We may have even established a meditation or mindfulness practice, but it begins to dawn on us that we are not really ‘living’ what we are talking about. The problem is that we are still, to a certain extent, identified with our body, emotions and mind. We know ourselves to be beyond the body as we’ve had glimpses of the magnificence of the soul, but we still get stuck sometimes in addictions and comfort eating. We still seek distraction and entertainment in order to numb our awareness as we recognize how painful enhanced awareness can be.
The Pain of Existence
'The Pain of Existence' is a term coined by Open at Openhand. It's a term to describe the fact that sometimes our very existence seems like pain. It is the original pain which comes from this paradox:
As souls we have a continual movement of two flows of consciousness within us. Firstly there's the flow out from the source (which we could call God). It's the flow which set the events of the big bang into motion. It's what causes our experience of being an individual, in a world of relativity. Then there's the flow of consciousness which goes 'back to the source'. This is what I have based the name of my website on and more information can be found on my home page. It's what causes us to give and seek love and to seek greater awareness of who we are. The pain of existence is born from the paradox that no matter how close we come to the source, there is no direct way of experiencing it, as to experience is to be in separation (relativity). This causes us to experience a great pain and this is the reason why we seek comfort and distraction in our lives.
You can read more about the pain of existence in Open's article.
Yes, this part of the spiritual journey, when we are beginning to realise this, is not an easy time. We are beginning to see that we are, in actual fact, pretty messed up. It seems so overwhelming. How to confront everything? Well there are a number of simple steps we can take to work with all of this so that we become the true spiritual beings that we have always dreamed of being.
Switching from 'Doing' to 'Being'
This is a fairly simple step, yet it can drastically change your perspective on life. If persisted with, there will be a hugely heightened sense that you are a soul having a human experience. It will no longer be a mental concept but a liveable experience. Here’s the difference. When we are ‘doing’, there is a tendency to try to control and manipulate our surroundings according to our own desires. Its a sticky trap to fall into. How many times per day do you find yourself saying ‘what should I do now?’ Or perhaps your day is already crammed with planned activities. Yes, having nothing to do can be very disconcerting as it forces us to look within.
But what is it the Gurus say? Ah yes, the outside world is just an illusion. Our inner world is the true reality. Consciousness creates our reality and the ‘law of attraction’ configures the world to provide us with what we need (NOT necessarily what we desire). You would not feel drawn to these teachings if a part of you didn’t feel them to be true. So why not live it? All you have to do is start, right here, right now. Yes, it will be painful at times as the universe conspires to show you where you are stuck – where your ego gets in the way. But, it will also be the most uplifting, profound and expanding experience you can have.
Here’s a couple of things we can do to enhance this change in perspective:
Let’s be clear. This is not the easy option. It is not filled with ‘love and light’. But it is a truly powerful way to unravel all your blockages and realize yourself as the divine being that you are. To be or not to be? THAT is most certainly the question!
This is Open's perspective on the pain of existence and how we can act from a sense of 'being' rather than 'doing'. I've included it here in it's original form rather than trying to put my own take on it as it's his concept and I really couldn't say it better myself. In it he takes this one step further and talks about how we can both 'be and not be' at the same time. Pretty mind blowing really:
So there is a place where there is nothing. Infinite stillness. Peace. It's a non-experience now dispersed throughout the universe, within the experience. You can be in this void, but as long as you still exist, you as an individual can no longer turn off the noise, not completely. And when you penetrate really deeply, through all layers of the cosmos, you might even taste the sense of bliss as an irritation!
But in the penetration of it, of the irritation, a sense of 'nirvana' can still be found through, above, below and around it. Then interestingly, if you stay connected to reality, then you can 'be' and 'not be' all at the same time. And when you're in this place, the very grounding of your beingness, just might change the physical material circumstances to something more favourable too. As long as you're not attached that is, as long as you don't need it.
To me, this Pain of Existence will never go away, but I'm able to work with it so it feels less and less like pain. You can become awesomely okay with it.
Ending on a Light Note
Of course, talking about entertainment and distraction, there is nothing wrong with being entertained as long as it is in a conscious way. Humour is a gift given to us to lighten the load and bring the light into darkness. So, here's a mostly irrelevant but none the less hilarious sketch on the subject of Hamlet.
To be or not to be, that is the question....
... and now for something completely different!
My name is Richard. I love to write, and here you can find my general musings, observations and articles. Enjoy!
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