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What I really want from life

Hi, it seems to me that on one hand there is the realization that life cannot be controlled except where to put one's attention, and on the other hand I experience an inherent will to realize my potential, to plan and perform, set course. John, your plan is to bring the looking to about 10% of humanity, if I understand correctly. To succeed, you need dedication, planning and persistence. So, how does this go together with letting go of all expectations?

Furthermore, the process to sanity never ends. Then, when is the turning point reached, where sane psychology prevails and pursuing goals is not fear based? I decide that I start now and do not care whether my mind is sane or not. Anyway, who is here to judge?

So, what I want from life is to trust my own judgement, be self-reliant. Then meaning can unfold from within. When fear or doubts arise, I will look at them, find out what they want to tell me and learn. Bruno

Bruno,

What you call "an inherent will to realize my potential, to plan and perform, to set course," I see as the inherent force of life that is in a perpetual movement of action and effect, creation and destruction. I see no contradiction between that ever-moving, naturally flowing force of life and the power I have to determine for myself where to put my attention.

My attention seems to be the only source of the energy needed to have an effect on my action in the world, and my choice of where to put that energy entirely determines the development and unfolding of that effect.

Here's an example of what I'm trying to say:

When you see the thought, "To succeed, you need dedication, planning, and persistence," and then the following thought, "So, how does this go together with letting go all expectations," in that moment you have a choice: you can accept the second thought as equally valid as the first thought, or you could simply ignore it. It is in that choice as to which thought forms are useful and which are not that the skillful involvement in your life develops and grows strong.

I could be wrong, but it seems to me that you have accepted both thoughts as equally valid. And in so doing, you have turned a positive insight about the power you have to determine what you attend to into a justification for the idea that one needs to wait for some level of development to appear before being able to live life actively and sanely, as if that were the logical implication of the idea of learning to use your attention in order to find satisfaction in your relationship with life. And somehow you managed to create a war between the two ideas.

Maybe I'm misreading your post, considering its truly brilliant conclusion: "When fear or doubts arise, I will look at them, find out what they want to tell me and learn". But the only thing I would add to that is that you can look at all thoughts that call your attention with the same openness to learn from them and decide that you grant the feelings of fear and doubt.

And, by the way, I see nothing wrong with expectations. They are, after all, mere thoughts which you can choose to ignore or not.

Thank you for being active in this adventure with us.

John

Dear John, many thanks for your careful and helpful answer. Would you agree that the main difference that comes with the looking is increased freedom where to put our attention? The unconscious compulsion to attend to certain matters is gone. However, in a sane mind, one still attends to things that catch the attention. But now it is motivated by an "inherent force of life". Old mechanisms tell me that I am responsible for what happens to me, and trust in some "force of life" is for fools. But as you mentioned elsewhere, the looking is the worst case come true from the perspective of the fear-based mechanisms that developed to protect us from the (unreal) danger of life. With control of attention I can ignore them more often till they are gone. Thanks, Bruno

When you and your life are the same and do not have separate goals then what you want from your life will no longer hold the same urgency. When I find a helpful tool my motivation wants me to get to the end of the process as quickly and efficiently as possible. Is it sane or helpful to be in such a state of keen inner searching or urgency when this new state (no fear) has only just begun to be available to us? John used a tool of focus to obtain a for-gone conclusion so that he would no longer search for the answer to his misery. He wanted to prove to himself that human unhappiness is the normal condition and be done with the search. Something found John. When our goals are no longer focused on knowing for the sake of security or the relief of fear then your life will find you. I have been looking for a deep connection that I feel I have lost or somehow thrown away. Is it not the fear of life that somehow creates the illusion of the lost connection? The feeling or belief in life as something that I can get something from and then be truly satisfied or complete seems to be based on a static or unchanging paradigm goal. Life always changes - that's why it called LIFE.

My focussed attention in the first instance tends to go straight to what I think I want or don't want. It can be very powerful and seductive and invariably throws up problems which I then feel the need to work on solving. This often leads to dissatisfaction and suffering. What the looking has given me (when I put my attention on it) is a way of abandoning the need to think about these problems and they can become merely situations. I am only about 9 weeks into this and I am feeling very positive. I don't know if I am about to fall off a honeymoon cloud, but I'm not scared. My life situation was improving when I started this and has continued to do so, so I can't be 100% certain this wellness is all down to it. I had a very difficult 3 years until recently.

 

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