THE ultimate GOAL/CHOICE

We are growing, evolving and realizing the awesome responsibility we have, that leads us to experience this symptoms of tension, unsettledness, and unsatisfaction- often diagnosed as depression, anxiety or similar. What exactly are we feeling?

On a deep level, we are aware that we are mortal and there is no other purpose to our existence but the one we create for ourselves. Is that freedom? How do we respond to this understanding of our responsibility/freedom to make a life worth living without any external standard, which can define for us what this worthwhile living should be?

Some find the guidance in the organized system of a religion.  This is comforting until the moment you face the truth that this system is created by people, and used from different people for different purposes.

More and more people realize that this situation of discomfort is a sign of awareness, rather than a symptom. This uneasiness signals that you begin to process and accept responsibility for your life. Here are some wise words from Mr Frankl “What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for some goal worthy of him”.

Making the choice – what direction you want your life to go, requires increasing self-awareness. Keeping the chosen course asks for established values or discipline. Reaching the destination is possible when you accept that the desired outcome is not a guarantee. So we come to the beginning again – what goal is worth living for, taking the effort and investing your time in, without having the assurance of accomplishing it?

Do we really have a choice? Yes – we do have the choice of happy and fulfilling life. We make it when we understand fear and discover courage. Courage enables us to move toward our actualization, allows us to incorporate/understand fear. If we ignore the tension and try to put fear to sleep, we stop our own growth, impede our potential. So how do we keep blindly and courageously move forward? Faith is our only response to the finiteness nature of life and our awareness of death. Faith, not in any religious sense, but simple trust, knowing that:” This is the way it is. Now I will live my life.”

The alternative? The “modern slavery” – the loss of your individuality, your true identity, your self. In this state, you are influenced by public opinions, by the world outside. You take the values and beliefs of others, becoming absorbed by the every day superficial relationships, your interactions seem ordinary and meaningless. With or without pills the anxiety created by your true self, trying to find the way out and express the true self will produce symptoms, which ignored will lead to a possible disease. At times we want somebody else to heal us or with the help of a special device that will magically take away all our problems. We avoid occasionally looking for our own fault, staying away from seeing our mistakes, which lead us to the illness in the first place. However, you are able to understand and forgive.

There is an ancient saying: If you got sick, change your life style. If this does not help, change the way you eat. If this does not help, then look for a healer and remedies.

It seems like we need a reminder what to do with ourselves. We easily give the responsibility and freedom to make choices for our lives to somebody else. We forget now and then to trust ourselves. The history is full with examples how far human beings can go placing their reliance and life in the hands of one person that has the ambition to lead. It is mesmerizing the size of a crime one man’s ideas can lead to.  Be cautious of leaders that claim to know the secret to life, leaders who tell you they know you better than you know yourself. No one can take your responsibility – to know yourself.

When asked, “What thing about humanity surprises you the most?” Dalai Lama answered:” Man….Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”

………..

“I see and hear, how in the silence, every hour “the heavenly bells” ring, and how everything alive is subject to this rhythm…. How do the roosters and all birds know when to sing? How does the flower know when to wake up and blossom? All is subject to this voice. “

Turn of the TV, and you will hear it too…

Meditation or Medication?

meditation

Answering a question depends on the point of view we would like to choose. For a long time the society has been rewarded for living unreflectively – for living an unexamined, inauthentic and superficial life. The ideal of a person as promoted in the media was self-centered, materialistic, anti-intellectual and often driven by sensuality or greed. Today we witness how beneath the distorted value system, the eternal human qualities are being remembered, strengthened, and given the freedom to evolve. We are regaining the power of human relationships, discovering the harmony with our physical environment, colleagues, friends, family, our inner-self and our spirituality.

The knowledge of the realms of mind and body has been wrongly separated for centuries. We were created with a capacity to experience pain, with a certain level of discomfort or “healthy” anxiety. This is our continuing fear of moving through life towards death. Our symptoms have important meaning. The pain is a response to a situation or person that unsettles us. The feeling of being depressed or anxious provides us with a chance to reflect upon ourselves and to change the behavior that brought these emotions to us. If we choose to mask these feelings with medications, we evade the search for the reason behind our unsettledness. We avoid taking responsibility for our relationship with our selves and life.

However, the designer of the Universe felt that our pain is instructive.  It is our gift if we accept it as a loving part of who we are. It is the most invaluable lesson that lies deep inside of each of us.  Everyone discovers the message in his own time, the message of how fragile life is and how brief is our time.

Meditation is a system of practices, that helps people take responsibility for the quality of their thoughts. Meditation practices can help you enter the center of your stillness and serenity, to reach a “zero point”. From this point, you can observe apart the flow of your changing emotions, thoughts and intentions and gradually understand their origin and meaning.

 

In the past, meditation was viewed as spiritual or religious practice. Today more and more people turn to meditation to receive the benefits of deep relaxation, and to handle successfully the psychological and psychosomatic challenges, releasing the accumulated stress in the body.

 

Some psychotherapists believe that meditation and hypnosis are similar states of mind and that the first one is just a part of the second. Electroencephalography or EEG shows that meditation is a more structured state of the consciousness. Hypnosis has different indicators. If it is a quite hypnotic sleep, we will see decreasing or complete disappearance of alpha rhythmic brain activity, reducing the frequency and amplitude of beta rhythm and appearance of delta like slow waves. The recording of the brain’s electrical activity during hypnosis can be like the normal activity when you are awake. The person who is meditating is in a state of a focused concentration and the electrical activity in his brain is as he is ready to fall asleep. These facts are leading us with great curiosity and increasing attention to study the teachings of Yogis. During meditation, they report that their whole body is in a state of deep sleep, and their mind is in a state of a special type of wake.

 

The word “meditation” is from the Latin – meditatio,” is moving to the center”. There is also a version that meditatio comes from meditor– “to think, to contemplate, device, ponder”.  Exactly this is what happens during meditation. Without strain, without applying any kind of effort, you are appearing in the center of yourself.  You are experiencing the feeling of being on a high elevation and observing from it everything that is happening. You can see clearly and distinctly what is important to you and undoubtedly realize it. From this elevated point, you can find out a lot about the person you thought you are or were. You will begin to understand this person’s life scenario, the plot of his destiny. Did his parents reject him?  If this happened, did he allow this situation to influence his life? On the other hand, maybe the mother loved more his older sibling. If that was so, does the youngest continue to compete in order to be the first in the eyes of his mother? Does this person live in fear that life is passing him by? … All this begins to seem to you like a script written for someone else. You notice how old emotional “wounds” start t to heal.

 

Now let us go back to the pharmacology. In the past, the business interests of managed care and the paradigm of biological psychiatry have challenged our society. Today the facts speak for themselves. The power of human mind and consciousness over the human body is not any longer denied. It is common knowledge that the only reason medicines work is because they mimic the natural processes of the body, after the mind gives its permission and faith.

 

How would you answer the question now, from the perspective of knowing that your body has all the recourses to heal and overcome any discomfort? What would you do, knowing that the depression you experience is a gift to show you that you are missing something in your relationships? Your relationship with the physical world, your relationship with others, and your relationship with yourself, with the spiritual world – do you feel any unsettledness there? If yes, smile, because you are alive and given the courage to see a possibility of a greater fulfillment of Life.

 

 

 

 

Psychology or Spirituality?

Psychologists explore different spheres of human activities – from obvious human behavior to hidden emotions, and cognition. The word Psychology originates from the Greek “Psyche” – meaning mind, soul, spirit, breath, and “Logos”- meaning study, research. “Study of the soul, spirit”. It is safe to say that psychology is concerned with the human being and everything that comes with it. Spirituality is much broader than the concept of religion, which is focused on prescribed beliefs and rituals. Spirituality is our need to search for significance and connection with others and the transcendent force of the Universe. Many are helped to discover their spirituality through the guidance of religion, but many others have allowed unpleasant experiences with religion to cause them to neglect their spiritual development. This development emphasizes humanistic ideas on qualities such as love, compassion, tolerance, patience, forgiveness, responsibility, harmony, contentment and concern for others. These spiritual values or psychological needs are as important as the satisfaction of our thirst, hunger, and sexual yearnings. I believe we are all born spiritual psychologists in our minds and hearts. Without exception, we all want to understand our own life, the everyday issues of love, loneliness, suffering and death. We strive for harmony and meaning. We recognize that the human species is just one of more than a million species in the world. Our time on Earth is limited as with other living creatures. Life is a voyage to Death, no matter what one’s race, religion or social standing. We all are heading toward the same inevitable place. Each of us is confronted with social environment that leaves us frustrated and plagued by unjust laws and social barriers. Psychology helps us to focus on forces inside us that we can become aware of and control eventually. Let us remind ourselves that not everything in Life is controllable and not all of Life’s questions are answerable. Uncertainty, mystery, and suffering are our eternal companions. The Miracle of self-reflection, the realization of Life’s totality, not merely one’s patterns of unconscious conflicts, or thoughts and feelings, happens when we open up and share, equally amerced in the search for answers. Equally vulnerable. “All is flux, nothing remains the same, nothing endures but change.” So wrote the Greek philosopher Heraclitus. Openness to change is essential for our wellbeing. Nature’s gift is our ability to be flexible, to change gracefully, to modify habitual behaviors and to grow. Every character is capable of intellectual, emotional or spiritual evolution. One encouraging truth about the turbulent times in which we live is that – Nobody knows what to do next. This makes us more equal than we have ever been before. Curiously enough, the beauty is that you never know from what direction the answers will come, so pay kind attention to everyone you meet along the way.

FEAR – OR LACK OF KNOWLEDGE?

It seems, as fear is a lifelong presence in each of us. We get rid of some of our apprehensions, but then the one that are left, suddenly become more vivid and painful. Why?

The fear itself has been around for eons. It is present even in the simplest one-celled organisms – Amebas.  When the Amoeba feels endangered, the Ameba squeezes out the cytoplasm, shrinks, like in attempt to disappear. The lizard looses its tail; the ostrich hides its head.

Nature’s function to protect and preserve is great. Our nature as Homo sapiens cannot be changed under the technological development; we are still the same inside, as we were million years ago. Even though now the risk of being physically eaten is less, undoubtedly today we have increasing variety list of different dangers. (Including the threat of being scared to death – possibly from all the TV med commercials.)

Animals also experience the symptoms we all are well familiar with: anxiety, panic, fright it is a multilevel spasm. Everything contracts – muscles, vessels, bronchi, diaphragm, stomach, intestines, heart…Sometimes the reaction can be the opposite – involuntary relaxation, paralysis….

The fear is like a virus, parasite that lives with us but is not who we are. Often in western psychology, we get the idea that it is we who are damaged at the core. This can not be farther from the truth. We, human beings, are not and have never been damaged goods. We are fascinating beautiful beings when we know who we are.

So who are we and what is the nature of our relationship with fear?

Fear is a tree with many branches. There are various attempts made to classify and clarify this phenomenon. The trunk of this ancient tree is fear of Death from one side, and fear of Life from the other. The fear of Death is actually a fear of the pure unknown, “nothingness”. It is impossible to imagine your own Nonbeing. This fear is stronger that the dreads of suffering, which can be understood, endured and overcome, but the uncertainty – what do you do with it? The fear of Life is the second wing of the same bird. The fear of Death is a concept that belongs to our consciousness. Nevertheless, our deep unconscious levels, where all our terrors reside, do not have this concept. It is just “before the tension takes form – mass”.

It is not rare for human beings to have one “general” irrespective trepidation, but usually it “specializes” in concrete areas:

–          Mystical and psychic- all religious punishments, fear of God, Devil, superstition, magic…. FEAR OF YOUR OWN THOUGHTS

–          Social-evaluative – exam anxiety, fear of communication, public speaking, the opposite sex, shame, guilt, to be bad, ugly, not smart enough, fear of responsibility/failure, to be seen as weak… NOT GOOD ENOUGH

–          Common fears or phobias- fear of the dark, loneliness, getting old, fear for the life of your loved ones, war, natural disasters…FEAR OF NOT BEING IN CONTROL

–          Panic attacks- objectless sense of apprehension, fear of everything = fear of nothing… I AM HELPLESS

–          Decision making phobias – fear to make a choice of spouse, job, profession….I AM NOT COMPETENT

–          Fear of space – agoraphobia- fear of wide-open spaces, claustrophobia- confined space, astrophobia …. WHERE IS MY PERSONAL SPACE

–          Fear of authority and aggression- physical insult, psychological, from your boss….I AM A VICTIM

–          Dependence fear – soteriophobia, fear of deprivation of different agents –  drugs, tobacco, alcohol, people, food, money….I AM ALONE

–          Physical fears- fear of pain, dentist, blood, diseases, health, germs….I AM IN DANGER

Between all this concrete object fears and the “general” primary fear, we can insert the so-called transition fear – “floating” fear, looking to attach to something. (Similar to the Anger, looking for excuse to explode.) The powerful hovering mass of unattached fear is rooted deep in our unconscious being. The absence of desire to know and study yourself and not understanding the root of the feelings and emotions we all go trough can cause much dysfunction and confusion in our lives.

It is logical than to conclude that Fear is nothing more but absence of consciousness, focused, directed willingness to explore our minds, investigate our soul and discover our limitless potential.

No one is to blame for any dysfunction. Our parents, siblings, guardians, friends, enemies or you – are our hidden teachers that challenge us and make life interesting. In one respect, all this people who caused us problems and pain, are victims of a heritage dysfunction themselves, that goes back to the distant past.

Human experience and folklore tell us that each one of us is responsible for making changes and enlightening ourselves. We can turn our own fears into our strengths. We can support the other person’s efforts at becoming free. In order to be successful we must draw a clear distinction between our dysfunctions/fears and ourselves.

THE ROAD TO SELF-ACTUALIZATION

If you look in the dictionary you will find that to self –actualize yourself means to realize fully your potential, but what does one’s potential mean? How do you know, how far can your potential stretch, and what form should it take? Do we all realize ourselves fully and if not, what stops us? Why is this so important for us as a human species?

We are all well familiar with Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, represented as a pyramid. His “A Theory of Human Motivation” describes the stages of human development and growth. “What a man can be, he must be.” – But first man must not only achieve the previous needs- physiological, safety, love, esteem, but to master them. So what went wrong?

Why aren’t we all at the top of the pyramid – enjoying our creativity, spontaneity, and lack of prejudice? Where do the aggression and self-destructiveness come from?

All around the world there is a legend about a strong hero with super powers, which always defeat the beast. The ancient Greeks have Heracles, Jewish people have Samson, the Ancient Sumeria has Gilgamesh, and the Slavic people have Saint George, defeating the dragon.

All of them are symbols of how people conquer their Fear.

Antaeus, the son of Poseidon and Gaia, had invincible strength. That is until he met Hercules. Hercules realized that Gaia, Antaeus’s mother, was the source of his power. He killed Antaeus by separating him from his mother Earth, holding him aloft until all his vigor had drained away.

Very symbolic, isn’t it?

Humankind is going through a massive planetary change. Life on Earth is transforming into a global community with cooperation among all people. Government, science, business interest does not make this choice of positive change; the choice is made by individual human beings engaged in personal transformation/self-actualization. These self-actualizing individuals will than influence governments, business and science in ways that are contributing to a greater happiness and wellbeing on planet Earth.

You as an individual cannot self-actualize yourself unless you personally face your own fears. In order to overcome your fears, you should rip off the root from the ground- this is the fear of death.

The fear of death looses its power when the Unity of Life is realized.

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