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It occurred to me last year that you cannot heal pain without first feeling pain, cannot heal suffering without first suffering yourself. With this understanding I have let myself feel, richly and deeply, for perhaps the first time since I was a young child. I flung open the gates, unlocked the portcullis, and let what was outside come in. At first it was liberating, exciting even. Then, as the months carried on, it grew increasingly painful, ultimately terrifying. I began to experience panic attacks. This was completely new to me! 

 

This week, perhaps exacerbated by the extreme heat that blanketed my region, I felt something in me break. Perhaps break is not the correct word. I felt something inside me give way, and in giving way I learned something about myself that I never realized. I cannot do it alone. I need others. This may sound obvious, but it was not to me, far from it. I've always been stoic, a real stiff upper lip kind of guy. I've always felt that I could reason my way through life, through all challenges before me. And I always looked down upon the emotional and saw them as weak.

 

I was wrong on both counts. Reason and stoicism do not make you strong. Emotion and feeling do not make you weak. It is the balance that brings strength. It is the balance that heals. The road is long and the trek is hard. I still feel pain and the pain still carries suffering, but I feel I have finally crested the hill and I can see the blessed water in the distance.

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Taoism and Stoicism have much in common, but there are some fundamental differences. See this appendix:

 

appendix.thumb.png.c85744fe5730f1b93b6cbd06f348b9fd.png

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This reminds me of why it's been difficult for me to wrap my mind around the 4 Noble Truths of Buddhism. Hence my being Taoist and not Buddhist. My significant other is Buddhist though, and in the past we've argued a lot over Buddhism and Taoism, yielding a pain and suffering in itself. And yet through it all, I love them all the more so. Kind of ironic huh?

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9 hours ago, Lost in Translation said:

It occurred to me last year that you cannot heal pain without first feeling pain, cannot heal suffering without first suffering yourself. With this understanding I have let myself feel, richly and deeply, for perhaps the first time since I was a young child. I flung open the gates, unlocked the portcullis, and let what was outside come in. At first it was liberating, exciting even. Then, as the months carried on, it grew increasingly painful, ultimately terrifying. I began to experience panic attacks. This was completely new to me! 

 

This week, perhaps exacerbated by the extreme heat that blanketed my region, I felt something in me break. Perhaps break is not the correct word. I felt something inside me give way, and in giving way I learned something about myself that I never realized. I cannot do it alone. I need others. This may sound obvious, but it was not to me, far from it. I've always been stoic, a real stiff upper lip kind of guy. I've always felt that I could reason my way through life, through all challenges before me. And I always looked down upon the emotional and saw them as weak.

 

I was wrong on both counts. Reason and stoicism do not make you strong. Emotion and feeling do not make you weak. It is the balance that brings strength. It is the balance that heals. The road is long and the trek is hard. I still feel pain and the pain still carries suffering, but I feel I have finally crested the hill and I can see the blessed water in the distance.

 

'The blessed water'... I do see a relationship between feeling locked up emotions and 'water' increasing in the subtle body system. Was there a specific area or dantian in which you felt something break?

 

 

Edited by Bindi
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Congrats on the release. ūüėä

 

indeed, we need others... as they are truly not separate from us anyway. 

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32 minutes ago, Bindi said:

 

'The blessed water'... I do see a relationship between feeling locked up emotions and 'water' increasing in the subtle body system. Was there a specific area or dantian in which you felt something break?

 

Water is very healing. When I am stressed or anxious I feel heat, sometimes literally, often metaphorically. Water cools the heat, restores balance. In this case I felt the heat at the base of the sternum, about an inch above the solar plexus. In retrospect I had been feeling it for a long time, days or weeks, and it finally grew strong enough for me to notice. Almost immediately upon noticing it transformed from heat to cool, as if a flowing stream had emerged. My wife has the gift of sight. She was instrumental in helping me to see. Afterwards I consulted the I Ching and was given #28 Preponderance of the Great transforming to #58 Lake - a heavy burden converted into double water. There is much work yet to be done but I take this as a positive sign that I am on the right path. 

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Feeling is a strange thing. This morning I lay in bed after hitting snooze for the second time and had an odd dream/not dream. I was awake, sorta - but not really. My body was still asleep. My muscles felt like water and were totally relaxed but my mind was aware of the birds singing in the tree outside my window.

 

In my dream I imagined a person in three forms:

 

1) A person covered by a thick crust. Imagine a "Ben Grimm" kind of creature (that's a Fantastic Four reference).

2) A person hiding in a dark cave next to a still pond of fresh water.

3) A person made of wispy smoke.

 

The first person is strong in the traditional sense. He can go out in the world and endure all the trials therein. But even when among others he is still alone since no one can actually touch him due to his thick, scaly skin.

 

The second person is calm in the typical sense. He is soft and open but he must hide himself away in order to survive. This is akin to a hermit on a mountain.

 

The third is the sage. He is flexible, malleable. The sage cannot be harmed because all threats pass through him and leave no traces in their wake. Thus he has no need to hide himself and can go out into the world.

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I think there is still too much Stoicism in there to be truly Taoist, at least in the philosophical sense. Chuang tzu was hurt when his wife died, but he quickly recovered. This is the idea of the grass bending under the storm, but quickly veering up again after the storm has past. The Taoist sage is not completely without feeling. But there is a part of the Taoist sage that cannot be harmed though: that is the non-personal part that makes us part of the grand transformations of the world. The more we place our value in that non-personal part of ours the less we will be concerned about what happens to us as an individual. At least that is how I see the Taoist sage on the basis of the writings of Lao tzu and Chuang tzu - outside of philosophical Taoism it might be different.

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4 hours ago, wandelaar said:

I think there is still too much Stoicism in there to be truly Taoist, at least in the philosophical sense. Chuang tzu was hurt when his wife died, but he quickly recovered. This is the idea of the grass bending under the storm, but quickly veering up again after the storm has past. The Taoist sage is not completely without feeling. But there is a part of the Taoist sage that cannot be harmed though: that is the non-personal part that makes us part of the grand transformations of the world. The more we place our value in that non-personal part of ours the less we will be concerned about what happens to us as an individual. At least that is how I see the Taoist sage on the basis of the writings of Lao tzu and Chuang tzu - outside of philosophical Taoism it might be different.

 

You bring up a good point. Perhaps it is worth discussing the difference between pain and injury? In your example Chuang Tzu felt pain when his wife died but was not injured by her death. This is a subtle distinction but one worth understanding.

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Good point to distinguish... The potent difference between discomfort, pain and injury.

With discomfort and pain one can still function.  Injury impairs abilites and prevents nominal functioning.

 

I lived with a debilitating condition/injury and chronic pain for about a decade, which left me unable to walk normally.  Eventually the condition was repaired through multiple surgeries and my left foot was saved from amputation:wub: (thank you Dr Slutzker!):wub:... the pain due to trauma to the area from surgery continued for several years after the injury was repaired, but I was able to function and walk again, just with pain.  At one point I realized that what I was calling pain was merely a level of sensation, that my mind deemed unacceptable.

 

After years of trance work and inner travel, I arrived one fine moment at the vajra realization that:

 

Even though I was experiencing deep pain and was severely impaired... I was no longer suffering. 

 

Pain, discomfort, injury, impairment... none of these imply one will or must suffer. 

 

Suffering now seems like a mindset... a self imposed crisis of perception.

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8 minutes ago, silent thunder said:

With discomfort and pain one can still function.  Injury impairs abilites and prevents nominal functioning.

 

Yes!

 

 

 

8 minutes ago, silent thunder said:

Even though I was experiencing deep pain and was severely impaired... I was no longer suffering.

 

We've pivoted slightly but you are absolutely correct. Pain is not equal to suffering. Pain happens to us. We choose to suffer.

 

 

 

10 minutes ago, silent thunder said:

Suffering now seems like a mindset... a self imposed crisis of perception.

 

I cannot agree more.

 

 

 

On 7/9/2018 at 7:31 AM, Lost in Translation said:

I still feel pain and the pain still carries suffering, but I feel I have finally crested the hill and I can see the blessed water in the distance.

 

Returning to my prior comment above, you see I am still feeling pain and the pain still carries suffering. This is my way of saying that equanimity is not yet complete. But I have passed the highest point and am heading downhill. I see the water (of relief) ahead. This is a poetic way of saying that the pain is separating from the suffering. Once the pain is just pain and no longer carries emotional fuel then it dies out on its own since it needs the fuel of suffering to sustain it.

 

 

 

16 hours ago, Lost in Translation said:

3) A person made of wispy smoke.

 

16 hours ago, Lost in Translation said:

The third is the sage. He is flexible, malleable. The sage cannot be harmed because all threats pass through him and leave no traces in their wake. Thus he has no need to hide himself and can go out into the world.

 

The pain passes through the sage and leaves no trace. In other words the pain carries no suffering.

 

 

 

3 hours ago, Lost in Translation said:

Chuang Tzu felt pain when his wife died but was not injured by her death

 

Chuang Tzu did not suffer when his wife died. There are many words that convey the same meaning. It's good that we are hashing out this vocabulary.

 

 

 

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DDJ Fifty F/E

Between birth and death,
Three in ten are followers of life,
Three in ten are followers of death,
And men just passing from birth to death also number three in ten.
Why is this so?
Because they live their lives on the gross level.

He who knows how to live can walk abroad
Without fear of rhinoceros or tiger.
He will not be wounded in battle.
For in him rhinoceroses can find no place to thrust their horn,
Tigers no place to use their claws,
And weapons no place to pierce..
Why is this so?
Because he has no place for death to enter.

******

Do you  see the connection?

This is not about being immortal; it's about how to live - in the manner you describe.

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12 minutes ago, rene said:

DDJ Fifty F/E

Between birth and death,
Three in ten are followers of life,
Three in ten are followers of death,
And men just passing from birth to death also number three in ten.
Why is this so?
Because they live their lives on the gross level.

He who knows how to live can walk abroad
Without fear of rhinoceros or tiger.
He will not be wounded in battle.
For in him rhinoceroses can find no place to thrust their horn,
Tigers no place to use their claws,
And weapons no place to pierce..
Why is this so?
Because he has no place for death to enter.

******

Do you  see the connection?

This is not about being immortal; it's about how to live - in the manner you describe.

 

Thank you for tying this into existing cannon. This is my understanding of chapter 50 as well.

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I also for the past year and half recovered my ability to feel.

I felt not long ago that i dont acknowledge the suffering of my own and of others mostley, i somehow dont to let them through. 

When i started to open up i to it i started having anxiety attacks and had a very clear dream. I was a young child in my bed where i grew up and my mother ran over to me in the middle of the night and somehow passed her fears onto me (Its not my interpretation i somehow knew that in the dream) and as a child it was to much to bare. 

 

Sounds like great realizations and i find it very inspiring, thank you. 

 

Do you mind if i PM you sometime so you can tell me more about your process ?

 

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1 hour ago, Yinja said:

When i started to open up i to it i started having anxiety attacks and had a very clear dream. I was a young child in my bed where i grew up and my mother ran over to me in the middle of the night and somehow passed her fears onto me (Its not my interpretation i somehow knew that in the dream) and as a child it was to much to bare. 

 

What you describe in your dream is the essence of something called "Family Constellations", by German psychotherapist Bert Hellinger. This is essentially when a child unconsciously adopts the pain he senses in his parents as a way to show unity with them, to "belong" to his parents' family unit.

 

1 hour ago, Yinja said:

Do you mind if i PM you sometime so you can tell me more about your process ?

 

Not at all! Anyone on TDB is free to PM me if they want.

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