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First post, first question

Hi all,

first of all, thank you John and Carla and all the people involved in the website/forum for allowing me and everybody here to orbit around John's voicing of this age-old knowledge of being me. I've been reading a lot of threads the last few days and am amazed at how everybody's looking in the same direction here, and how open everybody is in sharing their struggles, their (not) understanding and their weirdness.

So in that spirit I would like to say I have very mixed feelings about this. On the one hand there's a strong sense of coming home, or at least of finally finding people to talk to about all this understanding who I am stuff, on the other hand I've had enough bad experiences with sharing on my own journey, that I've ended up preferring not to talk about it, not to bounce ideas around and just focus on me understanding me. So I'm very interested to see how this will play out, and whether life's gonna throw me another curve ball or not.

Now for my question - obviously there's a lot of things I'd like to discuss, but we all have to start somewhere, so how about this :

I've known about the foundation and John's work for about two years, but just this last week have I been 'taking it seriously' and applied myself to get involved in this community, first by starting out as a volunteer, now by discussing things on this forum. One of the things I've been going over in my mind is the idea of fear of life and how it governs my personal world. Looking at me, seeing more clearly how I am unmovable despite the turmoil that seems there almost every waking and dreaming hour, makes me see how unvaluable all the fussing and fighting and trying to make things better is. At the same time, as these things lose value, it feels a lot like throwing away junk that's been lying around the attic/garage for years. The kind of things you don't need, but can't part with because this or that broken-logic reason or vague emotional attachment. And to bring in some spiritual speak, I strongly believe this to be the fear of death. Death of the ego, of the personal this-is-how-my-world-should-be construct, the mind stuff my attention is so locked into.

So my first question is if anyone can relate to this seesaw idea of letting the fear of life go, yet feeling bound to keep alive the things that make life something to be feared, which in turn makes it hard to let just looking be enough. And get all scared and confused about it all over again. It's a kind of messy way to put it, but if I weren't in some sort of mess I wouldn't be here. Really looking forward to see how others see it. And my apologies for the lengthy ramblings !


It's already gone

Hello , Wouter it's good to see you here.


There's no need to worry about letting go of the fear of life. You have already done all that can be done about it, and by now, it is already gone. But when it goes, what remains for a time are the persistent psychological mechanisms that have come into being over time to support it. These too are on their way out, but they go in their own time and manner, and can trigger intense experiences of fearfulness and confusion. This phase will not last for long, although it sometimes seems to be going on forever.

Nor do you need to worry that the departure of neurotic fear and neuroses of all kinds will in any way interfere with the natural, sane, self-protective fear that arises in the presence of an actual threat to the organism. In the absence of that neurotic fear, the natural life-preserving fear no longer arises within a distorting cloud of fearfulness and anxiety, and in time, your ability to perceive, understand, and respond intelligently to actual threat will become much, much more effective and reliable.

I have found that the most effective help in this phase of the recovery is not direct action against its craziness (which only triggers re-action, etc.), but the practice of simple mindfulness meditation such as counting the breath as described here[SUP]*[/SUP]. This practice has no direct effect on the confusion and fearfulness, but in time it strengthens the core of your ability to control your attention and use it intelligently, which is, so far as I can see, really the only thing any of us can do.

There are many writings in these forums that report the same difficulties you are experiencing, and many of them offer practical support in weathering the storms of recovery from the fear of life.

Please keep in touch.


Wouter, that sense of feeling bound to keep alive the perceptions that make life appear to contain fear-producing things has to do, I think, with the fear of what will be replacing them once they are gone. I had that same nagging concern for quite some time. What happens is that the need or drive to do something about correcting that sense of feeling bound dissipates. Thus, when the fear of what will be replacing that which you have been intensely involved with over the years surfaces, you will be able to recogize it as an old friend and not much more than that. In the meanwhile, if you feel driven or have the need to find more than the looking, there's not a thing wrong with indulging in that search for more. Just keep the looking rolling is my advice. trimpi

So yes, it is gone...

Thank you for your reply, John, it's very helpful although it also adds to the turmoil.

I have felt for a long time that whenever I am presented with insights, whether spontaneously or from an outside source, those mechanisms rebel in a very reactive way. I think now that is what I mean by the fear of death - those mechanisms feel threatened and act up. I don't know if this is a healthy way of looking at it, but it has been my experience for almost all my spiritual journey. When I woke up my mind was filled with thoughts about how all this community stuff is just going to confuse me and that I would be better of just keeping all the searching and questioning to myself.

The last 2-3 weeks I have been in a non-acting mode, there has been a strong sense of not doing in me. That feeling has visited me a lot over my lifetime - it's born from the why bother idea, the habit of wallowing in depression and self pity,etc - and usually I had the strength to snap out of it, to man up, to get the wheels turning again so I could be functioning in the system like "I'm supposed to". Yet this time there was a strong urge to just go with it, and really be useless, and wait to see if it would consume itself, play out its part.

I'm assuming that is what you mean by not trying to affect the confusion/fearfulness. I'm also glad for the link to the breathing exercise, I have discarded the idea of formal meditation a long time ago, because 'meditation doesn't require special circumstances' yet at this moment I can really appreciate the need to strengthen the intent and focus of my attention.

Discussions on free-will aside, I believe since early on in my journey that the only choice I have is where I place my attention, although that is easy to forget. It seems to me that attention without intent is like a hyped-up puppy, jumping and running after everything that moves, and it has become very clear to me in the last few months that nothing is more important than having that attention rest on where it came from. It's kind of a vague explanation but that's how I feel it to be, attention should be able to stay at home, resting, only to come out when it is needed somewhere - NOT uncontrollably running out to whatever changes in the field of consciousness (Ramana's wild cow metaphor comes to mind)

Regarding this learning to control the beam of my attention, I do have a question - last night when I tried the breathing and counting, there was a moment when I was actually aware of my beam of attention as a tangible object - the same way the light beam of a flashlight is tangible in dark and foggy weather, and I was wondering if that is even possible or if I was just tripping out.

I'm still digging my way through the wealth of information here on the forum, and in the meantime I have found a lot of things useful to my own understanding and confusion, but it's really A LOT to read. And it's a very very different bunch of frequencies to deal with than what I get from reading my usual Ramana/Nisargadatta. Much more real, simple, to the core, and I feel to be struggling with the heightened pace of change in my own understanding and focus now. But I love it!


Thank you, trimpi, for your insights. It made me remember how much time I have invested over the last 15 years, trying to change all that was wrong with me. And how incompatible that drive to change is with just looking, or how just looking doesn't add to the tools for change. And also that the end result of this change will not be brought about by the drive to change. I believe now that, one day soon, I will also be able to greet them as old friends.

And as for the drive to need more than just looking, I've just put my Talks with Ramana, and Nisargadatta's I Am That back on the shelve, after having lived by my bed for the last five years or so. For such a symbolic act, it went rather easily.

Thank you for reminding me.


Great to hear from you

I loved your post and your willingness to share, despite trepidations based on past experience. You sound wise and very much in touch. I also appreciated the responses to your post. Although my life is becoming unprecedentedly wonderful, it's hard for me to believe that this fear of life is actually on its way out, or actually gone. And no amount of reassurance can take this deep-seated distrust away from me. Nonetheless, the responses I got on the forum spoke so directly to what I was talking about, they took my breath away. Thanks for sharing your free fall!



Nancy Margalit

I loved your post and your willingness to share, despite trepidations based on past experience. You sound wise and very much in touch. I also appreciated the responses to your post. Although my life is becoming unprecedentedly wonderful, it's hard for me to believe that this fear of life is actually on its way out, or actually gone. And no amount of reassurance can take this deep-seated distrust away from me. Nonetheless, the responses I got on the forum spoke so directly to what I was talking about, they took my breath away. Thanks for sharing your free fall!


Welcome Nancy, and thank you for entering this conversation,

I am responding to your statement "and no amount of reassurance can take this deep-seated distrust away from me". I think this is a very useful "thought" in the sense that it points to "distrust", an aspect of the context of fear that insures it's survival, or said another way, the continuation of the approach to life that is cautious, seeking only absolute certainty, looking for proof, wanting not to have any doubt, to be free of all negative thoughts and experiences. Of course I too want this, the I who wants this is the same I who has struggled all my life to be safe, to somehow transcend all of this messy life, including transcending me....the jerk who has always failed to live up to the standards I have set for myself. This I even mistrusts itself! The logic of this program is to prevent any escape from the trap, to insure survival of the concept of me. I agree there is no amount of reassurance that can take this deep-seated distrust away. When I look it is clear as I write this that the "clearing" that I am, the "looker", who plays hide and seek, who has set up the possibility of looking at myself, is un-effected, unconcerned,.....just here, always open to it all. This direct experience doesn't require any trust....it is here now, happening. When I see this, just a for a moment, I slap myself in the head...Oh I get it....I am not anything that is occurring in my head,....... then back in the pool. I think when surrender is talked about it has to do with accepting being human, accepting that to be in the world rather than hiding in a cave means "being affected", being willing to get lost again in the drama, only now with a different context, a context of all contexts, "Me". This context can hold the context of fear within it with acceptance of this as well as all of life. "Looking" for me is like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz when she clicks her heals and says "There's no place like home", she then wakes up to realize she never left home, and is not the same Dorothy who dreamt that she ran away. let's give our attention to the world, to humanity, to the possibility that we can all go sane and have the kingdom of heaven on earth be realized, let's find the words that all will hear and know that there is a path to freedom, Let's use the gift of the technology that makes it possible to speak to all of humanity and be the source of the beginning of the world, this is what the "Just One Look" project is about. What a wonderful opportunity to make the greatest difference possible in the world.




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