There is what you feel
then there is what you feel about what you feel.
Eckhart Tolle shows this in the woman he healed. He said to her, Can you see that your unhappiness about being unhappy is just another layer of unhappiness?… Find out if it’s possible to allow those feelings to be there.
And she said, This is weird. I am still unhappy, but now there is space around it. It seems to matter less.
I realised how I feared my fear. Before, I feared my fear and anger so much that I was not conscious of it. Then I was conscious of the fear and anger and I still feared it. Now, my feelings disappoint or irk me. They are proof of my inappropriate response to everything. I, that is the I of consciousness and language, call that part that feels the “Real Me” even the “Inner Light” and disdain it.
It seems to me that defence mechanism could be useful. It is a flatness of affect, consciously being in the intellect. Underneath it (while I fail to defend myself from myself) I tie myself in knots. If I could be in that place while accepting and allowing my feelings to flow, being conscious of them, it would be a good place to be. I am only overwhelmed by my feelings when I resist them.
Resistance and action are not the same.
I want the world to be other than it is. So I resist it. In doing that I resist myself.
There is a flow, where the creature, the whole-I, acts in its own interests (which are loving and creative) to achieve what whole-I wants to achieve. And there is resistance, questioning, “What will people think?”, fear of myself, confusion. I “think” about what I should do instead of doing it, and so become divided. My thinking produce decisions which resist how the world is and how whole-I is.
There is the action needed in the moment. My friend, threatened with redundancy, can look for jobs. I can read a book, or meditate. Some of this action I resist less, as I have consciously accepted it- it seems so much of my fast thinking is resistance that I need to draw this up into consciousness and slow-think myself into acceptance. Or I need to meditate more.
And I resist Tolle. His idea of the “Pain-body”- well, I believe I am created in the image of God, so that my feeling self is good. It could just be a slight difference of conception. When I express anger, it is disproportionate, and it gets in my way. And I am very angry. Most of it is at myself, and a lot of it is at the world.
The wise soul does without doing
That’s Ursula LeGuin’s rendition of Tao te ching, poem 2. She comments, Over and over Lao Tzu says wei wu wei: Do not do. Doing not-doing. To act without acting. Action by inaction. You do nothing yet it gets done. . . . It’s not a statement susceptible to logical interpretation, or even to a syntactical translation into English; but it’s a concept that transforms thought radically, that changes minds. The whole book is both an explanation and a demonstration of it.