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Is this the much vaunted 'rough patch' in the looking?

I have been looking for some years now. These days I see myself almost continuously, this unchanging presence. John is not wrong. It is boring! And this is my 'problem'. I have lost all motivation for the things I used to do, many activities including those that I used to regard as my 'vocation' seem sort of meaningless, and the spontaneity to do things doesn't really arise much, although this is merely an impression, after all the spontaneity to at last join this community and make my first post has certainly arisen. And that's because I'm kinda pulling my hair out with the sheer boredom and dullness of life. I can hear John say 'it can't hurt you', and that's certainly right, but I must say I did resonate with something Felix said on the recent Feb 8 Open House, that he knows he is eternal but there is a desire not to be that cannot be fulfilled because he is.

I thought this was quite profound, and I feel the same way. It is generally assumed that knowing your true nature makes you happy, but I can't say that it has. It has made me bored and disinclined to do a single thing. Now I'm aware this is probably exaggeration, I still cook, feed the birds, and even before I didn't do a great deal, but I did have interests in writing and art and other creative endeavours. Now all that seems pointless, yet I can't bring myself to trash that former aspect of my life either, so I am stuck in a kind of limbo in the middle between sort-of wanting to do things but not seeming able to lift a finger. I sometimes feel I have swapped a life of delusion with interest for a life of clarity but complete and utter dullness with no interest in anything, not even living, not that I have any interest either in not living (more disappointed to discover beingness is inescapable, truly so).

Now I can theorise that this is a passing phase, and John has mentioned rough patches being part of this process, but my feeling is that this kind of wasteland of looking has been going on for quite a long time, few years. I can say I have been successful in looking at myself, but perhaps too successful, I see nothing but my own unchanginess, only temporarily and briefly getting caught up in old personal dilemmas. Of which, I concede, this may be one. I have always had a pattern of not knowing what to do with my life. But now, with the looking, it seems magnified twenty-fold. I'm wondering, have others found that the very thing that used to be a major concern has been emphasised to the nth degree? Do others resonate with this sheer lack of motivation? John was not wrong when he said that the you that he wants you to look at is boring, but he spoke in terms of looking for a passing moment, I'm looking almost all the time and indeed find it harder not to look than look. But this means I am facing boredom in the eye all the time, such that it has become a kind of existential dilemma that it never was when I had 'interests'.

Is there something on the other side of this tunnel? I had always understood that knowing who you are is just a little bit more joyful and interesting. I joined this forum tonight because the water has risen to the rim. I am utterly fed up of looking at myself! And I can't do a single thing about it.

Anyway, I must surely have conveyed the gist of what brings me here tonight. It would be a pleasure to hear what you have to say about this John, and any others.

All the best

Joe

To Joe

I am glad to hear someone else say what I have been feeling for quite a while now. I was beginning to wonder if I was doing this ‘looking’ incorrectly and just getting lost into feeling that consciousness which seems to permeate everything which John says is not the same thing (or at least I thing he said that). So maybe I am still on the right track. Perhaps ,Joe, it is as you say a phase. John says that this unfolds differently for everyone. Fast for some, slow for others. He also speaks of having patience. So maybe we just need to give it some more time. I don’t know if you are young or old. I am old and I wonder if it because of all of the built up beliefs in the story of my life that this is taking so long. I also wonder if I will just die still trying to do this. That thought does not bother me that much. Perhaps that is the way it works out for some of us. I am thinking of dropping this all together for a while just to see if it invigorates itself. John talks about putting aside all other works just for a while. Maybe the same applies to the looking.

Hang in there Joe, you are not alone. As John says keep in touch.

John if I have misquoted you please correct me.

Fred

Recovery

Hi, Joe,

This is a good place to hang out during recovery from the fear of life. I'm glad you spontaneously joined the forum and contributed your post! Welcome!

With friendship and community,

Bill

Bit of a realisation

Bit of a realisation

Some wise person once said 'The lowest ebb is the turning of the tide.' I've often found that to be true and today I had a realisation related to one concern voiced above, and that also of Felix's, that to be, and not to be, are exactly the same. I don't think I could explain that, suffice it to say that it feels like something that has eluded me for a long time. I just don't see in it the issue I thought was there any more.

It's been a bit of an afternoon of realisations actually. First I realised that I could reinspire myself if I wanted to, rather than just waiting to be inspired. Then I realised that perhaps what I have been waiting for was to wait no longer!

These intuitions seem directly related to the water reaching the rim that I mentioned in my original post. I think what makes the difference between getting somewhere and not getting somewhere is holding on to something. Doesn't even seem to matter what.

Today, what was getting in the way yesterday miraculously disappeared, and I don't even know what it was. Now in the past I have had changes and turnarounds from one day to another, as have most people I'm sure, but this was distinctly different and related to the looking I'd say.

Is there a day when the process is over? I hestitate to think that, but the concerns of yesterday, which, frankly had been with me for quite some time, seem not merely to have subsided but to have gone. Really gone.

Well, I won't plan the celebration yet, but it's a curious thing.

Thanks for your thoughts Fred. As for being old, I think it's an assumption that 'looking' began when we first heard of it in a specific form, but I think the truth of the matter is that we have been looking all our lives, it's only when we hear about it that we start to see that. John is right that we can't do it wrong, because we've already been doing it unconsciously. Now it's a matter of doing it consciously. Thanks Bill too for your good wishes.

Boredom

Boredom

Joe, for you to be bored implies an expectation of more. For temporary release from such expectation, you may want to stand up, hunch over, rub your hands together, and with head bowed mutter, "More, more, more" ala Fagin in Oliver Twist. I suggest this in all seriousness, cautioning the relativity of that word and the playfulness behind it.

I want to thank you for opening the space for your concern to be voiced. Many times over the last several years have I found fault with the ordinariness of life. Fortunately, I have turned those judgments and comparisons back to the creator by seeking to ascertain the source from which they arise. I came to be vigilant each time one of those red flags cropped up. I now focus my attention not so much on them as what is directly in front of me, whether it be my breath, my step to the bathroom, or a problem to be solved. Presence, I realize, is the fruit of existence, and I have been partaking of that fruit to the exclusion of expectation.

I think one of the traps is the mindset you can develop from the concept that nothing matters. A better saying is: Nothing matters, and so does everything else." You might want to try that one on for size. It will help neutralize the ambitionless vector you are currently riding. Also, the space you have put around your "problem" may now be filled with things you are passionate about or resonate with. Your very letter in the Fourm is a prime example of that, I would suggest. Keep digging! Trimpi

joebloggs

Some wise person once said 'The lowest ebb is the turning of the tide.' I've often found that to be true and today I had a realisation related to one concern voiced above, and that also of Felix's, that to be, and not to be, are exactly the same. I don't think I could explain that, suffice it to say that it feels like something that has eluded me for a long time. I just don't see in it the issue I thought was there any more.

It's been a bit of an afternoon of realisations actually. First I realised that I could reinspire myself if I wanted to, rather than just waiting to be inspired. Then I realised that perhaps what I have been waiting for was to wait no longer!

These intuitions seem directly related to the water reaching the rim that I mentioned in my original post. I think what makes the difference between getting somewhere and not getting somewhere is holding on to something. Doesn't even seem to matter what.

Today, what was getting in the way yesterday miraculously disappeared, and I don't even know what it was. Now in the past I have had changes and turnarounds from one day to another, as have most people I'm sure, but this was distinctly different and related to the looking I'd say.

Is there a day when the process is over? I hestitate to think that, but the concerns of yesterday, which, frankly had been with me for quite some time, seem not merely to have subsided but to have gone. Really gone.

Well, I won't plan the celebration yet, but it's a curious thing.

Thanks for your thoughts Fred. As for being old, I think it's an assumption that 'looking' began when we first heard of it in a specific form, but I think the truth of the matter is that we have been looking all our lives, it's only when we hear about it that we start to see that. John is right that we can't do it wrong, because we've already been doing it unconsciously. Now it's a matter of doing it consciously. Thanks Bill too for your good wishes.

This is perfect Joe.Thank you for this.

As to whether the process is over, I couldn't say. The process is actually the process of sanity unfolding and expressing itself and so far, for me at least, it shows no sign of abating.

Please keep in touch.

John

Something like this...

Something like this...

Thanks for what you say Trimpi.

I think boredom can as you say be an expectation of more. But here it was really an existential dissatisfaction with a lack of resolution of something I regarded as in need of resolving. When it is that, it is hard not to want 'more', because that 'more' is not merely greed for experience but the quest to solve it. That it is solved by somehow seeing that there is nothing to solve is a position hard to get to when one thinks one needs to reach it or be a recipient of the grace that is that resolution.

I think here it was something to do with John's assertion that the 'you' you are looking at is boring. Though it was intended to be a guide to help one recognise a characteristic, and thereby know one was on the right track, for me I think it ended up being reified as an idea, such that what it was was no longer 'me' but 'boredom'. You can become identified with a mere aspect and then that starts to seem like the whole. This idea had to fall away before I could see that the reason it couldn't fall away was because I was holding onto it.

The most useful characteristic for recognition, that I am unchanging, I suspect it is also possible to identify with as a mere idea, such that I overlay a true unchangingess (a rock-solidness) with an impression of my own fixity, such that I can't move any more. I am unconsciously attempting to live out an idea. Instead of just letting things be as they are, I try to let things be as they are, fail, and then fall into all manner of fixed impressions of dissatisfaction. I am truly the unchanging when the change I experience doesn't impact me, not when I hold it up as a shield. This is subtle, but, fortunately, in the end I don't have to do anything because, as John says, the looking does it all.

These are things I have attempted to get to grips with for a long time. Many thanks for the chance to have a go at expressing them. I've always loved how water overcomes obstacles, filling up before moving on. I think the looking is like that. Much of the time you don't see anything happening, no flow, but it has been filling up and then reachs the rim and over it goes. Flow again.

rough patches

rough patches

Hi..thanks for bringing this up. I have been looking for 3 years now and the recovery seems to have many rough patches for me. the boredom became very acute at some point I was looking after a baby. There was no validation for all those moments of caring, cleaning, rocking singing all for no reason simply responding to the needs of the moment and I was aware of this background feeling of boredom. I realized aha another arising this is not me... as the looking continues seems sense of boredom just not there anymore. It seems all my tendencies, like now I feel a need for control over someone in my life, very subtle but there, very shaky ground but the looking will have its way I'm sure everything will turn out allright. Already I feel lighter enjoying life for it's own sake.

Maureen

Dear joebloggs,

This is just brilliant and so clear. The rim of the cup, the holding, the water flowing over ... all of these images and the ideas they express, so helpful to me today.

Thank you!

Dawn

"drip by drip" -gurdjieff

Thank you

Thank you

Joe,

Thank you so much for sharing your process. This is so similar to an insight I had a few years ago. I didn't know it, but I was doing the "looking", by just being with myself and whatever was coming up. At the time I was struggling with an addiction. Someone that I had talked to months before had said "it isn't going to last forever"--I was believing that. Then it dawned on me, that I was the only one that could make that happen. I was the only one there. Drinking or not drinking. Just a choice. That's one of the things that came out of the process. One no different than the other.

That's all for now. Really I just wanted to say thank you because I too have gotten stuck in this unchanging, unmoving "you" for quite a while, in fact, the same thing that was happening with the "being with" before I just changed my mind about drinking.

Kathe

 

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