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What is the recovery period, really?

It's really frustrating to be thrown over and over again into a state of psychological pressure bringing this fear, distrust, depression etc. again and again. The promise of the act of looking has not yet been fulfilled in my case and it is distressing to hear that this will continue to be the case in the following years...I mean that's a damn long time

There MUST be a way to accelerate the recovery period...maybe understanding some basic mechanisms of the process will help to discover more effective methods to cope with this difficult period: What really happens in the recovery period, both psychologically and physiologically...what is the "recovery period" ? Can we shed a little light upon this question ?

During the recovery period, lifelong mechanisms of dealing with a seemingly threatening life become meaningless because the underlying cause, the fear of life, has fallen away. However, the replacement with new authentic ways to deal with sensations takes time. During this period, it is the old mechanisms that are still available and operate despite their inefficiency. This creates stress. It is my experience that more can be done than just controlling one's attention. So I agree with your assessment that accelerating the recovery period is an important topic. Controlling the attention is certainly the core to efficiently dealing with this period. However, there is no need to abandon all other methods of healing that humans have found. What is useful depends on each individual life history and it is hard to generalize. What helps me is to establish a healthy life style, such as exercising, reducing alcohol consumption, being in nature, not engaging in other peoples drama and stay true to myself. Other things that I found during my lifelong quest for an escape prior to the looking are now easier to implement.

Regarding the origin of the fear of life, I think the view that it originates at birth is a bit vague. It is finally accepted by science that pregnancy is a crucial period that influences the health of a human. For example, the loss of a twin during pregnancy is a traumatic experience for the surviving fetus. Similarly, traumatised mothers and fathers (for example due to war, sexual abuse) cannot establish healthy relationships with babies. Such traumatic experiences (overwhelming threats) are secluded in deeper areas of the brain, not accessible by the conscious mind. After the looking, therapies aimed at releasing the traumatic energies become more efficient.

I'm in the same boat you are.

I don't know if this thing is real or not, or will have any real effect on my life.

I really enjoy your post Cytex. And I agree with the assumption that the cause of the fundamental problem that man has to deal with is trauma. There seems to happen something specific, that totally casts one out of balance and leaves one in a state of fear unable to find a way back into sanity. And I tend to agree with you Cytex that:

Cytex

Regarding the origin of the fear of life, I think the view that it originates at birth is a bit vague.

A baby growing up in a traumatized mother's womb might already take up the state of fear from the mother. However, it appears to be a true that the earlier the traumatizing incident happens the more severe are its consequences, so I understand John's hypothesis in assuming that the cause being the process of birth in which the baby is more or less violently separated from the mothers body.

Now what happens at a traumatic event is the disruption of our adaptive responses which - as you say Cytex - are not readily accessible by the conscious mind as they are regulated by the autonomic nervous system. In other words the body fails to return to the safety response and is stuck in one of the stress responses (tend/befriend, fight/flight, immobility).

Is it then reasonable to say that there is a connection between the safety response (that is homeostasis) and the "sense of me". And that the recovery process is taking one out of the stress response with all the psychological and physiological implications (trauma is known to be the biggest health issue in the modern world causing cardiovascular diseases, cancer etc). I'm mean that is huge. For me it would add another dimension to John's discovery: that the looking is a solution to the biggest health problem. Or are my assumptions wrong....

For a clearer sense of what we actually say about the fear of life, please read this article:

https://www.justonelook.org/the-fear-of-life.php.

Also, read this post in my blog The Natural State:

https://www.justonelook.org/natural/2017/11/understanding-the-fear-of-life/

Keep up the good work here.

John

Very good.

John, could you say something about how the "fear of life" is related to trauma?

Dear friends

I don't feel we should put much emphasis on the length of the recovery period. I was groping in the dark before the looking and solutions to my misery were temporary band-aids over the underlying anxiety that persisted despite years of therapy, meditation, sitting with so-called awakened people. This period of my life was driven by the fear, really fear of annihilation.

Looking at myself directly (now perhaps 7 years on) I realize snuffed out this fear since I was for the first time sensing me and that me had always been here. This was big for me. How it felt for me was solid, an immediate sense of being at home in my life, so great relief at least for a time but as others mention above the ongoing personality patterns continue to pop up during the course of living. What is interesting for me is I just get on with life and I don't dread so much the emotional turmoil that may come since I feel no threat to my existence. So it can be very tough but I move through without wallowing in self pity (well maybe for a few hours but not days or weeks) as I used to. I still love all the good stuff that helped relax me... meditation, yoga, exercise, good food etc. but no more middle-man is needed to connect with well-being or to point me to who I am. The moving of attention takes care of the day to day useless thought activity.

Recently my daughter lost her very lucrative job as vice-president of a big company and the family was thrown into chaos, fears of all kinds closing in. I was amazed to watch myself move through this period very calm somehow trusting things would work out. I could really support her since I wasn't feeling any fear. I was happy she wouldn't have the stress of a high-powered job and could really find something that would be truly satisfying. A lot of re-adjusting is needed and big insecurities about money etc. I also at times feel very concerned about the future of this work and the need for money to support it. I'm not sure why the support isn't there but I trust the tides will turn soon. Do people not contribute because it seems the recovery takes time? It really isn't a problem because the lessening of the fear begins almost immediately and the journey is now in your hands. This makes all the difference!

Maureen

Beautiful, Maureen. And well articulated. This is exactly what I have experienced. I'm still puzzled that the loss of the majority of my fear and anxiety doesn't translate into more joy, although sometimes it does, but life rolls on. You described it well.

JaJa83, I agree trauma is a very useful concept to explain human suffering. A trauma is an overwhelming threat that can only be survived by denying it ever happened, by ignoring it. However, this coping strategy comes with large costs, as together with the destructive energies a huge amount of vitality is encapsulated. Such unresolved trauma constitute a vulnerability and later events can resonate with the huge amount of energies trapped. This causes a lot of stress and anxiety. Futile attempts to reduce the pain include violence, addiction, etc.

As you correctly state, the earlier the trauma, the more devastating its effects. And life does not start with birth but with conception, so traumas during pregnancy are as bad or worse as the ones occurring at birth or later.

Maureen, my experience is very similar to yours, in particular I can relate to the fear of annihilation. Luckily, not everybody knows how that feels like. And it is true that the looking removed this horrible fear, this urge to disappear for good. I am very grateful for that and I try to donate. Some thoughts why money is such an issue: I think that the people that benefit most from the looking are not really well off. Rather, they suffer more intensely than the average human, which also shows in their finances. So as a target audience I would not only focus on spiritual people (John's recent plans as far as I understood) but more general on people suffering so much that denial is not really an option for them, which is the common denominator of us forumists. Furthermore, I think that the willingness to donate is highest during the honeymoon period after the looking. This is also the period when the thirst for all the resources John and Clara offer is highest. Later, the memory of the dread before the looking starts to fade, the new life may appear natural and normal, and then are the challenges of the recovery period.

You put it well that no more middle-man is required to apply all that good stuff like therapy etc. Before the looking, it felt like desperate swimming to escape drowning while now it feels like playful swimming as a way to enjoy life.

Cheers, Bruno

John has said after just one look you see me. This medicine, this looking, presupposes, what has already been given--me--now front and center. So in the midst of whatever experiences are arising remember to brush your teeth and wash your face and/or go for a walk. You may not have to figure it all out--all these thoughts.

JaJa83

The promise of the act of looking has not yet been fulfilled in my case...

As far as I can tell, the only promise the act of looking at yourself makes, is seeing yourself. And for me, once that happened, there was an inescapable sense of responsibility for my own predicament. One of the side-effects of that has been to slowly let go of the idea that there's a single process that will lead up to a single point in time where all will be well. At the same time I have been more and more invested in searching and learning skills and techniques that work for me to become better at living in general. That work for me, as in that are true to myself, like Cytex said.

Here's a realization I had recently: I remember reading about how Nisargadatta, in the weeks leading up to his death, appeared more calm and centered than before. At that point the guy was well in his eighties and had been looking at himself for almost half a century, but still evolving as a human being. This made me see the truth behind the platitude that life is a journey, and that you should enjoy your current point and state on that journey instead of yearning for a possible destination. Even if that current point and state is horrible. I always learn the most when trying to solve a problem.

Referring to Cytex's comment at top, from last year, on the experience of life, even in the womb: "For example, the loss of a twin during pregnancy is a traumatic experience for the surviving fetus..."

For what it's worth, my youngest brother just passed away after decade's of battling prescription drug addiction and self-torment. He was brilliant, funny, successful, and one of his few expressed last wishes was to have his ashes spread at the tiny tombstone that marked the grave of his identical twin that died less than 24 hours after their birth--58 years ago.

johnerwin

For what it's worth, my youngest brother just passed away after decade's of battling prescription drug addiction and self-torment. He was brilliant, funny, successful, and one of his few expressed last wishes was to have his ashes spread at the tiny tombstone that marked the grave of his identical twin that died less than 24 hours after their birth--58 years ago.

Oh, I am sorry to hear that. I can feel why he expressed this wish.

The reason I refer you to the forum is because you qualify! It is only for and limited to anyone who has looked at me at least once in their life. Which you have. This contact with the you of you may--according to John Sherman--may cause all kinds of thoughts to arise. Thus the forum is for any who have some reflective insight to share. I am sympathetic to this quote..."I'm in the same boat you are. I don't know if this thing is real or not, or will have any real effect on my life. However, this feeling notwithstanding, as fear is broken, it does not matter what you think."

I have never felt so good and satisfied, really. There are times when the sensation of love that shines out of this peace is so strong that I just want to embrace the world. Of course, the pathological mechanisms of the mind are still there but I don't bother so much again about stopping them as I used to and I am not trying to accelerate the process of recovery. It just takes as long as it takes and it's just fine; Funnily enough, this actually accelerates the recovery, not trying to do so...hahaha. I am just certain now that it has begun. And I'm curious about how life will unfold from now on. Fear had been the driving force and fuel of most of my activities in life. So its a bit challenging these days as I don't have much motivation to do things like working and making money etc; actually I just feel like going on holiday with my family...

peace everyone! And hey: THIS THING WORKS, KEEP IT UP Y'ALL!

JaJa, nice to hear. How are you now? In the same good mood still?

Yes, JaJa83, right now I feel as you do. I first looked in 2014. I believe it was mid year???? I kept reading about looking and John and I started donating on a monthly basis. In my life, I was preparing to retire. I was still working full time, dealing with retirement papers (filling them out was almost a full time job also as I worked for the government.) I packed my place up by myself, sent 26 boxes UPS to my new home, drove 1500 miles to my new place etc.,etc. I have been living here, 20 miles outside Sedona, since April 24th and loving every minute of it. When I look back at what I have accomplished, I feel fearless, not fearful. My life is very beautiful and I am just beginning to notice the lack of fear. I only just recently acknowledged it. Isn't that something? Some times this Love feeling wells up in me that is just overwhelming and tears run down my face. I am not thinking about anything joyful nor experiencing anything to cause it in present time. It is just here. It is just me! I was reading John's book, "Look At Yourself" the other night and I came across a part where he relates an incident where Ramana has just come back from the doctor and been told that he has cancer.People were asking him questions and he said,"Well, they tell me I am going, but where would I go? I am here." John said that he reflected on that and that it occurred to John that what Ramana was saying was the literal truth, that HERE is another name for me, that HERE is what I am. It hit me the same way it hit John. YES, I AM HERE. I am always HERE. I have always been HERE and will always be HERE!! Is that not the best? I Am Self-Conscious Nothingness. There is nothing more that I can say.

Irie man !

Cytex

JaJa, nice to hear. How are you now? In the same good mood still?

cytex, since we are learning to take control over our attention, it isn't that difficult to place it on the sensation of Love. I find that amazingly useful as it softens and loonsens the grip of the fear.

One Love

JaJa83

cytex, since we are learning to take control over our attention, it isn't that difficult to place it on the sensation of Love. I find that amazingly useful as it softens and loonsens the grip of the fear.

One Love

This is timely advice and a very good idea, thank you.

What is the recovery period, really ? In a moment while trying to distance yourself from your life, you recover by continually not being able to find a gap between you and your life--no matter how hard you try. In these moments you and your gapless life simply will not sustain fear. And once again you will give thanks for hearing a natural man John Sherman saying "Look at me". One thing I've noticed is a lessening of thoughts how trying to figure anything out. That the content of life is never apart from me (even beyond the mindfulness of it) has a sweetness embracing and dissolving troublesome thoughts. What I am left with is more and more engagement with taking care of my life. This the absolute best thing. Even in the midst of momentary dissuading thoughts about the content of my life I am thankful and trustful. One month ago I heard John say the fear goes quickly. How quick? This me that is my life is always looking at you. All it takes is one glance in return. And what will happen? This life of ours will happen. This is the stuff that arises as my thoughts.

 

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