Action without resistance.

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.

One of these mornings
you gonna rise up singin
Then you’ll spread your wings
and take the sky

How emotion works

For Eckhart Tolle, there is a natural flow of emotion fitting the immediate situation. You are in a pub, and someone starts abusing you because you are trans. You feel fear and anger, and as Steven Moffatt via The Doctor said, fear is your superpower. Adrenaline flows, and you are ready to fight or flee. And, there is a pathological emotion causing suffering arising from your thoughts about a situation. You resent your boss. You think they should not treat you as they do. You lie awake at night thinking of what they did, and you feel the anger surging, but it is not about what is happening in the moment, because you are safe in a warm bed. So all the energy the anger and adrenaline give you have nowhere to go, but keep you awake.

Tolle says the pathological anger is not about reality but about the stories your ego tells, and you should stop listening to the stories and notice where you are. This immediate presence fits your emotions to the situation. The cognitive behavioural technique “Situation-Thought-Emotion-Behaviour” tells you to change the story, and you will change the feelings, and that works.

There is an NLP technique to give yourself a boost of joy by thinking of a particularly happy memory. As I was taught it, you associate a particular hand gesture with that memory, then make the gesture and feel the joy. I thought of my sister’s children joyfully calling out “It’s Uncle John!” as I approached their front door. I never picked on a new one.

What if you are told your office will close and you will be redundant in six months’ time? If you find a new job within the six months, you will lose your redundancy payment. This is unfair, you think. You are angry at the unfairness, but you still have the choice, to run out the six months and get the redundancy payment but then be looking for a job after losing yours, which is a black mark against you. If your feelings arise from what you imagine your entitlement is (They should not play this mean trick) that is from ego rather than reality, but this is a current situation which will produce “natural” emotion, which could be complex- hope, determination, resolve, as well as anger.

There is not one choice here, but many. It’s not whether you will get a job before the deadline, but what will you do today? Will you look at job adverts again? Whether to risk running out the time depends on how much the payment would be, but also on likelihoods. You don’t know what will happen. It is an emotional rather than rational decision- do you “hold your nerve”? It is fruitful for what Tolle most condemns, the ego telling repeated stories to itself, including that “It’s not fair!” story at 4am.

To Tolle’s two alternatives, of emotions as an immediate response to a stimulus, and as a response to stories the ego tells itself further trapping the unconscious person in those stories, I would add a third, emotions as a response to an ongoing situation. (I have not yet finished reading “A New Earth”.) They could just be part of a story; or they could be a true, immediate perception.

I am also reading Jonice Webb on childhood emotional neglect, which seems to fit me: I did not know what my feelings were. Still, much of my feeling is static and unconscious, such as the fear of taking risks or venturing out. There is anger here, and conflicting desires to hide away but also to be seen, to have your attention. I am sensitive, and also sensitised: the association of, say, job applications with a sense of failure is so great that I cannot bear to make them.

There’s a slogan that can answer that:

Every day is a new day!

I am not that child. I am this adult, in this situation, and- I don’t really believe this but will say it anyway- if I live in the moment and react to things as they are rather than from the stories I tell about past experiences- I can stop sabotaging myself.

I avoid meditation too. I associate it with pain. Yesterday, kneeling, I thought, it really hurts to have critical voices this strong, and got upset. A problem is that there are so many ways to describe it! The critical voices would call it self-indulgent play-acting. I call it feeling pain I have denied. My working theory is that I remain unconscious of much of it, and it is a burden: as I become conscious of specific pain, I lay that part of my burden down. And the intense pain of yesterday- the critical voices hurt so much!- might lead to a shift in me, where I listen to them less, or even begin to convert them. They are the voice of my mother at her angriest and most confused, taken into myself to stop myself doing things which she did not like, as self-protection. They are from the past- could I make them fit the present? Is it that the pain makes me change how I am?

For my pictures, I am back to Bosch.

Tigging

Please put your cursor over the image

Thanks to Dace, who has tigged me. Not even a wee picture with the word “Award” on it to put on my About page, just a “Tig”. Mmm. Thank you, Dace. He asks eleven questions:

1. what makes your heart skip a beat?
Thank God, my pacemaker stops any of that nonsense.

6. If you had to give away a million dollars, what would you do?
Give it to a trust, with me as the sole beneficiary. Find the flaw or loophole in “had”, and walk through it. Which failing, use it as my drinks fund, for when I had to buy a round. Even with the excise as it is, that is a fair amount of booze. Where would I get this million from, anyway?

11. If someone offered you a million dollars for a night of sex, would you do it?
Oh. There. As I have no partner at the moment, I would certainly consider it.

2.  what qualities do you like in people?
Read the above. Then guess.

4.  Why are you blogging?
Out of a desire to create a new religion. My average five page views a day are only the start. Soon, my followers will revere me as the greatest sage and mystic who ever lived, set up statues of me for worship, and spread my teachings all over the world.

This, of course, answers 3. what is your passion?

And 5.  What is your dream?

7. Who or what inspires you?
All those wonderful, exciting people who have been “Freshly Pressssed”.

8.  How old would you be if you didn’t know old you are?
Er-

10. What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you?
To be serious for a moment, that is what I am trying to find out. This Eckhart Tolle quote off Facebook illustrates it well:

Many people who are going through the early stages of the awakening process are no longer certain what their outer purpose is. What drives the world no longer drives them. Seeing the madness of our civilization so clearly, they may feel somewhat alienated from the culture around them. Some feel that they inhabit a no-man’s-land between two worlds. They are no longer run by the ego, yet the arising awareness has not yet become fully integrated into their lives.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/66/Edouard_Manet_-_Portrait_of_Mademoiselle_Claus.jpg

I said to my Soul, “Be still…”

What I hear most clearly from my Inner Self is, NO. I hear my own NO to how I have been, and I act on it because I cannot do otherwise- act on a “NO” means, in practice, doing little. Perhaps I block out other things because I have been taught to find my impulses Wrong- just as I found my desire to express myself female Wrong, at first, and irresistible.

I am now listening to my inner self. I still hear my inner critic, which says these impulses are bad and wrong and silly and unreal and (if I weep) play-acting- but I no longer act on those messages. Like all human beings, I am in a state of becoming.

And- other peoples’ judgments are their stuff, not mine. The judgment which still crucifies me is my own, projected onto others, learned in early childhood, which I struggle to escape.

9.  When it has all been said and done, will you have said more than you have done?
Ah. I do not know, for I have not finished yet.

And- while I might have ideals, learned or self-generated, as to what is good to do, greater than my capacity so far, I have achieved things I think good to achieve.

I do not choose anyone to tig unless you want to be- if so, please consider yourself tigged. I have, as before, two questions:

Tell me who you are.

Tell me what you Love.

Oh, and- if you are LGBT, in what way is that a Blessing?