I have been too frightened to meditate, for months, but last night knelt in my ritual space; and this morning did too, just for five minutes by the timer. I rose, realising- I am confused. That confusion feels good: it means I am thinking things through. It is conscious incompetence: I will improve.
I am truthful, and this is how it was, as clearly as I may be. Confusion was terribly threatening to me. If I understood what was going on, I might react well, but if I were confused I might not, and then the monster might get me. I feel cheered by my confusion, for at last I see it is a good thing. So I feel happy. My happiness may be caused by an illusion which will lead to a serious downer later, but I will cope with that if it comes.
Confusion was too threatening for me to allow it into consciousness. It had to be denied and suppressed. Now it is not. My feelings are good, for they drive me the way I should go.
I felt sadness which seemed to overwhelm me, then I named it “Sadness”, and it felt bearable. The name allows me to live with my sadness, I know that being “sad” is OK. I shared on fb, Tao called Tao is not Tao. Words get between the self and reality: they mediate our understanding, and block it. Words can never express reality, and the goal is to perceive and respond to reality without getting in the way. However, words give some understanding. Words can bring feelings together into some coherence, which is bearable and comprehensible. This is a bad thing- reality is not comprehensible. The map is less than the territory. And words can build understanding, give a foundation for greater understanding. Words are like stabilizers on a bicycle: helping us develop trust in the process.
It seemed to me if I could simply feel without labelling- ride the bicycle without stabilisers- I would respond better. Wanting to name the feeling to make it bearable gets in my way- though it is better than suppressing the feeling. Someone said that we need words to communicate with others, and for many things that is true, though not always for feelings. Someone suggested- I must reword this, to get my best understanding, which may be less than hers- that if I need to impose a “self” that feels “sad” then the “self” is as illusory as the word is. There is the sadness. One can be aware, or aware of being aware, but not both. The self cannot know anything, only the words, only the map.
Or, I might feel sad, then retreat, consider, name the feeling; then feel, again. We are the Universe, conscious. Or, I Am; and my consciousness is tagging along, for the ride.
One said that words shape our perceptions so that they become as close to reality as we might get; they mould our reality. One said that intellect is a different category from feeling, needing words. In silent meditation one might come to a decision without words, only encoding it in words after. One said “The words themselves have no meaning, the meaning is always in us”- they are only symbolic representation of meaning, which may be different for each person in a conversation.
Or: words give us past and future rather than eternal present. Words allow planning, recollection allows metanoia (change).
I will live with this.