a distinction between fear of death and fear of powerlessness inthe face of death.
I have read, and answered a few blog entries and it is interesting to me that there is a common thread running through many of the reactions to my thoughts. Oftentimes, the ‘fear of powerlessness’ becomes the fear of ‘death’ in many of the blogs.
I believe it is an important distinction. Animal and human equally share/experience the fear of death. The ANIMAL’S reaction is all about survival. The HUMAN reaction involves both our ego/mind’s experience of being HELPLESS in the face of death, no matter what we build, own, believe, destroy, and our experience of our consciousness of our own existence at any point, (like right now, your ability to see yourself reading this).
While the experience of being powerless is an anathema to our mind/ego that experiences itself in its ability to create the illusion of being power-full…by what it can do, judge…yes, even deny , our ability to be conscious, to be able see this reaction in ourselves and choose to honor our struggle and choose compassion for ourselves in the face of this seemingly irreconcilable predicament/threat to our existence, gives us the experience of being one with all that is.
If we considers that everything that is, is made up of thought, and that consciousness is also thought. Then, in the act of acknowledging our consciousness, we are experiencing our ‘one-ness’ with all thought, with all that is…call it God, truth, beauty….or love.
When we experience our primal fear of being helpless, there is the opportunity to choose to employ that consciousness, to identify it and from that place choose to love ourselves rather than condemn our selves or others for experiencing and/or denying our helplessness.
By hilly, January 8, 2010 @ 11:04 am
“I believe it is an important distinction. Animal and human equally share/experience the fear of death. The ANIMAL’S reaction is all about survival. The HUMAN reaction involves both our ego/mind’s experience of being HELPLESS in the face of death, no matter what we build, own, believe, destroy, and our experience of our consciousness of our own existence at any point, (like right now, your ability to see yourself reading this).”
I have often thought that so many people are in fear of death because they can not believe that our tie is so short on this earth. That despite all the teaching (or conditioning) they have had – especially of they have been given an education in a specific religion (as opposed to an education about religion) – “our little life is rounded with a sleep”; we live, we die and we leave little or no trace. Yes even the ‘celebrity’ leaves a trace that is ephemeral – kept alive by the wonders of modern media or by the continued interest held by ‘fans’. For the majority of us (human beings, passers-by on the earth) we leave nothing. Will internet be our ‘epitaph’ with blogs that will continue to reappear like Banquo’s ghost at the feast of Google parties yet to come? So mankind has devised ways of leaving its mark: tombstones, memorials, plaques and obituaries and even the buildings that we construct to show that we inhabited this earth.
And so those who fear death – do they fear that they will be gone and no longer remembered.
Or do they fear the process of death itself? That is a far more ‘real’ threat. The powerlessness in the face of ‘the end’…the ultimate fade to black. We fear that our dying will be painful (and many of us hope that someone will be there to ease us to that final peace.); we fear that our death will be sudden: “It’s not my time.”
And in this fear we look at ourselves and panic. We turn to systems of support – our friends, our beliefs or maybe those artificial ‘crutches’ that taste and feel good but bring no real comfort in the end. We are bombarded with publicity for products ‘anti-aging’ but what is wrong with aging – except an acknowledgment that we are moving towards the inevitable. In accepting these brief illusions of eternal youth we refuse the awareness of seeing ourselves as we really are. Do we have the courage (and the clarity of self-image) to echo Oliver Cromwell’s exhortation to his portraitist to paint him ‘warts and all’?
Either we walk forward, aware of who we are and how ultimately insignificant our passage is in relation to the immensity of the universe and its long history. Or, like Dorian Grey, we hide the reality in the closet where no-one can see it and where it can not frighten us; we deny our fate and we give in to that same fear.
But for some people there is a far worse fear: the fear of living. For those who fear life the possibility of sufficiently detaching oneself from one’s consciousness “see yourself reading this” is a non-starter. That fear of life is so crippling that they retreat into a state of dissemblance in which they can not see themselves at one with their emotions or their life.
they become ‘diss-assembled’ they fall apart, they lose their possibility of one-ness.
In order to overcome our fear we can only try to empower ourselves to embrace life and walk forward, knowing that one day we will come to the end of the road – we will die; and maybe no-one will even notice we are gone. Which brings us full circle to that fear of death…that fear of insignificance, that distinguishes us, the human, from the animals around us.
By Rach1970, January 8, 2010 @ 12:16 pm
My poor kitty is at the vet right now and she’s ready to come home.*g* You’re right the fear of animals is their instinct for survival. As for the fear of death in humans it’s very real and it is because it feels like an act of powerlessness. I’ve had some very dear loved ones when faced with it give up. Yet I’ve also seen others who have decided to face it rise up and the strength in them is empowering.
With my own fear of whatever it is at the moment I do have faith in God and I give the fear to him, which truly helps me. Fear is a real emotion and can be overpowering if we let it. It can strengthen those who face and embrace it even though they would rather run for the hills. Thank you again for your inspiring words and comfort!
Have a wonderful weekend!! Another wonderful little thing that helps me get through my week is Friday. It’s like Christmas every week. lol Trust me it’s a nice focus!*g*
By HILDA LIPRACE, January 8, 2010 @ 12:22 pm
Dear Paul really I am not scared to him to the death if like sera. what if we are egoistic when somebody beloved starts off we are going so that it to be strange he is why we cried, each of us has a mission in this world is necessary to know how to see the .nacemos signals and we died is something natural the important thing is as we passed in this life, making the best thing of we ourself give love and you receive love, him subjects to the death she does not come without giving account us only there are the good and he lives, he lives with the capacity to love and to be loved. God blesses Hillda to you of Argentina I love you I can spiritually say it I love you sos very beautiful a human being who is that what matters in this life
By sknash, January 8, 2010 @ 4:16 pm
Your last paragraph of your comment struck very close to home for me. YOu mention choosing to love ourself rather than condemn ourselves or others. It took me a lot of counseling and the love of some good friends to make me learn to love myself again. While I never realized that was the problem, it in fact was. Having been beaten for the first 15 years of my life, verbal, emotional abuse. I thought that was the issue. A big part of it was learning to love me again, to realize I am a good person. Now, the one part I have a problem with and I know you would not agree with me, the person who caused this pain; it is not easy for me to forgive. I have put it behind me, it is over, it happened years ago. But I have not forgiven him. It’s against all grain, against my faith, etc. But it is something I have not yet learned to do and may not do it. I don’t think that makes me a bad person. I don’t dwell on those years; in fact, the best phrase that helped me so much was an interview you did and you had a note posted in your trailer somewhere with the words “don’t go there” at least that’s what the interview said. Those words are in front of me every day. I don’t go there. I will never forget, scars sometimes just don’t go away, no matter what. But sometimes it is just not as easy as forgiving others who have created the fear and helplessness in our lives. As a toddler, being beaten, you have no idea of helplessness, as I got older, I did feel helpless. But still, forgiveness for this will not and may never come about. It’s not a grudge, it’s just not forgiving. I was 20 years old before I had the melt down and before I realized I am a good person and I can love myself and I can love others. This may not make much sense, but I hope you understand what I am trying to say. Sometimes it just isn’t as easy as words on paper I guess. I thank you for continuing to share with us and for taking the time to even respond. It means a lot! I look forward to these little chats. Blessings-Susan
By sknash, January 8, 2010 @ 4:18 pm
I do wish I could speak as eloquently as you though.
By Softly, January 8, 2010 @ 5:31 pm
Dear Mr. Glaser,
I understand, recognize and agree with the premise that there is a difference between ego being afraid of being powerless (in the face of death/change) and consciousness being aware of (ego) being afraid. (do I read you right?)
I know what it feels like when ego finds itself powerless, how heart wrenching it is to have illusions of futures see ripped to shreds, how painful it is to have mind run around like a headless chicken, clutching at straws called blame and shame and have holes punched into the ideas of who you are and what you think you have. I can tell of times where ego got such a trashing that death would have been a welcome friend.
At those times it is hardest to be aware, to let mind calm down for one breath and be conscious of that breath, and go from there.
Like Edie Brickell sings:
“All I can hope for is a light to see
When I search in the dark for my soul
And when my soul comes to rescue me
I rest my resistance fall piece by piece into peace
And slip like the water back into the sea”
Consciousness like skiing, needs to be practiced. It’s not a good time to start practicing skiing when you stand on top of a double black diamond slope. But than again, even before I consciously started to practice consciousness, I was aware that there was more to me than just mind. It is my experience that this state of being, this unconditional universal love is far more compassioned than mind or the double black diamond slope can ever be.
With gratitude I remain, forever learning,
By stonealbatross, January 8, 2010 @ 5:41 pm
Your early life is very much like my husband’s, although it took him a lot longer to love himself, and I don’t know if he every fully did. He chose not to be like his father (or his mother for that matter), he chose to be a gentle and loving human being, although he crawled through the pits of a personal hell to get there. He tried hard for most of his life (he was 45 when he died) to forgive his father, he tried to talk to his father, to find reconciliation. His father just turned his back and walked away, I watched it happen.
Eventually my husband realised forgiveness would never be something he could achieve and so he turned to acceptence. It was a Toaist (Daoist) approach. Although ‘Love’ is an integral part of Toaism sometimes you just have to accept things as they are and let them go. In accepting that he he had done everything he could and still could not change the situation it freed him from the stress of failing, released him from the fear beaten into him in childhood, enabled him to tell his story, to break the family secret.
You are right, you are not a bad person because you have not been able to forgive your father, you are and incredibly good and strong person because you want to do so.
The Toaist approach is never to force something to happen, we are told to be like flowing water. Water will flow around a rock, not try to push it out of the way, the water still reaches its destination. Despite this, little be little the flowing water will wear away the rock, eventually it will achieve it’s natural inclination to take the most direct route.
“Don’t go there” is my mantra too, but for different reasons. “There” is the rock I flow around, I don’t expect the pain to go away but I know with time it will erode a little and at the right time and in the right place good things will happen.
By Raffy, January 8, 2010 @ 7:59 pm
Thank you for this interesting point you proposed. Meditation is a beautiful ongoing process.
I think that we as humans perceive fear of death itself partly like animals do as well and partly differently from animals and that also there is maybe a difference we perceive between fear of death itself that we experience and our fear of powerlessness in the face of mortality, if I intend powerlessness like our incapacity to do anything in order to avoid our mortality.
The animal’s reaction for sure is necessary to us to keep ourselves alive. Our ego fears helplessness, it is intolerable, and it creates those illusive things in order to hardly trying to fill that “void”, that anger, that depression. Our ego fears mortality itself as well, not only related to survival I think. Our mind tries to figure our own death, but from a point of view of being still alive, inhabiting our human body. It stimulates a terrible sense of impermanence, related to the end of the mind, of thoughts, of the body, of all things with which it identifies. There is for sure an incredible impact, a sense
of “loss”, of a definitive change.
The ego becomes unable at a certain point to keep building powerful alternatives in order to control or deny fear. And it is good for us, for all the motivations leading us from fear to our heart. If we are able to find that place of our consciousness, of our thought, where we can see ourselves, our fear, our pain, our reactions to it, for sure we have a choice here, the choice to “re-member” through our compassion.
In my experience, and in my instinctive feeling, it seems to me that I can “accept” more my powerlessness in the face of death (but only here, more difficult for me about other things I can’t change, however changeable they “should” be…) than the thought of mortality itself. If there is a moment when I breathe a spreading sense of peace, is when sometimes I am able to really accept the idea of mortality, in the act to not resist it, to almost “embody” it, to let it flow within myself. It seems a less fearful thing then, a more natural thing, it is with me and paradoxically helps me feel a sort of pleasant feeling of “belonging” to a greater life, to a greater heart. There is still fear, but also a new sense of the “present moment”, of space, of freedom, of wholeness. Too rare though if compared to all those infinite moments my mind spends to create useless confusing “thoughts” running from past to future in an endless circle… Ok…there is so a long way ahead to walk!
But it is good that fear always remains with us. I wonder where our ego would lead us otherwise. It is always there, sometimes even when we thinks we are giving love to ourselves or to others…
Yes, perception of fear makes us human in that moment when we find out that place of awareness within our heart from where we are able to see where fear is and where it isn’t. Even if we found only a little “finger” free from fear it would be so much in order to start shifting our inner perception. We can then CHOOSE to experience that sense of compassion for ourselves, for our weakness, and of dignity for our struggle… it is a light…we become lovable in our own eyes, maybe for the first time without judgement
between “acceptable” and “unacceptable” parts of ourselves…and others become too. All is one then…
By sknash, January 8, 2010 @ 8:03 pm
thank you for your kind words. I have come to “accept” what those first 15 years were and have learned from them. Child abuse is something that is just not easily forgotten. When I married and had my child, fear played such an important role in my life at that point. I feared that I would become an abusive parent. I went to more counseling and my son is now 22 and I love him more than life itself and we have a wonderful relationship. I am sorry your husband went thru that. those are horrors that just do not fade quickly. that is why I am not worried about forgiveness. I have gone on in my life, been married 23 years and life is good. No complaints. Time has eroded the pain. And in time, thru the years, the fear has given way. I am not saying something doesn’t trigger it every once in a while, especially when I hear of a child being abuse and dying; but I take that fear and turn it into something productive and hope that some child will not experience the horror and fear I went thru.
By mechelle, January 8, 2010 @ 11:13 pm
I‘ve been close to death several times.
I honestly don’t think I am afraid of death. The first time I was close to death was when I was a child. I was so very sick I was begging for death, for “God to let me come home”. I survived but lost god. Three more times since then I’ve been close. Not by my design or intention. I believe in the collective, universal miasmic consciousness. I felt it out there. I am not afraid of the end.
I do not know how to navigate the middle. Each “now” moment. I am helpless. Almost? Completely? I am disconcerted by the current deaths/transitions during my life. I am getting old and I want to, but the changes are alarming. Everyday. Accelerating. My sons need a new kind of mom. Husband needs a new kind of wife. Parents need new daughter. Siblings need a new sister. How? Now?
Breathe. Believe. Usually I can. But not now. Not today. I want to find my way back to the path. The forest for the trees. Has anyone else ever strayed from the way? Been lost from the path? Been helpless in the face of life?
By Raffy, January 9, 2010 @ 4:20 am
I’m convinced too that in the imminence of death we lose that fear that we could have felt in its anticipation.
I haven’t ever been myself in this situation, but often I saw people while leaving this life, both relatives or people I didn’t know before, and most times that was my impression. And even when the physical conditions were bad I also saw a peace not related to the need to leave the body, but rather to a new kind of consciousness that people around couldn’t really catch and that often is impossible for the dying person to share. Maybe something which comes at the proper moment in order to help this transition. Maybe the ego losing its energy. Maybe an eye into the “future”. It is as fear had finished its “mission” on this earth while death is really approaching, and that people were not completely there and they knew much more about what was happening.
To Mechelle: I think that “being lost” is our human condition, if we only have the capacity to see that we are and not cover it with the creations of our mind. It is a feeling that brings a sense of impermanence we are often unable to manage. Maybe we “need” to feel lost, and many situations in life get us lost. The more we feel lost and relax with it the more we could use this apparent “void” for learning and growing. So hard though, for me at least…
By HILDA LIPRACE, January 9, 2010 @ 7:03 am
dear Paul I have put myself to think about everything what you have written and my answer I today to the 47 years of my life can say that I am not scared to him to the death since present she hiso when she was small, taking to many dear beings she surprises them to one by the love that they gave me but the life follows, the pardon is difficult but nonimpossible I have that gift or talent pardoning .no hurts the heart to me when memory the bad things who happened in my life I have been abused sexually when she was young and it pardons with time and I in these last days am forgiven same by my errors pense that I did in positive life and has but thing for my spiritual growth I gave love I give love does not concern if one does not receive the important thing that is to say, I have loved, God I help myself and it always helps me to include/understand fellow and same, that I have friendly that want to me and the love of my daughter treatment to stop to an education being good people eye all we were mistaken but of that it is learned I am Christian and no longer alive I if not who Christ lives in my or to no longer say alive I if who the love lives in my .eres a beautiful God person does not bless to you –HILDA LIPORACE OF ARGENTINA — an error when it registers to me I put liprace and liporace you have not seen are small errors but aprendi to being but kind to which I write ja ja –I want or we are going to say to you I love you —
By HILDA LIPRACE, January 9, 2010 @ 7:39 am
PAUL.me likes all this so that it is a roundtrip is like psychoanalysis of one same one, your DAS the proposal and we thought and removed from our being things that estubieron kept in our heart so I remove the hat before you by this wonderful idea to share thoughts .gracias Paul you are wonderful with an intelligence without equal –many affections and love —
By valerie, January 9, 2010 @ 8:37 am
I have read with attention the different messages and paul responses.
“Our peace depends on our ability to manage our feelings. Unnecessary anger, hatred are destructive feelings. They engage us in words or acts destructive.
Feelings are however constructive: the compassion, the altruism, the capacity to forgive…”
It is sometimes necessary to overcome his fears (fear of something, the unknown). It makes us stronger, enrich us (uplift us).
When we manage to the bottom of the black ski track, it is true, we are pleased and relieved . It is only happiness.
However, sometimes the fears are strongest and we do not find the road. We stay inexorably on obstacle…. but only us, we have key ..
The fears are feelings and it is true that the emotions and the feelings do not control themselves.
The man makes himself his fears. He has to become aware of his fears to act on them.
Pam, I do not doubt that paul is a man full of wisdom and very spiritual. Which happiness for us (via the blog) to share for a moment its philosophy of the life. Great thanks paul for that…really.
By moncanzuba, January 9, 2010 @ 9:55 am
Dear Mr. Glaser,
As much as I read in this site, it makes sense of why you caught my attention early in my youth not only by your looks but also by what I’ve seen on you behind those looks.
It really is inspiring what you’ve achieved by choosing to live “aware” through all your life experience: in good and bad times, in the joy and the sorrow, in peace or struggle times. And I put your wisdom in that point: your choices.
Now, regarding to your post, when I started this path of self-consciousness on myself, I found myself struggling constantly with my ego/fake-power each moment of my life which is not easy as you know.
Nowadays, even when I still have those struggles with that beast inside me (the ego) I guess THAT is the source of our real power, by learning from themm, by facing our fears, our helplessness, and being more compassionate with ourselves. Once you are able to feel love and compassion for yourself, you will be able to do it with others and that is the point of change.
Everything else will come along (as is written in The Bible).
What a pleasure to be here, always learning.
Monica (from Argentina)
By Christine, January 9, 2010 @ 10:28 am
I don’t fear ‘death’. Maybe because I was brought up to believe that ‘dying’ isn’t the end. As you mature and different things happen in your life which can make you question everything you have believed in. Being human its natural to question life. We may not find our answers but its the searching for answers that keeps us going in my opinion. Striving to understand, what life is all about?. Have I made a difference? You wonder could I have done this or said that better? Our minds are constantly wanting more and more knowledge. All so we can enjoy life, to learn and grow as people. Paul, you have made a difference to so many lives, if I may, can I ask how does it feel to truly make a difference? Thank you for your thoughts and your caring. Love as always Christine xx
By pulcino, January 9, 2010 @ 11:35 am
I don’t fear death, I have already my burial niche, however I’d love to know WHEN, so I can to organize my life. Last night a collegue of mine died after three years of fight against the cancer, she had worked until the end and had just got her pension, but she could not enjoy it. If I knew when I die, I’d stop to work and would enjoy my life until the end.
Lots of love
By moncanzuba, January 9, 2010 @ 12:37 pm
“By pulcino: … however I’d love to know WHEN, so I can to organize my life …”
My Dear Maria xxx,
We ALL have a “deadthline” and you know what?, not knowing when its the real challenge, so that we can live step by step, little by little (as The Alan Parsons song). I for myself love the “surprise factor” because it takes the best (or the worse) from ourselves and there is always a lesson to be learned about ourselves in those moments. And you know… the more you know about yourself, the wiser you become.
Monica (from Argentina)
By helly19619, January 9, 2010 @ 4:04 pm
I just dont think of death. Never. I cant see wasting my time on when its going to happen. When it does happen, I have no regrets. I have tried to always be kind to others and make sure my students are given every bit energy and the best instruction I can give. My own kids are grown and entering the professional world. I am proud of them and everything have accomplished.
We waste so much of our time worrying about things we cant control. This is energy you can have for fulfilling your life or contributing to others. Come volunteer in a high risk elementary school. Your fears will go away and you will worry about the kids instead. Much better use of time!!
Happy in Life’s Journey
By Softly, January 9, 2010 @ 4:16 pm
Dear Mr. Glaser,
I am considering, as you suggested, that everything that is, is made up of thought.
Mind immediately came up with a question, “If everything is made of thought, then who is doing the thinking?”
Ego protested, “He wait a second, I am real, I’m not just a thought, I can see, hear, feel…” “No, no” said body, “that’s me, I’m flesh and bone”. “No, if everything is thought than so are you” said mind. “Okay” said body “but than so are you” “Yes, well”, said mind “I’m still considering this” secretly hoping it was she who was doing the thinking. Body couldn’t care less, and went about her business. Ego was moping and complained that it was not fair. And awareness had a big grin on her face, or so the thought goes.
With kind consideration I remain, forever learning,
By lady800cc, January 9, 2010 @ 9:51 pm
I’m going to PRINT it!
(Yeah.. I ride)
By BeckyB, January 9, 2010 @ 10:16 pm
I can honestly say I don’t fear death, but it sounds painful. I haven’t lost someone who was really close to me, but really, for me, it’s the fear that I have of someone close to me dying. As Christine said, I too was brought up to believe that ‘dying’ is not the end.
I try not to think about helplessness and powerlessness, but when put in that position, I tend to come out “fighting”. Faith in God plays a large part in coping with my fears.
By fee, January 10, 2010 @ 7:10 am
Whew!! I don’t think I can be as eloquent as the rest of you but here is my twopence worth.
Maria, I totally understand why you feel the way you do and I take my hat off to you for the way you have been going about living life to the fullest.
Myself, I don’t fear death itself but I suppose it is the manner of how we go that is the problem. I know that it is merely passing on to the next stage but like most of us I would wish it to be quick and relatively painless having lost several close family members and friends to long lingering painful deaths.
As we grow older we start to think about it more especially when one of our own generation dies. This has been brought home to me as I learnt last night of the passing of my older cousin back in Scotland. He was only 64, two years older than me and that is way too young to die. In his case though it was a blessed release as he was suffering from dementia and in a nursing home. In his case he was lucky to have lived so long as he had been wheelchair bound all his life with Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus. He was born before shunts were invented so he had a huge head and wasn’t expected to live as long as he did. However he made the most of his life and enjoyed it thoroughly. We will miss him of course but we celebrate his life.
I am not particularly religious but I must admit that a lot of the Buddhist teachings are appealing to me more and more. I like their outlook on life and living. I am trying to put some into practice but I must admit I find it hard at times as I have to overcome my quick temper etc.
As for “fear of helplessness” , yes that does happen when you are facing something you have no control over.
My biggest fear is fire which is something I have to deal with each summer as we live in a high risk bushfire area of Australia. Tomorrow happens to be an extremely high risk day so we have prepared for it and will evacuate when and if necessary.
We all have fears of our own that we have to come to terms with and either overcome or live with.
I try to live and enjoy life fully each day and to do my best to reach out and help where necessary my friends and neighbours.
Hugs, Fee xx
By monique, January 10, 2010 @ 7:42 am
For the beginning of this new year, you spoiled us. Which beautiful subject in reflexion.
I know this fear of standing me at the top of this black ski run. Yes I am scared. But which enjoyment to go down. . Yes I overcame my fear, yes I made a success, yes I do it.
It is the same matter in my life. Not easy to choose well, not easy to live with our doubts.Not easy to make the decision to divorce. Yes but some time later I say to myself that I shall have to make it before. Yes it is the fear of meeting alone.
Oscar Wilde said: I prefer to have remorses that regrets. It’s a great dilemma, isn’t it?
I read recemment ” the man who wanted to be happy ” of Laurent GOUNELLE, a specialist of the personal behavior. He works with American experts, Peruvian shamans, wise Balinese. It is the story of a man on holidays in Bali which consults an old healer. Its diagnosis: you are healthy, but you are not happy. This man is going to put him in front of the simplicity of the life, the human relations, the relationship with his circle of acquaintances, with money.
This book allows us to question and to find effectively a way simple to live harmoniously its life with the others and especially with itself.
I really like this book. It’s also a big reflexion about my life.
After this reading, I informed me on Boudhisme. I didn’t know what it was, but I am someone curious. I discovered that it was the frame of mind which corresponded to me well enough. But in every new reading, there is new questions. It is the same thing when I read your messages.
Thank you Paul, to share your thoughts I really like your messages, your answer. I say thanks to everybody for all the messages. I like reading them and saying to myself that the others have the same thoughts, the same fears of the life.
Have a nice day,
Kisses from France
By hilly, January 10, 2010 @ 7:46 am
I am not particularly religious but I must admit that a lot of the Buddhist teachings are appealing to me more and more. I like their outlook on life and living. I am trying to put some into practice but I must admit I find it hard at times as I have to overcome my quick temper etc.
when you do, let me know the secret Fee!
By barb, January 11, 2010 @ 1:01 am
Paul, As I read you thoughts on the powerless. I recalled an experience which I have a hard time to explain but here goes I saw my room starting to change in to a black sky with stars which I was floating into the outer space my soul was leaving my body to go to this person who I believe to be universal begin. I was so scare,I called my soul back to my body and I never did it again. I have a few experience where I nearly died as a child but I am still here. I had a fear of the unknown but I learn to embrace the fear head on. Thank you for thoughts . I hope to learn to take the now and let go of the past so I can move on to the next now moment in time. Barbara
that again. I saw an person in that space which I believe was God .
By hilly, January 11, 2010 @ 5:42 am
Monique – I saw Laurent Gounelle on the television (“C’est à Dire on France 5)the other day – and as soon as I can get to the book store I’m going to buy his book.
By Rike, January 11, 2010 @ 8:47 am
I’m fairly new, ‘following’ your thoughts. The last post made me think about my Dad. He was full of humor, a positive man, very special. His passion was writing. Theater plays, poems, books. He was a little bit wacky, but in a nice way.
2003 he was diagnosed with cancer. I was devastated, but he took it with a calmness that was incredible.
For more than 3 years he tried to survive. During these three years of illness, he never lost his humor, he accepted his burden in a way that impressed me deeply. We talked a lot and we both agreed to document his fight for life. First it wasn’t easy for me to take photos of him, but soon we felt that it was like an outlet to deal with all our emotions. It was a relief to have something to express – the feelings we both were going through.
Until the very end he told me: Life is beautiful. The day he passed away I was with him. For three he hadn’t gained consciousness. I told him how much I loved him – and I told him that I knew how much he loved me. And that I was able to let him go, that he shouldn’t fight longer for something that wasn’t really a life any longer. And minutes after that he passed away. For one last time he crinkled his brow, not in pain, but like he was asking where his path may lead.
Even though it was hard to see him dying, it was a precious gift that I was allowed to be with him, to spend his last hours together. I’m so glad he wasn’t alone. And I’m not afraid of death any more. At least not for me, only for ones I have to leave one day – my kids.
After his death I found a poem he wrote as a comfort for me. I would love to share it:
Death is not the end.
It’s the beginning of a new existence,
where the immortal soul of all creature
has its genesis.
This portal now has been crossed
by your true companion.
Don’t grieve for him,
it’s up to us to weep for you,
because he’s gone from you.
But believe me, he went into healing hands
although he’s still at your side.
When time has come,
and the pain isn’t suffocating your breast any longer
and you want to live your life again,
he smilingly will speak to you from the infinite realm:
“It is okay, I want it that way,
and I can look at you without any sorrow.”
Horst Helfrich – 26
I’m sorry if it sounds a little bumpy, English isn’t my native language, I’m from Germany. So please, bear with me…
PS – here you can find the photos I took of him:
By xtexan86, January 11, 2010 @ 8:15 pm
Just a few reflections and comments…
sknash – try to think of forgiveness as not letting that person steal one more second of your life or causing you any more grief. You already HAVE forgiven him/her, by taking control and moving on with your life.
Fear and helplessness of dying – I’m not an expert; haven’t even had a near death experience that I could relate to. What I do ‘fear’ is not accomplishing whatever it is I was put here to do before I die and that fear constantly influences the decisions I make.
And, the question of the day. Why do we feel so compeled to figure life out? Is it because we fear if we don’t there will be nothing else when it ends for all of us?
And along that line, does ‘thought’ or ‘conciousness’ really need to be dissected down to the last atom? I’m not against spirited discussion, but I don’t believe any of us are ‘knowledgeable’ enough in matters that deal with the ethereal. We don’t even know how memory works yet. And we all have opinions and beliefs, but when we present those as gospel or fact, it makes us appear more like fools than anything else.
Don’t get me wrong, if someone believes that their understanding of fear, or death, or life feels right for them and they share that with others, which in turn, makes that person feel/do/act better, it’s all good. But have the humility to say ‘it’s just a theory’ because that’s all it is.
And one last request…PMG, when you respond to a post, could you please include that poster’s name in your response? Sometimes I can’t figure out who you’re responding to. Much appreciated.
By Paul M. Glaser, January 12, 2010 @ 3:43 am
SKNash, – Okay, I’ll try to answer.
re: ….forgiven him/her by taking conrol…:” this of course is our fervent wish, to have some control, some power over our lives. And there it is again; fear of helplessness.
re:….”.what I do fear is not accomplishing what I was put here to do before i die…” The fear is, as you point out, being helpless to achieve what your mind has somehow determined, (” decisions I make) you have to do or you don’t deserve to be, to experience love and be loved.
re: question of the day: Try as we may, we cannot resolve this conflict between what we know innately is happening to us and our mind’s obsession with having no control or power over it. We can try to pretend, but anything, anything at all that pushes that button of fear, of helplessness, be it being stuck in a traffic jam and your late for an appt, or helpless to help someone close to you, (and that but gets pushed in some way 24 hrs a day.) elicits that same fear in a myriad of manifestations. If we are conscious of the ways we deny and/or manifest our fear, ie’ depression, anger, hate, sloth, greed…then from our ‘conscience’ place, we can do something about it. That’s where we can feel our power. Not in what we own, know, build, and destroy, but in our ability to choose to honor our courage as human beings and find compassion for our selves…others. To experience our one-ness…that we’re all here together in the same mess…we then find our capacity to love, to know that we are all the same in regard to our human condition.
“And along that line…” You are right. We only know what we know. There’s more that we don’t. That’s your mind talking. It doesn’t want to ‘dissect down to the last atom’ because it doesn’t want to be reminded that it is powerless to ‘know everything,’(read: ‘control’ and ‘power’). ‘Knowing’ is interpreted by our mind as a control/power thing; what we know, we can control)
I would also offer that I am not trying present anything as ‘gospel’ or fact. I am only sharing something I have learned, something I have experienced and continue to study that I think deserves to be shared, as the world is such a fearful place and I have been fortunate enough to have experienced a truth for me about fear. If what I share touches another, then I am contributing to our humanity in our struggle to keep our animal/mind from destroying ourselves and this planet, and I am humbly thankful for that opportunity. Your mind may want to to interpret that as me prossletizing, but please allow that I am not.
“…have the humility to say ‘it’s just a theory’..” I humbly submit that very thing is theory. Everything is thought. Our minds would like to distinguish between ‘theory’ and ‘fact.’ We can only know what we experience. I share my experience in all humility and thank you for sharing your misgivings and the opportunity for me to answer these questions, not just for you, but for me.
I only know what I experience, as do any of us. If you can see yourself sitting there reading this, if you can stop for five seconds and listen to everything you can hear, then realize that you can ‘see’ yourself hearing,
then you are engaging your awareness…your consciousness…your human gift, the gift that gives us the power to love ourselves in our human struggle.
In closing, please accept my thanks for the opportunity to talk about these issues.
By Paul M. Glaser, January 12, 2010 @ 3:49 am
Your father sounds like he was a very wise man and most likely continues to be a wise man in you.
I would humbly offer that there is a distinction between fear of death and fear of one’s helplessness in the face of death. Helplessness is the issue, and the cause of our fear. We spend a majority of our time either in denial or in the attempt to find a way to avoid that fear.
It sounds like your father made peace with his mortality and his helplessness, and was able to share the
experience of being at one with you. God Bless him.
By Paul M. Glaser, January 12, 2010 @ 3:54 am
I believe that anything the human mind can think of, exists. What you experienced sounds extraordinary. There’s quite alot on the internet about out of body experiences Maybe you ought to take a look. Pmg
By Paul M. Glaser, January 12, 2010 @ 4:02 am
Hilly – So, what is this ‘quick temper’ that’s so quick to react protecting you from, that when the tiger but glances in your direction, you need to defend against your perceived helplessness? Maybe you can keep a ‘journal of the lost tempers,’ and write about what was really going on at the time? Your act of writing it down…actually seeing your hand and pen writing on paper will help your ‘witness’…your awareness, along with any insights of similarities to the experiences. Just a thought. pmg
By Paul M. Glaser, January 12, 2010 @ 4:05 am
Thank you Monique for ‘The Man Who Wanted to Be Happy.’ I’m going to see if I can find it in English. Pmg
By Paul M. Glaser, January 12, 2010 @ 4:10 am
Fee, you’d be amazed at how many subtle and not so subtle ways our ‘fear of helplessness’ manifests itself everyday. The fear of helplessness in the face of our mortality is the grandaddy…the primal one, and it is there to ignite your ‘quick temper,’ which sounds more like a defense against feeling anything resembling helplessness.pmg
By Paul M. Glaser, January 12, 2010 @ 4:14 am
You’ll notice you said “…fear of death.” as opposed to fear of helplessness in the face of death.’ (There’s that mind doing it’s thing again.) There’s a difference. Fear of death doesn’t occupy our days. Fear of helplessness does. it’s the human condition.
By Paul M. Glaser, January 12, 2010 @ 4:16 am
Softly – and that big grin was beautiful.
By sknash, January 12, 2010 @ 4:38 am
Thank you Paul and everyone for these conversations. Believe it or not, reading and hearing other’s conflicts, fears, etc. does help. It takes away the aloneness. Everyone have a good day from frigid and icy Florida! Blessings-Susan
By sknash, January 12, 2010 @ 4:48 am
Seeing some of these comments and how the mind is triggered by words and feelings, there is a book that I have found extremely helpful that opened my eyes to how words actually do influence how we feel, how we think. It’s called “The Worry Free Life” by Terence Sandbek PHD and Patrick Philbrick. If I would have know that the constant use of words triggerings these thoughts. Our inner voice can play games with us. I have found this book so very helpful and it does suggesting writing, writing every day. I just wanted to share this as it has helped me a lot, especially these last few months. The mind is a wonderful thing, our thoughts are wonderful, but they can be even better. -Susan
By fee, January 12, 2010 @ 5:55 am
Thanks Paul for replying and making me think even more. Hmm, that’s a different way of explaining why I fly off the handle sometimes though not nearly so much nowadays. Yes fear of helplessness makes sense as I am usually either overtired or over stressed at the time. Especially if I try to do too much at once. Must learn to slow down and realise that I can no longer multitask the way I used to. My poor husband is very long suffering as he is usually the one that cops it now that the children have left home.
As for death that has to wait quite a few years thank you very much as I have way too many quilts to make to drop off the perch yet.
Susan I can only echo what you say about the sharing of these thoughts as I think it is fantastic that we can do so. It always amazes me the ability we have nowadays to converse with each other in this way when we are spreqd all ocver the world
By soulpictures, January 12, 2010 @ 6:07 am
Thanks for your kind words… Yes, there is a distinction between fear of death and fear of one’s helplessness in the face of death. It’s hard to explain in a foreign language, so maybe I did chose the wrong words.
I don’t feel helpless any longer in the face of death. Because my Dad showed me that me being just there for him was all what was needed. I now know, what I did was the best I could do. It’s not easy to accept that there are limits one can do.
Wish I could express it much better…
By fee, January 12, 2010 @ 6:11 am
Blast!! That wasn’t meant to happen!! Hit the wrong key somewhere!! Pity we can’t edit our posts. Lol.
I meant to say spread all over the world in different time zones etc. Most of us on here do not know one another personally but still we can exchange ideas, fears, thoughts.
I have been lucky enough to meet a few of the people that are posting here and we have become close friends and of course also had the great pleasure of meeting you Paul at Bromley. That panto was the cause of making and cementing quite a few friendships.
It’s a great idea that you had Paul re creating this discussion board and lovely to have the chance to chat with you and everyone else in this way.
Hugs from butterfingers Fee who is still getting used to her new laptop!!
By Rike, January 12, 2010 @ 7:00 am
oh – and btw… I’m female
By Softly, January 12, 2010 @ 9:40 am
Dear Mr. Glaser,
Humble and happy I thank you.
Grinning and forever learning,
By HILDA LIPRACE, January 12, 2010 @ 11:15 am
PAULthat is the love? that is the fear? – All we are beings of love for that we were created to love and to be loved using the benignancy for the other and to one same one. The love difficult to difinir are different ways to love .hijos man woman friendly parents we loved of the same form? partly if they are human beings they are individual beings that is to love? is to give to todo.com pacion respect benignancy but first we must begin by one same one if not as we can love if we did not love ourselves firstthat is the fear? everything is the stranger what we cannot have under our control-the estremos are bad is necessary to look for a balance in this life God blesses to you Hilda Liporace Argentina
By hilly, January 12, 2010 @ 2:16 pm
If I were as wise as you are Paul I wouldn’t need to even think of keeping a journal like that. I’ve improved over the years – at least now I manage to count as far as 6 or 7 before the explosion.
By the way Paul, I bought my copy of The Man Who Wanted to Be Happy today and it says on the back that it has been translated into 50+ languages; but Amazon doesn’t seem to know that yet. Unless of course you could read it in French…….
(fingers crossed that the image worked!)
By hilly, January 12, 2010 @ 2:16 pm
rats!…now where’s the notebook!
By monique, January 12, 2010 @ 2:42 pm
thanks for your answer Paul. I hope you can find this book in English. As Hilly says, you could read it in French; It will be a good training for the knowledge of our language. I wish you a good reading for you and for you Hilly.
Tell me what do you think about it.
Je vous souhaite une bonne journée.
Gros bisous de France
By Rach1970, January 12, 2010 @ 4:33 pm
You wrote in response to Sknash (Susan):
“Try as we may, we cannot resolve this conflict between what we know innately is happening to us and our mind’s obsession with having no control or power over it. We can try to pretend, but anything, anything at all that pushes that button of fear, of helplessness, be it being stuck in a traffic jam and your late for an appt, or helpless to help someone close to you, (and that but gets pushed in some way 24 hrs a day.) elicits that same fear in a myriad of manifestations. If we are conscious of the ways we deny and/or manifest our fear, ie’ depression, anger, hate, sloth, greed…then from our ‘conscience’ place, we can do something about it. That’s where we can feel our power. Not in what we own, know, build, and destroy, but in our ability to choose to honor our courage as human beings and find compassion for our selves…others. To experience our one-ness…that we’re all here together in the same mess…we then find our capacity to love, to know that we are all the same in regard to our human condition.”
Well said and very true!!! Thank you!! Awareness is key and being aware of our subconscious fear of powerlessness is half the battle right there. You know you can’t get any planer then that and in this statement is much wisdom. My youngest son has High function Autism and I realize there are many things you cannot change about his condition just love him and guide him the best we can. Believe me when you first get the diagnosis with your child it’s one of the hardest things that we’ve had to go through. But with prayer, patience and wonderful support he’s doing very well. Life has it’s moments of helplessness but in them are some of the biggest gifts. I have compassion for myself, others and forgiveness for myself and others because as you said we’re in this human race together and doing the best we can. I’ll also add that having a good support system helps us through and I’m lucky I have a wonderful best friend for 12 years and we can discuss anything. It’s a rare gift and one we’re grateful for because we get serious and then we end up laughing. Laughter is such good medicine. It’s not exactly what everyone is discussing but you know what it really does help. Life is so much nicer with a smile and a helping hand. Thank you so much for doing your part and kind words…….
By Laertes, January 12, 2010 @ 4:54 pm
Could it be that the eagerness to get others to face their helplessness and mortality is actually a mask for detaching yourself from human contact. If a person is helpless, they are not obligated to ever truly reach out to other human beings. OR attach yourself to other people. If your helpless you have an excuse not to help others. If you “embrayce” that unability to help others (powerlessness) can’t you justify walking away from the pain or misery of other people without guilt. I dont kno. Sometimes I wonder if when we talk about loving ourselves thats really not much more than justifying neglecting others. Not loving others. I don’t know. Could that really be cowardice. Apathy? A fear of committment? Maybe the real fear isn’t our own mortality, But the fear of losing the ones we love. Or guilt because we cant save them. If thats true then helplessness would be a Defense. Not staying present.
By TheLidlessEye, January 12, 2010 @ 5:21 pm
Is it “powerlessness”–or fatalism in the face of impossible odds?
By xtexan86, January 12, 2010 @ 7:20 pm
Thanks for replying to my post (even though you did mix me up with SKNash…that’s okay, I’m getting old, too.)
Your response of ‘We only know what we know. There’s more that we don’t. That’s your mind talking. It doesn’t want to ‘dissect down to the last atom’ because it doesn’t want to be reminded that it is powerless to ‘know everything,’…is interesting.
My theory on this is God limits our understanding while we are on Earth. I know I’ve read this somewhere in the Bible, plus, when He addressed Job during his anguish over all the ills that were cast upon him, God made it pretty clear that there were many, many things that Job didn’t know.
Hence, I view my place here as a servant, not someone who seeks knowledge of something he’ll never find the answer to. And I’m very happy with that. I learned several years ago that education never reaches an end, no matter what you try to learn. But the process is fun, as long as we can figure out how to do it the easy way instead of acquiring it the hard way.
Lastly, I don’t think of you as trying to proselytize. Conversely, you have my deepest respect. To have weathered the highs and lows that have happened in your life, the way that you did, certainly deserves to be admired and honored.
So in closing, please accept MY thanks for the opportunity to talk about these issues. (Next time, let’s do lunch though…my treat!) Peace.
By Lyxie, January 13, 2010 @ 5:39 am
Dearest Mr Glaser,
First of all, I wish you a sweet safe and healthy year; may your path be free of pain and may you and your loved ones fully experience the joys life has in store.
Saying that I have been a fan of yours for more than 30 years is an understatement. What has really thrilled me over the years is your philosophy of life, the way you decided to react when it hit you hard or when it brought you new joys. I must say I admire your attitude more than I could translate into words, but I’ll try anyway.
I’ve been very close to death, even if it did not threathen me directly, yet a few years ago it hit me very hard. I experienced life and death simultaneously when giving birth to my little daughter and watching my husband die at the same time. For a couple of years, I shamefully admit there was no way out of my tunnel. The connection between my husband and I was so special that I developed a fear of being hit myself, because I felt I had not behaved properly in front of adversity and I felt guilty for not saving him.
Then I learned. I watched my little one grow, offer me her first smile, her first words, her first steps. And even though I thought “He will never witness this”, now I thank life for making me the first witness of these Grand Premiere series. She is the most wonderful gift he could have given me before leaving.
Life has indeed taken me in directions I hadn’t even imagined. Each day I try to be strong, for me, for her, for life. Your motto now follows me everywhere and I try to follow my heart, my dreams, my plans.
I thank you, Mr Glaser, from the bottom of my heart and soul, for this superb motto and for all the words you share with us, day after day, for the example you set, for being so human and compassionate.
Some doors were closed, but I have learned to search for an open window. It’s not easy nor obvious every day, but I try to do my best.
I’m still afraid of death somehow, but now it has taken another dimension: I’m afraid of going before I managed to do what I’m supposed to do, before giving my little one all I can give her, before experiencing all that life has in store for me.
I often come here, to read your words, and those of all the wonderful people who react.
I thank you for reading these lines and again, may Life treat you sweet and safe.
With love from France,
By Terri, January 13, 2010 @ 9:02 am
Good morning Paul, I looked at every sight I could think of this morning to see if I could find any information on an english copy of Gounelle’s book.I don’t know if you’ve done the same. Unfortunately, I found that it was published for about ten countries but the rights to publish in english are still available. In case that wasn’t accurate I checked as many book sights but only found french copies. I do love a challenge but would have liked better results. Terri
By Rach1970, January 13, 2010 @ 9:37 am
I love what you’re saying about helping hands! I agree that even though we may feel helpless in helping others there is always something one can do. It can be just a listening ear, support, and you’re right it’s not always easy but so worth it the end.
A smile and a helping hand go along way in this world. People tend to look at the negative and it’s up to us to share the postive. I’m lucky I have a great family and friends. I mentioned my best friend who is such a wonderful human being and has taught me so much with her human spirit. We’ve been able to help each other! As I said laughter is great medicine.
Have a great day, Rach
By Christine, January 13, 2010 @ 11:34 am
Feeling powerless/helpless is a feeling I know only too well. I used to think I was a strong person. I have in my life, lost most of my family, that in itself makes you think a lot about not taking life for granted, as you never know what is around the corner..
It appears to me that the more people you lose the more that fear of loss grips you. It tends to sharpen your emotions in such a way that you become more and more terrified of losing anyone else. As I am learning through this blog we don’t have any power over our mortality, all the worrying in the world won’t stop it. The real problem with this is the tendency to try to ‘over protect’ those we love, for the fear of anything bad happening to them.On a lighter note, sometimes my daughter is late coming home from her boyfriend’s house. Instead of seeing it for what it is my mind starts running through all the what if’s. Nine times out of ten her mobile phone will be flat, so when I’m nervously calling her … nothing!
So now I start wondering why is her phone broken?. By the time she arrives home I am past myself with worry. I have to constantly remind myself not to over react! But that ‘fear’ gets me every time.
As a parent it’s your natural instinct to protect. I’m working on becoming a more bearable mother! A nice calm unruffled parent, can’t see it happening some how.
By Rach1970, January 13, 2010 @ 12:14 pm
I think that’s a natural parental reaction and my teenage sons have cell phones so when I call I like to reach them too*g*…
Aww both you and Paul are very strong people, who believe it or not through your experiences are helping others. You never know who is reading this blog who may feel helpless but see the courage of others and that helps them. That’s what it’s all about and could be an answer to their prayers. Faith, kindness, sunshine all are a part of the process as well. Well back to work I go from my break.
Hugs to you, Rach
By jools, January 13, 2010 @ 12:43 pm
Hi Hilly *waves back*; as I mentioned on the other topic which relates to this one too, writing is a great way to channel whatever emotions are colouring your state of mind at any given time ~ and since you write too, you are, or could be, writing that journal without realising it.
Jotting things down in notebooks, even if you keep it all to yourself, what you write down can ultimately be a good source for stories or characters.
One of the things I still hope to be able to accomplish in the writing class I go to, is to be freer in how I write; to lose those inhibitions that put the brakes on sometimes; and not to be trapped by all those ‘no rules’ rules!
By HILDA LIPRACE, January 13, 2010 @ 12:48 pm
DEAR PAUL: THE LIFE TAKES TO US IN DIFFERENT DIRECTIONS IS BAD NOR GOOD NO I I SAY ONE OF CAL AND ANOTHER ONE OF SAND BUT WE DO NOT FORGET THAT WITH THESE TWO INGREDIENTS IT IS POSSIBLE TO BE CONSTRUCTED THUS IS THE LIFE IS CONSTRUCTED LITTLE BY LITTLE WE DO NOT HAVE TO LOSE THE CAPACITY TO LOVE IF WE ARE NOT LOST WHAT ONE GIVES THAT RECEIVES EVERYTHING IN THE LIFE IS A APRENDISAJE, THE FEAR THE LOVE ….. EVERYTHING… ONE MUST PLACE ITS KINDNESS SAND GRANITE TO BE THE DIFFERENCE TO BE BENIGN AND JUDGES THE PARDON IS NOT VERY IMPORTANT TO PARDON AND TO BE FORGIVEN TO ONE SAME ONE SO THAT THE LACK OF PARDON BRINGS RESENTMENT AND WE CANNOT GROW TO GIVE LOVE (PAM VERY BEAUTIFUL YOUR WORDS) GOD BLESS – HILDA LIPORACE ARGENTINA
By Christine, January 13, 2010 @ 1:01 pm
Hi Rach, Thank you for the reply, you are always so kind. I must say you seem a very positive person, and that in turn makes other’s feel positive too. Also I think its such a good thing in life to keep a sense of humour! It gets you through some tough times! Take care, Christine xx
By Raffy, January 13, 2010 @ 1:02 pm
Being powerless is our reality, and to say to ourselves that we are doesn’t imply indifference or to choose to not reach out in my opinion (referring to Laertes’ post). On the contrary it can break the walls between people. To let us go to our powerlessness sounds negative to our ego because it seems we are losing any control, so we won’t build those barriers feeding its survival but actually taking us away from our human condition. Condition that only our mind I think sees as a “bad thing”. Why otherwise should it be perceived like that? Our fear, of the unknown too, also helps us stay on this earth, not to choose “to go away”, this in order to “grow” spiritually, and perhaps this planet is the right place where we can do it.
If we all were able to accept to feel powerless all things now so apparently different in our eyes wouldn’t create any conflicts. Conflicts satisfies only our ego. On the other hand we could think that this process leading to compassion and love, for ourselves and others, could be another “trick” of the ego, another escape, as many others are in order to regain control. It would be even more slier in this case. I don’t think it is so though, because once barriers fall down and we are “nacked”…love arises. I think it would be that true love living only in that “place” called consciousness (and that our fear itself can help us know)… where we don’t “need” others for feeling well, we don’t “need” others because “to give” makes us feel well. It is an unconditional love, there is not “I” and “you” as we are used to think of it… I think it must be something unique we can only experience, and any word can’t explain…
Could our ego ever accept all that?
By hilly, January 13, 2010 @ 2:30 pm
I know what you mean Jools – but I’ve got writer’s block in a big way right now. having enough trouble making sense of my coursework notes!
By hilly, January 13, 2010 @ 2:33 pm
Blast!! That wasn’t meant to happen!! Hit the wrong key somewhere!! Pity we can’t edit our posts. Lol.
Fee – I’ve taken to cheating – I type long answers in Word and copy paste them when I’m sure they don’t look like Martian!
By Softly, January 13, 2010 @ 3:45 pm
I think you raise a lot of different issue here.
- The eagerness to get others to face their helplessness and mortality as a way to detach yourself from human contact.
- People who feel helpless can use there helplessness as an excuse to walk away from pain and misery of other people.
- The act of talking about loving oneself could be a way to justify neglecting others.
- The real fear is not our own mortality but the mortality of the ones we love.
- Helplessness could be a defense, a way to not be here now.
(I sure hope I read you right)
There are a lot of ways to keep away from connecting to ourselves, others, the universe. You named but a few. I could add: “Thinking that you are the one to help others” as a way to disconnect with yourself. Or “arrogantly claiming you know it all” as a way to disconnect with others. All these are shields and I’ve tried them all. These shields keep you from the raw realization that you are a mere mortal and come and go alone and there is nothing you can do about it.
There are more ways to protect yourself and at one time or another we all choose one of these shields for ourselves, to feel safe, if only for a brief moment. The real dangers lays in staying behind that shield and in doing so gain a false sense of security.
You ask could that be cowardice, apathy, or fear of commitment. If you choose to stay behind the shields I think the answer should be yes, you are a coward, you are apathetic, and you do fear commitment, I would even add that all these shields are a way of proclaiming your self importance.
It is an act of self importance, to neglect others in favor of loving our ego and to not want to lose those we think we love. Even staying helpless or have the eagerness to have others face there helplessness could be an act of self importance.
To stay behind a shield and fearfully cling on to it, is a sure way to disconnect on some level with others and ourselves. All these acts are a defense, a way to not be here now. It is up to each one of us to discover our own shields and have them melt in away in the love and light that connects us all. Mind you, no one is saying this is a fear free or painless process. But let’s not give up, clarity is waiting on the other side.
But than again.
All these shields are also an outcry to be acknowledged, to be deemed worthy of love.
- Please admit that you are more helpless than I, so I can help you and there for be loved by you.
- Please admit that I’m helpless and there for worthy of love
- If I proclaim to love myself, others might follow.
- Please beloved don’t go, for who is going to love me then.
- If I defend myself from the here and now were I don’t feel loved, I can crawl away in a memory or a hope of being loved.
But it is still up to us to crawl out from under our shields.
I never fully understood where compassion for self fitted in, but writing this, seeing myself writing this, hearing myself form the words, feeling the thoughts, I get it.
In silence and gratitude I remain forever learning,
By Josie, January 13, 2010 @ 8:18 pm
That’s right, Pam. ”Life is so much nicer with a smile and a helping hand”.
Knowing that you made someone happy is the best feeling you can get.
By helly19619, January 13, 2010 @ 8:53 pm
I have a question, why when you have a problem does your mind race around playing the picture over and over and over again? I always say I cant turn the tape recorder off. This racing can prevent you from sleeping at night. Thank goodness my problems are very tiny compared to others problems. or better yet why do we suddenly wake up at 2:00 in the morning and think about something so silly, Like dont forget to give Susie lunch money? For a teacher this can go on for 10 months straight. Any solutions?
By Josie, January 13, 2010 @ 9:05 pm
Dear Mr Glaser.
A day, when I was child. I loved so much you. When I started growing and don’t more could watching you in tv. I thought, Well I was child, this was something of child.
But the long time passed. I continue to love you.
You are a celebrity but you’re here sharing their experiences and thoughts.
What I want to say is I know, I ‘m not of your family but I am very proud of you.
I feel immensely proud of what you do. What you are.
It comes from the bottom of my heart.
You bring me inspiration, too.
Thanks Mr. Glaser.
All The Best.
By lady800cc, January 13, 2010 @ 10:49 pm
Hi PMG, Pam and Blog Fam:
While I still believe that the ‘feeling’ of powerlessness and helplessness is the end result of a fear of something for which we see no other path to conquer; I do like this “… thought=consciousness=awareness=enlightenment…a gift of ‘being’. …” Thought in the form of self discovery by some action such as writing, learning something new, even listening to the words of a song, can bring you to a new consciousness. For me it is Martial Arts training for almost a year now. If you want to learn something about yourself, start Martial Arts at the age of 44! LOL! It’s not just coming to terms with the physical – and I say coming to terms because the alternative is allowing yourself to feel helpless in the face of your fear of your limitations; thereby giving up – there is also the mental; becoming more conscious and thereby aware of your emotions, feelings and reactions. I spared with a teen one day who had at least 4 inches and 30 lbs on me. This teen was punching full power; and with each punch or kick, I got angry [hey, I have my own teens that I would knock out if they ever swung at me like that ]; but in being conscience of what was happening within me, the fear that I was going to lose it, I could control the end result, my reaction – even to the kick that completely missed the hand held targets and hit me in the wrist lol!
By lady800cc, January 13, 2010 @ 11:19 pm
Now, extreme fear has brought me to the feeling of helplessness a few times in my life: sitting at the foot of my uncles’ hospital bed, waiting for him to take his last breath – all I could do was sing; I think that brought solace to the others there. Listening through the hospital door when my oldest was just a year old and swallowed some paint chips from a toy; she was vomiting uncontrollably and they were trying to get an IV in… her screams through that door tore me inside out; I remember it like it was yesterday. As a pre-teen in NY, looking at my carved up face in the mirror, not knowing if I would look like that for the rest of my life – I was attacked in the school yard and it took the doctors to tell everything that happened to me; including being bit in the face.
There is still growth that leads to some stage of enlightenment from these experiences; including a greater understanding that we are more than the situations that we find ourselves in at any given moment; and that how we journey through those moments is as important as the lessons we learn when those moments of life have passed.
By Paul M. Glaser, January 14, 2010 @ 12:53 am
Lady 800. Thank you for that.
By Paul M. Glaser, January 14, 2010 @ 12:55 am
By Paul M. Glaser, January 14, 2010 @ 1:17 am
Any suggestions have to be taken with a lot of patience, okay?
Here’s a meditation:
Watch your breathing. Watch it come in and go out on its own. If your attention wanders, go with it and then come back to your breathing.
Now listen to everything that you can hear. If your mind wanders, go with it, and come back to your listening.
Take a small visit with your breathing, then check out what you can hear.
Notice how your body feels…where it’s tense, how the materials that are touching it feel…
Check in with your breathing….catch some sounds….keep your mind company when it needs to wander…just come back for as little or as long as you like.
See yourself lying there, as if you were studying yourself from some distance.
Now notice where your attention is; is your mind running? How’s your body feeling,…what sounds are you hearing? Are you still breathing? Shallow? Deep?
In fact, you can watch yourself think, watch yourself listen, watch yourself breathe, watch yourself feel your body’s sensations.
So now we play a game.
It’s called ‘follow the bouncing ball.’ It’s very simple and you have to pay close attention to your attention. Where is it? On your thinking? Listening,
feeling, or on your breathing?
(Example: “Oh look, my mind is asking if this is going to work? Okay, mind, I’m paying attention….what do you want to think of next?” Eventually your mind will get tired and you’ll find yourself checking in with your listening…breathing….you get the point. And you’ll come back to your mind time and time again: “Oh…that’s what we’re thinking about now? Oops, I’m thinking about thinking and thinking that I can’t stop thinking…what do we want to think of next?….etc…”)
Now patiently continue to follow your attention wherever it wants to go untill you fall asleep.
By Paul M. Glaser, January 14, 2010 @ 1:30 am
Softly….such an interesting choice of a ‘handle.’ The singular focus with which your mind very LOUDLY negates these thoughts, struggles to disqualify them and renders them to alterior motives says more about you than me, don’t you think? Is there something about what I’m sharing that threatens you and makes you feel angry and uncomfortable? I’m sharing what I’ve been given, that’s all I’m doing because I believe it could be of some help in this very scary world we are living in.
By Paul M. Glaser, January 14, 2010 @ 1:36 am
Then choose to see it and don’t judge how well or poorly you are doing.
By Paul M. Glaser, January 14, 2010 @ 1:40 am
We ‘go’ when we go and there is nothing we can do about that. Our time in this life is our time.
When you talk about being afraid of not doing all that you are supposed to do.
Where are you getting this information that there are things we are ‘supposed to do?’
Isn’t fear of not doing really feeling about being helpless to do? (there we go with ‘helplessness’ again…won’t this guy ever shut up?)
By Paul M. Glaser, January 14, 2010 @ 1:50 am
I don’t think of this journey as ‘seeking knowledge of something I’ll never find an answer to.’
My mind/ego wants to find an answer because in knowing something, it feels powerful and not helpless.
Why does the human being have the capacity to seek knowledge? For fun? Facts, figures, beliefe systems…yeah, maybe that can be seen as ‘fun.’
‘Knowledge’,,,in the biblical sense is more than what the mind can learn. It is an experience of knowing that you feel in your being.’
As for there being more than we can ever learn, I’m reminded of the first ‘Conversations with God,’ where…and I paraphrase; God says we are always talking about what we have to learn. We are not here to learn. We are hear to remember…as if your arm is a ‘member’ of your body and you are re-memberering, as in re-attaching your arm/member to your body. What are we here to remember? That which we already know from the moment we’re born…maybe even before, because we ARE the knowing.
By Lyxie, January 14, 2010 @ 2:33 am
Hello Mr Glaser… may I call you Paul?
Thanks so much for your answer. Indeed, I become aware that I’ve always been guided by others in certain directions… the only time I wanted to do just exactly what I wanted, fate took it from me.
I sometimes wondered whether our destiny is written somewhere? Are we 100% in charge of it? At times I doubted it. Then again at other times, I feel like I could move mountains.
I did feel helpless at the time I lost my beloved.
I may have sounded a lot depressed in my last message.
Some thought crossed my mind: after being afraid to die… have I become only afraid to live?… may sound weird, right?
And please, don’t ever think of keeping silent… Pam is right… your words are precious to us all…
Looking forward to sharing more.
I should have come here long ago .
I wish you well,
Warm regards from France
By fee, January 14, 2010 @ 8:19 am
Paul, many thanks for that “meditation”. I shall have to give it a go. Like Pam and others have said please don’t “shut up”. Your outlook and comments are helping so many folk.
All the best, Fee
By hilly, January 14, 2010 @ 10:56 am
Please Paul…don’t you dare shut up ….I bookmarked your blogs alongside the Dharmadude’s thoughts!(link on my Facebook page somewhere I hope – I’m not a FB fan and lousy and using it!)
I am still trying to plough through Conversations with God – it isn’t that I don’t find it fascinating but I have it in French and the translation is “heavy going”. Not least because the idea of re-membering is almost impossible to translate because of the play on words and TBH it took me a while to recognise the concept from what you have written and said in the past.
Learning is something an enquiring mind never stops doing – and an enquiring mind is an active and thoughtful mind…and that’s what keeps us alive in every sense of the word.
By Rach1970, January 14, 2010 @ 11:47 am
In response to your comment (there we go with ‘helplessness’ again…won’t this guy ever shut up?) I hope you don’t as it helps others. I agree with Pam and Hilly.
Ps off topic (who me? lol) my youngest son was reading the Kazaam book yesterday.*g* It’s a nice book! I ordered it from Amazon.
By marly, January 14, 2010 @ 2:36 pm
Today I read your last blog about your decision to limit yourself to posting blogs because it’s so time consuming. I absolutely understand that and I think it’s also a very wise decision.
Having said that I would like to ask you one single question.
I work with young children(2-4 years )and despite(or just because…) the fact that we live in a very large and busy city I try to get the children in touch/accustomed with that bit of nature that is within our reach.
In summer I encourage them to look for snails, worms, ants,during the autumn we go spider hunting, etc. We study these creatures,talk about them and sometimes we invite them to stay over in our playroom for a couple of days.
I have to confess that I had to overcome my own fear for some creepy crawlies but the children make it all worthwhile. Their eagerness to learn comes natural and if they are scared(they’re generally less scared than us!) they usually overcome their fears in no time.
I strongly believe that children need to experience and explore the world around them.
You can show them a picture of a snail but it remains a flat lifeless image until the child can actually touch a real snail,feel it,smell it……..At the same time I teach the children to respect these small and often very delicate creatures.We’re not dealing with toys,we need to be careful in order not to hurt the tiny ladybug or woodlouse.
My intention with this approach is to make children aware of the natural world around them ,to teach them to respect life,etc.This may sound very idealistic to you but it works for me.
Also,dealing with “creepy crawlies “invites children to talk about their fears and very often we end up talking about the monsters that hide under their bed/closet.
Back in the old days,when I was a lot younger,I used to think that I could help frightened children by reassuring them that monsters were not real,did not exist……It was only when I noticed that my words failed to ease their minds that I remembered my own fear as a child.No matter how many times my mother told me that there were no monsters behind the curtains,as soon as she left my room there they were!
So,in order to chase the monsters away,I encourage the children to think of solutions and it’s truly amazing to listen to the things they come up with.
I ask children to draw or paint their monsters and the results often are fantastic.
For the children,talking about their monsters with each other is almost a therapeutic experience.
Just as on this shared thoughts blog,they find solace in the act of recognition;”Hey,I’m not alone,the others feel the same way!”
Some parents told me that they find my approach towards fear somewhat controversial and they worry about the effect it could have on their child.”Ït’s better to not emphasize the fear by encouraging children to talk about it cause it might just make it worse…”
Lots of other parents told me about the rituals they use at home in order to get rid of monsters,for them my approach was no problem at all.
After reading your blogs on fear/helplessness I began to wonder…..
I’m always looking,searching for more ways to help “my”children .They have only just begun their journey and in this scary world they need all the help they can get while searching for their very own paths through life.
How can we “teach”(?) our children awareness,compassion for themselves and for others?
Are we able to reach beyond our own fears in order to help/guide them and if so,how?
Paul,I hope you are able to enlighten me on this matter but it’s okay if you won’t.
With respect and kind regards,
By Christine, January 14, 2010 @ 4:27 pm
Hi Paul, I’m not sure who your comment about ‘don’t judge how well or poorly you are doing’ was for as there was no name, so I apologize if I have it wrong but it was such a positive attitude to have!. I will keep it in mind, with love, Christine xx
By stonealbatross, January 14, 2010 @ 6:20 pm
I got back this morning from a few days away in Scotland and so have tried to catch up by scanning through the posts that have been added since I last looked. Boy you guys have been busy!
The trip to Scotland turned into a ‘journey’ at several levels. For starters my flights were cancelled so I had a twelve and a half hour overnight bus ride from London to Inverness. The last time I did a bus journey like that was 15 years ago, it’s great to know I still have it in me. Anyway I could wax lyrical on the various journeys of self re-discovery and discovery of there being more to the future than killing time until I die, but I’ll spare you that. The bottom line is that I got home feeling more alive and positive than I have for years. Then I scanned through the posts.
This is not a comment on what was written or on anyone’s views, but as I ran my eye down the page I was struck by the negativity of it all. Actually going back and reading posts properly I realise that isn’t the case. What was happening was that I picked up on the negative words: fear, powerless, helplessness, death, love (got to work on that one!)and I could feel them dragging me down all day. Hence I am now sitting here in the early hours of the morning re-reading things.
It’s amazing how powerful words can be even when taken in isolation, and how easily we can latch onto them even when we think we are reading the whole sentence. I sure I had a point to make when I started these sleep deprived ramblings, maybe I’ve said enough for folks to draw their own conclusions that are personal and relevant to thenselves. Personally I am glad that I can identify what is happening and can counter it.
So I am off to bed to dream of breathtaking views of the snow engulfed Cairngorms Nationla Park and of sipping whisky whilst head-banging in the dark to Vampire Rock.(Mid-life crisis or second youth?)
By Softly, January 15, 2010 @ 6:34 am
Dear Mr. Glaser,
As I come to all things in this marvelous world, I came to your blog with an unquenchable thirst for learning and with the spirit to seek first to understand without fear or reservations.
If my response to Laertes is understood by you as a response in anger, or that it comes from the uncomfortable feeling of threat by what you share, I have done something wrong. For that I apologize.
We have no quarrel about the fact that all I say or write says a lot about me, for it is me who writes, feels, responds, makes mistakes, thinks and learns. It was not my intention to disqualify any of the thoughts or merely render them to ulterior motives. But that’s what came across. And as I have been taught that the meaning of our communication is the response we get. I will take responsibility for mis-communicating my intentions.
The thoughts and questions Laertes offered up sparked in me a train of thoughts. I acknowledged his thoughts and my train and offered them up to the world. If there was a struggle, the struggle was mine to understand all these thoughts.
I probably should have shouted LOUDLY that I am the coward, I am apathetic, I fear commitment and I use all these shields as a way of proclaiming my self-importance. For I am aware this is what I do. Would, for you, that have made a difference?
It was not my place to say others use these shields as well, or that others have the same struggle with there ego as I do. For assuming this, I apologize.
I realized in writing my response to Laertes that all these shields have a flip side. There too I should have shouted how I hunger for love, how I begged beloved not to go, for fear of being alone, how I know how to hide from being here, now. Were it concerns my mind and ego I freely admit that I’ve used self-importance and helplessness as a shield to disconnect from others, from self, from consciousness, from that which is authentic.
I’ve played both sides of the shield; I’ve played victim and hero only to discover that I’m neither.
I can only guess that it is my train of thought that gave you the impression that I feel uncomfortable with accepting the possibility of what you have shared, but this is not so. It is what you’ve shared that brought me to a realization.
I’ve watched the struggle of ego many times, I’ve watched myself watch ego’s struggle. I’ve seen the shields of my ego form and vanish and form again. But never could I watch all this in compassion.
After reading countless books, after being taught by wonderful teachers and after hours of meditation, it was reading your blog that finally made it click. I finally figured out were compassion for self fits in.
In hindsight I should have send you, not the train, but only the realization, but I didn’t, so here we are.
As for my handle, it is like my teacher said upon giving me my third Dan grade: “This is not what you are but this is what you aspire to be.”
I bowed to him and said thank you, as I bow to you now and say thank you.
Grateful for what you’ve shared, I’ll remain forever learning.
By valerie, January 17, 2010 @ 6:29 am
Monique….great thanks for Laurent Gounelle’s book !
I am reading it
By PamT, January 19, 2010 @ 1:05 pm
Has anyone else tried Paul’s suggested meditation that appeared earlier in this thread? I’d really recommend that you give it a go.
I began practicing Mindfulness of Breathing a couple of years ago, but then fell out of the habit. This was unwise move on my part because, aside from the feelings of increased awareness, it had a definite calming effect and actually lowered my blood pressure. Anyway, Paul’s suggestion prompted me to try his approach.
The meditation has been such a reminder to me of how much the mind is capable of chasing its own tail. It’s actually quite revealing (and initially a tad disconcerting) to witness the thoughts jumping from one topic to another; back again and then off on a completely different, seemingly unconnected, tangent. And focusing on the sounds that are usually ‘tuned out’ is interesting – suddenly picking up on the faint ticking of the clock, the creaking of the house ‘settling’, a car door being slammed outside. Of course all of these thoughts and sounds happen all the time; it’s just that many of us are mostly oblivious to them. For me, more work is needed on the visualisation of self lying in situ. Why I find this more difficult than observing breathing, thoughts, sounds and physical sensations, I’m not sure. But I think I understand the part this plays in engaging with my consciousness and, of course, it’s very early days. My short-term memory not being what it once was (!), I’m not always getting the stages in exactly the right order but I’m not too hung up on this as I’m hoping that will come in time.
On a practical note, meditating before sleep seems a great idea. I think the fact that a bed is waiting there at the close of every day, whatever the previous hours have held and wherever you are, encourages continued practice. In the very short time that I have tried Paul’s suggested meditation, my rather erratic sleep patterns have seen some improvement. And not meditating while seated on the floor has the added bonus that the dog now can’t sneak up and assault me mid-flow (I hear him approach but fail to react quickly enough)!
I have also begun to practice Metta Bhavana again from time to time. I find it has very difficult aspects. The most pressing being that when I sit with my ‘enemy’, I find myself dwelling on the past and experiencing deeply resentful thoughts. It’s almost as if the very act of deciding who has the dubious honour of representing that role triggers memories and feelings. Paul (or anyone else) – I was wondering whether you practice a loving kindness meditation and, if so, whether you have any suggestions that you may be able to include, should you decide to focus on meditational practice in a future posting? Any tips are gratefully received, because I really do struggle with this one to the extent that I can see that simple avoidance may become my ‘get-out’.
Finally, this may not be of any interest to anyone; but I’ll mention it just in case. Around 18 months ago I watched a documentary which was investigating ‘alternative medicine’ and more specifically looking into some of the advantages of meditation. It has apparently been discovered (through a Massachusetts General Hospital research program) that mediation results in beneficial physical changes to a specific area of the brain cortex. If anyone is interested, here is a link to a brief article:
By marly, January 21, 2010 @ 4:27 am
The purpose of fear to mankind
PMG’s blog on fear keeps on pulling me into all kinds of mainly philosophical thoughts of my own.
This morning underneath the shower(I’m going to get a huge bill for using such an enormous amount of water lately,thanks to PMG!)I let my mind wonder……
Even the word”fear”has a negative ring to it and Paul has been trying to explain to us how fear effects us and how we can learn to live with it(that’s my very own interpretation of it in a nutshell).
Fear combined with our ability to imagine and fantasize has led to outbursts of creativity since the beginning of mankind.Think,for instance of the prehistoric cave drawings(probably the world’s first cartoons!)in which we see “primitive”human beings conquering their seemingly stronger opponents .
Or look at the paintings of the naïf artists from the Middle ages which often reflects the fear of mankind of their mortality by showing us frightful images of hell……
Some of you may be familiar with the works of the Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch(15th century) who evoked fear with his paintings of demons/devils(expressions of his very own fear?).
Another painter comes to my mind,Edvard Munch and his haunting painting “The scream”.Just take a look at it.You can’t compare it with the works of Bosch but it’s also about fear(and despair).
Great writers like for instance Edgar Allan Poe were obsessed by the nature of fear and this combined with their imagination gave fantastic stories to read!
Even in fairy tales(brothers Grimm!)fear is a important,indispensable ingredient.
Alfred Hitchcock,one of my favorite directors ,must have had a great knowledge of the nature of fear cause he knew exactly how to use it in his films.
I could go on and on with my list but do not fear(….)I won’t.
The point I’m trying to make here is that even though fear can make our lives unbearable at times, paradoxically we seem to need it to reach the top of our creativity.
Within our creativity we find solace and comfort… so fear has a purpose to mankind…..
Somehow it all seems to fit.
Just some thoughts I felt like sharing with you,
By Softly, January 21, 2010 @ 7:15 am
That’s it….I knew fear was good for something more than just a warning. Fear can indeed push you into new worlds and solutions, new ideas and outburst of all kinds of creative thought and actions. The word fear used to describe situations like calamity, disaster, ambush, danger, treachery, damage; it did not describe the emotion.
When we can look at the situation not just the emotion we can use our heads, hearts, hands and creativity to start new and marvelous ways to tackle these situations.
Delighted and learning,
By marly, January 21, 2010 @ 11:41 am
I thank you!
Yes,you’re right,fear is not just there to warn us against danger.
Thanks to our ability to fantasize and imagine we can actually let our fear(which comes to us in many forms and gradations)be a beneficial tool instead of being a victim of that fear.
I think that a shared thoughts blog like this enables/challenges us (if we allow ourselves to wander off the beaten path)to study and learn and helps us to see things from a different perspective.
It’s a privilege that a man like PMG, with a less common approach towards( for instance),fear,presents us with his blogs/thoughts and by doing so acts like a catalyst for all who feel inspired/interested by what he tries to get across.
Just like you always learning(even underneath the shower spray!),
By Josie, January 31, 2010 @ 4:19 pm
The start and end class judo, we have meditation.
Sensei Shinohara, my master, says:
we will calm the mind means finding the right balance.
Now let’s unify the mind on one just point.
But I asked myself how can there be a unification when there are other factors?
Once, had a championship. And I wanted so much win.
During the days and weeks before the tournament. I meditated. I can’t explain, but I felt the championship would be mine.
Don’t ask me how.
One great strength inside me told me:
I gonna be champion.
No matter who will be there.
The day arrived. I was focused how never ever been. My concentration was biggest.
There wasn’t key, everyone would fight with everyone. And in the end best of three.
My concentration was biggest.
I don’t remember how many were the fights.
I remeber the judge asked me: What are you doing here?
I ‘m waiting to fight.
And he tell me…Hey, finished, you won, you’re champion. Congratulations.
So, I wanted to cry. But I held and smiled. I was very happy.
I would like to do this always, throughout my life.
My mind wants to find an answer.
but I can’t.
I’m doing something wrong.
Good night everyone.
By Laertes, January 31, 2010 @ 5:49 pm
Years ago I watched a Halloween movie with a group of kids. The grandmother “witch” had a line in the show that has stuck with me for nearly a decade. “Magic is just picturing what you want and letting yourself have it.” Every discipline or system of beliefs is based on a kind of magic. Faith. It doesn’t matter to some degree what you believe in specifically. Just that you have strong faith in it and want to learn to live up to its principles. You can call yourself Christian, Buddist, Taoist, Hindu, a Child of Light or a Student of Life. It doesn’t matter. The point is that your trusting that a greater power had to have had a hand in putting together this universe. And you live your life trusting to the best of youer ability that this Greater Power set up the universe in a such a way that everything we need in order to live and survive and thrive was included. Balance. And the way to maintain that balance is to do the best you can. Be the best person you can be. Make the most of what you have and try to be a positive influence inn other people’s lives. The “faith” or magic part comes from letting yourself trust that if your Greater Power took enough time and fuss to set up such a delicate balance and care enough to consider tiniest of needs, that Power put into place the rest of the stuff we need to reach our highest selves. In other words we have everything we need to have healthy, happy, empowered lives. We just don’t quite understand it. Or how to use it. I don’t know. Isn’t that the reason you’re taking Judo? To learn the principles that you need toi focus positive energy into not just power but empowerment (in this case, the balance of peace) seems to me that on that day when you gave yourself over to faith in yoursekf and what you’d been taught, you were able to tap into that “magic”. To visualize what you wanted and let yourself have it. You weren’t any better or stronger. You just gave yourself over to faith. And isn’t that what real happiness and success is about? Letting yourself believe in yourself? Or in your beliefs? Maybe that’s why I don’t quite get the idea of “loving yourself. Human animals automattically put there own best interests first. That’s called survival. Faith, love, the “magic” they make possible come from letting yourself look outside of your self so that you can see the bigger picture. See the bigger You, as in how you fit in the bworld around you so you can have confidence that you have something to both give and receive. Its about having faith in yourself and respect for the power (or energy or spirit or whatever you wannt to call it) that your Greater Power put in you from the beginning.
You went to that competition with faith. Your own magic. And you let yourself have that championship. Now apply that to your daily life. Have faith that Josie can and will accomplish any and every thing she decides to because whatever you need to get what you want is already either in you or at your disposal. The only way you can “fail” is to either decide you don’t want that thing after all or figure out your not quite ready for it…YET. The only thing you might be doing “wrong” is not having enough faith in yourself. Or enough respect for your own talents and abilities.
By Josie, February 1, 2010 @ 6:37 pm
Thanks a lot Laertes.
I once lost a championship.
Only not to give interviews.
Do you believe?
Well…I think, you have reason.
I don’t want to be so. I mean, I want to have enough respect for myself, faith.
I going to seek my strength, faith, respect again.
I don’t know how, but I’ll go.
You know one thing, this blog brings me a lot of positive energy.
You speak nicely and beautiful.
Well the people here write things beautiful are people inteligent.
I think I’m not trying my mind enough, I’ll do it.
Thanks for read and answer. Thanks for words.
All my best.
By Laertes, February 1, 2010 @ 8:58 pm
No problem, Josie.
By Softly, February 2, 2010 @ 7:54 am
Wel said Laertes.
You could try and meditate on the feeling you had before your big succes. What did you say to yourself? How did you feel? What did the world look like? The more things you can remember about that time the better. See yourself be that Josie again, you are that Josie. You will not feel that good all the time, but you have a good place to start from.
By Josie, February 3, 2010 @ 6:52 am
All right. Thanks Softly.
Yesterday a funny thing happened.
I was meditate, feeling my breath, listening each small sound.
My mind was quiet.
Then I took a big scare. I fell…I mean… I felt down but was in the same place.
My heart beat fast. So I thought better go to sleep.
I don’t know what happened. wasn’t good, I had biggest scare, of something that didn’t happen…
Understand? I don’t.
All my best.
By Softly, February 3, 2010 @ 7:06 am
Funny things happen when your mind is quit, don’t worry about it to much. It might feel scary but it is not dangerous. Your body, spirit and your mind have to get used to be in harmony and still. I know the feeling of falling, I used to have it when I was meditating or just before falling asleep. Your body thinks it falls, instinct says wake up get out of here, I think it’s a trick of the mind, after a while you won’t be falling but gliding. Like the first time you dive into deep water, first it’s scary, the more you dive in the more fun it will get.
By Softly, February 3, 2010 @ 7:44 am
Sorry, I mean funny things happen when your mind is quit….
But then again it might be the same…
By Softly, February 3, 2010 @ 7:50 am
Sorry again, I mean funny things happen when your mind is quiet.
Funny things happen too when you are tired and pushing buttons with tired eyes.
By Josie, February 4, 2010 @ 6:02 am
It is weird but is normal.
Thanks a lot.
All my best.
By Jeannarobins, March 10, 2010 @ 10:07 am
I thought this was a very interesting article thank You for sharing Your thoughts. Human and Animal instincts are very unique and can be very overwhelming at times. Animal instincts are always to survive but they also experience fear. Where the Human goes through a lot of different emotions especially when it comes to death. When it comes to death I think Humans first go through a panic at different levels for different People depending on the Person. Then they go through denial then acceptance then hoping to find a cure in some cases. I have seen death different times I have lost a lot of loved ones and some friends. The fear that comes with this is overwhelming and the feeling of being powerless is devastating. It is like Your whole life has came up and slammed into a brick wall with nowhere to turn, Helplessness overcomes in Your body and soul and You feel alone. But… It doesn’t have to feel that way. The strongest emotion that Humans and Animals have is love it overpowers all emotions. My Father In-law died a few Years back of cancer He laid in His bed and told Us that He was so scared and that it was overwhelming. It was terrible what He went through body, mind and soul. We talked to Him and told Him do not dwell on the feeling of fear that God is here for Him and to dwell on that and the love of God and all the love that He has within Himself. He started doing that and He let Us know before He died that it really helped to do that and that He was not afraid anymore. That He felt a peace inside and felt relaxed and He had accepted that He was going to die and was ready for it. When He died He just closed His eyes and He was gone.
By hilly, May 7, 2010 @ 1:01 pm
I just read this and it seems right to put it here:
Breathe in Love…. exhale fear and anxiety. Remember, whatever is not love is fear.
By chavie, May 8, 2010 @ 4:02 pm
Hilly, thank you for your prayers and/or positive thoughts. Perhaps, my dad and I can go to the beach again. Negative thoughts still HERE… pray that elections will be peaceful btw and that it won’t develop into any explosive situation. I love you.
By MoriaDole, May 30, 2010 @ 11:18 pm
Existence–life–really should be simple, shouldn’t it? How we do overcomplicate it with our fear of honest human contact (and the possibity of rejection/failure that comes with it).