Pain – At the Threshold of A New Beginning

Again I felt the ‘heaviness’ of the last days of the year. Of course it is my mental imagination and illusion. It is the same like the imaginary transition from one year to another.

But I was confronted with feelings of depression and sorrow. Instead of glow I experienced gloom. And ‘knock, knock’, there were the ‘old’ pains of my youth. Standing at the door of my consciousness. And I felt again a shortage of heard compliments. And under that I sensed the deep longing of ‘the child’ inside me. To be welcomed in this world to be just myself. And to be seen with unjudging eyes!

Pain! I had just one day filled with the pains of my soul!

Happily, I told my wife about it. I was open and transparant about what I was feeling. It helped to protect my wife so that she did not feel too burdened by the negative atmosphere around me. And it did give me relief and the possibility to accept myself. Without judging my feelings and thoughts. Just to let me be … myself?

The dogs of doom

Probably it is also because I am taking the stock of what 2018 has brought me. To check where I am standing and what I would like to reach in 2019. And again I am aware that my mind is playing a game of granting meaningfulness.

And suddenly I remember the words which I read already years ago:

‘The dogs of doom stand at the doors of your destiny’. (© Kris Vallotton)

Yes, it is true. My feelings of pain are barking loud. Very loud!

Happily, I can sleep through my heavy feelings. After one good night I can feel reborn and I am again rejoicing my life. But I know there are far more people who are feeling depressed day after day.

Like my good friend Walter. He was diagnosed with manic depression.

He had periods when he was feeling ‘high’ and insurmountable. He was than the ‘star’ in his own story. But inevitable there was always a backfall from grace. In those periods he was feeling ‘weak’ and doing ‘stupid’ things. Like wasting his money. Just by giving it to vague acquaintances with enchanting stories.

Jumping before a train

Four years ago Walter jumped before a high speed train and died. His body parts were found all over the rails to Rotterdam. He left behind a wife and two young kids.

For the driver of the train it was the eleventh moment in his life that this horror happened. Before his eyes.

Again he saw a human jumping from the edge of the platform. And watched helplessly, while he could do nothing to prevent it from happening.

Just this week I heard that a man in his fifties – who is troubled for years by depressions – has tried to commit suicide.

I met him some years ago via a mutual friend. He was found – just in time – in his home by his beautiful and musical talented wife.

But I am asking myself: ‘When will he try again?’ And will his next attempt be ‘successful’? And is it really possible to help yourself or another when ‘we’ are feeling trapped deep downstairs somewhere in the ‘darkness’?

Can there be than a light in our darkest hour? And can its glimpses reach us? Even when it is desperately flickering? Or when it seems to be extinguishing. Just before our eyes?

Ner tamid!

I felt so impressed when I was seeing for the first time in my life how this little lamp was surviving in the darkness.

It seemed like a little scintillating spark of a star which was fixed with a pendant to the high and unattainable dark ceiling. Shining its very little light of purity in a big empty space of obscurity.  

Rest me for this moment to wish you a ‘bright’ New Year with more than 365 little lights which will guide you at your next steps in the unknown territory of 2019. Love you all!

See you soon after the dawning border of the last Evening of this Year!

And thank you all for reading my posts!

The Tragedy of Us Humans: We Are Tempted to Take It Personally And We Keep Searching For Truth and Meaning

One thing has not changed for me during more than thirty years. I still experience the Sundays as ‘boring’. When I was a child I was obliged to go to church. I felt relieved when we again entered our home after the hours of sitting, singing and listening. And while my parents were drinking coffee I ‘dived’ and ‘hided’ in a book. It was the only place – besides the toilet and my bed – where I encountered my own private space.  

How I loved it. Just ‘me’ who ‘owned’ for myself alone that specific place in space and time. I felt at rest and I enjoyed that I was the only one knowing this secret place. For hours I was exploring the universe of my imagination.  

An empty feeling day

Nowadays I don’t go anymore to church at Sunday. And that creates a ‘problem’. I am confronted with an empty feeling day. What can I do? The structure of the week is fading away. I don’t have to bring my kid to school, I don’t have to  search for a paid job and I don’t have to do the household or to go to sports.  

My mind is going in alarm mode

And because there is not much to do, I feel bored. And at that moment I am confronted with my mind which is going in an alarm mode. It is sending me heavy feeling words about the meaning of my life. It is offering me conclusions which I don’t want to embrace. It is asking me why I don’t seem to be happy, while my basic needs are already fullfilled.  

And in those moments of ‘boredom’ my imagination starts also to work. I see myself saving other fellow humans. And I am wondering how I can escape the shooting of gunmen when they are coming from various directions in a very small street.  

And than I feel again the deep longing to attribute my piece to the history and progress of us humans. And I sense that I am after all that years still searching for my ‘position’ in this world. What can I do? Why am I here at earth?

Is there anything left that I can fullfil in this small amount of lifetime after the billions of unknown humans who have already done their ‘task’ in so many centuries and have passed away. God knows where they are and whether they are still somewhere …

The beauty and intelligence of animals

Somehow my mind don’t want to accept that we are just like the animals. And why is my mindset protesting against that? There should be no reason for that. Because look to the animals. How beautiful they are! How intelligent! They are really smart! The only ‘problem’ is that we are not knowing them, not understanding their ‘voices’. That’s why we are indifferent about their fate and that’s why we are mistreating them.  Even that don’t change that they are very ‘unique’ in their sort and varity. They even have feelings, a memory and an awareness of themselves! Wow! 

We as humans are also replaceable

So why should we as humans be separated from the animals? Why should we even imagine that we are ‘more’ than them? That we are even the top of everything that is alive? Is that not just an arrogant expression of our ego? Or don’t we want to accept that we as humans are also replaceable like the ants which I was dashing under my feet when I was a kid? It was a ‘massacre’ … Our garden showed at grassroots level a ‘killing field’. 

I have never seen a human who was mourning about the death of an ant. Also I have never heard about someone who was paying tributes after a fly was smashed with a swatter.

So the strange thing is that we are not searching for meaning when an animal is killed, but when a related human is dying it seems that our brains are yelling and commanding us to find the meaning of it.

Receiving the things which belong to us

I have also discovered that my mind is searching for reason when I am receiving thoughts like ‘Why is this happening to me?’ or ‘Why did I experience that?’ Somewhere in my subconsciousness there is a belief that I am receiving the ‘things’ which are ‘belonging’ to me. Whether it are ‘blessings’ or …  

But the question is why should there be a meaning? Why should there be a belonging or why should I be the ‘possessor’ of other beings or things? And why should I take the events in my life personally?

For instance when something is going otherwise than I expected there can be suddenly the thought: ‘Oh, no, what will befall me more today?’

That while it was only one incident and while it is nothing predicting about how ‘good’ or ‘bad’ my whole day will be. It is the same like how rain showers can lead to the statement that the weather is ‘bad’. The abundance of water can even cause a feeling of depression.

So the temptation is to generalize and to create big (meaningful?) conclusions which are based on little and small accidents. And the ‘stupid’ thing is that there is no correlation at all between the incident and myself or between me and ‘my’ day.

Again I am tricked by my mind which is deliberately searching for answers, for meaning and for ‘truth’.

Torturing questions

The same thing seems to happen with regard to the ‘great’ dramas that take place during our lifetimes. For instance when humans are daily raped and killed. Or when there is again somebody somewhere sexual abused. And many times the victims are tortured by questions like: ‘Why me?’ Or ‘how could I have prevented it from happening to me?’

Or when they are blaming themselves for how the shocking events occured, without them having the possibility to stop these. Or when there are the feelings of guilt, shame, anger and despair.  

But even than there is no correlation between the ‘victim’ and the horror which happened. Because when the perpetrator was really ‘knowing’ – his own, your and mine worthfullness and dignity – he would never have done it.  

So  every act – whatever it is – is showing something in the outside world about the inner thoughts and feelings of the person which was doing it. There is no reason or meaning why someone was receiving the anger, the aggression or the violence from another person.  

Even when I was going to church I did not truly believe in ‘punishment’. I could never believe that God was killing his own ‘son’ as a punishment for our ‘sins’ (transgressions).  But nowadays, writing this blog, I am far more understanding why Jesus was shouting: ‘Father, forgive them! They are not knowing what they are doing’.

Six millions murdered Jews and others

Many times there seems to be no reason at all.

Why were six millions of Jews murdered in the concentration camps? And all the other persons at the other places in that times?

And why got some humans after the war the label ‘hero’ and others that of the ‘traitor’? Can you see how our minds are making differences by creating opposites? Can you catch the (insecure and unstable) ego when it is creating labels like ‘winners’ / ‘losers’, ‘handsome’ / ‘ugly’, just to feel (yourself?) elevated above the rest?

Or when it is providing strong opinions – trying to secure our confidence and comfort – about how a man or a woman should behave (the issue of gender). Or how a boy should be clothed and why he should not play with the dolls of a girl? Or when we are feeling pain about how our relatives are dealing with us and we suddenly remember all that other awkward situations. Are you than aware that our minds immediately start to create the arrows which we can shoot at those who ‘offend’ us? Like the insults, the curses, the blames and the lamentations. Suddenly we seem to play hide and seek in an armory full of offensive ‘labels’ instead of a green meadow full of flowers and zooming bees.

That devil of an ego!

So we are not only separating the humans from the animals, but also the humans from the humans. Even it seems that much of the previous mentioned ‘horror’ was forthcoming out of the thoughts of dehumanizing others and blaming them for all the miserable feelings, frustrations and the worse daily living conditions. Like poverty, addictions and domestic violence. 

Of course we can tell afterwards about the hate, the shortage of self-esteem and dignity that did lead during the war to such a collective collaboration and outburst of bloodshed and killings. We can try to explain it by focussing at the ideology or the training which was given to the killers. But still there is no real meaning why gifted and intelligent humans were killing other lovely and sweet humans.

Beaches of Normandy

Also there seems to be no reason why so many young men were dying at the beaches of Normandy. We can create a story about the ‘heroic’ fight between ‘good’ and ‘evil’, but in reality there was no other choice than to leave the boats and to swim and run to the beaches. They were fearfully seeing that the sand and the sea were already red coloured from the blood of their predecessors. And while fresh bullets were flying around their ears, the heads and bodies of their ‘comrades’ were already piling up before them in the on and off going golfs of the turbulent sea. 

Why are we awakening every day?

So is there a deeper meaning why we are awakening every day? Why we are eating our food, drinking our drank and greeting each other? Is it just because we have no choice? Is it because we desperately want to survive? Is it because we know that it is more ‘wise’ to be friendly towards each other? That it is giving us ‘better’ feelings and rewards than when we are humiliating our ‘neighbours’ or living towards a new raging and devouring war?

Is it because we are loving our children and that we want to attribute to their wellbeing? And that we also desire to reach the age where we will see that they are becoming fathers and mothers themselves?

Rescued from our minds and imaginations

Maybe we are still not knowing it. Maybe there is no meaning at all. And maybe we will only in death be rescued from our minds, imaginations and the continually created interpretations, explanations and justifications. And from the idols, God(s), monsters, gnomes, giants and whatever statues of fantasy. Maybe we will find in death the rest and comfort we were chasing during our lives?

Maybe in that ‘final’ (?) day we will also be rescued from our personhoods. And from our names, stripes and mental medals. Again an illusion of our mind will than come to a peaceful end.

Probably it is the core of us that we are in essence no persons at all!

Simularities between us and millions of ants

So even while we are looking differently than other humans – do we as individuals be really that unique as we are presuming? – there could be more similarities between us and the millions of ants that are living under our paving stones.

Probably we are in essence far more equal to the ants than what our egoistic, dualistic and to differences attracted minds are liking us to believe … 

Could it be that our minds are betraying us daily by distracting us with ‘loud sounding’ thoughts and feelings? So that we stay tuned to the perspective to watch only in opposites? Like the flashes and rumours of an old black and white television?

Just to prevent us to finally apprehend it and to see with unblinded eyes … Sameness !

How I Escaped The Dictate Of Time

In the ‘old days’ I tricked myself by turning the hands of the clock ten minutes ahead. It meant that when I was in a hurry I would have ten minutes left to catch my bus or to be present at my next appointment. That relaxing realisation repressed my stress and anxiety.

Nowadays – while I have my new phone – I have stopped this practice. I guess because I love the pretense of the new technology that it is accurate. And for sure there is one thing I am loving very much. And that is to be accurate 🙂

Feeling the dictate of time

So now when I am feeling the dictate of time it is giving me feelings of stress. I get agitated and irritated. In those perilous moments I try to reassure my mind that all is still okay. I start wishful and wilful thinking like: ‘Everything is happening at the right time’ or ‘I am just at time’. But alas, my body is not always following these considerations.

Even when I am knowing that my mind is overloaded with stimuli – for instance through sudden loud noises or the accumulated questions of my relatives – and even when I am aware that time is just a mental concept (an illusion) the stress won’t listen to the demand to leave.

The surface of my lucidity

Happily I discovered that my blog about stress – I wrote it at 9 November, you can find it here: Click here – has given me in the follow-up some fresh insights. These came just to the surface of my lucidity weeks later 🙂 
I now realize that my writing of the text about stress helped me to change some of my (mental) behaviours. I detected for myself some inner grow. And I received three lessons.

Three lessons:

        • I made the decision to awake ten minutes earlier than I was used to. It means that it gives me the possibility to awake fully. Specially when I have slept very deep and when I am awaking dizzy. Also it creates the opportunity to do my activities in a slower pace and rhythm. That is helpful for me when I am feeling tired or when my mind is in a repeative control stance urging me to double check whether I have really done what I was doing. Thoughts like: ‘Did I really lock the door or did I really put off the fire of the kitchen stove?’ But sometimes I just like to do everything very slow. To train my mind to be really present in the moment. To become attentive and aware about what my hands are doing;
        • Secondly, I observed that when I am in a mental state of being thankful – thanking for having slept well in a warm house, thanking to be alive and in a good health and thanking to have food and drinks etc. – that I am less sensitive to stress. And I have experienced that when I am in such a flow it seems that time is even going slower for  my benefit;
            • Thirdly, I uncovered that it is really helping me to say aloud that I am the boss of time. It means for me to realize that time is not dictating me. It is relativizing the daily scrutiny of time. Because it is me who decides what to do at which moment. And by being aware of that I feel that I am far more free of stress and worry.

          And I believe again the long time ago obtained idea that I am arriving at the right moment at my location. And that I am meeting the right persons at the right moments.

        And even it seems to be happening that everything and everyone is helping me. And all seems to work for the good of me.

      • So sooner or later I am enjoying my relaxt and easy time travelling 🙂