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Direct Question

Does anybody besides John live their lives "with the fear of life snuffed out"?

I cant help but have a scrutinizing/discerning mind. John continually offers the promise of this 'snuffing out of the fear of life' happening even if we do the looking "when it occurs to us to do so" although it seems that this was not his experience. His was to focus inward (do the looking) "like his hair was on fire". (and of course having an abundant amount of focusing time in jail).

I dont mean to be rude, I'm just frustrated, skeptical and also attracted. I'm still doing the looking despite all my scrutinizing... but have little hope of this really working for me, since I too have so called 'failed' at everything else and I doubt I could ever get that committed,( I have not been able to get very committed to things that are supposed to be good for my health too; weight loss, exercise...)

Yes I know I have the 'immediate gratification disease' and all that demandingness, I don't care, I still want to know if anyone or if anyone knows of anyone who lives their lives 'with the fear of life snuffed out",' the promise' via these instructions; "when it occurs to you to do so"?

(even though it doesn't sound like it... in much appreciation lol)

Gail

Gettin' better---slowly

Hi Gail,

Thanks for your refreshing honesty and courage in voicing aloud the thought that haunts many of us: "Will I ever get there, or has anyone really done so?"

I, for one, certainly have not, but things in general have improved considerably. Specifically, I'm calmer, less reactive to the vicissitudes of everyday life, far less angry, and happier in general. Perhaps it might be helpful to visualize this total "snuffing out" as an ideal, not as something that occurs inevitably or in an epiphany of some sort. As John points out regularly, most people have "worked" long and hard at developing the armor they perceive will protect them from life; therefore, it's almost certain the process of unraveling this knot of pain and confusion will take time, the duration varying with each individual.

It's only recently that I find myself doing the looking, simply and directly, without a miasma of thoughts, emotions, and sensations interrupting the process. I think it's important to remember that the looking, in and of itself, does the work, and any associated thoughts and emotions, however glorious or painful, are merely transient phenomena.

I recognize that, at times, the process seems arduous and painful but, over time, it seems to be the only approach that has been of help to me. Honestly, Gail, if I found myself in a state of perpetual bliss and fearlessness, I'd know for sure that something had gone terribly awry---life just doesn't function in that manner!

From a practical standpoint, and for what it's worth, I do the looking frequently, trying to avoid self-analysis and emotional wallowing. I'm not always successful, but I'm better, as are many of us on this forum. Suffice it to say that you're not alone in your doubts and skepticism but, as John suggests, why not stay the course and see what develops---it's basically effortless and, as my forbears were wont to say, "it couldn't hurt".

In Peace and Empathy,

Don

I wrote in another posting today that I was 92% cooked. And I meant it, even though that sounds flip. As far as your lack of hope, that's a concern of the apparatus and has nothing to do with the goal of looking. "Abandon all hope, etc." is probably good advice for you. You don't need it. And don't be concerned about what you find when you look within. In fact, you're better off staying away from interpreting anything you might discover, because you'll end up characterizing things with the failure label like you have so many other efforts you've made in your experience of life. I think some really good advice is to look without alighting. That's not easy and is a bit uncomfortable, because the attention wants to roost somewhere, but it'll become easier the more you do it. The result: you'll become more available for life. Some of your old neuroses will linger on, but that won't be a problem. I still get scared, but not because I am identified with life to such an extent I think it is me and am thus vulnerable to its viccissitudes. The looking will eradicate that unseen and unknown misperception that you are your life. Then you can relax. Trimpi

Hi Gail,

I really appreciate this clear, passionate question. I don't know how to judge whether my fear of life is completely snuffed out; but I can see that my response toward my life has changed dramatically since I started Looking at Myself.

John says that the fear of life is snuffed out early on by looking at yourself; that it is a minor thing that we are barely aware of. The major thing is what happened because of the fear. At birth, we focused all of our attention outward in opposition to life, placing life at a distance and questioning everything to see if it was for us, against us or neutral. This orientation of our attention causes us to feel alienated from our lives. We are still here, of course, but the mind/body apparatus is too busy worrying about things outside to notice.

For me it took almost four years of Looking at Myself for me to see changes. This outward looking habit had build up many many barriers between life and me. It is not surprising that it might take a few years to dissolve the barriers. I know I have more barriers to go but I can see through and around them now so they have less substance.

I love that what I think about looking at myself can't help me or hurt me, that thinking has no part in this. I have noticed over time that this very thinking mind is the one that created the barriers in the first place. (I can't fault it for that. It was simply following my attention outward.)

You are doing well, Gail. Just continue Looking at Yourself and let the mind do what it will.

Newcomer

Hello Gail,

I felt it might be interesting to add my experience after only a few weeks of looking. Being so new to it, maybe the changes I have seen are more 'black and white'. In brief, I have noticed this:

-I became aware that my constant thoughts, emotions and reactions are like wave-crests. It has been my habit until now to follow each one, trying to discern how to correct the 'bad' ones and retain or repeat the good ones. It's not that I no longer do that (because sometimes that is quite juicy to do--both the misery and the pleasure) but that I can see that those wave-crests are endless and are never resolved into 'peace' or the happy ending to the story.

-Several 'splinters' from childhood have surfaced, unpleasant, but seen to be a kind of clearing out. I didn't do anything with them and they passed away. I didn't feel the urge to therapise them or talk about them too much.

-A sense of loss of identity as 'seeker' on realising after all these years on the path and the tremendous reading (and library of books lol) that I will put them down and that spirituality will avail me nothing and I will have nothing to do lol! However, I also feel unburdened (as someone else also said here) of the weight of trying to assimilate all the concepts of spiritual approaches to 'One-ness' etc.

-Realising that my life will never be sorted out, resolved, smooth. The lumpiness and difficulties are all part of it. This is very much *different* to spiritual ideas of surrender or acceptance. I can't put my finger on it, but it is more joyful and poignant than that. And, as someone here said, life will get me in the end, and yet I don't feel so 'at stake' in that.

I don't know what comes next in this process but I am drawn on by the looking. I am not at all sure I am doing it right and each time it is different, but I am intrigued and enjoy the sanity of the people here.

With best wishes,

Emma ~

fredindenver

Many people in these forms claim that the fear of life has been removed from their lives due to the looking and I have no evidence to prove them right or wrong. As for me I have been trying this method for over two years now. My depression, anxiety and thoughts of suicide have not abated. I keep trying the looking but my main motivation is fear. I know this may upset some of John’s followers but that is the honest state of my life at this moment. Gail,you asked l so I answered as honestly as I can. As to the rest of you in these forums (you too John) if this is part of the recovery period then it is taking too damn long.

Sorry to all but this is how I feel.

Fred

Dear Fred,

No apology is needed - as John has emphasized, we don't have a say about the reactions of the mind/body apparatus.

Although what I am going to say has nothing to do with the Looking, it can have an affect on the Looking. I, too, have lived a life of experiencing depression, anxiety and thoughts of suicide. I will say that the Looking has tremendously helped, but I was quite desperate and quite ready for it when I started looking last August. I really feel compassion about your depression and anxiety, and I want to offer some advice, but I don't want to come off as presumptuous or as a know-it-all. I don't really know anything about your situation or health status, or what you may be taking as far as prescriptions or your eating habits or lifestyle. I don't recommend prescription medications for anxiety/depression (having gone down that road myself and having taken them for 18 years, but having been off of them for the past 6 years), but I do recommend supplements from a health/nutrition store that can help tremendously--GABA, 5-HTP, L-Theanine. These 3 in particular I have used off and on, and they really are calming and take care of the anxiety and depression without side effects or withdrawal symptoms. They are best taken at bedtime. Proper nutrition can go a long way in alleviating these things as well (again, having learned the hard way myself - I recently had a full blood workup, and found that I was deficient in some minerals/vitamins/amino acids, which caused other health conditions to form--my doctor is working with me to nutritionally heal these ailments). I have found that getting enough of the nutrients we need thru high-quality food, and supplements as needed, can go a long way to alleviating mental distress in the mind/body apparatus, and this in turn will aid in the Looking.

I hope this helps, Fred, and if anything I say does not apply to you, then I apologize for my presumption. For me, the Looking has been able to show me that I am not what I am experiencing. There still seems to be plenty of fear and feeling at stake left in this body/mind apparatus, but I see more and more that although I am experiencing this fear and feeling at stake, I am always me and always feel like me, and there is never any doubt that it is ME that is experiencing the fear and feeling at stake. And somehow it is comforting that I am not touched by the fear. It's not pleasant to experience it, but it is an EXPERIENCE, like a scary book or movie, and I am not touched by it. I hope you can find comfort in YOU. Jenny

Hi Gail,

You might benefit from listening to this talk with David Parrish. Mr. Parrish apparently works closely with John and Carla on a regular basis. To get to the real "meat" of the talk, skip the first 30 minutes.

http://batgap.com/david-parrish/

Anyway, I really enjoyed this talk, and have listened to it twice so far. I really like when he says that we are EXPERIENCING the reactions to the fear of life - these reactions do not define us. Just as you are EXPERIENCING frustration, skepticism and attraction - you are still you, regardless of how scrutinizing or discerning your are EXPERIENCING your mind to be.

I am still in the recovery process, so I still experience fear and feeling at stake--and I have noticed that whenever I am upset about anything, it can usually be immediately traced back to feeling at stake here. However, I know that the Looking has been doing its work, without any effort on my part. The Looking shows me that I am always and ever me, always and ever untouched by whatever awful thing (or wonderful thing) I am experiencing. It has helped me at times to say to myself "I am EXPERIENCING _______." Fill in the blank with whatever it is. Doing that will help you see that you are not what you are experiencing.

I hope this is helpful,

Jenny

What a Great Thread

Hi Everyone

I guess I will add my two cents. First of all, I think this thread is amazing. I so appreciate everyone's willingness to speak from the heart. Thank you all.

I *have experienced moments of frustration and doubt in carrying out this act which is simple as a concept but challenging in actuality (at least initially for me)

I don't know if the fear of life has left me. My answer might vary depending on the day and circumstances that are occurring in my life. I have been doing the looking for about 2 years. These days the looking just happens... it has resulted in a change in perspective that has allowed *me to be "more and more" welcoming towards the "parade of phenomena" as John puts it.

I say "more and more" because it does feel like a work in progress for sure. *Overtime, there seems *to be a falling away of vigilance towards life and this seems to be occurring in a hierarchical manner. I can still become distressed and reactive towards events that are more psychologically loaded for me, especially if those reactions are old and well entrenched. However, I have noticed huge changes in regards to most other day to day events. For example, yesterday I was *out with some work colleagues for lunch, as we were crossing the street, a man came up to me and, out of the blue, assaulted me (struck me in the side of the head). He left, the police were contacted, and he was *taken to the hospital and admitted to Psychiatry. I was not seriously hurt. After the assault, we all continued with our lunch. Everyone seemed far more upset than me. It seemed so clear to me that the me-ness of me was not touched at all by the event even though, in the moment there was fear and brief*confusion for sure. I did wonder If I was in denial or dissociating but, truly, it did not feel at all like that... And as bizarre as this sounds... I feel blessed (a word I never would have used prior to the looking) to have a life where weird shit like that can happen... go figure.

I encourage anyone who has doubts about this work to hang in there and be patient with yourself... We all come by our histories honestly.

With Deep Gratitude to John, Carla and all of you.

Paul

Thank you

Just want to thank you all for your thoughtful responses.

Jenny thanks for that video link, it was very good.

Fred, I felt scared when I read 'thoughts of suicide' in your post... and then felt like crying. I don't have thoughts of suicide, but I often feel hopeless and even doomed. At other times though I feel very grateful and appreciate my life... just being alive. These times must be enough of a dose to keep me going. I too am motivated to do the looking by fear and even anger... and also curiousity.

Trimpi, I had already 'abandoned all hope' before I came across the looking, now, after having a 'hope glimmer', I guess I have to abandon it again. I might be better off to hear the instructions from John about how he tried to annihilate hope!

Lerajane, when I read 'took four years to see changes" I thought oh great, this is going to go on and on... but what else am I going to do anyway??? hehe.

Emma, we probably have all the same books! Plus, can really relate, to feeling at a loss as to what to do, in the fixing, seeking, studying department! Just prior to this, I put down all my books and thought what's the point? I'm not going to get what I seek through all this studying, understanding route and I cant make anything happen, I cant make myself connect to my Self... it may or may not occur in my lifetime. This brought a bit of peace but also I felt a sort of contempt or quiet rage about it all... sheesh, still do.

Gail

What a Great Thread

Paul, I know just what you mean. I watched my mom die a couple of years back and had that same feeling of being blessed. Ease is the main word I now use to characterize how I react to life's circumstances, no matter how compelling. Trimpi

you're not alone

You're not alone

Dear Gail, Fred, and everyone,

Let me say how appreciate I am of all of your openness and rawness here, and how it makes me feel like I am human, surrounded by fellow humans, and not just some individual eff'ed up hopeless person who is going to soon enough be suffocated out of my miserable existence underneath the trampling of life. If I cannot add any other comfort, let me assure you that, no matter how pathetic or hopeless or afraid or wrong or anything negative you feel at times, I too have been these things at least as bad.

In another post I may report in more detain about my own experience now with The Looking, but let me relate a little bit here. While some sort of Looking may have began several months before this without me realizing it (I had been into Ramana and others), I started intentionally doing The Looking last August after discovering John Sherman, and I am confident that I succeeded in glimpsing myself by October 2011. (Though, as we all know, confidence is less than trustworthy in this business).

I had been dealing with depression and all sorts of negativities, hopelessness, searching for a reason to live, etc., for the last two years or so. But recently, with the assuaging effect that various spiritual pursuits can have sometimes, I had been doing much better. However, on December 7th, just a few months after starting this Looking, I entered a hell the likes of which I didn't know was possible. Nothing was wrong with my external life, but all of a sudden it was like every single fear and negative thought that had ever entered my mind in my entire life came all rushing up to me at once magnified times 10 and overwhelmed me.

I was literally drowning in a cesspool of fear, self-hatred, despair, and negativity. It was like my mind was trying as hard as it possibly could to follow every negative thought to its very end for the purpose of milking as much fear and suffering out of them as possible. It was all beyond my control. I've never experienced something like that before. That experience made it clear to me that there are forces at work here that are simply beyond me.

But I was thinking about it... why did this happen, randomly, all of a sudden, totally unprecedented and unprovoked? Why is every issue I've ever had, even ones I didn't know I had, zooming right into my face now? I doesn't make any damn sense... except as a consequence of The Looking. Maybe my mind and apparatus that has been sculpted to protect me from life and suppress everything threatening or whatever, maybe this whole system is crashing down and the defense mechanisms that used to shield me are now unable to stop the onslaught of the craziness. Maybe all of those issues are finally ready to be dealt with and let go of and put to bed, like nasty whining children that all decided to rush up at once rather than wait their turn. I can't imagine any other explanation, because I've never been like this before. Yes, anxiety and self-loathing had been stealthily growing and taking over, but this kind of insanity and helpless terror? No. Only the results of The Looking seem to be able to explain this.

Now that I am recovering from that horror, from that experience came clarity and insights and shifts of perspective that were entirely new and revolutionary for me. As contradictory as it may sound, I am now somehow more hopeful and free then I have been in many years. Something is just different, though it's too fresh for me to quite understand what. I am still very much not out of the woods yet, but just the fact that for the first time this this level of dramatic ridiculousness has occurred lends strong support (in my opinion) to corroborating what John is saying. In other words, there's no way these things would be happening if it weren't because of The Looking.

So I hope that offers some long-winded encouragement that, whether good or bad, something really does happen when we do this Looking.

With Love,

Gerrit

Hello Gail,

Don't get discouraged by how long it took me. I had so much resistance for 40+ years and only started seeking about 15 years ago. I understand it is different for everyone. I also understand that trying to speed it up can actually get in the way and make it harder. In the end it is just going to be what it's going to be. And you are correct, what is the alternative?

I am encouraged by my results and that of so many others. I think the healing of the alienation from life in this lifetime is a practical goal for everyone who embarks on looking at themselves. Lera Jane

Curiosity in Hell

Hello, Gail and everybody.

I've been doing the looking for 2 years now so I decided to join the show so to say.

Gail, first of all I want to thank you for your marvellous question. It is mine as well. I too am fond of demanding things from life and I am also blessed/cursed with a discerning mind. After 2 years of trying I am nowhere in this work. The sense of impending doom just never goes away. I really don't know how people are able to act and love knowing that everything is dust here. Knowing that everything will be taken away.

Concerning the looking an interesting thing happened with me a few days ago which is precisely an answer to your (and my) question. I saw that for 2 years I was mostly looking in the wrong direction. My confusion was due to my deep interest in spiritual teachings of the East. I am an addict in this regard. I'd like to outline how I see the looking now using some analytical terms. I also hope to describe the nature of confusion that spiritual teachings bring into this work (John did this already somewhere but I'd like to elaborate).

This is what I think to be the case.

Every word (and therefore thought) we use in our ordinary daily life normally references some phenomenon in the world. For example, when you say "chair" you mean an ordinary type of object we all know and love. In the same way when you say the word "me" you mean something quite ordinary and well known to you in your daily experience. It is what I call a sane reference. That is to say until you get acquainted with spiritual teachings. The later introduce terms like "Atman", "Consciousness", "Awareness" which don't have any reference in our daily experience. Therefore we go into the realms of fantasy here. Everything would be ok if it didn't "damage" our sense of self. When you hear something like "You are Consciousness" this sane reference to yourself (which I mentioned) is broken. You now tend to play with abstractions of yourself.

It is these subtle abstractions that the discerning mind is looking at when it tries to do the act of inward looking. There abstractions should be seen through.

When the ordinary sane reference to oneself is seen the looking is much easier to perform.

When even in Hell one sees the ordinary me-ness of oneself things tend to get curious.

I hope this is helpful.

Cheers,

Nick.

Dear Everyone in This Thread,

I have been doing the Looking since last fall, and reading this thread this morning is exactly the medicine that I needed.

If I took the time to put each of your names here, and respond to each one of you, every response would be gratitude. Just gratitude and more gratitude.

For the last week or so, old programming and its accompanying pain has been arising--lots of old stories. In the past, I would have tried to "do" something about it--but now I am just allowing it to be there even though it hurts. And sometimes I get stuck in what I believe to be "my life." A whole litany of beliefs come up and I become immersed in a conversation about rights and wrongs. And then this morning I remembered to come here--and I opened this thread, and I read what you beautiful human beings have written here. And I cried when I read what you wrote. I cried and I smiled and I started to feel better. I'm no longer alone.

And I don't feel alone in my pain any more. I can see the truth of what many of you are saying--that these feelings are merely a phenomena that is occurring--they are not me.

Here are some quotes from this thread that really helped me this morning: "The looking will eradicate that unseen and unknown misperception that you are your life. Then you can relax." Trimpi

"I love that what I think about Looking at Myself can’t help me or hurt me, that thinking has no part in this. I have noticed over time that this very thinking mind is the one that created the barriers in the first place. (I can’t fault it for that. It was simply following my attention outward.)

"Realising that my life will never be sorted out, resolved, smooth. The lumpiness and difficulties are all part of it. This is very much *different* to spiritual ideas of surrender or acceptance. I can't put my finger on it, but it is more joyful and poignant than that. And, as someone here said, life will get me in the end, and yet I don't feel so 'at stake' in that." ~ Lera Jane (please excuse me if I attributed this incorrectly... I loved your words)

Thank you one and all,

Dawn

Dear Dawn,

You letter is eloquent. I am so glad you remembered to come to the forum.

I believe the third quote belongs to Emma, not me. Having said that, I would like to share my feelings about attribution. (I’m sure there are others here that feel the same way.) Gratitude is gratefully received because, through it, we know the words fell on receptive ears. The message received is what we are all grateful for. And knowing that something said hit home improves our communication about this going-sane process. I liken communicating here to giving Reiki. (I am a Reiki Master.) When I give Reiki energy, I am not giving my personal energy but universal life force energy. The energy comes through me and it benefits me as well as the receiver. I receive benefit from writing on this forum the same way. If a thought arises here it is as much for me as anyone else. It comes through me, not from me. As John says, we are all in this together.

Thank you, Dawn, for your report. By sharing your conclusions that these feelings are merely a phenomena that is occurring--they are not me, who knows how many other people you may touch.

Just keep Looking at Yourself. Lera Jane

Hello to all,

So nice to read all the posts from everyone and thanks again for the encouraging words and intimate sharing.

I've realized after reading more in these forums and watching a few more retreat videos, what a real problem my intellect is, in that I have been so convinced that it will save me if I could just understand... I've spent an enormous amount of time and energy reading, studying, going to workshops, trying to understand so I can save myself (and maybe some others too).

It's a strange place to be, to realize this and feel that there is nowhere left to turn except for the act of the 'looking'. This seems still backed by the same hope of being saved for now.

One other thing that has affected me a year or so ago that seems to also point to this act and to want to follow through; is a couple of inspiring cases of NDE's (near death experiences) In both cases they describe the outcome of their experience almost exactly as John describe the natural state, 'you'. That it's you, that all has been clouded by fear of life, that they are completely in love with their lives and aliveness, no more interpreting through fear, that all the phenomenon still comes and goes, that nothing can actually harm you, that it's no big deal...

I am more and more convinced that there is really nothing more for me to do in this 'truth searching' but the looking and it's just difficult because it SEEMS so ineffective, and my monstrous mind/intellect... perhaps even 'love affair' with my intellect hee hee, needs to just dismantle.

Guess I'll let go of my 'righteous indignation' about it all.

Love to all,

Gail

The objective

GailH

Does anybody besides John live their lives "with the fear of life snuffed out"?

but have little hope of this really working for me, since I too have so called 'failed' at everything else and I doubt I could ever get that committed

Yes I know I have the 'immediate gratification disease' and all that demandingness, I don't care,

I still want to know if anyone or if anyone knows of anyone who lives their lives 'with the fear of life snuffed out",' the promise' via these instructions; "when it occurs to you to do so"?

(even though it doesn't sound like it... in much appreciation lol.

Gail

Dear gail,

My 2 cents: also a kind of a report from me

"Fear of life being snuffed out" is John's report of what happened to him as a result of the looking. There is no need to elevate this statement into an ideal state that must be desired for oneself.

The thing that can help us most in this looking is to be clear what the objective of the looking is. The objective is you (the direct unmediated experience of you. Not the "snuffing out of fear", success or commitment or lack of demandingness or any of the million things we aspire to be, because they are ideas that come and go, and maybe thats not really the "you". Remember also, the "desire to have a permanent feeling of me" is also not the same objective as "me" though it is cleverly disguised. Our me-ness does not seem to have those characteristics.

Will now speak in first person because it is easier to do so: the objective for me is to look at the feeling of being me, which is the same as the feeling of being here as me. ("I am here"). This is the easiest way to zero in or zoom in on the feeling of me. I gently remind myself that this feeling "I am here" has been there always even when my attention was not on it. This certainty comes from actually doing the looking. so when I'm reminded of it, I look AT it, not for it; because looking "for" it would imply that somehow the object of my search has been absent and I need to seek it. Quite the contrary, I am always here. This is a very specific feeling of me-being-me-being-here and I look at me or I, because I have always been present (to me it sounds somewhat logical. as far as I'm concerned, if I'm here always, then the sense of me-being-me is also always here; vice versa, if I always have the sense of me-being-me then im here as far as I'm concerned)

It is easy to start having philosophical discussions about a million things, but I was attracted to John precisely because he gave specific instruction on what to do: look at yourself. 3 words. and I needed to know what to do because it seemed like my mind was searching like a madman for something. and it was a relief to know what I was looking for was me. What a mystery!

Now if I start talking about the consequence of the looking: to ask someone else, to seek somewhere else to have an idea of what YOUR life should be like is itself the main suffering. At least it was for me. this constant need to validate my life experience, my experience of being me. The best thing that will happen to you and this is in my case, is that you will feel less and less like asking a third person (even John) about what you feel like or what will happen next or is this the right way to feel about yourself, because you are always here, and you can "ask" that feeling directly to know first hand. The rest is all poetry, and has no resemblance to the poetry written by third persons. Because ultimately others' poetry cannot be your experience.

To avoid heartache, the best thing would be to find a way to remind oneself regularly (though not obsessively; only when it occurs to you) of what the objective is ("me"), and what characteristics you are certain the target has (example, "here", "always here")

Anyway, I am confident you will evolve your own method, because one look is enough.

Beautiful question. I've been looking for 5 years, and it is only in the last few months or so that I seem to know what I am doing. I wouldnt have had your courage a couple of years ago to ask this.

I hope this helps.

good luck.

V.

great

rvrags

Now if I start talking about the consequence of the looking: to ask someone else, to seek somewhere else to have an idea of what YOUR life should be like is itself the main suffering. At least it was for me. This constant need to validate my life experience, my experience of being me. The best thing that will happen to you and this is in my case, is that you will feel less and less like asking a third person (even John) about what you feel like or what will happen next or is this the right way to feel about yourself, because you are always here, and you can "ask" that feeling directly to know first hand. The rest is all poetry, and has no resemblance to the poetry written by third persons. Because ultimately others' poetry cannot be your experience.

This is simply fantastic.

Thanks a lot for this.

Dear Lera Jane, V, Gail and all,

Every time my life is feeling out of control, veering into so much uncomfortableness, I remember: Look. I often think, "I don't know what I'm doing"... but I do it anyway. And then I notice the flash this look provides and I know I'm safe. And then I feel as if I am holding onto a raft that is plunging through unknown waters--dropping down into deep caves and through really tight crevices and I hold on even harder and then remember: Look. Just Look. And again, I feel safe.

The pain is sometimes unbearable right here in my body, or when I am looking out ahead of me--and that often reminds me too: Look.

All my life I've felt so unsafe... so unsure of my presence in it. And now, I can read your words to remind me, Just Look.

Today I was wondering as I walked down the stairs, is this just another one of the "wisdom teachings" that I am studying? Will I someday look back and see that I was fooling myself again with a mystery teaching that has now unraveled and opened to reveal that it is not what it appeared to be... not the answer, not the one to finally crack the code on the Truth? I have wondered this with every single teaching I've studied over the past 40+ years, and I imagine that my mind will think this until it stops thinking entirely. But it is thinking it today.

And I think it was Gail who wrote about Reiki (thank you Gail for bringing this up, it is something I wanted to ask about)... and when I read that I felt confused again. I've been a Reiki practitioner, along with many other types of healing methods for many years, and since I started the looking, I have stopped all of these. Someone called me recently to do an Egg Cleansing on them, and I thought I'd wait until they arrived to decide what the heck I'd do. My belief in these kinds of things used to be so strong, I believed I could change a person's reality along with my own, (and I believed that I often did) but it took a lot of energy and concentration and somehow now, I see that it felt as if I was stomping around my life putting out fires everywhere. Now I feel as if I don't have to try so hard to change what is. I feel as if none of it really matters so much, as if we are not so much at stake. No matter what I am experiencing, it is just experience, it does not really have so much importance, so much "do or die" effect on me.

So, anyway, I'm here. I'm looking. I'm so fulfilled to be a part of this community. I'm so grateful to each and every one of you. And I wish that I could get the Forum to email me when someone writes in it, because I have to remember to come back here to look all the time.

Well, maybe that's not such a bad thing, come to think of it.

Love to all,

Dawn

Hello V. and all

rvrags

"Fear of life being snuffed out" is John's report of what happened to him as a result of the looking. there is no need to elevate this statement into an ideal state that must be desired for oneself.

V.

anyway this: "How to rid yourself once and for all of the fear of life that spoils life and find satisfaction using a simple act of inward looking" and other similar statements are in many areas of the organizations information. Plus, I think it works well to draw people in... it certainly does market an 'ideal state' though.

What you said about; asking how it is for others, seeking somewhere else to see how my life should be; causing my suffering makes total sense to me. My only response to that is how 'needy' I feel about it all. Also, untrusting. After all, John is making a statement/claim similar to what others have made throughout the centuries (living without fear etc., natural state) that have been ineffective and so why would this be any different. I've been drawn to other things before with the big AHA. So I'm not too excited about it; but then again, it can't hurt.

That's what prompted my 'direct question'. Has this actually worked for anyone else? or just 'sort of'. John has said 'the fear of life is gone'. I do want that for myself.

I really appreciate your input and about focusing more on me here. That 'seeker survivor' in me feels still 'at large' and who seems to be even reading through the forums!!! lol

Thank you,

Gail

Directcontact

I'm so grateful to each and every one of you. And I wish that I could get the Forum to email me when someone writes in it, because I have to remember to come back here to look all the time.

Dear Dawn and everybody,

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Hello dear Carla,

I just wanted to let you know in this format, in case it was true for anyone else as well, that I have had my settings marked just the way you suggested, but I'm not getting email notices.

Maybe we can fix it?

Thank you!

Dawn

rvrags

Now if I start talking about the consequence of the looking: to ask someone else, to seek somewhere else to have an idea of what YOUR life should be like - is itself the main suffering. at least it was for me. this constant need to validate my life experience, my experience of being me. the best thing that will happen to you and this is in my case, is that you will feel less and less like asking a third person (even John) about what you feel like or what will happen next or is this the right way to feel about yourself, because you are always here, and you can "ask" that feeling directly to know first hand. the rest is all poetry, and has no resemblance to the poetry written by third persons. because ultimately others' poetry cannot be your experience.

Dear V and all,

This is so well-spoken, especially the part about other's poetry not being my experience. The truth of this has been coming home to me again and again. The experience of the gurus, teachers and poets is THEIR experience, not mine. Everyone's experience is their own, and they are entitled to it. I like this saying attributed to the Dalai Lama: "People take different roads to fulfillment and happiness. Just because they're not on your road doesn't mean they've gotten lost." Not to get into philosophical digressions, but what if Life itself is exploring ALL roads, all digressions, all possibilities, all potentialities, no matter how awful or wrong those turns in the road may seem to us? It must be, since whatever is, is just the case (ever heard of fractals?). Ultimately, the point is that I am here and now, with each turn of the road. And that is the truth for each I that is experiencing life. I just am, for every I.

This has been a wondrous discussion we've been having!

In gratitude,

Jenny

Final thoughts

GailH

That's what prompted my 'direct question'. Has this actually worked for anyone else? or just 'sort of'... John has said 'the fear of life is gone'. I do want that for myself.

I really appreciate your input and about focusing more on me here. That 'seeker survivor' in me feels still 'at large' and who seems to be even reading through the forums!!!!! lol

Thank you,

Gail

Dear Gail, and all,

I really empathise. I really get what you say. The words you speak could have so easily come form inside me.

In fact, the thing that attracted me most to John is his repeated insistence on self-reliance.

I feel like writing now. somewhere in the future I promise to hold my peace here is some food for thought (some more food for the valiant 'seeker survivors' at large inside all of us smily )

fear of life = fear of MY OWN life (not LIFE as a philosophical concept, but just your plain everyday alive life)

fear of my OWN life = that my life is not OK, so I am not OK

so, fear of MY OWN life = run away from it by seeking external validation on how I should feel like to me, or improve it, or transcend it etc etc

so, fear = create images of what I should be like, or am like, by comparing to others

looking = repeated first hand validation that im ok, that im here really, and that I dont need all these ideas, these images

Next step: looking = repeated first hand validation that even when I have these ideas, these images, I'm still OK, because im here despite it all leads to not seeking external validation = no fear of my OWN life, therefore not seeking external validation = no self generated fear = snuffing out of fear, right? So from this view, you can argue that actually it works or sort of works. But I'll never know if it is exactly what John offers, because it doesnt matter anymore. I know what I can do to help myself. It has nothing to do with how John describes his experience or the end result he so poetically describes, but everything to do with looking at you, because ultimately what matters is you.

Because the difference here compared to past "teachings" (whatever that means) and so on is the emphasis on the actual action that can be taken, by each one, on his or her own. No understanding, no theory, no dependence. That's beautiful.

Let's apply the same understanding to the 'seeker survivor": 'seeker survivor' comes and goes. You are here, you are you whether 'seeker survivor' is at large or not. So always available. But I now think or maybe have a feeling, a theory even, that the desire to get rid of fear, to emulate someone's presumed fearless state is THE engine that actually gives you energy to look. In my case, to look desperately, like it was the next fix. Tthis engine might be driving you with ulterior motives, greedily biased towards an end result, but it seems like it contributes to its being done with it all. I'm surprised and happy at this super organic thread that has a mind of its own. We have created a "direct question" frankenstein. This is good stuff. Especially, thank you gail for such honesty, that enticed so many words out of my usually reticent self. good luck everyone.

V.

Doing

Dawn wrote: who wrote about Reiki... and when I read that I felt confused again. I've been a Reiki practitioner, along with many other types of healing methods for many years, and since I started the looking, I have stopped all of these... My belief in these kinds of things used to be so strong, I believed I could change a person's reality along with my own, (and I believed that I often did) but it took a lot of energy and concentration and somehow now, I see that it felt as if I was stomping around my life putting out fires everywhere. Now I feel as if I don't have to try so hard to change what is. I feel as if none of it really matters so much, as if we are not so much at stake. No matter what I am experiencing, it is just experience, it does not really have so much importance, so much "do or die" effect on me.

Dear Dawn,

As you said, it is just experience. You are correct. Wanting to change another's reality is just the same as wanting to change your own and it comes from the fear of life. However, if you choose, you can still do Reiki after the fear is gone. It is simple, you just do it without the mind, as if in meditation. You put your hands on or over someone and give energy as a flower gives color and fragrance. The flower doesn't say, You need my fragrance. The flower doesn't say, I can heal you. Giving and teaching Reiki is one of the things I do. I also watch a lot of movies. I don't value one over the other. Just saying... Lera Jane

rvrags

Dear Gail, and all,

fear of life = fear of MY OWN life (not LIFE as a philosophical concept, but just your plain everyday alive life)

fear of my OWN life = that my life is not OK, so I am not OK

so, fear of MY OWN life = run away from it by seeking external validation on how I should feel like to me, or improve it, or transcend it etc etc

so, fear = create images of what I should be like, or am like, by comparing to others

looking = repeated first hand validation that im ok, that im here really, and that I don't need all these ideas, these images

next step: looking = repeated first hand validation that even when I have these ideas, these images, I'm still OK, because I'm here despite it all leads to not seeking external validation = no fear of my OWN life

therefore, not seeking external validation = no self generated fear = snuffing out of fear

Dear V and everyone,

This is so well put! All the need for external validation stems from fear of my own life!

The looking=self-validation=self-reliance=self-satisfaction=satisfaction with my own life

What a wonderful "direct-question frankenstein" of a thread!

:-D

Jenny

lerajane

Wanting to change another's reality is just the same as wanting to change your own and it comes from the fear of life.

The flower doesn't say, You need my fragrance. The flower doesn't say, I can heal you.

Hey Lera Jane, Beautifully put! I have no other words to express my awe with all the beauty, poetry and intelligence coming through all the words here in this forum! It's a gift we've been given to be able to see beyond the words - that must be why the looking works.

Gratitude to all,

Jenny

rvrags

Dear Gail, and all,

fear of life = fear of MY OWN life (not LIFE as a philosophical concept, but just your plain everyday alive life)

fear of my OWN life = that my life is not OK, so I am not OK

so, fear of MY OWN life = run away from it by seeking external validation on how I should feel like to me, or improve it, or transcend it etc etc

so, fear = create images of what I should be like, or am like, by comparing to others

looking = repeated first hand validation that im ok, that im here really, and that I dont need all these ideas, these images

next step: looking = repeated first hand validation that even when I have these ideas, these images, im still OK, because im here despite it all

leads to not seeking external validation = no fear of my OWN life

therefore, not seeking external validation = no self generated fear = snuffing out of fear

v.

This is a great equation! Thanks.

A response
It is simple, you just do it without the mind, as if in meditation. You put your hands on or over someone and give energy as a flower gives color and fragrance. The flower doesn't say, You need my fragrance. The flower doesn't say, I can heal you. - LeraJane

Dearest LeraJane and Jenny,

Thank you so much, LeraJane, for this image, it really helps me. Your words are beautiful and I love them!

This is such a simple expression of energy itself, and now, I think to myself, it is most likely how Reiki and other forms of energy healing were always meant to be shared. Just simply -- and without the fear of life.

Sending love,

Dawn

Food for thought

Jenny

Not to get into philosophical digressions, but what if Life itself is exploring ALL roads, all digressions, all possibilities, all potentialities, no matter how awful or wrong those turns in the road may seem to us? It must be, since whatever is, is just the case (ever heard of fractals?).

Yes, that is beyond undeniable. And what a deep insight.

GailH

After all, John is making a statement/claim similar to what others have made throughout the centuries (living without fear etc., natural state) that have been ineffective and so why would this be any different. I've been drawn to other things before with the big AHA. So I'm not too excited about it...

...That's what prompted my 'direct question'. Has this actually worked for anyone else? or just 'sort of'... John has said 'the fear of life is gone'. I do want that for myself.

Yes. I will say that using every mental/intuitive/spiritual muscle I can muster, I have found this Truth of ME to be the highest. So, for me, that lends credibility to the notion that Looking At Yourself (making conscious the ultimate truth that previously had been unconscious) may actually be the ticket. Still, there is much skepticism...

Directcontact

... is this just another one of the "wisdom teachings" that I am studying? Will I someday look back and see that I was fooling myself again with a mystery teaching that has now unraveled and opened to reveal that it is not what it appeared to be ... not the answer, not the one to finally crack the code on the Truth?

This is the fear that many of us silently have, I think. It is unavoidable. There's just no way of knowing whether something works until it actually has worked.

ElDuderino

...It is these subtle abstractions that the discerning mind is looking at when it tries to do the act of inward looking. There abstractions should be seen through.

When the ordinary sane reference to oneself is seen the looking is much easier to perform.

These words are like divine sunbeams breaking through the clouds. What you have described is exactly what makes the Looking tricky for spiritual folk, I feel.

rvrags

Here is some food for thought, everyone.

Intriguing. I had come up with a similar reasoning scheme for why this Looking may work.

My current theory: I personally think that the Fear of Life (which I'll accept as being the root cause of all the troublesome symptoms) can only endure within someone if that person is ignorant of their true nature... and I don't mean ignorant on a mere knowledge level. I mean that somehow, even though we are The Ultimate, we just don't realize it on some basic level, whether subconscious or what. When we actually get that first conscious glimpse of our true nature, whether we know it or not, the gap of ignorance is closed, and some deep part of our mind now has no reason to fear life anymore (because it now sees there's nothing to fear). The rest is as John describes: the mental structures built around that initial fearful context are cut off from the root and themselves begin to dissolve...often in violent death throes. Eventually all of the neurotic software is transmuted or disintegrated, and all that is left is perfect sanity and no more angst.

Just my speculation & opinions. Maybe I'm wrong about all of this. Who knows?

Gerrit

 

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