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Is the Fear of Life leaving or am I becoming a lizard?

Hi Everyone. It has been so cool reading all of the different threads. It is truly a wonderful group of folks here.

I have noticed that as the looking continues, I feel the need to do less and less...to react less and less. I think Don Wolfe may have mentioned something to this effect on one of the podcasts. At times, that lack of reactivity can create it's own stress. We do live in a world where reactions are expected. We are payed, at work, to have reactions. Our family members have come to know and expect our reactions. As I look around and see the reactivity around me in the world, much of it seems impulsive, neurotic and unnecessary. I do, though, sometimes worry that I am becoming like one of those frogs or lizards you see on nature shows that wait for hours looking dead until a fly comes by then. Then they gulp it down, only to go back to waiting and watching. I'm not sure if this is making sense. Oh yeah. The other thing is that I actually like this way of being. I just worry that it places me out of sync with the world. Does this make any sense!???

Reptilianly yours

Paul

Yes, I see exactly what you're saying.

I find it very uncomfortable being around people a lot of the time just because of that necessity to react in ways in which they know and expect.

I also like to be in that natural lizard mode - but when around others it often lead to semi-fake / tilted head reactions like "are you not feeling well" or, sometimes, even to a slight anger and annoyance, which can make one feel that stress you mentioned about needing to conform to the standard of being a stupid social animal engaging in anything that will cover the silence within.

So yes, I totally hear you brother =)

Peace!

Hi Paul,

I notice a lot of us here 'worry a lot', me especially!

I seem to have a dualistic way of looking at just about everything. I too, feel 'not in sync' with the world or the worlds 'frenzy'. I go to jobsites later than the others workers, I'm in traffic at times where it's rarely rush hour. I really only work part time hours because I hate the thought of being 'too busy' with work...etc.

Now while I enjoy and prefer these things, I also suspect this is all still motivated by the same old fear/angst; always trying to make myself feel more comfortable, feel safer....in an 'arms length' way of living life. However, it's nice to work at a job where the others are leaving along with their blasting radio playing heavy metal music!

I recently heard John talk again about the 'desire to go to sleep'.(March 7 podcast and somewhere else, cant remember) it has really disturbed me. I can tell that a lot of what I do is backed by that motivation; including the obvious one; drinking too much red wine!

Having said all that; we do have a reptilian part of our brain apparently and maybe slower brains waves (theta; like meditators induce) are connected and there's a sense of 'slowed down' (this is likely mumbo jumbo)

I don't have any answers, just trying to relate.

Gail

Thanks

Thank you both for your response. I do have a tendency towards worry for sure but I have noticed that it has weakened over the years and certainly since I have started the looking and I do agree, Gail, that it is motivated by fear and trying keep myself safe. I was only half joking about the reptilian thing. It does, actually, feel like part of the brain that is constantly thinking, planning, remembering etc is less in the drivers seat since I have engaged the looking and it does feel like a relief. Kafkaesque, I too have felt people's annoyance, for sure, but all in all, I do think people are more relaxed around me ...I think because they are picking up on less of a vigilant vibe. Speaking about brain function. I recently saw my mother in law who has Alheimers. Her "personality" is not really there anymore. When I look in her eyes, though, they remind me of looking in a baby's eyes and, oddly, their is something that feels familiar since I have been looking. An example of feeling out of sync would be that as I look into my mother in law's eyes I feel great affection towards towards what I see (that which seems to be remaining in her). Everyone else seems only to be feeling sadness and fear. I too feel sad but also some weird connection that would not have been there prior to the looking.

I am sure this would sound nuts to many people. Again thank you both for your responses.

Paul

Paul Freedman

I do, though, sometimes worry that I am becoming like one of those frogs or lizards you see on nature shows that wait for hours looking dead until a fly comes by then. Then they gulp it down, only to go back to waiting and watching. I'm not sure if this is making sense. Oh yeah. The other thing is that I actually like this way of being. I just worry that it places me out of sync with the world. Does this make any sense!?

Hi Paul,

Eating a few flys doesn't seem like to big a deal to me...smily

I notice the lizard-brain thing too, in my own way. I'm 50 years old and I've just recently started attending NAU, which is a rather traditional university. I'm majoring in English. Not a lot of guys major in English. My classes are made up of primarily 18 to 20 year old young women. There's still a part of my personality that wants to lay in wait, "looking dead... until a fly comes by" in this situation. Thank God sanity prevails these days!

I used to feel, unconsciously, like I was out of sync with the world. Now I think the human world is, by and large, out of sync with life. As the recovery process unfolds for me, I've noticed that I've become more aware of human suffering in a way I could have never imagined. Though the inclinations to rail against it still come up from time to time, I'm noticing lately that they are fewer and farther between. I'm becoming more and more convinced that the best thing I can do to help save humanity, is to rid myself of the fear of life.

Best

Mike

Thanks Mike

HI Mike

I do agree that more and more the sane thing to do is simply try and go sane ( As John puts it). I also agree with your comment about human suffering but I don't know, people more and more just seem nuts and it feels like just a lot of noise at times. So maybe being out of sync is a sign of sanity in some way. I mean, if people around me are bouncing off the walls and, over time, I bounce less and less off the walls. I most certainly would feel somewhat out of sync. And, yeah eating a few flies is not the end of the world.

It is very admirable that you are throwing yourself back into that mix at University. Takes a lot of guts and energy.

Keep well

Paul

Thanks Paul, I'm encouraged

Hi Paul,

Just want you to know I enjoyed your comment and I'm encouraged, to be honest. My wife and I sometimes joke that I'm a 'quick reactor.' Kind of a sensitive, artistic guy. I think that since I started looking at myself a few months ago I'm better able to handle things from a place of calm. And she agrees. I'll be very happy if the trend continues. So long as I don't wake up one morning and find I've turned into a lizardsmily.

Thanks for your sharing Paul and all the very best.

Chris

Hi Paul,

I have certainly been receptive to other's pain lately -- hyper-receptive actually. I had an experience in a very popular store yesterday when suddenly everyone around me seemed sick, run down, nuerotic and profoundly unhappy. It was very powerful and made me very sad. Everywhere I turn, there it is. I hope this is a phase. But I'm sure it will always be there to a degree. I keep thinking that when I truly know that no one is actually being hurt (in the big picture) this phenomena will subside a bit. Even before I was looking I had concluded that if this is all there is then nothing really matters and if there is life beyond then nothing really matters either. But that was just an intellectual conclusion. It would be nice to know.

You know, I think maybe the reduction in motivation occurs because we begin to clearly see the futility, and even the folly, in so much of the work we do that we just don't want to do it anymore. As someone said earlier, I'm there brother. Yet I think you will find great motivation in doing something for which you have a natural enjoyment. Maybe it's going to college. For me it's music, and I am approaching it far more intelligently than I ever have before.

I think I may be half recovered and half still a mess. At least that's the way it feels.

Hang tough,

Steve

Thank you too Paul

Thank you too Paul

Paul Freedman

HI Mike

I do agree that more and more the sane thing to do is simply try and go sane ( As John puts it). I also agree with your comment about human suffering but I don't know, people more and more just seem nuts and it feels like just a lot of noise at times. So maybe being out of sync is a sign of sanity in some way. I mean, if people around me are bouncing off the walls and, over time, I bounce less and less off the walls. I most certainly would feel somewhat out of sync...

Hey Paul, I can relate. I've probably read way too much of Henry David Thoreau's writings. I was in love with the idea of living off the land alone in the woods for a long time and I've even tried it on several occasions. Two years ago I was homeless for about three months. The human world was nuts, as you say, and I just wanted to get away from the noise. Someone said to me recently though, that the only person that's even been able to retreat from the human world successfully, was Ted Kacynski--the uni-bomber! :-O

We're studying the transcendentalists in one of my English classes this semester and I find it interesting that I have nothing to say in the class discussions about their writings. I still do very much love reading Emerson, Thoreau, and Whitman. In fact I am struck dumb by some of the clear insight that they each express in their own unique way. And though I think there is something to be said about the rising up from a snail-like sentient kind of consciousness into the realm of the human capacity for critical discernment, the reality of the fact that their writings have had very little effect on the course of human destiny has become very apparent to me. Emerson nailed it in his Harvard Divinity School address back in 1937 when he wrote: "And what greater calamity can fall upon a nation than the loss of worship? Then all things go to decay. Genius leaves the temple to haunt the senate or the market. Literature becomes frivolous. Science is cold. The eye of youth is not lighted by the hope of other worlds, and age is without honor. Society lives to trifles, and when men die we do not mention them." Emerson was banned from speaking at Harvard for something like 30 years after making this speech. Safe to say he was right, I think, but he was very much out of sync too and still is for the most part, but he was also one of the most sane persons I've ever read about.

I would replace the idea of "worship" with "reverence for life" these days. Slowly the idea that life itself is of the utmost absolute gloriousness has been seeping into my consciousness. Over time, and with the help of conversations like this, that sentiment is starting to stand strong along side "the horror" of the human condition.

All this from a simple suggestion to "Look at Yourself"--That which is never absent and need not be understood.

Best

Mike

What a beautiful thread. Thank you Paul, Mike and everyone.

Dawn

Mike Helsher

I used to feel, unconsciously, like I was out of sync with the world. Now I think the human world is, by and large, out of sync with life.

Hi Mike,

I really like your quote - it does, indeed, seem that humanity is way out of sync with the earth and life in general. Sometimes I find myself talking/praying to "mother earth" to just show me the way (besides the looking) to sanity and living as one with the earth (she supports us after all). This body I inhabit is made up of billions of cooperating microorganisms, inside the skin and on top of the skin. So, too, the earth is made up of untold numbers of life forms that make up "life on earth," inside and outside the planet. Cooperation is necessary to have a healthy, unified organism, from the micro to the macro. Perhaps the looking is the earth's answer to how to become a sane part of the earthly organism.

Jenny

Mike Helsher

All this from a simple suggestion to "Look at Yourself"--That which is never absent and need not be understood.

Hi again Mike,

Well put - I have always existed fully throughout this experience of life in this body - I have never been absent - I don't understand what I am, but I exist fully - there is nothing to become-- I don't become sane, but I am experiencing this apparatus becoming sane--I am experiencing this entire process-- the looking seems to be the simplest method by which this apparatus can become sane and in sync with life.

Jenny

Alzheimers

Holy Frapoli, this thread is awesome!

Paul Freedman

I recently saw my mother in law who has Alzheimers. When I look in her eyes, though, they remind me of looking in a baby's eyes and, oddly, there is something that feels familiar since I have been looking.

Yes, that's exactly it. On those rare occasions when I've been able to consciously peer into myself, it becomes so self-evidently (all puns intended) clear that what I truly am is the same as what all is, every ant, every electron, space & time. The "I" that looks through my eyes is the same "I" looking through everyone's eyes. Not two I's that are identical. Literally the same I, just showing up in two different places.

Mike Helsher

I used to feel, unconsciously, like I was out of sync with the world. Now I think the human world is, by and large, out of sync with life. I'm becoming more and more convinced that the best thing I can do to help save humanity is to rid myself of the fear of life.

Truer words seldom spoken.

GailH

It's nice to work at a job where the others are leaving along with their blasting radio playing heavy metal music!

Hey, Metal is like the second best thing that happened to me in the last three years aside from The Looking. Actually, it's probably the first best, since so far metal has brought much more desirable results than the other!!

@Happy Chris, it's good to hear your success story, even if minor.

@Steve, I also have had a heightened receptivity to the pain of others and the suffering & darkness in this world. Part of this susceptibility is inexplicable--maybe it comes from the looking, maybe not--but I think part of it also comes from increased pain in my life. Maybe when you've suddenly been put to the whip you have more sympathy for others who also are experiencing the same pain.

I'm really glad that, despite losing motivation in other things, you are able to more intelligently pursue your passion. In my own case, it seems that I'm losing intelligence and capability at everything! Oh well.

 

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