I spoke to my husband yesterday and then, in the morning hours I reflected a little bit about my last article, reference to which I will post at the end of this one. My article from yesterday was about gratitude and love for no reason whatsoever, which are our true nature, if not obscured by conditioned thinking, worries, psychological story-spinning, unchecked beliefs. I described a state of being there that can be called bliss in spiritual circles.
Since bliss is a sought-after phenomenon in spiritual circles, and many who are interested in spiritual content, are either chasing it, making it the goal of their meditation practice, or confusing it with spiritual awakening and enlightenment, I would like to address this state more so that no misunderstandings and expectations arise.
I wrote that we ourselves hide or cover our nature of gratitude and joy by following our conditioned mind and not lingering enough in the here and now. I said that we can learn to observe how we can decide for and against psychological worries and sufferings, and thus take responsibility.
Would all that mean that if we managed to put aside the psychological, worried, dissatisfied mind as well as the false beliefs, we would be floating in uninterrupted bliss? Or that we would be walking around non-stop, tear-drenched, shouting “Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!”?
First of all, I would like to say that this moving gratitude, this joy of life and love for this world does not necessarily have to be expressed in very strong outbursts. It can, if you are predisposed to it, and I suppose, especially in the early stages of becoming aware, and especially in people like me, who, due to a very traumatic childhood, have accumulated a lot of tension, fear, and psychological defense.
For example in contrast to me, my husband never had to live in a real fear of death, while I was almost used to both death threats and fear of not being able to survive. In my childhood, I therefore developed countless survival tactics in order to not be beaten, abused and threatened. The survival tactics have again accumulated an incredible amount of energy and tension that is still here, even if the danger is no longer existing. My mind is also used to analyzing people and situations very quickly and examining them for potential danger, not that it is always successful with it. Mind is actually very seldom successful…
As a consequence all of this mentioned above tenses the entire body and muscles, sets the organism on alarm level, and puts a lot of strain on it. And when such a tension, such fear and defense suddenly fall away from you due to increasing awareness, it can be very moving, if not tearful.
I’m definitely not an exception, but I’m also not the rule when it comes to the side effects of letting go of the psychological mind and the associated tensions. The gratitude for simply being here, without all the ballast, without the story about me, and looking at life without all these filters, can be therefore very tearful.
I would say that with increasing awareness, and with the awakening from the exclusive self-centeredness to life here and now, a logical conclusion follows, namely that depending on how much tension, psychological defense and anxiety you have accumulated so far, their sudden disappearance can be more or less blissful or tearful.
What I want to say with all this is, that the bliss as a side effect is not of particular importance to me. Rather, the gratitude, love and serenity that over time become more and more an integral part of your being the more aware you become of your mind, your false beliefs, as well as of what is left, when they are not dominating you anymore.
The wonderful spiritual teacher, John Butler, has a very nice illustration of letting go of the psychological ballast of the mind. Illustrated as a closed fist that suddenly opens. If the fist has been very tight for years, a sudden opening can have a strong effect. However, I guess that some have felt compelled to pinch their metaphoric fists more or less in the course of life, and therefore the opening and loosening can be felt in very different ways.
And what remains when the fist is no longer? Let’s find out.