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Gratitude

Hi, this is Bill Corcoran. I live in Cleveland, Ohio. I'm 61 years old and most of that life has been lived in fear. The concept of "the fear of life" was something I could very readily and easily identify with because of my upbringing. A sense of fear has always consumed me.

Because of that I've long been interested in so-called "spiritual enlightenment" and searched for "the truth" that would somehow set me free. Initially, many, many years ago, I was attracted to Jiddu Krishnamurti because he was someone who was separating himself from the mainstream of spiritual practice, even though much of what he talked about was closely related to it. In my search I found germs of "trueness," but they were very fleeting.

A few years back I got an IPhone and became attracted to YouTube videos and ITunes podcasts and often I would get up in the morning and listen. I stumbled upon Gangaji in that manner and began to follow the links and before too long I heard of John Sherman and began to listen to his podcasts. At first I thought, "this is the same old, same old." I thought I'd get some momentary relief perhaps from the confusion but then everything will slip back to normal.

But there was something different here. It was his gentle, persistent suggestion to "look at yourself." There was something about the choice of those words that just rang very true to me. It was almost as if I was being reminded of something I already knew. When I first tried to get a sense of the looking, I remembered a physical sight pattern that happened to me a few years back. I woke in the middle of the night and I could see weird geometric pattern that made no sense. When I closed my eyes, it was there. When I opened my eyes, it was there. I even got up and looked in the mirror, and there was the pattern overlaid on my reflection. Later on i was told that the pattern was probably something to do with a cold and the cells in my eyes or whatever, but that sensation of "what is this that I've seen that is not normally visible?" seemed familiar and I connected it to John's suggestion to "look at yourself."

I listened more to him and he advised recalling a time from your childhood in which you remember what it felt like to be you.

When I was a fairly young child, I used to lay in bed in the morning. I had a pegboard wall in my room and I used to look at the patterns of the dots. If I squinted it looked one way. If I relaxed my eyes, it looked another way. Sometimes the dots swam together and merged. It was a very personal feeling.

Stumbling upon the looking was a physical act for me. Up until that first glimpse, the previous suggestions I had followed in my quest had always come from a place of concept or understanding. And what John was talking about was just something totally different. It had nothing to do with deep meaning or spirituality or anything, it was just "look at yourself." Look what's there!

At first I had some fear--a lot of fear. But that was from my old patterns. I thought "oh, I'm mentally ill," or "I'm crazy" because that sort of thing was running rampant in my family. I've always been a very responsible person and I felt that somehow giving myself to the freedom of just being alive was somehow shirking my responsibility.

And, uh, wow!

So that's really it, I guess. It's been a feeling of homecoming more than anything else and I've had the sense that I know John and Carla, that I've known them for some time. It's like we're old friends.

I feel like I'm in a course of recovery. I feel like the medicine is the looking and it's doing its work, unfolding as it will at its own rate. I try to stay out of the way as much as I can. It's such a joy to be connected with life.

Thanks.

 

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