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A human Being
20-12-2013, 10:30 AM
Of course we tend to label emptiness as bad, but emptiness in the sense I mean is something very positive.

I was watching a John Pilger documentary about the treatment of the Aborigines by the Australian government, and watching him interviewing Australian politicians about it was making me feel seriously uptight - you could tell they knew they didn't really have a leg to stand on, but of course they're politicians so they couldn't come right out and say 'you're right, it's a terrible injustice.'

But the primary thing for me was my own reaction, so I became conscious of the tension in my body and consciously relaxed my muscles, and allowed the feeling to breathe, so to speak. And what I found was, after the energy of the emotion subsided, I was left with this spacious feeling of emptiness. I think the problem is that we tend to try and keep strong feelings at bay because we fear what they might do to us, rather than just experience them fully. But it's only when you experience them fully that you see their illusory nature.

Emmalevine
20-12-2013, 11:07 AM
Yes I know what you mean. When I give into an emotion and really feel it, I'm always surprised by the inner contentment I'm left with. Like you say, it's a sort of emptiness. Even when I'm feeling intense grief, the waves of emotion rise and fall, leading to a spaciousness in between.

Saggi
20-12-2013, 11:37 AM
It's the very act of feeling them and holding them inside that creates the fear that if they're felt they will hurt and destroy,,,

Of course feeling pain of any kind hurts, physically or emotionally,,, yet getting stuck within pain is so much more painful!

Holding on to pain can stem from feeling it and not having the chance to release it before it's re-felt/experienced,,,

There has to be a feeling of safety before you can release it properly and move on,,,

Love and hugs

Jo

XxXx

A human Being
20-12-2013, 11:44 AM
Yes I know what you mean. When I give into an emotion and really feel it, I'm always surprised by the inner contentment I'm left with. Like you say, it's a sort of emptiness. Even when I'm feeling intense grief, the waves of emotion rise and fall, leading to a spaciousness in between.
It really is, it's this feeling of nothingness, which is another word that's misunderstood - I hear people talk about nothingness in this really negative sense, but what they call nothingness is nothing of the sort, it's full of this desperate, but pent-up, nihilistic feeling. You can only truly know nothingness by letting go of everything, and that includes thoughts and feelings.

What it really requires is surrender - why do we have such a hard time surrendering to what is? I guess fear's at the root of it.

Squatchit
20-12-2013, 02:54 PM
Yes I know what you mean. When I give into an emotion and really feel it, I'm always surprised by the inner contentment I'm left with. Like you say, it's a sort of emptiness. Even when I'm feeling intense grief, the waves of emotion rise and fall, leading to a spaciousness in between.

I love the way you've articulated this Starbuck - I can relate. :hug3:

linen53
20-12-2013, 03:17 PM
But it's only when you experience them fully that you see their illusory nature.

By that statement I believe you are saying the power you thought strong feelings had over you. Am I right?

Hmmmm, an interesting thought. So that would mean we fear strong emotions? I'm just trying to wrap my mind around this concept. Can you help me?

silent whisper
20-12-2013, 03:20 PM
Of course we tend to label emptiness as bad, but emptiness in the sense I mean is something very positive.

I was watching a John Pilger documentary about the treatment of the Aborigines by the Australian government, and watching him interviewing Australian politicians about it was making me feel seriously uptight - you could tell they knew they didn't really have a leg to stand on, but of course they're politicians so they couldn't come right out and say 'you're right, it's a terrible injustice.'

But the primary thing for me was my own reaction, so I became conscious of the tension in my body and consciously relaxed my muscles, and allowed the feeling to breathe, so to speak. And what I found was, after the energy of the emotion subsided, I was left with this spacious feeling of emptiness. I think the problem is that we tend to try and keep strong feelings at bay because we fear what they might do to us, rather than just experience them fully. But it's only when you experience them fully that you see their illusory nature.

Yes the bodies reactions are interesting when you become fully present with yourself both in suppression and opening fully to what you feel.

A human Being
20-12-2013, 03:55 PM
By that statement I believe you are saying the power you thought strong feelings had over you. Am I right?

Hmmmm, an interesting thought. So that would mean we fear strong emotions? I'm just trying to wrap my mind around this concept. Can you help me?
Some of us are more comfortable with emotions than others (women tend to deal with them much better than men, for example), so I shouldn't generalise - but yeah, I'd say that's true for a majority of people, at any rate. I think it's our animal nature, anything we perceive as a threat to our survival, we fear, and emotional pain doesn't feel too good to begin with so we often shut down, to try and stop it from hurting us. But the more we do that, the more it actually hurts us in the long run.

For some people it builds and builds (and builds and builds), to the point where it's literally unbearable - and they have little choice but to surrender to the pain that's trapped inside them, just accept it and allow it be, with no resistance. When my first significant glimpse of awakening happened, that's exactly what happened right beforehand; at the time, I didn't understand why I was suddenly overcome with this blissful, peaceful feeling of oneness and presence, but I've done plenty of research since and now it makes perfect sense.

I've said it a couple of times in the past, and I truly believe it - when you feel overwhelmed by sadness, or anger, or any strong emotion, it actually represents a tremendous opportunity for you to release a lot of pent-up feeling. At times like that it's really important to stay body-aware, to feel when your inner animal's bracing itself for pain and tightening up. Then you've got to breathe and relax.

Apologies if I sound like a broken record, hope that helps :smile:

A human Being
20-12-2013, 03:57 PM
Yes the bodies reactions are interesting when you become fully present with yourself both in suppression and opening fully to what you feel.
Yep, well said!

linen53
20-12-2013, 04:03 PM
You're right! I've thought about your comments and it is true (for me, at least). The path of least resistance. It is easier than facing and strong emotions (which I fear). I tend to shut them off when strong (fearful) thoughts come to mind. Like I don't want to deal with them right now.

And I still feel that way.

But you have made me aware of this idea. That is the first step.

silent whisper
20-12-2013, 04:20 PM
*losing control* has a lot to do with this space human being.

Feeling that feeling can scare people in feeling that their world will end in some way, especially those who like to be in control..:)

linen53
20-12-2013, 04:24 PM
losing control and also change. The strong emotions/thoughts which create fears. I do not like change, which in essence is losing control of my situation. Kinda of makes a loop.

silent whisper
20-12-2013, 04:38 PM
losing control and also change. The strong emotions/thoughts which create fears. I do not like change, which in essence is losing control of my situation. Kinda of makes a loop.


Yes fear of change is a big one...which I recal for myself through this process...but change is inevitable even if we try to control it anyway, I learned that lesson and that was a harsher lesson for me.

A human Being
21-12-2013, 11:16 AM
You're right! I've thought about your comments and it is true (for me, at least). The path of least resistance. It is easier than facing and strong emotions (which I fear). I tend to shut them off when strong (fearful) thoughts come to mind. Like I don't want to deal with them right now.

And I still feel that way.

But you have made me aware of this idea. That is the first step.
And it's a big one :smile: You'll go a long way, because you're honest with yourself - some people would take it personally and get defensive, but there's no need to judge it one way or another, it is at it is. Your visceral reactions are (so I believe, at least) the result of billions of years of evolution combined with your social conditioning; given the state of your consciousness (which is very similar to that of many, many others) there's no other way you could have behaved.

So as Jesus said, 'forgive them, for they know not what they do.' From now on, though, be the witness of your mental and physical reactions, so that you can know what you do. It's easier said than done, but non-judgment is absolutely vital - try to adopt an attitude of observation (ie just seeing, without any mental interpretation), instead. First comes observation, then comes wisdom.

*losing control* has a lot to do with this space human being.

Feeling that feeling can scare people in feeling that their world will end in some way, especially those who like to be in control..:)
Yeah, you're right. Fear of the unknown is why we find it so difficult to let go, and ultimately, at root, we fear death - though it's only the body that dies, whereas spirit is indestructible (at least, that's my belief). Which is why it's such a big problem that we misidentify ourselves as the body.

Rationally, you know a feeling in all likelihood isn't going to kill you, but it's the unconscious, irrational part of you (your inner animal) that's in control, which is why you shut down. So you have to take a leap of faith, and trust that if you drop your guard (which, in physical terms, means relaxing your body), you'll be all right. I find that an effective way to relax my body when I'm shutting down to a strong emotion is to take three deep breaths, in through the nose and out through the mouth. I'm not sure of the exact science of it, but it allows your gut, which is a big nerve centre, to relax.

EDIT: And to link this in with my original post - when you allow strong emotions, they subside much more quickly than you might imagine, and you're left with the emptiness - that emptiness is what you really are, it's your true nature. Conversely, when you try to keep the feeling at bay, the resistance to it takes you over, and your true nature is hopelessly obscured, because your consciousness is full of that resistance.

silent whisper
21-12-2013, 12:34 PM
And it's a big one :smile: You'll go a long way, because you're honest with yourself - some people would take it personally and get defensive, but there's no need to judge it one way or another, it is at it is. Your visceral reactions are (so I believe, at least) the result of billions of years of evolution combined with your social conditioning; given the state of your consciousness (which is very similar to that of many, many others) there's no other way you could have behaved.

So as Jesus said, 'forgive them, for they know not what they do.' From now on, though, be the witness of your mental and physical reactions, so that you can know what you do. It's easier said than done, but non-judgment is absolutely vital - try to adopt an attitude of observation (ie just seeing, without any mental interpretation), instead. First comes observation, then comes wisdom.


Yeah, you're right. Fear of the unknown is why we find it so difficult to let go, and ultimately, at root, we fear death - though it's only the body that dies, whereas spirit is indestructible (at least, that's my belief). Which is why it's such a big problem that we misidentify ourselves as the body.

Yes for me it was this very thing.

Rationally, you know a feeling in all likelihood isn't going to kill you, but it's the unconscious, irrational part of you (your inner animal) that's in control, which is why you shut down. So you have to take a leap of faith, and trust that if you drop your guard (which, in physical terms, means relaxing your body), you'll be all right. I find that an effective way to relax my body when I'm shutting down to a strong emotion is to take three deep breaths, in through the nose and out through the mouth. I'm not sure of the exact science of it, but it allows your gut, which is a big nerve centre, to relax.

Yes the breath reconnects you, inwardly..I know of some who have shared they are afraid to let go to the depth of those emotions, because they have shared they don't want to lose everything in that space of letting go. What I have found personally through this mode of letting go fully, you do enter a new world, leave behind the old world, as you open fully to emotion. That in itself, that fear of losing everything, not eing able to take with them some things, scared them enough to suppress the emotions and keep the old world and the emotions suppressed. I know how frightening it was for me to enter the core level of emotion at times. Letting go of your own design of your world, the very beginnings, can feel very much like death. Pain runs deep and was created to change pain, entering that space, for the inner child can be very tormenting and difficult. The mind and the body cannot always fathom, to let go of the physical in this way to actually open fully to your true self. It can often feel misleading. Like your being led to nowhere, endings that you may not return from, but of course you can and do.


EDIT: And to link this in with my original post - when you allow strong emotions, they subside much more quickly than you might imagine, and you're left with the emptiness - that emptiness is what you really are, it's your true nature. Conversely, when you try to keep the feeling at bay, the resistance to it takes you over, and your true nature is hopelessly obscured, because your consciousness is full of that resistance.

Yes feeling of having nothing, is in fact your true nature..having this understanding when I walked through my own, would have been nice to know before hand..but then fears sometimes need experiencing themselves especially fear of death.

linen53
21-12-2013, 01:41 PM
I had selective amnesia regarding my childhood until I entered my 30's and all this rings a bell. I had almost forgotten all of this:

My subconscious held back the flood waters of memories and pain for many years until I was at a place that I could handle those memories. I was actually terrified of unleashing my emotions. I didn't know what would happen! It was a primitive instinct to survive intact.

It was the most difficult time of my life. 6 months of hell as I waded through thick sewer water of my past.

No there wasn't an instant feeling of emptiness. There were about 12 years of pain and bitterness as I processed what I had learned.

But in the end there was the emptiness as you describe which eventually was replaced with peace and grace when I finally healed.

So as I have mulled over these thoughts over the past few days. I think there might be initial emptiness but it doesn't stay empty for long, at least for me.

And yes, I wasn't the same person I was before I remembered my past.

A human Being
21-12-2013, 03:34 PM
I had selective amnesia regarding my childhood until I entered my 30's and all this rings a bell. I had almost forgotten all of this:

My subconscious held back the flood waters of memories and pain for many years until I was at a place that I could handle those memories. I was actually terrified of unleashing my emotions. I didn't know what would happen! It was a primitive instinct to survive intact.

It was the most difficult time of my life. 6 months of hell as I waded through thick sewer water of my past.

No there wasn't an instant feeling of emptiness. There were about 12 years of pain and bitterness as I processed what I had learned.

But in the end there was the emptiness as you describe which eventually was replaced with peace and grace when I finally healed.

So as I have mulled over these thoughts over the past few days. I think there might be initial emptiness but it doesn't stay empty for long, at least for me.

And yes, I wasn't the same person I was before I remembered my past.
For me, it can take a long to get to that point where you can give up all resistance and surrender to the pain that's trapped inside you - but I know that when I reached that point of absolute surrender, the pain passed very quickly.

But that's not to say I'm pain-free now, far from it. You're right, it's not the case that, once you experience that emptiness once, that's it and you're empty for all time. But when you get into the practice of recognising resistance when it arises and allowing emotions to breathe, rather than keeping them on a choke-chain, you can let them go much more easily; you don't treat them with the same seriousness that you once did.

linen53
21-12-2013, 06:38 PM
allowing emotions to breathe

Thank you, I love this phrase. Allowing my emotions to breathe.

A human Being
22-12-2013, 11:04 AM
Thank you, I love this phrase. Allowing my emotions to breathe.
You're welcome! In my experience, I find I have to allow myself to literally, physically breathe as well when an emotion arises that sends my inner animal into defence mode - when I become aware of my physical state at those times, I usually find I'm holding my breath. All that resistance saps your energy as well, I think it's got a lot to do with why I used to feel tired so often.

Though I'm British and a man, so I dare say I'm more uptight than most :D