Sunday, December 03, 2006

To feel or not to feel- an energy barrier

I just did a primal workshop (see for very limited details-or search the net for primal\primal feelings)
I would like to leave some thoughts that have come to me following the workshop.
A lot of self-help resources talk about conciously choosing to feel good. For example, an excersise given is to catch a negative sentence you say to yourself (e.g., people hate being around me), write it down, think of a positive one to replace it with (e.g., people love being around me), and say it to yourself instead. I think this stuff can be great and can help you a lot.
However, I now think there's a more fundamental decision we make. The decision of whether to feel at all. In this workshop I have noticed how much I refuse to feel. I managed to refuse without noticing I was doing so, using the following 'mind trick': I would notice that I was feeling bad and say to myself 'OK, I'm feeling bad, I'm aware I'm feeling bad and now, like the spirtual teachers say, I'm not going to fight it, and instead I'll just wait patiently till this emotional wave passes and I feel good again'. Actually, this state of 'waiting to feel good again' was a refusal to really accept the current pain, and to feel it fully. It was an alleged acceptance of the negative emotion motivated by the agenda of feeling good again. Of course, there are subtleties here to what I mean by 'alleged' as of course the point is to eventually feel better.
There is a child inside who is frustrated because you do not accept his rage, his fear, his pain. You just want his bliss, facsination, energy and euophoria. Just like a parent who always wants his to child to be 'representative' and 'managable' I was being this kind of parent to myself.
The child inside doesn't trust me, because my accpetance of him is conditional.
Anyways, it seems you cannot really make this choice of parital acceptance. If you turn
the volume knob down, the bad parts won't bother you that much (at least on a superficial concious level) but you barely hear the good parts too. You turn the volume knob up, everything has power, but you'll also here the nails going down the chalkboard very loudly.
If you want to feel the bliss and love and inside you intensely and really live , you are going to have to feel the rage and fear and pain inside of you too.
However, this does not seem to be such a tragic dillema as it may sound, since I'm finding out more and more in these last years that feeling what is there is never suffering. Suffering is caused only by avoidance of feeling, by a conflict beetween your conciousness and the current reality.

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Hi! I am a computer science postdoc. For some reason google is not finding my new homepage so I added a link from this profile