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cash for care
March 19, 2001
12:21 pm
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Frieda
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Why, do you suppose, I have to pay someone 50-100 dollars to care about me? Is it me? Is it society? What if I paid more? Would I get true love? Maybe they don't really care. Maybe they are just doing their job. I just want to be known and accepted, no secrets, just honesty. Is there somewhere besides therapy to get that? Family(not mine), friends(it seems like too large a thing to ask). Am I so unlovable? So difficult?

Do I offer to know and accept others? Can I, if I myself am not known?

March 19, 2001
12:26 pm
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March 19, 2001
12:36 pm
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Frieda, We are living in a "ME" society. I'm sorry to sound so cynical but it is so hard to find a friend that isn't a limited time friend as in a once a month "lets do lunch". If you want a friend , be a friend is another way to say if you want a friend be a door mat. I have not found anyone has the time and desire I do to create and sustain a mutually enjoyable friendship.

I saw a counselor when I was having a hard time getting over a job loss. The 4th or 5th time in when I was discussing my job, he wanted to know details of my computer experience that would benefit him and his new computer. It took 2 more times for me to decide I wasn't paying him to let me help him with his computer. On the other hand, I did find someone in my family that could give advice and listen without throwing anything I said back in my face. Take another look, isn't there someone?

March 19, 2001
3:06 pm
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Molly
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Why do you think the whole world is on drugs, legal, or illegal ? Its a jungle out here. Its hard to find people who care, or even good professional care takers. Sounds like you had a bad experience. But most of us have been abandonded before, so you have company. Ever hear that saying where ever you go there you are? Become your own best friend, take care of you the way you would want some one else to, lighten up a bit. Exercise, watch your diet, get into some group activities, and watch your circle of contacts grow into a circle of friends. Maybe you are protecting your self from loss, and are not easy to let others in? Change your mind, and change your life. Its hard when you feel alone, but no cash required here, well spare change is always welcome. That was a joke laugh 🙂

March 19, 2001
4:59 pm
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NESS
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Well said Molly.
Frieda ,Smile awhile and while you smile another smiles,until theres miles and miles of smiles,and lifes worth while because you SMILE!Try it and enjoy life because its too short.

March 20, 2001
4:30 pm
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Frieda
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I suppose we all want to be parented. For someone else to take responsibility for us. I want to curl up in someone's lap and cry and receive comfort and affection and acceptance and for someone with authority to say "It's OK" Particularly if we didn't receive that kind of thing growing up. I know well that I am responsible for me. That I can reparent and learn to care for myself in a way that meets these needs. So why don't I? (Whine) It's too hard... it takes sooooo long.... it won't work.... I'll fail... I'm too broken... etc.
What am I waiting for? My own personal emotion trainer? Now I get down on myself, and recovery seems further than ever.

March 21, 2001
10:44 am
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Cici
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You guys are great. I love this. I'm being honest, because these are such honest emotions ou're putting out there, and that is A RARE occurance.

This is existential angst at its purest form. Why are we are as we are? Solitary, alone, selfish and self-focuses? Answers don't lie in volunteerism. I know from personal experience. You can volunteer yourself thin and never have a real interaction.

That's what humanism is all about. Read Abraham Maslows's "Toward a Psychology of Being."

Our society suffers from the psychopathology of normalcy. The desire to be accepted leads us to present a facade of normalcy, of safety for interaction on a shallow, superficial level.

After years of doing this for acceptance, it begins to take over your life. You stop having ANY real interactions BECAUSE you're nurturing the facade with superficial interactions.

On a scale of self-deception, people who are depressed tend to have a more realistic view of themselves and their place in society. Psychologically "healthy" people tend to be the best, right behind narcissists and antisocial PDs, at self-deception.

To be honest, real, and have real interaction leaves you above all vulnerable, and you face a lot of condemnation, aggresion, or just apathetic disinterest. Sometimes people will just ignore you or outight hate you. But at least you can be satisified that you weren't deceitful to yourself.

March 21, 2001
11:25 am
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Molly
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Well said, aren't we just a real mess. However the one thing that I notice, is that through work, or volunteering, there is the possibility of a real interaction, really connecting, and then what they suck you dry!!!!!!!!! There is another side of the coin, where is the balance? In Frieda's post, I hear that hunger for the Mother, the desire to crawl back into the womb, that was so very well described in the recent book White Oleander. That place where we can go, to be replenished, satisfied, and protected. It doesn't exist! And what makes things worse today, is that we for the most part, I believe due to our societal evolution into mental illness, have not received the nurturing in the early development years, to prepare us for this isolation. Oh, well. One foot in front of the other.

March 21, 2001
4:08 pm
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Frieda
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So, Cici, this is a good thing? I hate angst. I don't care how healthy it is. Normal sounds really good to me right now, yet to disavow what I know to be me feels traitorous. Maybe that's what I want, to be seen as who I am, and nurtured to be MORE myself, not stifled into being less. I don't think the mental health profession can do much once we have been so malnourished in our growing. Teach me to parent myself. Seems really bogus. One foot...

March 21, 2001
5:01 pm
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Molly.

Re your posting of the 21-Mar-01. Spot on!

From my very limited experience in helping others, I've found that some seem to lack the confidence in their own abilities to self-nurture.

Others just downright want no part in re-owning and cherishing that long disenfranchised emotional part of themselves that feels so valueless.

Still others seem to want a partner to do that self confirmation and validation for them.

I've learnt that hell will freeze over before another human being could or would give that which was not given and/or received so long ago in infancy. Even if a truly loving partner comes along, some people seem to depreciate any such validation from such a partner as coming from one who does not really see their true worthless self. A catch22. 🙂

I've found that the universe helps those who help themselves and help others. When it comes to the inner journey, it seems that the words "seek and you shall find" hold true. If only I could always be 100% true to this belief when things don't go my way. Those bloody feet of clay of mine! 🙂

March 21, 2001
5:36 pm
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Sal
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Tez, I've found that all you said is true of me. I don't want to own up, I want someone else to, I don't trust me to, and I realize that no one else ever will, either.

I can't help but be a little pessimistic about this "journey."

March 22, 2001
6:04 pm
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Sal.
Ah! Pessimism... and the journey; old friends indeed.

For me over very many years, it seemed so natural to have absolute faith that all outcomes of my endeavours were always going to be negative. It seemed like crap when I tried to believe that most happenings in my life were positive. When things went well for me, I regard them as aberations and tended to dismiss these events as not being the 'norm'. The very core of my emotional memories contain a strong 'feeling' that the world was a hostile place full of predators and everyone in it as being untrustworthy including myself.

Yet when I intellectually examined even the worst day in my life, I found that the events in that day had been 99.9% positive. But what I did was to focus on the 0.1% of the day that had been crappy and I would say to myself, "There you are, life's a shit sandwich". I then didn't even see the rest of the 99.9% of the day as being positive at all. My emotions made sure that I experienced all positivity as negativity.

The result? I had a frown on my face. I projected negativity and aggression towards others. They withdrew from me. I then had the necessary evidence and confirmation that I was no good; no one wanted to be near me. No bloody wonder!

Today, I am very optimistic most of the time. But... my old negative feelings are always there ready to be triggered by the slightest hint of rejection.

Today, I don't believe that my negative feelings are very reliable indicators of the true state of well being. But I do trust my ability to think about and determine my state of well being. So... when that evil corroding thread of feeling worthless, unwanted and unloved pervades my being - as when my woman is miffed with me - I try to remember say to myself, "Come on little fella, your OK. Things are going well. Your a wonderful, warm lovable little boy. It's not your fault that your original parents were incapable of loving you. I am your parents now and I'm going to take good care of you. We are both doing very well. Our girlfrind is probably having a bad day and her coolness has nothing to do with you and I. We are the same person as before when she was warm and nice to us. Nothing can change your priceless value to me. You are the source of my passion for life. I'll surely look out for you and take care of you."

Seeing myself as a "we" has helped me tremendously. I see myself as two distinct entities that are active within my head. My conscious awareness is the result of unconscious processing of the inputs from both these parts of myself bursting forth into my consciousness. One part is my emotions the other my thoughts. The former part is very powerful yet not very discriminating. The latter part is capable of being very discriminating yet lacks a lot of power and is often overwhelmed by the emotions.

For me the key was to realise that my thoughts have a profound effect on my emotions. On a daily basis, if I am not careful to monitor my thoughts I soon find myself reverting to that vicious spiral of my natural state of negative thinking feeding my negative feelings which in turn perpetuate my negative thoughts. It's all the way down into the pit of depression for me then. The remarkable thing is that the opposite is also true!!! I can instigate the upwards spiral by taking great care of my emotions by simply 'seeing' how good life really is - no matter what!!

March 23, 2001
10:55 am
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Sal
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Tez,
Anyone ever diagnose you with an associative disorder? Just kidding. We all have that parent and child in there pulling in different ways. It's in the negotiating between the two that we determine our success at achieving mental and emotional health. We can't deny all the childish feeling and wanting nor the joy. But we can't live there either.

Personally, I tend to over parent. Shut down the feeling, disregard, ignore, disparage, etc. What I'm learning is that they don't go away, and when they finally MUST have their say, I a) feel like a failure for not being able to moderate them better, b) realized that I can't parent myself any better than my original set, and c) feel that deep chasm of unmet (unmeetable?) need that so discomforts me.

I WONT "surely look out for you and take care of you." We are not "both doing very well." I may destroy me. Will most certainly be punitive, and may not see any reason for trying again. Hence the depression.

I think you're saying that if I look at my life objectively, I'll see that I have inherent value and am worth taking the time and trouble to re-parent my self. And that if I am more equitable to my emotions and my thoughts that I will be able to reprogram the state of well being.

Is that honest? I want to have ALL my feelings or none. I have a lot of trouble moderating. In fact I don't want to. Does that doom me forever to being at the mercy of the urgent? What will it take to get me to do the work that needs to be done to be mature in this? If I refuse then there is no one to do it on my behalf, right? I am contemplating this, trying to talk myself into pulling on the proverbial boot straps.

A poster from my old catechism class said, "What you are is God's gift to you. What you become is your gift to God."

What does that mean? Too much expectation.

March 23, 2001
11:16 am
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Cici
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Exitential angst IS good because it makes you question your own reality. And questioning is good because you can't have faith without having challenges to that faith. Not fith in God or religion, but in yourself and your ability to overcome.

An interesting therapeutic technique I was introduced to two days ago. Two simple questions:

Who are you?

How are you?

So easy to ask and so very hard to answer truthfully. I'm not talking about banal social convention but real questions that want real answers.

We live in a society where self-examination is limited to commerical breaks. Social facades are worshipped as honest personalities. Take Oprah. PLEASE. ha ha ha. That's fast-food psychology. Not the psychology of introspection and comprehension, but ego-nurturing mental mastrubation.

I read a story once about a Taoist sage who walked around his house naked, company be damned, and drank like a fish. Negligent or care-free? I mean really, what kind of fulfillment can you get out of trying to act like an "adult"? Being and adult, as far as I cana tell, means you're repressed, stressed out, obsessively worried, and weighed down with the drudgery of heavy responsibilities.

That's it. I'm joining the Peace Corps and living in rural Central America for the rest of my life.

March 23, 2001
1:18 pm
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Molly
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Cici, I have actually gone so far as to send away for the package!! :)That was a while ago, but always on my list of possibilities. With regard to your comment on Oprah, true what you say, but she is reaching the masses, and at least getting them off soap opras, and getting women to maybe for the first time, in a shallow way to take some personal responsibility ? At least that is the message that I get, and since I deal with lots and lots of sheep, I try to keep up with the current guru's. Most of the people I have found do not have insight, or intelligence to investigate much deeper than a commercial anyhow, isn't that why they are only 60 seconds? Boy did that sound arrogant!
Who am I well just how do we answer that? Not so simple to answer at all, you all probally could do better than that than I could.
SAL,
I think a simple solution to the majority of your questions, When you are tired of walking into the wall, falling down and picking your self up, and walking into the wall again, you will take a turn and go into a different direction, or perhaps, just sit in front of the wall and lick your wounds, its all choice. I have come to understand that we do not change because we get some sort of a gain from things, and until we are ready to gain something differentwe don't do anything.

March 23, 2001
1:18 pm
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Molly
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Cici, I have actually gone so far as to send away for the package!! :)That was a while ago, but always on my list of possibilities. With regard to your comment on Oprah, true what you say, but she is reaching the masses, and at least getting them off soap opras, and getting women to maybe for the first time, in a shallow way to take some personal responsibility ? At least that is the message that I get, and since I deal with lots and lots of sheep, I try to keep up with the current guru's. Most of the people I have found do not have insight, or intelligence to investigate much deeper than a commercial anyhow, isn't that why they are only 60 seconds? Boy did that sound arrogant!
Who am I well just how do we answer that? Not so simple to answer at all, you all probally could do better than that than I could.
SAL,
I think a simple solution to the majority of your questions, When you are tired of walking into the wall, falling down and picking your self up, and walking into the wall again, you will take a turn and go into a different direction, or perhaps, just sit in front of the wall and lick your wounds, its all choice. I have come to understand that we do not change because we get some sort of a gain from things, and until we are ready to gain something differentwe don't do anything.

March 23, 2001
6:34 pm
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Sal.
You said, "I think you're saying that if I look at my life objectively, I'll see that I have inherent value and am worth taking the time and trouble to re-parent my self. And that if I am more equitable to my emotions and my thoughts that I will be able to reprogram the state of well being.

Is that honest? I want to have ALL my feelings or none."

Well... I don't know about you; but I don't like feeling pain. I've learnt that I cannot 'will' my negative feelings away by sheer willpower or reject them without a high price tag. I cannot suppress my negative emotions without their erupting at inappropriate time. For example, if a wolloping big six foot six copper gives me a hard time - for speeding say - I sure as hell won't give him any back chat. But unless I want to go home and kick the cat or abuse the girlfriend, I sure as hell better deal with my negative feelings. In this instance, I fully acknowledge my feelings of fear without any suppression what ever. I then recognize that the copper has been a trigger event that has once again retriggered the fear of my father's backhand across the head that I experienced so often, so long ago. I then choose to 'self-talk' to this 'feeling' reassuring 'it' that all is well; there is no real danger confronting 'us'.I tell the 'emotional me' that my biological dad is no longer in control; I am now looking after 'us' and I am competent to do so. I can instantly feel the fear start to subside. I no longer have to act out the aggression on someone or something that cannot lash back and then persecute myself for cowardice. That's honesty as far as I'm concerned. It's honestly recognizing the inner processes of the interactions between my emotions and cognitions. But... I'm sorry, I can't speak for you. It may not be this way for you. I'm sharing my self-discovery and that of others who have kindly given me their experiences.

As for my inherent value, my inherent value for me is my instant by instant 'awareness' - my ability to experience the drama of life about me in my very subjective way. Even my 'objectivity' is subjective to my past studies, experiences, and individual thought processes; all of which are very individual.

You said, "A poster from my old catechism class said, "What you are is God's gift to you. What you become is your gift to God."

What does that mean? Too much expectation."

I suspect that the Christian meaning is that you have been given the gift of life in order that you make yourself into somebody or something that is pleasing and acceptable to God. I personally find that concept as abhorrent. But then I'm not a Christian and my interpretation may not be correct.

If anything, I lean towards the Buddhist view that it is through 'mindfulness' that one becomes aware of the unconscious causes of our suffering. Of course this is a grossly oversimplified and low level representation of only a small part of the Buddhist beliefs.

Please highlight anything in your previous posting that I have overlooked or not adequately addressed to your satisfaction.

March 23, 2001
10:12 pm
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Sal
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Tez, I would like you to address the issue of unmet/unmeetable needs. Clear it all up is a few concise paragraphs, please:)

I think Christianity misses a HUGE piece of reality in overlooking "mindfulness," even as I agree that it indeed does. Maybe that's all that the sign meant: "BE" Maybe that's our gift to God and our only real way to appreciate the gift of life from him.

Your value IS your awareness? Your awareness is your value? If you were unaware, you wouldn't be valuable? If I refuse to be aware, do I diminish? What do I do if I shut that down, that mindfulness, will I whither away? Spiritually or otherwise? By seeing myself as worthless, do I become so? If I am only aware of my pain, is that all that's of value to me? Can I talk myself into being aware of beauty, and then that will be what is valuable to me? Is there intrinsic worth? I want someone to tell me that I am of great value, just because I "am." I suppose it should be me saying it, but I don't believe me. What makes me think I know? So I'm looking outside of me for something or someone to meet those unmeetable needs. (see above)

Answer me, O Socratez!:)

Cici, I wrote a paper on the the Who and How therapy. Basically, I'm skeptical of bottom line analysis. Seems to me, no matter which approach you use, your goal is to discover the answer to those questions, right? KISS. Being an adult sounds so good to me. To be responsible, dependable, capable, admirable... Even if you do it in the nude! Maybe especially then!

March 24, 2001
6:28 pm
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Sal.

You want me to address the issue of unmet/unmeetable needs succinctly in "a few concise paragraphs"? Phew!!

I will presume that you speak of psychological needs.

In my opinion, all psychological needs are the result of a perception that some possession, mental state, attribute or relationship must be either obtained or avoided in order to enhance our wellbeing. My awareness of this need takes the form of my awareness of a feeling, a thought about that feeling or both. The feeling about the need comes from a preconditioned emotional memory having been triggered. The thought about the need comes from contextual memory and the unconscious,learnt cognitive processes that have projected the thought into consciousness. Unmet needs usually produce cognitive dissonance or suffering. We have the choice in how we deal with this suffering. We can seek to fulfil the need therein receiving more suffering or we can seek the insight and realisation that the need is really illusory and is of itself a desire or craving the unfulfilment of which causes suffering in itself. Even fulfilment brings with it suffering when it passes - as it will - and the desire returns together with the knowledge of the loss of fulfilment.

'Isness', 'being here,now', 'stillness of the mind', etc all preclude living in the past or future and the inherent irrational fear of further loss of well being that such a can of worms filled mind brings.

You asked, "If you were unaware, you wouldn't be valuable?" If I was a vegetable without any conscious awareness of being at all, then life for me would have no value whatever. That's not to say that I might not have some value to a caregiver in fulfilling their needs. Codependence takes many forms.

March 24, 2001
6:46 pm
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Sal
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Socratez,

What about the people who choose to be unaware, shutting down all but the hauntings of the mind? Are they(we) less valuable? And to whom?

Are you saying that there are no unmet needs? Only perceived unmet needs? Does that mean all needs are only illusory? Aren't we always "seeking to fulfill the needs"? Are we destined to be always disappointed in our search? I need to be known and accepted. I think even if I tried to talk myself out of this need, it would be there. Will I constantly look for the perfect fulfillment of this, be briefly satisfied and then empty once again? What do you need, Tez, and what do you do with your needs? Wants? I am coming right back around to pessimism, jackaroo!

March 25, 2001
6:29 pm
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Sal.
Apart from obvious physical needs for food, water, air, shelter, freedom from physical threat etc, there are so called "emotional needs" which are perceived as real needs. Evolution has programmed into us primitive emotions that are blunt instruments for enhancing the probability of our survival. However, in the vast majority of fear arousals no real physical threat exists. Nature doesn't care about being wrong 99% of the time as long as the 1% of the time we avoid the "real physical threat". This is all very good from a species perspective, but at an individual level the 99% of the unwarranted fear arousals cause us much unnecessary suffering, unhappiness, pessimism and depression.

Fulfilment comes from the deep realisation that there is nothing to fulfil. All is transient, nothing is permanent not even the 'you' that you think is 'you'. It's more a case of learning to 'let go' of the constant stream of flotsam and jetsam that continuously passes by your sense organs. We grasp at this that and the other trying desperately to fulfil our perceived needs.

You asked, "Will I constantly look for the perfect fulfillment of this, be briefly satisfied and then empty once again?" I don't know... but I hope not. You may come to realise the futility of this game and decide to look at what is behind the demand and what it is that is being temporarily satisfied.

"What do you need, Tez," I need not to need and that has nothing to do with fulfilment and everything to do with control of the mind.

"and what do you do with your needs?" I learn to concentrate the mind in the now and take care of the immediate task with as much precision as I can muster. The vast majority of perceived 'needs' then vanish. I practice meditation and with a 'clearer mind' many insights have come into the nature of my psyche. These insights and realisations have little to do with "talking myself out of" anything. Many "perceived needs" that once controlled my life have just vanish. Mind you, I've got a hell of a long way to go.

"Wants?" I want serenity, peace of mind and control over my emotions. This comes from 'not wanting', not grasping and not trying to make the world fulfil my many illusory desires. Happiness comes from getting rid of our mind disturbing desires not from trying to fulfil them.

"I am coming right back around to pessimism, jackaroo!" Believing that the way to happiness is in achieving the fulfilment of all your desires and needs must in the end result in pessimism, Jillaroo! 🙂

March 26, 2001
10:52 am
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Sal
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This, Tez is paradigm shattering. I read this yesterday, but had to digesst it a while before I responded.

I have absolutely never thought this way before. Are you so confident that there are no legitimate needs, outside the physical/safety issues? That seems pessimistic in itself, yet strangely attractive.

To believe that "fulfilment comes from the deep realisation that there is nothing to fulfill," would feel to me like giving up all hope. Yet to be rid of the striving, and the perceived emptiness is SO desirable. It seems so final to forsake all I've known-- the looking for fulfillment-- and I wonder if you can go back if it only leads to despair, as I fear it would. I guess I'm still thinking, "no one and no thing will ever make me fulfilled," rather than, "the needs I feel are not real." I lean toward fatalism.

I do not need companionship? Love? Approval? Acceptance? Friendship? Purpose? Passion? Then what do I do when they ARE offered? I FEEL these "needs" deeply, so it seems dishonest to deny that they really exist.

I was SO convicted by your last statement, because it is so true. Definitely enough for a long philosophical think.

March 26, 2001
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freedom 's just an other word for nothing left to loose. Hmm, utterly pessimistic, or is it?
🙂

March 26, 2001
4:57 pm
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Sal.
You said, "I FEEL these "needs" deeply, so it seems dishonest to deny that they really exist."

It would be very dishonest of you to deny that your feelings really exist. But feelings are not needs. Feelings are your awareness of an emotional memory that has been triggered into recall. That emotional recall may or may not indicate a true physical survival need. When it comes to ensuring individual survival nature is as subtle as a 'blunder buss' and just as obtuse.

Where do emotional memories come from? They are survival based emotions that were once triggered in the past. The key here is that the trigger which was then conditioned and associated with this emotional memory is now inappropriate for your survival today. Thus the threat felt today when a childhood emotional response is retriggered, is illusory.

Let me give a simple example: A mother has to leave her baby with a nanny for some reason or another. The nanny is negligent and doesn't give the baby appropriate nurture and care. The baby, feeling great fear because of her emotional arousal, screams and screams as nature dictates she should in order to obtain nurture and survive. Now a negative trigger is stored as an emotional memory. Every time mom leaves the room the emotion of terror of abandonment, rejection and of potential death floods her body; at 3 months old, a very appropriate response. However when she is 21 or 31 years old, it is inappropriate to feel terrible, frightened and fearful at the prospect of not having a boyfriend in her life to love and take care of her. It is inappropriate for her survival today, to feel the terrible fears of low self worth, rejection and abandonment, when someone displays disapproval of her. Such trigger events in her adult are retriggering once appropriate emotional arousals, causing fear - wherein as an adult she has really nothing to fear. Thus the craving "need" to have someone in her life to take care of her is illusory, albeit very really felt. Feelings are not always based on factual threats to our well being, with the exceptions of course such as when you are facing a hungry lion on an open plain. 🙂

March 26, 2001
5:07 pm
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Eve.
A good response with a very subtle and excellent point being made.

There is a world of a difference between having nothing and being attached to nothing.

The venerable master Hsing Yun said, "Even if seven treasures were to rain down from heaven they would not satisfy desire. Desire gives rise to few pleasures and many troubles. To understand this is to be a sage."

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