Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Subtle holding

Sometimes we identify with a particular belief very strongly. So strongly that the belief is living us. Do you know what I am talking about?

My teacher Adya, calls it a core belief.

Our very life is unfolding from that belief so that everything we do, including what we do on the spiritual journey, is in accordance with this belief.

Then we are the living embodiment of that belief pattern.

When we are living the belief in this way we cannot see the belief in operation, because there is no objectivity around it - we are too identified with it. To see it requires a distance from it which we do not have because we are it and we are only it.

Then at some point grace intervenes and we can see the belief. We have gained some distance from it and we can see how our life is being run by it.

However even if we see it quite clearly, the belief still seems to be playing out in our lives. And this can be confusing and frustrating.

If you find yourself in this situation, then perhaps what follows may be useful for you.

Let's take a concrete example.

Let's say that the belief is a need for appreciation. So there is a strong desire for appreciation that is playing itself out in your life.

Now everything that is born has a certain stickiness to it. The degree of stickiness can vary enormously, but once something is born there is a finite period of time for which it is sustained. And then it dies.

Some things that are born have a great stickiness and they are greatly self-sustaining. The kind of belief that we have been discussing is an example of this. It is by nature very sticky and wants to live.

So the strong desire for appreciation is very sticky. It uses every trick in the book to stay alive.

Let's say that this desire for appreciation were fulfilled and you experienced great appreciation. What would this mean for the desire for appreciation? What is a fulfilled desire? Is it a desire anymore? No - A fulfilled desire is a dead desire. Right?

The strong desire for appreciation which is very sticky does not want to die and so it does not want to be fulfilled. Of course this sounds completely counter-intuitive and contradictory. But don't go by the analysis of this, go by your experience of how the belief plays out for you.

So the strong desire for appreciation, in order to stay alive, avoids total fulfillment. However it is very skillful and it will accept partial fulfillment. So you will surely feel appreciated sometimes. But then that goes away and the old hunger arises again and is even stronger! Right?

Sometimes this strong desire for appreciation may even use a subtle and totally contradictory pattern to sustain itself. It may actually and very subtly seek rejection. Perhaps this is the point where you may completely dismiss what I am saying here as rubbish and so be it. :)

What happens to you when you have a strong desire for appreciation, and then you feel rejected? You immediately want appreciation oh so much more, right?

Everytime there is an experience of rejection, the desire for appreciation gains a new lease of life as it kicks back in with greater force. The desire for appreciation is so sticky that it can even use a totally opposite thing like rejection to further its goal of survival.

If you know what I am talking about then you know how this feels - like being pulled in opposite directions, so that the end result is one of stagnation.

This contradictory push and pull is what makes it so confusing. You may be aware of your need for appreciation and then you become aware of your being drawn to rejection in your life experience. And you wonder what is really going on! Right?

So you can check in your experience if the rejection bit is simply a mechanism of survival for your strong need for appreciation. And then if it is the case and you can see it for what it is, you may experience a clearing of the confusion.

What is true for a desire for appreciation can also be true for other strong patterns.

I have witnessed a case of great aversion to life. The experience of it for the most part was an apathy towards life in general and even a casual nonchalance towards death. But then a grave illness came about, and gave rise to a terror of dying. And now life became about illness and fear and so the aversion to such a life became even stronger.

At the same time confusion was being experienced in this push-pull of I don't want to live but I don't want to die!

Until it was seen in perspective.

When we see our core belief patterns in perspective, it is not that they immediately dissolve but they get conscious space around them. And instead of being lived out unconsciously they play out their momentum in the light of consciousness. And we are not yanked around by them so much anymore.

This releases blocked energy within us and something new and more free has space to be born.


linty said...

Even with awareness of a long-held belief and seeing the falseness of it it's so difficult to get past it. It has a grip that is almost unbreakable.

Ameeta said...

Hi Linty,

Yes I know what you mean. But here's a crazy question:

Who wants to get past it?
Is it really necessary to get past it?

It is now like an naughty child fond of creating trouble, but a child nevertheless. The conscious seeing of the child whenever it appears, is now a seeing with, by and of love, with no need to be rid of the child in any way.

This child only wants to be held in love. Let the awareness of the child which is you do the loving.


linty said...

Hi Ameeta. Thank you for your response. I understand. When I ask the question, "Who wants to get past it?" I see no one does, it's just a thought. And not necessary at all to get past it 'cuz(in this moment) it's nothing at all. A habit. But then it comes back in again despite clear seeing.

Can I ask you something?

Does the total surrender happen when it's clearly seen that there is no person to surrender? Is understanding enough or does it take a point where the suffering reaches a breaking point? Where it becomes too much. I can hardly live with "myself" anymore. Waking up--realizing freedom, truth, is all I care about. And with insights I clearly see that I am more than I have taken myself to be. This is both a blessing and a curse. I know there "I" am more than the mind, body, etc. but at the same time there is stronger identification with all the conditioning. I know there is nothing to be done..but...what can be done?

This is very uncomfortable(uncomfortable: huge understatement).

Thank you, Ameeta. Pleased to meet you♥

Ameeta said...

Is there really a stronger identification with the conditioning or is it simply more conscious?

As we open more and more we start seeing things more clearly. Especially that which holds us back. In the body-mind this may feel like "I'm getting more identified", because even little things are magnified tenfold in one's consciousness.

But this is not a mistake. Its the love inherent in our nature to shine its light upon all the areas of darkness so they can be seen, acknowledged, accepted an loved.

We don't even have to "do" the seeing, accepting and loving. It is already happening.

Yes it can feel uncomfortable but perhaps it helps to see that this is just a heiightened consciousness doing its thing.


linty said...

Hi. Maybe like how the sun's rays burns off the morning mist...or bringing more light into a dark room..

I guess the conditioning is more conscious. So does this mean that everything is okay? That things are perfect as they are? I would ask how to speed up the process(like meditate or something) but I already know that no doing will do it.

It's just this mind is too much. This suffering is too much. And the urge to find truth, peace, is the same just on the other side of it: too much. I just wish there was a final let-go..or any let-go.

Where does trust fit in? Because I have felt like I have been standing on the edge of a precipice for a long time now: that letting go completely is okay but yet terrifying at the same time. And letting go and trusting(ego death)is the only way to peace. Wanting something but being scared of getting it.

I don't know. What you say here rings true to me on a very deep level and I feel it's truth. Thank you so much, Ameeta.

Ameeta said...

Dear Linty

Just be with what arises. All this stuff, including anxiety and frustration are quite natural. Let them arise as they do and disappear as they do.

There is no final letting go. It is a continual process. The mind keeps pinning its last hopes on a final resting place where everything will magically clear and remain so forever. Let the mind create its fantasies as and when it does. Like everything else they will pass too.

This grace, this that we are is not static - a place to get to and stay at, a state to achieve and keep. This that we are is a being, a continual flow of isness. And all that we deem good and bad is simply evidence of this flow.

We have to deny nothing within ourselves. Let it all be. Express what arises to express - don't hold back tightly.


Ameeta said...

Dear Linty

If you wish to communicate further, email me at ammetak@gmail.com and send me your email id so we can communicate offline! :)