Getting Real : Tea for Two
Shadows of Me
from madly - Thursday, June 14, 2007
accessed 1456 times
There is no rhyme or reason to what I am about to write. I have no specific subject or pattern to the thoughts I am about to express. I just feel that I need to let something out or I am going to explode, disappear, climb the walls or maybe knock them down.
I have that feeling again, an overwhelming claustrophobic feeling where I want to scream. My skin feels weird. I am uneasy. My body temperature seems to be continuously rising and I can’t sit still or think clearly. I went for a long run tonight and I felt as though something was pushing me to run faster and faster, almost to the point where my body couldn’t keep up in order to satisfy the need to take off. I had the sensation that I was running from something… maybe from myself.
I am restless, tense, bored, unsettled and my lungs seem closed. I possess an incredible amount of nervous energy and I have absolutely no reason to feel this way. Life is good and I have no logical explanation for my state of being or lack thereof. I am simply confused at the separation within myself, or the life in me, that needs something more than I give to it.
Maybe I am insane. Maybe no one will relate to this at all, but I look up in the sky and I crave to be up there, where there is nothing but space to escape into. I wish to be gone from here, out of my skin, out of this form and away from all the silly niceties of life. Take me away from these obligations and conformities that mean nothing to me and in no way satisfy my mind.
I yearn for the imperceptibility of my senses to form of themselves something tangible, thus allowing me to comprehend the needs and nature of my desires. I long for this desperately and although I don’t have a name for what I crave, it is alive in me, is me, and yet doesn’t feel content inside me.
Come out of me and meet me. Take the life you want and live it through me or overtake me. I give in to the essence I feel inside me that wants to be unleashed. I am you, find me, know me, accept me and live. Take the life you want. I give it to you freely.
A storm blew in yesterday and I stood on the roof and watched it build and grow. I let it take me with it to the point of losing myself as the wind became amazingly powerful and the dark clouds rolled over me. I was for a moment content, free and at peace. The trees did a wild dance as if happy to see the rain that would quench their thirst and the lake waved about as if to make room for the falling water it had once lost. I felt the rain on my face and took my hair down and let it freely flow. I breathed in as deeply as I could, almost as if I was taking in my last breath.
I always forget just how incredible it feels to breathe in the sweet air that comes with the rain. I love the rain, the sound, smell, the feeling it brings. I need the rain; it makes me feel alive. That is what I remind myself of: a storm that needs to be released or the buildup overtakes me and controls me until it is able to escape.
I don’t feel as though I am breathing at present. I feel I am smothered and restricted. I need more space. I need lots of room, away from the noise, business and boring containment average life unfortunately comes with. *Stops*... breathe... breathe... relax and be at ease… *breathing*... I am confined in here... must get more air...
I need to learn to just ‘be’. That line in that song makes my stomach sink, because I want to know the secret behind being me. “Seasons are changing and waves are crashing and stars are falling all for us… days have grown longer and the nights have grown shorter... can you show me how to be the one?” Can someone show me how to be MY “one”? I can’t be with someone else until I am comfortable being with myself and that won’t happen until I understand and accept who that is. Sometimes I feel I can almost grasp it, but it vanishes, leaving me only with the knowledge of its existence... a taunting of my senses.
I have no way to be free if I don’t know what it means to be so. Is it possible to be free in a world where everyone feels the need to conform? Can anyone relate? Is there something wrong with me? Some days I feel I am out of my mind searching for a way to get back in and join with myself. I almost see myself from outside myself. I observe, but I am not fully connected. I am my shadow, the dream of the life I want to live. I fear when I finally wake, it will be too late, the sun will set and all shadows of me will be gone.
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Thursday, November 13, 2008 - 16:12
The mind is a usurper. Your mind is beautiful gentle and capable of an absuard amount of analizing Madly. I pose to you that a mind as capable as yours that has seen to the heart of soo much! with soo little in the way of positive feed back. I mean shit! we lived a lie!!! every thing was ether crazzy in of itself or what meager truth we clung to was poisoned! our minds wer warped in ways few will ever know. And still you found truth! you value that above all others! acceptence from those you love, security, safety, a path laid out for you and all you had to do was take it you could have played the game they would have made you a leader! you rejected the verry notion of success based on a warning from the brain that they could not would not be scilenced! it saved you!!!! it served you verry well. You owe it your life of that I have no doubt. Will you who has given soo much for freedom now be a slave to fear. You saw how easy they let reason slip away to the gnawing madness that turned loved ones into monsters as shurly as the bite of a vampire in some horable movie. we lived the nightmare. how long will you be a slave to the thing that saved you? I once asked my mom why she stayed with the family "I no longer cared wether I lived or died" she said "then they saved me I owe them my life!" you have more than paid your debt!
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Sunday, June 17, 2007 - 16:40
A look inside anyone’s intimate moments and periods of reflection and contemplation can be truly frightening as well as revealing and helpful. Your moment in the rain is all of the above. It’s frightening because I think that most people will often have moments of thought along the lines of yours yet is probably too scared to confront those feelings and emotions and so instead of going to stand out in the rain, they probably get a drink or three or imbibe some drugs. I happen to love the rain and will often go out in a storm to feel the rain beat down on my temples and make me realize how uniquely insignificant I truly am, despite my very lofty opinion of myself.
It’s revealing (clearly) and helpful, because it implies that you are not alone in your thoughts if so many agree or sympathize with your position. For me personally, I find that because of the way I was raised and the dogma instilled in me against my will at such a young and impressionable age, I tend to be uncomfortable with my life, despite the fact that I know that I’m doing what I want to, my way. I am by no means implying that I regret my decision to leave TF years ago, but am saying that in some way, the whole ‘you’re here to serve another, higher destiny’ doctrine has somehow instilled in me a sense of impossibility in anything that I strive to become or accomplish. As someone who is an anti-theist and also a narcissistic realist, I find that it’s difficult to accept what and where I am without contemplating where and what I might be. I don’t know if that makes sense to you at all, but hey! I’m just venting here. Something in your article hit me in a way that is hard to verbalize. I can appreciate what you experience(d) because of similar ones occurring to myself, while at the same time, it begs the question “who doesn’t?”
I often feel like an outsider in my own life, looking at myself with the glamour of what I know I’m capable of accomplishing and the bitter disappointment that I’m in a position where achieving my lofty goals would be nigh impossible due to decisions I’ve made or events that have chosen to shape my life in a way that I would never have imagined or even wanted. It’s all very hypothetical to wonder what might have been, and I find it to be a futile enterprise. However, when everything I do or plan on doing as its own agenda that I feel is at odds with my superior notions and convictions, I can’t help but wonder how I might have been able to change my ‘destiny’ by being able to transcend my own decisions.
The intangibles that could change my perception and ‘satisfaction’ I often feel are just out of my proverbial grasp yet because they are so close, they drive me to the brink of insanity with the futile expenditure of self-inquiry and consequentially the self-loathing I dissipate while efficaciously choosing to ignore the same. I guess part of me decided a long time ago that I would never achieve tranquil happiness on a level that my alter-ego and I would be unanimous on, but that hasn’t kept me from trying to find a harmonious balance between my reasoning, and my desires. Of course, I’m very cynical and as such I argue that these arguments are futile because it all is an endless loop of inquiry and paltry mental acquisitiveness with the end result being the same for each and every one of us Homo sapiens.
I am by no means trying to belittle what you are wrestling with or to say that you are going to be unsuccessful in achieving any sort of ‘happily ever after’, but simply trying to rationalize to myself why it is that I may be in the process of self-exploration/gratification in what I believe to be a losing venture. My callous feelings toward the whole concept is that we are just animals, and are basest instincts are merely to eat, and procreate. It is because of our highly evolved brains that we start to expect more from ourselves and almost expect to see the same because of our infallible thought processes and self-incriminating exploration. On the other hand, if we are able to fathom our limits and accept these confines of ‘self’, then why should we not also be able to extend our limitless faculties into a search of unfathomable possibilities and the ‘more’ we always seem to crave. Not that it is merely the exploration of our intangible happiness that leads to the moments of exasperation that might lead someone to stand on the edge of a bridge or to approach oncoming traffic in the hopes that an epiphany will occur from whence life may recommence on a smoother, more wondrous path, but it is also the realization that we are unwilling to settle for the status quo of ‘happiness’.
From what I know about you, you hold to yourself similar positions as I do on those of marriage and procreation, and even the concept of family. These seemingly simple words are viewed in today’s modern society as the epitome of success or happiness. It is because of our refusal to accept these commonly held views of our society coupled with our tragically flawed upbringing and indoctrination that we find our subconscious pursuing something which we cannot comprehend as we do not yet know what it is we’re looking for or having found it, cannot accept it as the be all end all of our tergiversating awareness of which we are not initially, fully aware.
Because I am the result of my flawed vitiation of what I perceive to be ‘free’ or ‘fulfilled’, I am incapable of correcting my own flawed (or flawless I suppose it could be considered) reasoning. I was speaking the other day to a brother and sister of Afghani descent who had fled their homeland some years ago while still quite young. Their father was a polygamist according to his (Muslim) faith and raised his children to be devout while raising them in an environment (California) where what he was preaching was commonly perceived as immoral, or weird, or even just different. We were comparing stories about what it was like to first make our own choices regarding our lives that weren’t based on an idea of a faith that we were indoctrinated to perceive as the only truth and we came to a similar conclusion independently of each other: we longed to be considered ‘normal’ and so many of our decisions were based on the underlying cause to not be viewed as ‘bizarre’ or ‘strange’ and just to be ‘accepted’ enough to where we could ‘fit in’ to society. It was because of our repeated attempts to belong that we became further disillusioned and distraught to where we assumed that we would never fit into the social order around us without some skewed notion that we were imposters and would never fully belong. I don’t know if that has any validity to anything, as we were discussing this over a long afternoon of alcohol and drug consumption, but the other people who were in attendance viewed the three of us as ‘different’ and ‘interesting’ compared to there relatively ‘boring’ upbringings and ‘normal’ childhoods. I came to the conclusion that I would most likely never feel what it was that I sought to feel, as I couldn’t put a verifiable, discernable, concrete label to what it was that I was pursuing.
I don’t know if any of this is what you wanted to hear and I’m sorry for posting my own article in here (payback’s a bitch, no?) but maybe there’s a line or two which you’ll be able to either take solace in, or just relate to. Maybe you’ll realize that there are crazier, more helplessly deranged fools out there than yourself, and that will be enough to make you feel a little better about you for today.
(reply to this comment)
| From madly|
Sunday, June 17, 2007, 18:55
Thank you, conan. A lot of truth to your words and I appreciate your taking the time to put them here. You can add an article to mine anytime, as I know I will feel free to do the same to yours. ;) Some people just bring out your thoughts and you seem to do that for me, as maybe I sometimes do for you, it would seem.
There was one particular part in your comment that I felt completely and perfectly encapsulated my feelings and frustrations with my desires and my search to understand them. You said: “The intangibles that could change my perception and ‘satisfaction’ I often feel are just out of my proverbial grasp yet because they are so close, they drive me to the brink of insanity with the futile expenditure of self-inquiry and consequentially the self-loathing I dissipate while efficaciously choosing to ignore the same. I guess part of me decided a long time ago that I would never achieve tranquil happiness on a level that my alter-ego and I would be unanimous on, but that hasn’t kept me from trying to find a harmonious balance between my reasoning, and my desires.” I couldn’t have said it any better and I find a strange comfort in knowing that I am not alone in feeling this way. (reply to this comment)
Friday, June 15, 2007 - 21:16
Madly, as you know the same thing happens to me; perhaps not exactly the same.
Because a part of me actually knows all my horrible secrets, just doesn't want to go there. Wants to keep them in that separate place where they can't be accessed on a daily basis.
This is what I'm finding to be the secret. Well maybe not THE secret. Maybe it's only a management strategy.
You have to look at yourself from the outside sometimes. Because strangely enough, if you can do this, you can have more compassion for yourself. If you can try to get an aerial view of yourself and your life, you can analyse rationally who you are and why. The compassion for yourself comes naturally then.
In those moments where it's all crashing down or closing in, I often try to get to nature if I possibly can, somewhere beautiful. If that's not possible, I lie down and listen to Coldplay's Parachutes. :) (okay, kill me Placebo)
Then when I'm finding that peace I just try to lift away from my reality self and access that pure spirit self that I come in danger of losing. That's the self with the broad picture, the compassion, and the wisdom.
It's not easy to look at yourself from the outside. You know that movie The Doctor, where he lost his memory, and then had to discover for the first time who he was? He became childlike with no preconcieved ideas or ego colouring his perceptions of himself.
I can't quite do that. Too many issues. But maybe the peace is so much sweeter because of the turmoil.
You, Madly, have so much wisdom. Read back all of your wonderful help to me. That compassion for others that fills you so abundantly, turn it onto yourself.
(reply to this comment)
| From madly|
Saturday, June 16, 2007, 00:29
Rainy, I can relate to so much of what you said. J I agree with your idea of stepping outside yourself and I do understand the concept. My problem, well one of them, is that I feel I have always been “outside” myself and I have spent so many years searching for a way back in. I feel like I am lost, a stranger to myself.
Meh… it is so hard to explain and I almost hate to talk about it, in too much detail, for fear of the “sympathy” comments that are sweet, but somewhat annoying and not what I am searching for. I want an exchange, which is what I always get from you and a few others.
You touched on having compassion for yourself and that hit me pretty hard. I have absolutely no compassion for myself. I am very hard on myself. Honestly, I often annoy myself and become utterly sick of my continuous thoughts of me. I don’t know how to have compassion for myself… I don’t even know if I know what that means. I am glad you think I have it for others, you have always said that, but I don’t know if that is true either. I do feel for others, but part of me just wants to tell them to toughen up and take it, maybe the way I feel I need to.
Yes, nature… that is the only place I feel at home or at peace. I feel apart, as if I am no longer contained, but able to blow with the breeze, sway with the trees, or fly away with the birds (did I mention that I also hate how damn corny I am?). I can stare up at the sky through the trees for hours and just watch the way the wind takes the branches and tosses them about and they so easily and effortlessly oblige. I daydream of living this way with no power struggle, no resistance, and just letting life move through me as it was meant to do. Sometimes I even get jealous of the trees, their beauty, elegance and grace, but I guess that sounds silly.
What you said about using some of my wisdom on myself, I went back and read my comments to you (don’t you find it so difficult to do that sometimes? I assume you are referring to this article http://www.movingon.org/article.asp?sID=8&Cat=33&ID=4083#comments) and I don’t really see any wisdom offered. I sounded pretty lost to me. I was hoping for you to find something I had been searching for and I thought you were brave and I envied that in you. Other than that, I don’t know...
Oh well, I feel like I am going in circles now, so I am going to bed. TTYS <3(reply to this comment)
| From rainy|
Saturday, June 16, 2007, 23:21
Some of your wise words:
"I would dare to say that most of us are strangers to ourselves and we like it that way; in fact, we have purposely allowed it. We create ourselves… the beauty we want to possess; even if we only fool ourselves… it is enough. We then hide the ugly side, the part we don’t want to be reminded of away… hoping if we ignore it, starve it, forget about it, that it will die, but we forget that if it dies, we die, because we can’t kill the real us and live in our fictitious, self created, and perfect little world.
Real is ugly and beautiful, life is ugly and beautiful and we all have both within us. We may not want both, but we are both and we need them in us to be real, to be human… to be more than just a pretty picture with no depth or use. Maybe we must examine both, and learn to accept what it is we hate in order to find what it is we love."
"Maybe we need depression to take us to that depth in order to face all our monsters, the ones that are us and the ones others gave to us. Maybe we can find ourselves there and slaughter the monsters that have no right to us and face the ones that do, accept them and realize they have no power, but what we choose to render to them and the lies that others gave to us are only real if we believe them."(reply to this comment)
| From rainy|
Saturday, June 16, 2007, 16:32
I like your comment about being TOO outside yourself.
this may be my problem actually. :)
Someone said to me recently, when I was talking about wanting to be objective and see the whole picture, that I was in danger of becoming TOO objective and turning into merely an observer of life rather than a participant. That was a new thought to me and really made me sit up and pay attention.
So my words above about rising out of yourself...maybe that's exactly the attitude that is going to put me into that insane asylum i was wishing for, where I read and daydream all day. :) Don't listen to me for heaven's sake. (reply to this comment)
| From madly|
Sunday, June 17, 2007, 19:57
I have long believed this theory. It has been my endeavor since around the age of 20 to be able to find the balance between the two… to be able to enjoy the moment, yet find the meaning behind what it is that allows me to understand life and the feelings that I am enjoying. This balance continues to elude me and sadly it seems to be true, that the possibilities of having both are slim to none.
It is very difficult for me to simply enjoy the moment, I am always speculating as to why I am having it or outside of it in a sense. I try to put myself in the heart of it, but the more I push the further away I become. I think I am on the extreme end of the balance between meaning and moments. I wonder if it is possible to cross over to the other side and change myself, but haven’t been able to and the more I try to understand why I am this way, the more I lose what I am searching for.
I admire people who so easily feel at home and don’t pick everything a part in order to understand it, people who are just able to enjoy life without having to know why. Maybe we lose our joy in the quest to understand? If you pick beauty apart, it can become ugly or lose its charm because you aren’t appreciating, but critiquing, which inevitably leads to finding flaws.
Joy is accepting the magic of the moment and magic is not supposed to be understood or it loses its wonder. If you were to go behind stage of a play you were about to see and discover all the ends and outs of production, it would never look the same to you. It would have appeared perfect and beautiful from the stage, but would lose some of its wonder and sense of awe by seeing people changing into their costumes and completely out of character, set people running about in chaos, and the blank walls and empty environment that you were never meant to see. The beauty was lost, because you chose to understand how and why instead of just accepting as is with out knowing.
It seems that in order to enjoy something, you can’t strive to understand it, because in doing so, you take the very beauty you enjoyed and tear it apart to where you can never see it in the same way again. To understand is to lose what was not meant to be understood, but to be enjoyed.
(reply to this comment)
| From mad dreamer|
Sunday, June 17, 2007, 22:24
I've never stopped to think about the fact that my quest for knowledge and an understanding of how things work has, in essence, killed my childlike awe of it. But then again, that same deeper understanding of a subject may inspire in me an awe of something greater...something more worthwhile being enthralled by. I don't know.(reply to this comment)
| From madly|
Monday, June 18, 2007, 22:36
First off: I am going to steal your name, because it suits me, but more importantly, because I can, so you had better register it if you want to continue to use it. ;)
Secondly: I hope you are right, because if not, I have sure blown a lot of great moments that I can never get back again.
Sometimes I fear that my tiresome search for the answers will inevitably become an endless circle that will lead me right back to the questions asked.
Questions often lead to more questions and answers are often lost because they are not the answers we are willing to accept.
Sometimes I feel that I make it all too complicated and if I were to start at the beginning, and just close my eyes and open them again, it would be staring me right in the face, saying “here I have been all along, but I was too simple for you to acknowledge”.
Does it have to be profound to be the correct? Does it have to be complicated or do we just expect it to be?
Here I go again and will so do again, inevitably leading me back again, right where I began. (reply to this comment)
| From madly|
Saturday, June 16, 2007, 19:33
Oh, I will listen to you all right, but not for heaven’s sake, but rather mine. I would be crazy not to, but I am already crazy… so does that mean I would be sane not to? No, I got it now: I would be crazy, to be sane enough, not to listen to you. :P(reply to this comment)
| From The Storm|
Saturday, June 16, 2007, 07:05
A storm looming, threatening the horizon with it’s ominous gray
Nature’s fury unleashed in an explosive cacophony,
An expression of what, who can understand,
But when nature's fury explodes with their own.
Then is all clear, for thunder matches thunder
As the secret rumbling of a soul in torment,
And the streak of lightning tearing thru’ the anguished skies
As the searing pain slicing thru’ a heart struck down in agony.
The electricity of the two combined are one and the same.
Why, nature’s temperament matches man’s so well,
For then is one day, one hour to the next,
As fair and pleasing as our sudden joys which come and fly.
The sunshine shares in the grand symphony of nature’s temperament.
Why then it’s sudden switch to gray and tempest and storm,
Why can not the sunshine remain transfixed, and why cannot joy?
The thunder clashes loudly about mine ears.
Or is it inside my head?
I cannot tell, for there it rages in a terrifying din.
But nature vents her fury well, in ways which I cannot express.
The thunder matches my own beating heart, harsh and painful to hear.
The lightning; an electrifying heat, coursing through my veins..
The wind whips wildly thru’ my hair, pulling at my clothes,
Tingling my skin with her icy breath.
I long to yield to her beckoning and join in this mad and furious dance;
To run naked thru’ her soil and feel her enclose me in her warm breast.
Nature encompassing nature.
For none understand her so well as I.
Nature’s turmoil and mine, so different; yet the same.
Finally, the rain falls from the skies, blending with my own.
A mingling of water that washes away the turmoil in my soul.
Her tears pound into my flesh; draining the anger, dulling the pain,
As the thunder rolls into the distance,
And the storm lifts for a time of surcease,
The finale of expression that ends in stillness; passions spent
And only the glistening drops remain to tell of the fury.
A warm breath of sunshine smiles down once more;
I am again whole.
We are at peace.
(reply to this comment)
| From Kelly-Uncensored |
Saturday, June 16, 2007, 12:29
This sense of urgency
Energy through my veins
Pumping faster, faster
I cannot sleep for fear I will miss (time?)
Something of importance
Something I was made for
My own breath wakes me.
Sleeping for me now
Is falling into it,
And being jolted awake
Creating becomes my work—obsession
All else insignificant
My Senses heightened….now plagues me
And looking for you hurts my heart
So I try not to.
Can I find a world void of Green?
Still, Light-- blinding on white
--Cues my waking hours
To the lucidity of my dream
And finding you with out looking
Is breath’s rain
Stroking my cheek
Washing me clear again
Your tears for the sorrowful
Become rain water
I drink to live
You in me
All is green
By the stars,
And I look upon the earth
To loose you
And see you everywhere
I long for just one night
Ache to laze in the grass
Till morning dew
And you become something else,
Like the grass between my toes
Dew drops on my eyelids
The rose at my lips
The hope of a hurting heart
For all was born, is and is no more
But energy’s memory
And the light of the sun in the day
And the light of the stars and the moon cue my tired eyes
To the Lucidity of my walking dream
And now let me sleep in peace
You breathe into me
Lucid dreams of my waking dream
And music is made
Harp strings echo
Violin of my sorrows
Flute and Cello
Sweet and salty:
Rain of my heart
Barefoot in the morning grass
Toes deep in the sand
Ocean waves clean my feet
Touching better what hurts most
I am rooted in Nature’s Fiery--Water
(reply to this comment)
| From madly|
Friday, June 15, 2007, 23:05
I believe you are referring to “Regarding Henry” which was a good movie. It was almost as if, from becoming simple, he was given a second chance to enjoy the life he always had, but took for granted. Sometimes what should be enough to satisfy, for some reason, just isn’t. Most people envy others who probably secretly envy them right back. I guess the grass is always greener, but we forget it is just grass and a pain to mow.(reply to this comment)
Friday, June 15, 2007 - 15:29
Genuinely appreciate the result of you putting pen to paper mad. I feel like I relate on a few levels.
I've always loved the rain, the smell of the air just before a shower. Jogging in the rain brings out a mixture of feelings for me, hard to describe but I think it is a mixture of feeling you are braving the elements but that you are also connecting with the earth, the universe.
On the subject of nervous energy and desperate search for the identity of "self" and not being able to understand what’s driving you, what your "self’s" true desires are etc, I understand the feelings well. While it would be absolutely wrong for me to try and tell you the "solution" to what your feeling, I will be happy to detail a few things which seem to have been helpful to me.
On the first part, Madly, be assured you are not insane for feeling the way you do. Regarding the feelings themselves and the search for discovery of your identity, these are feelings and thoughts which many if not most people, (often in the twenties I'm told) will experience at some time or other. About three years ago I started going through a massive crisis in a similar vein to what you have described. I started seeing a psychotherapist, I continue with these counseling sessions even now. On the psychotherapists bookshelf was a title which caught my attention, it was called "Thoughts without a thinker", by Dr Mark Epstein. The title sounded just like something I needed, I wanted to stop thinking, just turn it all off, too many thoughts had been whirling inside my head, concepts, things that I was trying to figure out about who I was, what "The Family" was, and even simple basic questions like "am I truly a good person", I just wanted to turn it all off and breathe, just enjoy living.
Anyhow, I was able to borrow this book. I really enjoyed it. I have since bought several other books from this author including "Going to Pieces without Falling Apart" and "Going on Being". The perspective in these books is a mixture of psychology with Buddhist concepts. While I am not wishing to sell these ideas as some kind of miracle cure, for me personally they have been helpful. If I was to encapsulate the main ideas from these books it would be "to balance the ego's need to do with our inherent capacity to be". In a sense the things you describe remind me of a feeling of emptiness or "sunyata", this is described in the book as "emptiness (or sunyata), from a Buddhist perspective, was an understanding or one's true nature, an intuition of the absence of inherent identity in people or in things. It was the core psychological truth of Buddhism. Emptiness from a Western perspective, seemed to me to be a tortured feeling of distress, an absence of vitality, a sense of not being real enough, of disconnection".
From another portion of the "Going to Pieces" book "When we seek happiness through accumulation, either outside of ourselves - from other people, relationships, or material goods - or from our own self-development, we are missing the essential point. In either case we are trying to find completion. But according to Buddhism, such a strategy is doomed. Completion comes not from adding another piece to ourselves but from surrendering our ideas of perfection."...."While psychotherapy has a long tradition of encouraging the development of a strong sense of self, Buddhism has an even longer tradition of teaching the value of collapsing that self. Part of my attraction to Buddhist meditation lies in this difference. Many of us come to therapy - and to psychological self-improvement in general - feeling that we are having trouble letting ourselves go: We are blocked creatively or emotionally, we have trouble falling asleep or having satisfying sex, or we suffer from feelings of isolation or alienation. Often we are afraid of falling apart, but the problem is that we have not learned to give up control of ourselves. The traditional view of therapy as building up the self simply does not do justice to what we actually seek from the therapeutic process. We are looking for a way to feel more real, but we do not realise that to feel more real we have to push ourselves further into the unknown.
Buddhism has always made the self's ability to relax its boundaries the centerpiece of its teachings. It recognises that the central issues of our lives, from falling in love to facing death, require an ability to surrender that often eludes us. Psychotherapy, through its analysis of childhood, has tended to turn us in a reflective direction, searching for the causes of unhappiness in an attempt to break free from the traumas of the past. Too often, though, it degenerates into finding someone to blame for our suffering. But within psychotherapy lies the potential for an approach that is compatible with Buddhist understanding, one in which the therapist, like the Zen master, can aid in making space in the mind."
For me, I often feel the need to feel connected to the earth, the world, the universe more. I think growing up in an isolated community with such harsh ideas of right and wrong, mean that not only was alienation the world forced upon us in a very real sense, but that the harsh ideas have also been internalised in the way we view ourselves. Although I do need to do more meditation, the general principals of emptying the mind and concentrating on your breathing, allowing thoughts to pass through your mind where you act as an observer to your thoughts, allowing you to explore without fear or judgment - these concepts have been invaluable to me.
I hope you will get a chance to read these books, at least to thumb through them to see if they interest you.
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Friday, June 15, 2007 - 10:47
It sounds to me very much like a panic attack and the anxiety building up to one.
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| From madly|
Friday, June 15, 2007, 12:40
I understand how you would get that from my description, but I am referring to something on an entirely different level than a basic panic attack. I have had anxiety attacks before and can feel the difference, but thank you, all the same. I don’t really expect anyone to understand, because it probably has a lot to do with me being out of my mind, literally, but I am beginning to accept my being so. It all comes down to me feeling, deep down inside, that I simply don’t belong here. I guess, I will have to learn to live with that feeling and that is what I am dealing with.
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| From Samuel|
Friday, June 15, 2007, 17:28
You are not alone in that feeling. We are all unique in our own way, and hence do not "belong" in one way or another. But you know, you have to learn to deal with it. I would say try focusing on the ways that you are similar, instead of focusing on how you a different or "don't belong". That's what I had to do. Cheers, and good health to you.
Samuel(reply to this comment)
| From madly|
Friday, June 15, 2007, 20:28
Ummm… yeah, okay. Samuel, I don’t want to be mean to you and I don’t want to make you feel badly, but give me a break. I know you are a nice guy and that you have good intentions, but please, it is so difficult to take you seriously sometimes or most the time, for that matter.
Just to clarify, I could care less if I am the same as everyone else, in fact, I am damn glad I am not! I never said I wanted to belong, just that I am realizing that I don’t. Why the hell would I want to find similarities among people and a world that bore and annoy me? I think you missed the heart of what I was trying to convey, but don’t worry about it, as I expect very few to understand. Take care of yourself and thanks, all the same.
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Thursday, June 14, 2007 - 19:39
On the plus side, This is madlys best written work on here that I have seen so far.
Raw and grasping, it grabs you with its pure expressiveness. What you wrote touched a vein in me. A vein that is present in all free-thinking mankind,madly.
On the downside,All that rain from the storm must have made your make-up run faster than a devout mormon at a gay club on "studs and suds" night.
Sounds like you need some "alternative" treatment for your anxiety.Since the regular couch/soul-searching therapy would probably be useless.I'd give you some lemongrass tea before before pushing you off a plane. With a parachute ,ofcourse. The rush would clear your head.
May you find peace in death, That you could not find in life.
"Stabs with ceremonial dagger"
j/k. Hey, at least you can't say I did'nt comment.
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