Freedom To Choose.

Introduction.

The previous and fourth article in the category of ‘Being Human – The Way We Are’ – Surpassing Our Natural State Or Weakness – concludes leaving the reader with a question:

‘We cannot change in one step but if we have a heartfelt wish to change, we can choose and then forge ourselves a new path can’t we?’ This may have hinted at a further article related to truth-seeking and esoteric ideas, but being as I am still very much a student in this way, I will not be attempting to as one great guru described it, ‘re-write the book.’ In other words, there is already so much useful and readily available material on the topic of spiritual growth, that there is no need to repeat it and more so, no need to risk distorting what is already written about so well. However, you are more than welcome to contact me should you wish to enquire or to discuss the subject further.

The fifth article within the ‘Being Human – The Way We Are’ category, Freedom To Choose, consolidates the main points of the first four articles, whilst focussing on what we can actually do ourselves to become people who choose, rather than people who guess, hide, pretend, copy, lie and react and then make do with the results. We have looked a little at the idea of drama playing out in our lives and mentioned the disease that this can lead to if left unchecked. We’ve also examined the principle, ‘We reap what we sow’ and considered how it works in our lives. Finally we have considered some of the foibles of our natural state and the idea of choice related to change. This article attempts to bring these ideas together adding perspective along the way.

Freedom To Choose.

It could be said that we are born into a potentially dramatic world where there are so many views, opinions and attachments, it can be hard to make head or tail of very much at all. However, this doesn’t mean to say that we are sentenced to being thrown into one dramatic circumstance after another without any choice on our part – we could even consider going against the flow. Perhaps it’s simply easier to ‘just go with the flow?’ I think it can certainly look like it at times and it’s certainly apparent pretty quickly to anyone who tries to go against the grain, that there are many obstacles along the way. Nevertheless, without making concerted efforts to challenge what we are experiencing at times, we are likely to simply move autonomously from drama to drama, ageing along the way.

If we decide that we are fed up of living within different dramas without much real connection going on between the parties involved, what can we actually do about it if anything at all? I think this leads to another more profound question: How can we KNOW that we are caught up in drama at the time? It can be easier to see in hindsight that we allowed ourselves to be carried along by reactionary thinking and associated emotions… but how can we remember it at the time that it is happening, so that we might have a chance to step back and look at it with new eyes from an unadulterated, clear perspective and be able to control any parts of us that wish to manifest negatively?  To reiterate, I am not about to write a recapitulation on the works of our greatest psychologists and philosophers who include certain methods and principles for dealing with our autonomous structure and associated habits – but the material is available. No, I am asking the question in layman’s terms. How can we remind ourselves of our better selves, so as not to become lost when our thoughts and emotions are drawn into yet another dramatic scenario?

When I asked myself this question I looked back into my late teens, a time before I had begun studying esotericism in a specific form – and remembered what I did to do keep myself on my toes in this way. One of the techniques I found very helpful, was in response to tricky situations, I would make notes and stick them around the house that might have said for example: ‘Turn the other cheek’ (reminding me that when someone was mean, there was no use in being mean back) – or ‘Be humble’ (reminding me in the face of life’s challenges, that we are ALL STRUGGLING and to be patient) – or another one was ‘Every bad word you say about another you are saying to yourself’ (reminding me that everything that we give out comes back to us and making me realise that words do hurt, they do hold weight, it is NOT just sticks and stones that hurt – and to be careful and cautious with my tongue). These are just three of many, as I had dozens of notes put up in places around my house where I knew I would notice them  and I was constantly replacing them or adding to them as and when I knew I needed a critical reminder. Moments where I could have fallen into negativity became less as a result and I found myself increasingly relaxed and less and less afraid. I felt more able to be kind and to allow for other people’s weaknesses and unpleasantnesses.

Each person’s notes will be different depending on where they are in themselves at the time and what they are needing to remind themselves of. The hub of this way forward, is a sincere wish to not react and to grow stronger in the face of others unpleasant ways of being, rather than to add fuel to the negative fire so to speak. But why would we take this tac in preference to just lashing out and stopping our discomfort there and then or at least trying to? This is a really worthwhile question, especially in today’s political climate as many would reason to NOT lash out, reveals weakness and vulnerability and invites further trouble. Is this true?

We have a habit of thinking in opposites; right and wrong, up and down, left and right, should I or shouldn’t I? etc and this very automatic way of thinking limits us severely. If you take any subject for yourself and attach either right or wrong, good or bad, nice or horrid etc – what do you find? When I tried it, I found that many situations didn’t really fit into one category or the other – they could be a little of both, sometimes more one and sometimes more the other. Not only that, as I looked further, I realised that when we are caught up in drama and emotions are running high, we enter this restricting way of thinking and all the other details in the greater picture become lost. Then once we have ‘calmed down’ and looked back on it (hindsight), we are able to consider several lines of thought and feeling all coming from the same situation, that we did not consider at the time, because we became so dramatic that we lost the whole picture!

Bearing this in mind, it would surely be tantamount to absurdity to allow that kind of thinking to be at the helm of our efforts to grow stronger and to resist lashing out. We cannot rely on limitations such as ‘Good or bad,’ Nice or horrid,’ Pretty or ugly,’ ‘Intelligent or thick’ and so on – as this way of thinking see-saws our associated thoughts and emotions in a most chaotic manner and takes the rest of our life experience with it. We need to work to consider that there are many threads, many possible lines of action and therefore many potential choices flowing from each subject… Remembering this, allows us the possibility of replacing old, outdated ideas that do not work anymore… if they ever did – with new progressive thoughts.

So these notes can be gold-dust. Granted they won’t be pinned up in the streets when you are shopping and maybe not even at work – but at home, you can put them everywhere and anywhere that you will see them and just as you are about to react to a call, or a neighbour, or your children, or your partner you will notice one of them… ‘Count to ten first then respond,’ ‘Remember to be a yes mum whenever you can’ or ‘Be kind to others as you would have them be kind to you.’ Initially, you may read a note and shout at it because you are caught in a drama raging inside you at the time and the note just doesn’t seem to touch the sides. But as time goes on and with repetition, you will become better at talking to your trickier sides in your notes and this will enable you to make them more personal to the moments that you struggle with in your life. Before you know it, you will have built a basic tool set for dealing with unpleasant things that come your way and all whilst not reacting and lashing out i.e. without chucking stones.

This way of responding to life’s impressions, leaves us free of negative reactions and compromise and subsequent guilty conscience and halts our natural instinct to lash out when we feel offended in some way. Guilt and compromise along with an array of other negative emotions, great tension adversely effect many functions of the body and eventually leading to disease. To be free of reaction is to be someway free of the risk of disease and it also means that we are not contributing to anyone else’s struggles. A man who has attacked another cannot see himself or his behaviour whilst he is experiencing his horrid revenge; it is in his victim’s absence that he is most likely to be able to see himself. We can use this idea to support those who are reacting negatively –  we can effectively become ‘absent’ by refusing to jump on the same bandwagon with them whilst at the same time not taking an opposing side. Even if the negativity is aimed at us we can do the same. We can remember that they are simply in a state of reaction, before humbly apologising (so as not to antagonise them further), therefore offering them gentle conditions to be able to reflect and review the situation in their own time. There are so very many distractions in life that it can be really hard to stay on task but each altercation, each unpleasant moment, can signal another opportunity to strengthen in this way and eventually, you may even welcome the challenge of other people’s unpleasant behaviours as a chance to ‘get over yourself’ and free yourself of reaction to others.

I have heard many a person wish that they could be witness to someone else’s karma but usually out of revenge after having felt slighted, after competing and losing, or in acute frustration at the seemingly easy life of someone they feel does not deserve it. In my view quite honestly, this is not how I have witnessed Karma at work and anyway, waiting for someone else’s ripples to come back and hurt them, means we are not focussing on our own Karma. We don’t know the lessons that another person needs or the timing of the prescribed lessons, so we may be waiting for a very long time. Why? a. Because there are actually SO very many moments and experiences that make up one person’s life, that we cannot possibly know the Karma that they are creating and reaping and b. We don’t know when Karmic lessons will be presented to us, let alone someone else.  However, if we were able to see exactly the ripples that we send out and had a good understanding of how things connect, then we could be more on top of our game couldn’t we; So that when we did inadvertently chuck a stone, we could note it, seek to correct our error bringing it into balance, and therefore eradicate the need for the karmic lesson that may well have followed. Let’s use an example to look at what this actually means.

Person A has been mean to Person B. The ripples that Person A has sent out from the stone that they chucked, are full of blame and anger. Person A has successfully thrown a stone whose ripples on their way out, really hurt another person. Person A reflects on his day and at first feels just as angry and just as justified. Later on that night he watches a film and it reminds him how easily good people can and often do make mistakes and yet how keen they are  to point the finger at each other. After reflecting on his own behaviour he feels awkward and then sorry for the way he lunged at another struggling human being. He commits to ensure that the next meeting with Person B is apologetic and maybe he will even mention the film to him too. By arriving at these ideas himself, why would he now need Karma to deliver a situation to teach him? He threw a stone and hurt Person B on the way out – but now he has developed, he is no longer the stone that created the ripples – so they cannot come back to him and hurt him too. He has already acknowledged his weakness and paid the price. If Person A had not learnt his lesson, then Karma may have seen him in the same position as Person B as the very same ripples that he sent out would have come back to him. In the same light, if Person B is able to recognise that Person A was reacting and did not mean to point the finger, Person B can choose to resist throwing stones and avoid inviting bad Karma to himself. This is what I understand about Karma. Bad Karma should be renamed, The Teacher With The Twinkling Eyes.

There are some amazing sensitive souls who have studied the relationship between our bodies, feelings and thoughts. One such a person is a lady named Louise Hay who explains how matters left to fester on a thinking or feeling level can easily begin to adversely effect our bodies. Over the years I have researched, challenged and checked this idea repeatedly and for myself, found it to be true. There are some very obvious and direct examples – like the illness that can arise if a person consistently complains for example. A person full of complaint, sports a certain tone, a certain manner, certain physical postures and habits and all the while that they are held by their negative thoughts and emotions, there is much tension in their body hindering the free-flow of its usual functioning.  To understand this clearly, envisage a depressed person bouncing in the room with a huge smile on their face… it just doesn’t happen does it? Or a person full of revenge practising postures in a Yoga class….The truth is that our emotional and mental state, very much dictates not just our health, but also what we send out to the world and what we then receive. Is this worth some thought? If you knew for sure that your negative thoughts and associated reactions would in turn leave you unwell and spread illness to others, wouldn’t you want to learn to think better thoughts?

Maybe you already have your finger on the pulse in this way and have studied many ideas. There are certainly countless examples related to the effect of negative thoughts and emotions, arising from different belief systems. For example you may have heard of a man named Dr Emoto who has published his findings regarding the properties of water and speaks to us about how we can be instrumental in using this knowledge to our advantage. Once we realise the delicacy and receptivity of those around us and ourselves, however robust and impenetrable they may appear to be, it becomes obvious that there really is profound work that we can do, IF we choose to trade negativity and lashing out, for practising awareness and consideration of others. Dr Emoto teaches us that we are life, organic matter and largely made of water which transmits messages easily. So if we are spending our time generating negative thoughts and feelings, we are literally intoxicating our bodies and those around us who are unable to fend it off. Surely this is worth some contemplation – because if it it as easy as that to impact one another, surely we would want to utilise our watery selves to heal one another, wouldn’t we? 

There are many people who would assert that we do make choices every day but this article differentiates between the reactionary decisions we often make on the hoof and those we make after much reflection, deliberation and consideration of the whole. This second way of considering moments that call for choices, needs an intelligent and unfettered centre of gravity. It is not possible to choose well from a chaotic foundation and yet without work on ourselves to first notice drama when it presents itself and to practise not throwing stones and pausing the momentums already driving us, chaotic choices are all that are available to us. Until we have worked on ourselves to become at the very least generally non-reactionary in our ordinary lives, we have no hope of really choosing. Until we have created reliable internal dialogue to catch those moments where we would normally react and blurt, our perspective of life will remain the same and we will be unable to change anything of significance.

I realise while writing this article, that perspectives on these ideas may vary hugely from person to person and even within the same person at different times according to circumstance and an array of other considerations. However, the proof of the pudding is in the personal application of these ideas, so you can see for yourself if they are useful to you.

At the very least, please remember that we are largely made of water and that each message that you deliver to yourself or to someone else can alter the makeup of that water and create toxicity and disease – or positivity and healing. In this way we really do become what we feel. Our Karma is in our hands.

Thank you for reading. Comments welcome.

© 2015 Sarita Perrott. All Rights Reserved.

Surpassing Our Natural State Or Weakness.

Introduction.

The previous article, the third in the category of ‘Being Human – The Way We Are,’ Whatever Goes Around, Most DEFINITELY Comes Around – concludes leaving the reader with a question:

“Why the hell would I in effect, turn the other cheek?” Well, if it was only to take care of your own karma wouldn’t that be motivation enough? However this article takes it further suggesting that to resist self-control in his way, is the root of our suffering and so on this basis, isn’t it worth some serious consideration?

This fourth article, Surpassing Our Natural State Or Weakness, delves into some of the problems that can be encountered once we have chosen to resist ‘chucking stones’ and once we have declined to continue to create, diseased karma.

Surpassing Our Natural State Or Weakness.

The Domino Effect.

At some point in our lives and for some people, many moments of their lives, we yearn to be the best of ourselves, to love unconditionally, to be someone who can give to others without feeling owed something back. Then shortly afterwards we realise that all sorts of obstacles can and do get in the way and therefore just how hard it is to even change one little thing about ourselves, let alone many things. Worse still, we see that everything about ourselves, our thoughts, feelings and natural instincts is  interconnected just like dominoes in a row, all leaning on the one before – and just a little movement, a little change for one domino, can lead them all to fall down. So we see to change one habit, really involves a whole lot more than we at first calculated.

Often we hear from someone who wishes to quit smoking that they can’t until they have no stress in their life. Then we witness them having a cigarette in response to their perceived stress. How can this be changed? Some people will try to quit smoking by going cold turkey – in other words without any preparation or any support – but then often, when the usual stresses arise and call for their nicotine escape-route, the draw to smoke may feel even stronger than before, because they haven’t created new ideas and momentums to take the place of the addiction they wish to lose. An example of a new idea might be, “I feel stressed. I have researched the effects of smoking and now know that opposed to the stereotypical idea that smoking relaxes me, it actually makes my heart-beat double in speed, creates tension in my muscles etc. Am I simply creating greater tension to disguise the real tension?” This is an interesting concept, it’s like smashing yourself in the face to take the attention off a sore hand, or cutting your arms in a bid to free yourself of emotions that you can’t handle…hence the birth of self-harm/self-calming.

Do you know, that most legal narcotics/medications work on this basis? Check it out – the side effects of most medication, include the symptoms which the patient is taking the medication to relieve! The side effects of Venlafaxine for example, used for depression (being stuck-more about this later), include increased aggression and suicidal tendencies. These medications create a need for a fix much like a drug addict relies on each fix but all in the name of mental health support. The truth is this method of progress is often-times illusory and certainly not reliable, as it simply dampens down parts of us which need attention and whilst maintaining a vicious circle of addiction, rather than there being any useful development.

The Brains Of Evolution.

We all have a propensity to imitate here and there and certainly as children this is a chief function and very necessary for many years.  The evolution of life uses imitation within the repeated cycles that turn the cogs of the natural world, perfectly, year after year. If nature demanded that every single thing be reasoned through at length before it came into being, it would be a very different reality. No, there is already a framework in place that works and we have been equipped to exist here, even to thrive here and to procreate here. To survive and to prosper. There are many habits and momentums that do not call for our attention, that do not demand that we remember to maintain them and these are taken for granted until they fail; the beating of our hearts and breathing being just two of many, many processes that unfold without the need for our attention. We live in the womb of the Universe and just like babies, we are fed all that we need to exist.

This natural state is so powerful, that to supersede it takes very special efforts. All the mental, emotional, and sensual momentums that we experience simultaneously, are towards the survival and proliferation of our race as it is with other animals, so there is much sensory distraction for those who commit to go against the grain.  Also by their very nature, habits are comfortable whether good, bad or middling and therefore to change them, can feel like a very unfriendly idea indeed and this along with consistent distractions, can and often is enough to keep us where we are.

It is interesting to observe not just ourselves but also other people and to note where imitation arises. Many people will attempt to imitate the qualities in others that they like and superficially this can work; we can wear the same clothes as someone else, walk the same way, adopt a persona displaying certain apparent attitudes and such like but imitation cannot replace in depth study, learning and development, so unless you are content with only making connections based on transient and relatively vague ideas, imitation is not useful enough on its own.

I have witnessed people trying to imitate the un-imitatable and then finding they aren’t able to, falling into depression. In my view, depression, regardless of the cause, is essentially being stuck. Consider this if you will; if you are trying to copy people to feel connected here and to experience a sense of safety and belonging, you may well become depressed as you realise that yes you can copy others, but you cannot yourself feel the peace of the guru that you have chosen to imitate. You can sit like him and hold your head like him, you can smile like him and repeat chants like him, you can speak gently to other people in the manner that he does and you can leave them with a soft hand on their shoulder, again, just like he does. However, does this mean that you also are free of  negativity and of judgement against your fellow man? Do you feel free, pure and at peace? These attributes cannot be imitated.

Some times people try to bridge the gap between their truthful perception of themselves and the way that they wish to be perceived by others – by using marijuana, narcotics, alcohol,  medication and/or other addictions and distractions. They may avoid spending time alone, taking stimulants to push the otherwise constant nagging thought away, “This isn’t the real deal!” and all the time maintaining connections with other people who are also avoiding the same truth and who therefore present little challenge.

However, you may be one of those people who are hanging off the edge of your seat for real food now? Perhaps you have spent many years fashioning illusions of grandeur about yourself, based on parts of you that have been closer to reality at different times in your life or simply through your recognisable worldly achievements; whilst simultaneously building a safety network of people around you, for the sole purpose of supporting and nourishing these grand attributes you have fostered. You may have done all tis and more and yet still arrived at the same aforementioned thought, “This isn’t the real deal.”

There Is Nothing Valuable Without Effort.

This looks like a hard-truth and it is until it is properly understood and it cannot be understood by words alone. Western living in all its glory, teaches the less effort the better which on the surface may look really appealing – why make effort if we can just flick a switch? Why make effort if we can just lie? What make effort without knowing exactly what we can get out of it and when?

WE are largely autonomous beings and the state that is naturally ours does not afford us to see ourselves as we truly are. Even if we examine our inner worlds from our usual state, it is really just one character within us, judging another. There are different states available to us but, and it is a BIG BUT, these other states cannot be reliably experienced without making regular and very specific efforts. So here we see a problem right away – as the rewards of such efforts cannot be properly understood or appreciated UNTIL WE HAVE ALREADY MADE THE EFFORTS. The rewards are unimaginable and life-changing but the laziness of our pre-formed personality has to be confronted and diminished before the small voice of our essential selves can be followed with suitable conviction. The truth is that the majority of people will not opt for this opt for this –  why would they when they can almost effortlessly simply pull the wool over their own and other people’s eyes? However, there are those who sincerely wish to be free of western world conditioning –  and who have already experienced the joy of paying first… and for these people who wish to surpass their natural state of weakness, there is a very real way ahead.

The path of the truth-seeker utilises imitation as a means to adopt certain methods and principles, rather than as an end, to maintain a state of image and ignorance. It is the seeker’s responsibility to make enough effort and to choose whether or not to risk the safety of the conditioned life they are already accustomed to. Some seekers who opt to risk wobbling their current life circumstances (often because on balance they feel their life isn’t quite doing it for them anyway), live outside of the box but only until they have fashioned a new and more comfortable box. Whereas others, seekers may have a curiosity for all that lies under the surface of the things that we take for granted, such as artists flowing with creative thoughts challenging the usual views of life or perhaps people who have endured trauma and been left with deep grooves of discomfort and splayed out boundaries.

Please bear in mind that there really is such a thing as lost opportunity. There are many papers and books highlighting a variety of dual nature’s of man but for the purpose of this article, I will not be discussing these. Suffice to say, the duality that I am referring to, I am calling the face which we show to the world and the way that we know ourselves. If we are being driven by the face which we show to the world, then we are experiencing ourselves through other people’s opinions and interactions and not through our own peaceful reflection. If we are experiencing ourselves through other people’s opinions and interactions and not through our own peaceful reflection, life passes by extremely quickly. Without certain efforts the other part of our duality cannot do much, cannot impact much and cannot even be felt very much and opportunities, some of them one in a million, can easily be missed or even lost altogether.

As much as we know we have just one life of around seventy-eighty years – it isn’t a long time. There are many chances to grab the golden hoop and as many to miss it. It is every individual’s right to choose their own path. We can chuck stones, spreading and inciting misery. We can live by unmoderated imitation. We can operate as lazily as possible, quickly pasting the cracks where effort may be called for or we can choose to nurture the other part of our nature, the side that wants to take responsibility and find out more. We can develop the side of our natures that really doesn’t want to create negative karma but sees that there are habits to break to be free of their weakness and therefore efforts to make.

We cannot change in one step but we can choose and then forge ourselves a new path if we have a heartfelt wish to change – can’t we?

Thank you for reading. Comments welcome.

© 2015 Sarita Perrott. All Rights Reserved.

What Goes Around, Most Definitely Comes Around.

Introduction.

My second article The Truth Of Disease within the category ‘Being Human – The Way We Are’  concludes leaving the reader with a question:

‘Do you feel that it is worth making changes when you do have the energy to?  Or is it only when you are suffering that this thought occurs to you – when you are too weak to put anything against your habits at all?’ This third article within the category of ‘Being Human – The Way We Are’ – What Goes Around Most Definitely Comes Around, moves the focus of attention from our interaction with ourselves, to our interaction with others and then to the possibility of taking greater responsibility for the impact of our own behaviours, on others.

The outside world can be challenging and it can feel as if we are living in the middle of a jungle, having to keep our wits about us and our defences up. Within this tense state of being, errors are often easily made and repeatedly made – and then brushed aside, before the process repeats itself again. In this way there is a kind of organised chaos which most people manage to balance in some way or another at least to be able to rise each day and sleep at the end of it – and there are even some people, who can use this state of tension to their advantage and manage very well indeed.

There are moments when things are not running smoothly, that may lead to questions about the way that things are working, or not working and in some cases, there may be enough of these moments that we really notice them and even wish that we could change them. It is natural for us to look outwards for answers; but often they just aren’t there and at this point, we may turn inwards to ask ourselves.

One of the most stereotypical inner-world situations, involves blame and yet we observe not just in others but also in ourselves, a variety of different weaknesses. What Goes Around, Most Definitely Comes Around explores how these weaknesses effect each other and suggests an angle to view them from, towards greater responsibility and harmony.

What Goes Around, Most Definitely Comes Around.

We are ALL the fat boy, the spotty kid, the smelly girl, the old hag, the big nosed businessman, the short-arsed freak, the impatient bastard, the bitch who should have known better, the greedy c…, the narrow minded idiot, the pretentious cow, the selfish eejit, the callous individual, the lazy good-for-nothing, the jealous fool, the conniving two faced bitch and… the balding spaz-brain etc.

Underneath these judgements of us, originating from other people and/or ourselves, we are the same; flesh, blood, feeling and thought, with a twinkle of light which can become dimmer and dimmer and limit our view of  ourselves and therefore everything else, or it can become so bright, that it illuminates everything in it’s vicinity and further. However, due to the nature of man, a work in progress, we need to struggle to reach latent parts of us for them to be able to develop. This struggle comprises many ideas, including the disparity between what is permanent and what is transient, what is fact and what is possible and what is essential and what is superfluous – so it’s not at all surprising that we often become lost. In our lostness, we are afraid one moment and hopeful the next. We ebb and flow according to certain momentums and largely don’t stop to have a look and see what is really going on. One great man said to me about this state of affairs, “We are like rudderless ships, buffered around by any wind coming our way.” This is an accurate metaphor for the vulnerable and impressionable state we can find ourselves in when we begin to open our eyes.

However, as already stated within the Introduction, there are sometimes breaks in these momentums, opportunities to see something that we haven’t to date. Sometimes these moments arrive as we travel the same path repeatedly and start to recognise certain parts along the way. We can have a feeling of de-ja-vu, a feeling that we have done it before. In these pauses, upon deep reflection and deliberation, it may occur to us that the behaviours that we have been criticising in others, are the very same that we have been displaying ourselves.

Let’s compare the action and reaction of a pebble being thrown into a pond. We throw it, watch the ripples move away and then if we don’t turn our backs…we will see the ripples return again. The reaction that the stone invites as it hits the water, moves away from the stone and then comes back to the centre again. In the same way, the reaction I create comes back to me – and the reaction that YOU create comes back… TO YOU and this brings me to the heart of this article because you see in my own experience, what goes around, DEFINITELY comes around. I have experienced it so often that it has become a regular member at my dining table and a welcome idea in my life because once understood, there is at once a greater sense of wishing to take responsibility for all that you give out to the world. There will be more about this later on but for now I want to share a personal experience of what I call instant karma, where it becomes really easy to see the stone I threw, the ripples I caused and the effect of the ripples as they returned to me.

Over the years,  I have observed, researched and collated information in connection with the various diseases I have had the good fortune to encounter and experience and several questions have come to mind: 1. How did this arise? 2. How can I use it? and 3. What am I ignoring that this is trying to teach me? One of these diseases many years ago that I was afflicted by for a while was Trichotillomania (habitual hair-pulling) and when I asked these three questions, I realised that it had begun over a period that I had been stricken deeply by grief following a relationship break-up – and then I asked myself, “What did I give out for me to get this back? What pebble? What idea? Why do I need this lesson?” And then I remembered….

I am very protective over my family – a true and loyal pack animal and defensive to the core. Of course we all have relationship issues at some point in time and I have found it challenging, like others do, to accept some of the behaviours presented to people that I care about and feel protective towards. Many years ago I recognised that through my judgments and inability to remain detached, that there were times that I became negative and derogatory about and/or towards whoever was deemed to be the perpetrator of the wrong-doings at the time. One such example was a balding man who I had labelled ‘the balding spaz brain.’ Please note: It isn’t when people feel relaxed and generous that they will behave in the most unthinking and unkind manner – it is when they want to hurt someone in a bid to alleviate their own pain. In this example, I felt deeply hurt by this man and found myself repeatedly calling him names, not to his face but to others and into the Ether.

So when years later, full of fear in the face of my own diminishing hair, I found myself trying to find the root (excuse the pun) cause of the Trichotillomania I was experiencing,  I remembered the passion with which I had repeatedly condemned this man, a man who had a traumatic time losing his hair at a young age and yet I chose to use that to hurt him anyway. I noted how awkward and ashamed I felt. The ripples that resulted from my throwing a stone into the pond calling a fellow man names, had returned to me. Now I felt embarrassed, now I felt fearful, now I was the underdog. I was reminded of him and of my own less than graceful behaviour. Yet I saw too that it was only through the fear of losing all of my own hair,  that I truly considered how I had behaved towards him and what I had caused him. I realised that I couldn’t give his hair back – but I could stop pouring negativity about others into the collective consciousness. I could stop chucking stones…

Remember… we are all the fat boy, the spotty kid, the smelly girl, the old hag, the big nosed businessman, the short-arsed freak, the impatient bastard, the bitch who knew better, the greedy c…, the narrow minded idiot, the pretentious cow, the selfish eejit, the callous individual, the lazy good for nothing, the jealous fool, the conniving two faced bitch and … the balding spaz brain… etc.

Think about this the next time somone is negative towards you and realise that you can choose to carry on the negative ripples bringing more to others and unavoidably to yourself, or you can choose not to but instead to resist throwing a stone so to speak, until you can throw it in kindness. 

Does this make sense to you? Because I know that there will be at least some opinions arising, to the tune of, “Why the hell would I in effect, turn the other cheek?” Well, if it was only to take care of your own karma wouldn’t that be motivation enough? However this article takes it further suggesting that to resist self-control int his way, is the root of our suffering and so on this basis, isn’t it worth some serious consideration?

Thank you for reading. Comments welcome.

© 2015 Sarita Perrott. All Rights Reserved.

The Truth Of Disease.

Introduction.

The first article under the heading of ‘Being Human – The Way We Are’ Drama Versus Reality concludes leaving the reader with a question:

“So the question is – how can we remove ourselves from the world of drama – rather than wait until TIME delivers us our greater picture… our fuller perspective?
Can we live within drama and yet apart from it?” The second of my articles under the heading of ‘Being Human – The Way We Are’ asks the reader to begin to examine the many areas of our lives that this question can both arise and thrive in.

Where have you seen and/or where can you envisage seeing this question arise? When I queried myself, I realised that as the first article states, we don’t normally see that we are stuck in a drama at the time and if we do, although it reminds us of our debate about reality and drama, we soon forget it. I noted for myself, that the dramas that I most often found myself caught up in and also witnessed that others often found themselves most caught up in, were the ones that involved much perceived suffering and this motivated the writing of my second article. The Truth Of Disease  attempts to unpick the stereotypical thinking often attached to the the topic of ‘dis-ease’ and show where we can take the helm and refuse to allow ‘drama’ to steal the show.

The Truth Of Disease.

There are many conditions that form around us through our lives, more and less tangibly, according to our perceptions. Just like addictive bad relationships that we cannot resist, or additive soaked sweets that we like that should really be binned, unhealthy conditions form without our attention and we find ourselves inside them, being affected by them – and unable to change anything much at all. These conditions are built through many moments and it occurred to me that if we were able to let go of each and every moment as it passed, would this still be the case? Would the same conditions still be created?

I have witnessed personally and through observing others that we hang on to moments, short ones and longer ones, simple ones and complex ones. If they are good, we hold tight to make sure that they don’t go away and if they are bad, we hold tight (through our fear and suffering) to make sure that they don’t stay. If we were able to let go of these moments as if they were all passing ships, including our suffering through the discomfort of disease, and stop ourselves from grasping at each moment through fear, would the same conditions be created, or would we find ourselves on new ground?

There is grasping in the negative sense but maybe there is more than one way to grasp onto something. Do we grasp through a need for attention and care; or maybe though conditioning because we have already had the same or something similar and it feels comfortable to be without it? I want to focus for a moment on less obvious ways that we ‘grasp’ – because I think if we can become aware of these less obvious ways that we grasp onto things and won’t let them go, then we can practise going against the grain of these tendencies, thereby minimising suffering, whilst maximising our sense of substantial self at the same time.

We are creatures of habit and habit can form very quickly. There is nothing like habit to engender grasping. It can take as little as two, or maybe three nights, for two people sharing a bed for the first time to then miss one another when they next sleep apart and grasp for one another. We create habits willy-nilly without a thought (or without observing the thoughts involved at the time). In fact, we live within a whole universe of precise habits creating a network of support to survive and maintain ourselves. We need habit and we thrive within it. Think about it; if you were in charge of maintaining your own breathing – do you really think you’d be alive now? It’s great that some habits are so well developed in us as they are needed to insure our survival. Perhaps if we examine HOW habits are formed, is is possible that they can be used to our advantage? However, we are not discussing this quite yet, but instead how habit may play a part in grasping and holding onto moments that create conditions for suffering – and specifically in the area of disease.

Try to recall the last time that you were really unwell. Picture yourself then and then move deeper into the experience. Remember the moments and the conditions around you at that time. Were you sitting up in bed stating ‘I am well!’ with a huge grin on your face despite the discomfort you were experiencing? No – and that is hardly surprising as it NOT what we generally do. We talk about and think about how bad our suffering is and hope that it will end as soon as possible and when people visit, we either don’t manage to smile or manage a faint smile from a martyr’ish perspective whilst resisting any idea that we are getting better or even may get better with any conviction at all. We are so good at suffering over our own suffering and feeling like underdogs on top of it – that asking ourselves what we really can do about it, often doesn’t enter the equation.  Instead we talk about it (using energy) and depending on how much we feel we are suffering, depends on just how much passion we put into talking about it – and we will talk about it with our friends and family, doctors and even strangers on the train for example. We fidget about it. When our body is uncomfortable and needs rebalancing, we often hold it in a certain tense way (using energy) and depending on the level of discomfort we feel we are having to endure, we hold our bodies tighter and tighter and tighter. We lie about it (using energy); we might fashion our description of our own experience to meet our emotional requirement – i.e. to impact the person we are telling, in a way that satisfies us that they fully understand how much we are suffering. This is an example of hanging onto the drama of disease.

Through these happenings, we inadvertently create conditions around us for the dis-ease to thrive. We don’t take the simple route – inside ourselves to a place of quiet and sincerity. We don’t use our individuality to pull ourselves into shape again – we look outwards – outwards for answers and then outwards to blame – anything other than taking responsibility for ourselves.

My question to you is if we replaced these habitual negative thoughts with with positive affirmations, would; 1. The dramatic moments be effectively passed by and not hung on to? and 2. Would this result in changing conditions and the diminishing of disease? But I realised that this is a very big ‘if’ because we are largely creatures of habit and to ask someone to exert themselves in such a way when they are feeling sorry for themselves is probably too tall an order. this led me to wanting to look at habit in more depth to see how they are formed and to see how they could perhaps be un-formed, or even reformed in a way pallatable with the already suffering, the already knee-deep in drama.

After some study and observation, I saw that habits can be formed through shocks – even a single shock records on the reels of our memory bank and then begs to be acknowledged, through the revisiting of that emotion, those dynamics and the associated opinions, conflicts etc. And habits can also be formed through repetition. I saw that in the main the single big shock route could cause chaos, whereas the repetition route would seem tedious for many though to me seemed a sure route if someone was really dedicated. There are multitudes of self-help books full of wonderful ideas and we read them with ‘ahh’s’ and ‘oh’s’ of recognition and then go away without changing a thing. There are
group workshops where we can receive guidance through imitation, to show us how things can work, how they can be better – which again, can last for a while before we need another. How many days and nights have you sat around a table with mates, discussing the Universe and how we can better our position in it to become more functional – whilst your efforts to change are usurped because the grip of habit is stronger than your ability to lift it out of that groove and into another you have chosen? Why does this happen? Why do these gems elude us?

After noting that disease is often a dramatic experience for people within their suffering and that this drama is created by moments that have been grasped onto and not passed by – and that to create a habit takes either a big shock or much repetition, it seemed to me that there was no way out for those experiencing the suffering of disease. As I deliberated over this I saw another problem. I realised that when someone is suffering, unbeknown to them they are using a lot of energy and so another problem within the possibility of instilling new habits, was a lack of energy. But sick people are often low on energy, this is par for the course, so again, I met a brick wall. I realised that the most that a patient could be asked to consider, was to ‘”Shhhh,…conserve your energy my love.”

Then it hit me – Geronimo! ‘If we put those habits in when we are well and our energy levels are good, then this other way of thinking would be available to us when we’re sick! Of course! It takes energy to change. Like an aircraft on a runway, it takes a healthy fuel tank to be able to lift that craft from the ground hundreds of miles against gravity into the sky. Without the power, it can want to fly and talk about flying and discuss with others about flying and criticise others that do fly – but it won’t fly unless it is properly fed. Like us.

I saw that slowly but surely we can create new habits. That there is no point trying to do it all at once as that is unlikely to work – and there’s no point in trying at all if we don’t first attend to our energies – because it won’t take long before we are talking ourselves out of this bright idea to change our habits if we are low on energy. We do need to be willing to sacrifice certain sides of ourselves – sides that keep us entrenched in the habits we want to break. But we can begin simply with sleep because we know that I tired body has no reserve for changing habits – so we have to start small and with what is obvious.

We began by looking at the probable effect of dramatically holding onto the suffering of disease. If we worked to change our habits when we had sufficient energy to do so, then would disease become a sign of imbalance rather than the announcement of a period of suffering? And would this new way of thinking, invite us to ask, “What is out of balance? What needs to be addressed? What is is that I am not attending to that is creating this imbalance because I know that when I do attend to it, my body will again be free of disease.”

Ask yourself, are you in a condition now, to change your own habits, so that you have the right tools at hand, the right reminders along the way, to take responsibility for your own dis-ease? Do you waste your energy and then find yourself without any when you need to study a problem and make a change? Next time you’re on a bus, and you witness the red-nosed guy next to you blowing his snotty hooter – watch your habitual thoughts…what do they say? “Bloody hell – I bet I get that blokes cold now.” or “Poor guy, run down. He could do with redressing the balance of things in his inner and outer world.”
I am not encouraging judgement over others – I’m highlighting the habitual thoughts which often enter and shape us if they are allowed to go unchecked – that then contribute to a vicious circle of disease, with far reaching effects.

This study brought me to see that although disease is often seen as an outcome, a result – and then the symptoms attended to accordingly, really disease is a signal, a friend and a teacher, beckoning us to take a look at what is out of balance. Therefore the truth of disease, is that it is only an experience on the way to becoming more whole.

Finally, a question for you. When you are unwell and suffering over your own suffering, feeling impossibly caught in the disease that has you in its grip, imagine that each word, each sentence, each groan collects in the ether and bounces back to you like a the ripples returning inwards after a stone has been plopped into the water. Imagine that each word, sentence and groan, hits others on the way out and the way in, impacting them along the way.

Do you feel it is worth making changes when you do have the energy to?  Or is is only when you are suffering that this thought occurs to you – when you are too weak to put anything against your habits at all?

Thank you for reading. Comments welcome.

© 2015 Sarita Perrott. All Rights Reserved.

Drama Versus Reality.

It’s true that each of us have skeletons in our cupboard – and it’s also true that we don’t have to take on another person’s story/prison bars but….

Imagine that you are 90 and have lived a long and fulfilling life – the kind of life that means that you have met your demons/shortcomings and come to peace within yourself. A life that now you can look back on and see that much of what you felt was a real crisis at the time, was actually nothing in comparison to what you suffered later… and then when you look at the painful thing that happened later, you can see that it was nothing in comparison to the more painful thing that happened even later…and so on. Then you realise that the reason that you see any of these happenings as painful, is that you suffer; but that once you suffer something even worse, the lesser thing doesn’t actually seem so bad.

You realise that the things seem bad at the time anyway though – and look further, to find that things are bad at the time because you become dramatic about it and the reason that the next thing seems worse – is not necessarily because it is worse, but because you are caught in the drama of that thing, whereas the other thing… has passed by now… and you are not caught in the drama of it anymore.

Then you see that sometimes, the past drama won’t go away. That each time you think any thought that reminds you of it, you become caught up in it again as if it is still happening and you realise that it is as if the past drama that isn’t happening anymore on the outside, is happening on the inside – the inside of you.

Oh no! Now you realize that it’s actually hard to judge what is happening on the outside for what it is – because you no longer have a clean inside to reflect it – you see it through all the dramas that are stuck inside you; in fact, it begins to seem like you are the drama – and yet, you can’t help but be stuck with the idea that the drama started with someone/something else…outside of you!

‘In, out? Inside, outside? Inner world, outer world? How can I tell?’ You begin to oscillate in your reactions to happenings, finding yourself in one drama after another; one moment thinking that it is because of a drama inside you that got stuck and another moment thinking it is because of something happening outside of you. Even when you think it is because of a drama stuck inside of you, it still seems as if that started outside of you too!

You have arrived in the construct of the ‘blame-game’ without realizing it.

Realising the state you are in, you panic a little and within this discomfort maybe you tell yourself that you are okay – it is not your fault – you are a good person – and it is other people’s fault that you are in this pickle. But then you feel negative towards them anyway and so you try to reason things through and arrive at Universal analogies, like ‘we all mess up’ and ‘where I have landed is a collusion of my own mistakes and confusions and other people’s.’ But even though you see this – and it gives temporary relief not to be angry with yourself or others – it doesn’t show you how to no longer be effected by the apparent dramas in your inner and outer world. It seems that you are doomed to suffer.

You exist trying to distract yourself and copying others who are also existing by filling in their time with things that seem important, worthwhile, pleasurable and anything but pathetic – but inside, when you are alone, you know you are faking it – and you wonder who else out there is faking it too, however well they seem to be coming over. It seems that success is about appearing as though you have it ‘sorted’ but it eats into your heart that you know the truth… that you don’t have it all worked out at all and not only that, you can’t find anyone else that seems to have it all worked out either…(although there are an array of people who are shiny and confident, acting as if they do – but you see that they are reliant on popularity to sustain themselves… and you see how their mouths turn down when they think no-one is looking).

So in the hope of finding some comfort, you join with others who are talking the talk; they are saying that this life of ours is filled with illusion and that we have all copied one another in a vain attempt to become more substantial and capable. You group with these people and try to adopt their solution. You do find some comfort in this but still when you return home, alone, you admit to yourself that you still feel lost and that actually, even these groups seem like another drama. Again, you find yourself in a loop, wondering how to find the truth within all these different dramas: Where the dream ends and reality begins.

You consider all manner of desperate things like walking a thousand miles with only a handful of coins before returning – hoping that something really phenomenal might happen if you were to make such efforts but you see this is yet another drama playing out and that actually, you simply cannot stop them. You realise you are in this hole deeply and have no way to get out.

You weep. Give up. Wake up. Pray. Yes, pray – ‘I never pray. I will pray now, because I have nothing left and if there is something conscious out there that can hear me, then I must let it know I am in deep trouble here. I will pray – what have I to lose?’ You pray.

‘Dear God, I am sorry that I haven’t been in touch for a while and feel guilty and bad that I don’t thank you for this planet and I’m sure you help me but I cannot tell – and I should thank you for that – but all that aside, I am in deep trouble now and I need your help. I don’t know who I am – I seem to be so many identities all rolled into one – and this ‘one’ malfunctions and conflicts so much of the time. I am not happy and I cannot find an example of a man that I want to be like…. I fail at all that I try for and can’t live superficially as others seems to manage to – I feel that I am a freak of nature – one that won’t make it. I think of suicide…. But I know that is yet another drama and a very selfish one. Please…please, hear my self-indulgent prayer and show me what to do? Thank you for listening and I hope to come here more often. Amen.’

Then you wait. You feel a little better just for telling some one, for getting it off your chest – but now what do you do? You switch on the TV and wait for an answer to come; maybe it will be a sign, maybe it will be a message from someone else…. ‘Maybe he will even speak to me…’ You start imagining angels and lights and all sorts while the flickering of the TV stays lodged within the corner of your eye.

And now your 90. Imagine that you are 90 and have lived a long and fulfilling life – the kind of life that means you have met your demons/shortcomings and come to peace within yourself. What happened? How did you learn? What answered your prayer? Maybe there were signs, answers and opportunities but actually for you, it was one simple thing …TIME. Over time you have seen that dramas, inside and out, lose their impetus eventually – and any remaining are outdated and inconsequential. Over time you see that what bothered you when you were ten, didn’t anymore when you were twenty because you had greater perspective by then and could see it in context with something much bigger than the event itself. Over time you realised that you will die and all of these dramas will die with you because whatever the drama is on the outside, only remains on the inside if it sticks – and it can only stick if it has something to stick onto – and that is normally another drama that has come before it. Over time you remember how you were before the dramas – how simple it was then, before you were clogged up with opinions and fears, funding a will to determinedly get your own way – or at the other extreme, give up like a victim and let others get their own way – which really wasn’t much different to your way anyway.

Over time you have witnessed the futility of drama taken as reality. Over time you have let it all go – bit by bit and sometimes whole belief systems at a time – so now you are free of the illusions that haunted you and prohibited you from just ‘being’ in the world without having to fight, or prove yourself to anyone or anything, including your egotistical SELF!

Through this life of yours, you had partnerships – and you would of course immerse yourself in their dramas amongst many others, as they would with yours also. These partnerships followed the same chaotic pattern with the same frustrations as your singular life – seeming that much more dramatic and chaotic with two sets of everything to consider. You remember wanting a certain person to be with you that would appease your needs as you were prepared to appease theirs and make you feel good about yourself and free in your inner world – but none of that had come to pass. You realise that it was a double-drama structure that you were both caught within and whether the partner you were with had blue eyes or green, was younger or older had long legs or nice hair, was creative or religious, bad-tempered or adventurous – however they were- you didn’t really see them through your own sticky dramatic inner world. You moved on from one to another until finally you found one that seemed different but even this was a drama – the ‘different’ drama – because actually, you could be with anyone at all and yet still it would be the same as long as your dramas filled your inner world – they would also be fulfilled on the outside.

So the question is – how can we remove ourselves from the world of drama – rather than wait until TIME delivers us our greater picture… our fuller perspective?

Can we live within drama and yet apart from it?

Over the next few weeks, various complimentary additions to this article will be uploaded including filmed interviews with the general public asking them, 1. Is there a difference between drama and reality? and 2. How can we know the difference between drama and reality?

Thank you for reading. Comments welcome.

© 2015 Sarita Perrott. All Rights Reserved.