JUST ONE LOOK
the purpose of our work is to rid humanity of the fear of life, one person at a time
Just One Look Method Testimonials Getting Help Blog & Podcast Articles Forum Donate Newsletter Books Videos International
Download the free PDF ebook:
The Just One Look Method  (314 Kb)
Die Nur-ein-Blick-Methode (439 Kb)

Just One Look Forum Archives

Using the Just One Look Method

<<< Back to forum index page

The nature of belief

Hi,

I don't feel like I have much to say but I want to just ask what peoples thoughts are on how the looking might effect our belief systems and our conditioning over time.

Belief in something (about ourselves or the world) causes us to think a certain way and in turn behave a certain way according to all the modern self help guides.

Changing our beliefs is encouraged in practices such as cognitive behavioral therapy, some psychotherapy and most definitely in hypnotherapy (one that I have experience with).

Hypnotherapy made me feel like a different person initially; more confident, talkative, sociable, fun etc. but eventually it crashes like most of them. 'Subconscious beliefs' had been altered apparently and made me act and feel better but like I say very temporarily.

Naturally, I have lost faith in these practices since I started looking. But recently I have thought about how the looking is much different to these things but must also effect the personality in a positive way as well as our beliefs.

I know this might seem complicated to read. Certainly been complicated to write but I'd really appreciate someones views (even if they are just theories) on the nature of beliefs and how they are effected by the looking.

Thank you for reading.

Jim

Good discussion question, Jim. I have found over time that I was quite keen on investigating my beliefs, but right about a month ago I began to lose interest in beliefs, especially my very diverse fickle spiritual beliefs. I just can't seem to summon the same interest that once came naturally. It may be the mid winter doldrums, but it feels more like a turning away from even curiosity about spiritual matters.

I feel that the looking removes the longing for salvation, and its negative counterpart, the fear of condemnation. However, our body (especially the brain) keeps running on old patterns for an unkown time. To me, this period after the looking results in a misbalance: hope for salvation is pointless, while traumatic experiences still dictate my behavior and consitute beliefs that things will go wrong. It helps to point attention away from these old mechanisms. Eventually, according to those who have passed the recovery, these old patterns of processing will be replaced by sane ones. I imagine then, beliefs will be less important, less fixed, more like temporary working hypotheses. However, I hope that a general sense of trust in life will manifest. I think it is useful to accelerate the dissolution of traumatic experiences by some form of therapy. There have recently been exciting advances in this field.

Hi,

This is an interesting topic. We all have beliefs and I think they change with the looking taking its effect. Certainly my beliefs have changed. For example, the belief in the importance of understanding metaphysical, big questions, in order to be free, is gone. If freedom comes with he simple act of looking, understanding is then optional, not compulsory. The same applies to the inner workings of my mind, the importance of understanding my personal history and beliefs is also optional, although it seems to deepen kind of naturally.

If we become natural human beings our beliefs become more "natural", too, not too rigid, but tentative and ready to change if evidence so suggests, I think. I wonder if hypnotherapy would work differently or speed up recovery after looking? I'd like to be more talkative, sociable and confident, too. But...does it really matter so much?...Now I see the good side of being introvert and spending most of my time by myself, too.

What comes to spiritual beliefs, I have lost most of my interest in them, too. Or, those questions are no longer very important and quite theoretical now. They are no longer linked with "salvation", or freedom from suffering. They are a completely different topic and therefore there's more leeway and freedom to them, as there's no personal investment in them anymore.

I agree that this is an interesting and useful discussion. Here's my take on the usefulness of psycho-therapeutic intervention during the recovery period.

The problem with psychotherapy is its focus on reforming or eliminating specific, existing mental problems. It concerns itself with bringing attention to bear on the sickened processes in one way or another, for one reason or another. And there is no doubt that such approaches can help the troubled find considerable palliative relief from the misery of specific neurotic psychological processes.

But the mind suffering from the effects of the generalized fearfulness we call the fear of life is more than a conglomeration of neuroses. It has its being in a context that assumes that life is to be feared. When one set of neuroses departs, new ones arise to take their place. And the new neurotic defenses are always more efficient at masquerading as harmless and necessary. Putting attention directly on these mechanisms in a therapeutic context actually energizes and trains them to change form and shift places to evade extermination.

The primary purpose of the practice of focused attention is not to provide relief from the specific issues to which it declines to attend, although relief is welcome. The purpose of the practice of focused attention is to take authority over the only thing we can actually control, and its effect is the dawn of full self-reliant sanity and satisfaction with the life we have.

Diverting your attention to seek relief from specific trauma-induced neuroses will not stop the process of renewal that's already underway in your mind. I can attest to that from my own experience of many years of recovery in complete ignorance of the process that was working to clear my mind of the effects of the fear. But if you will put all of your eggs in the basket of gaining self-reliant authority over your attention, I promise you the length and misery of the recovery will be greatly diminished, and you will never regret it.

As John writes..."The primary purpose of the practice of focused attention...is to take authority over the only thing we can actually control[,] and its effect is...satisfaction with the life we have". This is what is happening to you. You look at 'me' and maybe before you notice the fear is gone, satisfaction with life is.

Thanks to all of you who responded so far. Luckily, I found the looking approach within the first few months of contemplating other spiritual teachings therefore I didn't absorb to much dogma or funny spiritual beliefs like some people do. They are still interesting to me but I would never go back to them as a means for relief.

I was actually more thinking about the belief systems we develop at the very first stages of our life. Usually unconsciouss.

John, your response to this was really helpful. Thank you.

The reason I stared pondering belief systems and stuff is because I feel like I should get over my avoidance patterns when it comes to other people. It seems to be a more phsyical kind of avoiding rather than lots of mental worry and struggle. So, I wondered if it might be worth trying out another psychotherpeutic approach to overcoming certain beliefs. Like John mentions it can have it's benefits but instead, I might start working with attention strengthening. Have been lazy up till now.

Have'nt got much else to say

Thanks again

John, your point about psychotherapy makes sense. I hadn't thought about therapy in this context as potentially harmful so that it actually might contribute to making problems to proliferate and bury them in confusion and evasion. Looking removes the problematic context and thus works globally on the mind instead of neurosis by neurosis as in psychotherapy. Does focusing training work likewise?

I have to admit that authority over my attention is not a reality to me at the moment. It seems quite far away. Ditto for self-reliant sanity and satisfaction. But I've been doing attention training and I feel I'm doing something at least. There is some kind of satisfaction there in the training.

Jim, your problem sounds much like mine. I have a strong avoidance of people going on, too. If it is unhealthy, it will go, I believe. If it developed as a response to the context of fear, it will lose it's sustenance once the context is gone. Though it might take long as it probably developed very early on. The undoing of the avoidance pattern might manifest as starting to see people as interesting at some point (?...Haven't happened to me, though, so far). I've been thinking of trying to get myself to interact with people at will and deliberately, but it feels a bit off putting at the moment, so I've just continued on as before. Becoming a veritable hermit it seems, at least what comes to emotional and deeper connection.

I wonder if looking changes something in us so that we don't need people so much? What is healthy and what is not? I've been thinking hard about this lately. Loneliness is certainly harmful state of mind, but will it transform into solitariness without the pain, as in loneliness? Or will I be able to connect with people and deal with it?

John Sherman said:

"But the mind suffering from the effects of the generalized fearfulness we call the fear of life is more than a conglomeration of neuroses. It has its being in a context that assumes that life is to be feared. When one set of neuroses departs, new ones arise to take their place. And the new neurotic defenses are always more efficient at masquerading as harmless and necessary. Putting attention directly on these mechanisms in a therapeutic context actually energizes and trains them to change form and shift places to evade extermination."

I have seen what John describes happening in a spiritually-oriented dreamwork therapy that I participate in. In the dreamwork there is a term called hydracontorting that describes how a mind, still controlled by fear, can change but not change. Everything in dreamwork is about feeling vs thinking. Sometimes a dream will indicate that the dreamer's behavior is changing in a positive way; but a sharp therapist will see that it is really just a new mechanism trying to please the therapist by doing what he suggested. You can tell the difference because the new mechanism will not contain a new feeling aspect. You could say it is all head and no heart. Real change always involves the heart. (The name of hydracontorting comes from Hydra in Greek mythology: a many-headed serpent or monster that was slain by Hercules and each head of which when cut off was replaced by two others.)

Therapy is definitely not a cure for the fear of life. But, AFTER looking at yourself, the right therapy can be a very useful tool.

Lera

It might be useful to distinguish what form of therapy. Talk therapies including cognitive behavioral therapy aim at restructuring thinking processes. Indeed, I can see the danger that a given neurotic pattern is replaced with a more concealed one. However, there are other approaches that address deeper parts of the brain, which are not accessible by the conscious mind. These approaches rely on the self-healing capacities and require no beliefs, concepts or such. They work mechanically and lead to a release of trapped traumatic energy. Somatic experiencing, EMDR and its evolved variant brainspotting function this way. I can attest they help, not in a palliative sense only. Well, in the end, everybody should choose self-reliantly what could be helpful.

I wonder if looking changes something in us so that we don't need people so much? What is healthy and what is not? I've been thinking hard about this lately. Loneliness is certainly harmful state of mind, but will it transform into solitariness without the pain, as in loneliness? Or will I be able to connect with people and deal with it?

I think it probably does make being alone a lot easier. I can spend days on my own and not feel any loneliness at all. Three or four years ago, something felt hellishly wrong about acting like this and I would continually be looking for ways to get over it and cure my anxiety.

I still find it frustrating when I'm around people; the feeling that there is something wrong. And this probably down to avoiding them in the first place. Habbits :/

Hi. Personally I come from a background of really traumatic circumstances. I had a very difficult family life and I developed very early a deep belief that I was a victim and also a wide range of beliefs arising from the fears I had. I was burdened with responsibilities beyond my years and lacked self esteem. I felt depressed and worthless. At that time (30 years ago) I reached out for what was available. Therapies I did provided me with a safe environment to express emotions such as anger, sadness etc. also the compassion and warmth of some of these therapists was very comforting and I had glimpses of well being. I also spent many years with a spiritual teacher, meditating and touching deep states of silence and love. I think we all will do our best to find a solution for our misery depending on our circumstances.

However when I first did the looking was when I really began to experience what it meant to be truly self reliant and I knew this was the missing piece of the puzzle. For the first time I started to feel this is my life just as it is. It seems in my life now there is no need for a middle man (therapist, guru, spiritual teacher,etc.) I remember years back John saying when you have these voices inside your head telling you what you should do, how you should be to be to be awakened etc. was just crazy talk and this was how I was. I was addicted to spiritual concepts and meeting with like-minded seekers. I still do plenty of techniques to keep my body healthy etc. but I think therapies, teachers etc. will always have a tinge of dependence on the messenger and methods for honoring their perspective.

I was with a friend who was telling me about letting go techniques and it seemed forced and beside the point since the looking -- thoughts, feelings, sensations arise and I can move my attention to the breath and mostly feel they don`t bother me anymore. What I`ve really noticed is once I become aware of a fear, a pattern of belief, a feeling of anxiety, it seems to disappear and I notice some weeks or months later its gone completely. And hallelujah! I finally feel I speak from my own perspective.

Maureen

Ha this thread is totally appropriate for a conversation I got into today. I was talking with a group of people about how I am struggling with trying to make ends meet financially. One them who is a 'healer' by trade jumped in and said that I needed to examine my belief systems around money. How I need to tell myself I'm worthy of money and love. I can tell that the intention was good, although pushy, but I immediately felt resistant. Kind of like eff you. I said I'm not interested in supplementing one belief system for another. I kind of went along with it but it felt false to me. I used to buy this. Needing to feel worthy ect... Starting my own business my belief systems around money are called into question every day. I see it as more of an unfolding process of change rather than a meditation on how I need to be worthy of love and money.

Sometimes I feel that what we are doing her goes against the grain of everything else. I'm bumping up against this and struggling with it. I went to a projective dream workshop this weekend. It was not something I would normally attend but I was asked to help set up. I thought it sounded interesting. One of the presenters is a teacher in my field that I greatly respect. Anyway many of the concepts that were talked about I felt in resonance with (we are all connected, collective healing, ect.). I had some strong emotional responses and profound insights during the workshop. I could tell that others were having strong healing experiences as well. BUT underneath it, it started to feel like entertainment. Sometimes people would just go on about archetypal this and that. Anything goes and it went on and on. I started to feel a bit alone in my experience because everyone seems really into it and I'm questioning whether this is even relevant or useful. I also didn't feel intellectually savvy enough to engage much in the conversation. It's hard because I feel that many of the spiritual concepts are beautiful but I don't find much meaning in them anymore. I see people trying to wring meaning out of every experience and it feels both liberating and isolating to not feel the need to have everything mean something. I don't want to go on and on about this but it is something that comes up for me often. I feel like the intense stages of recovery are a thing of the past for me. I feel confident that I have a fair amount of control over my attention. I guess my question is whether or not engaging in these kinds of seminars are useful for me at this point because I'm feeling a bit torn right now.

Natalie

What we are about here probably does go against the grain of lots of things out there. Lots of things developed out of the fear context. I'm starting to think that it will just get stronger, this feeling of seeing how nuts many things are, and many activities that people engage in. I'm a little bit afraid that I develop a kind of divide between fear-context-free people and others. Kind of like believers and heathens...This feels scary, but then it might not happen.

What happens in my experience is that tolerance and compassion expand, although it does become somewhat painful to be in the company of those who are trapped in the fear.

Seppo, I get bored much more easily. Much of what matters for others feels like noise to me.

"I want to just ask what peoples thoughts are on how the looking might effect our belief systems and our conditioning over time."

Good question Jim. The thought that came up for me was-Is belief natural? The undercurrent or FOLMO (fear of life modus operandi) has been dissolved and suddenly belief is not so mandatory or even a stabilizer or basis for self definition. Are beliefs something that you discovered or were they instilled in you? Did you absorb them from adults when you were innocent and unable to ascertain their usefulness or viability? If you are clear of the fear of life your recovery might include a re-accessment of the dross. I feel that belief and it's effects will change as we go through recovery and mature in the post-recovery life.Will conditioning be wanted or needed after recovery? I will have to wait to find out.

ngregers

I see people trying to wring meaning out of every experience and it feels both liberating and isolating to not feel the need to have everything mean something.

Natalie

beatifully said!

I just had look at this a little closer and realized my beliefs are constantly changing. Their premise can persist, like for example the premise that there is something wrong with me and my life that I urgently need to fix. The thing is though, that the next big thing to solve, to think, to fix or find is always new. And it has always been like this. The belief tells me what to do and why but every time I start following through on this oh-so promising solution to the problem of being alive it fades away, as a new, upgraded, reformulated and even more promising idea is born. It goes on and on.

roed_

Their premise can persist, like for example the premise that there is something wrong with me and my life that I urgently need to fix.

You still have this? I would expect this should be gone after the looking. Well, I can fall back into this when things are not as expected. Then I tell myself internally: Stop, and I do the looking. This reminds me of me.

Cytex

You still have this? I would expect this should be gone after the looking. Well, I can fall back into this when things are not as expected. Then I tell myself internally: Stop, and I do the looking. This reminds me of me.

When you put it like that, yeah it is true - I never really believe I'm at stake, but I sure still "have this" so to speak. What I mean is that more or less all neurotic thoughts are telling me the same thing over and over, that everything sucks, but in constantly varying ways, masquerading if you will. But in essence they're all in one way or another proclaiming how miserable I am, or a brilliant new idea how to solve it. Maybe these thoughts formed way back within the sickened mind, only that they are displayed now. Some days like every second thought that appears is fearful. I suppose the soldiers of fear are having a war inside my head or something. "Kicking and screaming, holding on to the curtains as they go". Totally nerve-wrecking.

I think I know. Actually, I could freak out all the time. But, freaking out, although justified, seems pointless. There is nobody who listens. And either I kill myself or I go on. But paralysis by fear is no valid option. And, if I decide not to indulge in the fear, I can manage.

Thanks Cytex, being helpful as usual!

Indeed nobody who listens. Paralysis of fear is not a valid option. Some days ago, as I moved my attention in an effort to stop indulging pointlessly, I had a moment of relief in a fresh way. Not long after the beam of focus had snapped to the feeling of breath it dawned on me that the contents of my mental chatter had transformed. Suddenly all there was was "in out one, in out two, ... ". May not sound like much but it was new to see that everything flows from what I choose. Everything. Even the voice that thinks it knows my best, which is so annoying - it is, just like everything else, merely a consequence sprung out of my personality, the situation and the target of my attention. It means nothing, does nothing, just a pointless algorithm. Old news really, but it was very comforting to see it for myself anyway. The confusion is beside the point.

roed_, this is great news.

 

This website is operated by
a husband and wife team through
the Just One Look Foundation