what we've always wanted. Now I'm starting to see and feel this for myself and it is a whole different ballgame. There's nothing I can say about it accept that you will see for your self, and you'll probably be as speechless as I am.

Thanks for sharing.

Mike

Why so serious?

tryingtolook

It’s been several months since I posted here and since I’ve been “serious” about the looking.

Hello Ansley,

that sentence made me think about what my life was like in the months preceding the first time I looked at myself as per John's explanation. I had become extremely serious about having to understand the very core of all my ignorance and suffering. I started to understand, through repeatedly bombarding myself over several years with the words of Ramana and Nisargadatta, that my true salvation would lie in finding myself. And I tried so hard to push aside all that wasn't me to search for what was supposed to be me. Very serious stuff.

In retrospect, from that very first time I looked at myself, the seriousness surrounding the understanding of life started to die. If I had to put a number on it, it was about two months later that I actually decided for myself to let go of all effort to better or understand myself. Like John says, once you look at yourself, all else follows naturally. To use your words, the mindset shifted from trying to feel at home in life, to being me inside life - in whatever form that presents itself. But that happened very spontaneously, there was no doing or trying involved.

To me then, the word success is not really a relevant term in this discussion. From the first time I felt weary of life and started to question the way of the world, to the point I consciously looked at myself, about 15 years had passed. In a spiritual context I don't feel I have achieved anything in all that time besides having looked at me. I have learned an amazing amount of ways to describe the most basic of phenomena : me. But in all that time, life never stopped - the only thing that is changing and growing since the first look is my cooperation with it. Nothing more.

I've had a hard time finding the right words to get my meaning across so I hope you find something of value in them.

Wouter

Appreciation

Thank you everyone, for your kind and helpful words.

Wouter, I *love* the title of your post-- why so serious? A very good question indeed! I'm sure that this is just another aspect of the fear of life this desperate need to feel that I have "gotten it right" and successfully looked.

Mike, I always appreciate your thoughts, but this particularly resonates with me:

In fact, I am sometimes in awe of how deeply rooted my defense-against-life mechanism's still are, but I also have a kind of natural un-dying faith in life's capacity for what we might call "healing."

A reply to another post makes the point that (as John says over and over, but only really hit me recently) the intent is everything, and I think in the past, I have not been clear that I was trying to look at ME rather than just looking for something that sounded like what everyone else was describing (permanent, unchanging, not hurt/not helped, etc.) and then hoping to have the revelation, oh, that's me! That may seem like splitting hairs, but it feels like a somewhat different approach. John, I would appreciate any insights or thoughts you have on this.

As always, I am very grateful for these forums.

Love,

Ansley

A reply to another post makes the point that (as John says over and over, but only really hit me recently) the intent is everything, and I think in the past, I have not been clear that I was trying to look at ME rather than just looking for something that sounded like what everyone else was describing (permanent, unchanging, not hurt/not helped, etc.) and then hoping to have the revelation, oh, that's me! That may seem like splitting hairs, but it feels like a somewhat different approach. John, I would appreciate any insights or thoughts you have on this.

The context of fear 'naturally' creates a preference for empty abstractions about life over the actual experience of life. You can see this preference in operation everywhere in the culture. You will probably begin to see this more and more as time goes on.

This insight is no mere 'splitting of hairs', Ansley, but it cuts razor sharp into the actual heart of the matter.

love always,

John

 

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